I Choose You - earpivore (2024)

Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Kaleidoscope Heart Chapter Text Chapter 2: Uncharted Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Chapter 3: Eyes on You Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Chapter 4: Fire Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Chapter 5: Armor Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Chapter 6: You Matter to Me Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Chapter 7: A Safe Place to Land Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Chapter 8: Brave Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Chapter 9: Wicked Love Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 10: Say You’re Sorry Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 11: No Such Thing Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 12: The Light Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 13: Chasing the Sun Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 14: Someone Who Loves Me Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Chapter 15: Hold My Heart Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 16: Bottle It Up Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 17: Sweet As Whole Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 18: 1000 Times Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 19: Sarasvati Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 20: What’s Inside Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 21: Crimson & Clover Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 22: The Joke Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 23: Hold Me in the Dark Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 24: Anchor Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 25: Like Sand in Your Sea Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 26: The First Time Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 27: Kiss the Wall Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 28: Full to the Brim Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 29: Between the Lines Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 30: Let Your Heart Be Light Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 31: Merry & Bright Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 32: Seasons of Love Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 33: Songbird Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 34: Feels Like the End Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 35: Waiting Room Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Chapter 36: The Great Pasta Bowl of Life Notes: Chapter Text Chapter 37: Ready to Lose Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 38: Salt In The Wound Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 39: Fire & the Flood Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 40: Just Like That Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 41: Same Risk Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 42: Prove It Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 43: Wherever Is Your Heart Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 44: Even the Days Are Brighter Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 45: How Simple It Can Be Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 46: Let Them Eat Cake Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 47: My Head Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 48: Stable Song Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 49: Sisters Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 50: Kaleidoscope Heart - Melissa’s Version Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 51: Not a Chapter, Just a Question Chapter Text Chapter 52: Uncharted - Melissa’s Version Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 53: Eyes On You - Melissa’s Version Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 54: Fire - Melissa’s Version Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 55: Armor - Melissa’s Version Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 56: These Photographs Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 57: Heaven Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 58: Like This Together Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 59: That’s My Desire Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 60: Stand By Me Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 61: Girl, I Want to Make You Sweat Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 62: Blindsided Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 63: Rescue My Heart Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 64: Spend It With You Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 65: Be My Baby Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 66: Heartbeat Song Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 67: Bruises That Won’t Heal Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 68: Land Where I Land Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 69: Inside Out Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 70: Paralyzed Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 71: Bruises That Won’t Heal - Melissa’s Version Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 72: To Make You Feel My Love Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 73: Uncomfortably Numb Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 74: Where Dust Never Collects Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 75: With A Little Help From My Friends Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 76: Homecoming Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 77: You Are the Best Thing Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 78: I’m So Tired Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 79: It’s So Sweet Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 80: Heavy Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 81: Can’t Fight This Feeling Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 82: Home Is Not Places Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 83: Someone Who Counts Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 84: Feels Like Home Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 85: Forever Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 86: Passenger Seat Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 87: Change Your Mind Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes:

Chapter 1: Kaleidoscope Heart

Chapter Text

Every thing about Melissa Schemmenti was the best thing.

And you knew this from the first day you met her.

As another brutally hot summer came to an end in Philadelphia, you prepared for a week of professional development and classroom prep at your new school, Abbott Elementary. You’d spent the last five years teaching at a private school nearby, but had always planned to get back to the public schools where you felt you could truly make a difference. When you saw there was an opening for a third grade teacher at Abbott, you called within the hour and had an interview scheduled the next day. Principal Coleman was definitely an interesting character, but you could tell from the way she spoke about the students and staff that she cared deeply about the school and its community. You signed your contract the next day.

The Monday before school started you arrived earlier than most, knowing how many trips you’d have to make back and forth to your car for books, classroom decor, and of course your favorite chair. As you walked to and from your classroom to the parking lot, you had the chance to introduce yourself to several of your new colleagues. There was Janine who was very enthusiastic and seemed to know everything about everyone, Jacob who happily recommended a few of his favorite educational podcasts, and Barbara who shared a few helpful hints for how to deal with Ava’s constant shenanigans. The introductions were all brief of course as everyone was busy preparing for the year ahead, but each new person you spoke with made you feel even more confident that coming to Abbott was the right choice for you.

And then you saw her.

As you pulled the final box of books from your trunk and locked your car, a flash of red hair caught your eye. This woman was absolutely breathtaking. She was wearing black leather pants, black boots, and a white v-neck t-shirt. Her neckline was covered in beautiful gold necklaces and her eyes were hidden by large black sunglasses. She had a coffee in one hand and a large stack of books in the other which she held tightly against her side. She looked like a movie star. She was ready to cross the street when a passing car failed to yield, causing her to jump back quickly, spill her coffee, and drop all the books she was carrying. You jogged up behind her and said, “Are you okay? What a jackass! It’s wild those idiots can afford Teslas, but not manners.” She barely acknowledged you as she was still in a state of shock, frantically trying to gather the books that had gone flying. “Yeah, hon, I’m fine. I’m used to it by now.” You bent down to help her and noticed the title of the books. “Peter Rabbit! Oh that was always one of my favorites. Can I give you a hand?” As you gathered a few of the books you noticed her take off her sunglasses to look at you. Green eyes. You knew it! Of course they were green. But you didn’t expect them to look like emeralds. You were lost in them for what felt like an eternity when you heard her say, “Oh, yeah? Mine, too! My kiddos do a special project with this book every year.” You both stood up and you handed her the remaining books. “I can’t wait to see how they turn out! I’m Y/N. I’m the new third grade teacher.” She looked you over again and you couldn’t quite figure out what she was thinking. “Yeah, I heard a lot about you, hon. Ava wouldn’t shut up about the new hire. I don’t usually let newbies call me anything at all, but since you’ve already done a few years in the trenches, my names Melissa Schemmenti. Second grade. Welcome to Abbott.” She extended her hand to shake yours and you were so flabbergasted that you dropped your own box of books as fast as you could just to feel how soft her skin was. She laughed at your eagerness, but it was fine… because her hand was even softer than you could have anticipated. Then she made a joke about making sure to look both ways this time and then you walked through the crosswalk together, smiling.

And you kept on smiling for the rest of your first day. Your interaction with Melissa and her kindness toward you made your day. Never mind the fact that each time she called you “hon” the butterflies in your stomach went wild. It had been a long time since anyone made you feel that way. That, paired with the excitement of a new school year had you on cloud nine as you organized and decorated your classroom. After arranging all your books and the academic materials throughout the room, you got started on making the space feel cozy and inviting for you and your students. You placed several plants throughout the room, strategically added a few small area rugs, spread out several salt lamps, and even hung some fairy lights over in the reading nook.

You had just finished hanging some ivy up by the window when you heard her voice. “Holy sh*t, hon! What is this, Narnia?” And there went the butterflies again. Melissa looked around your room, completely awestruck. You laughed as you stepped down from the ladder and said, “Yeah, something like that! The private school I used to work at practiced the Reggio Emilia philosophy, meaning we treated the classroom or learning environment kind of like a third teacher. So, making the space feel welcoming was always a big deal!” She nodded slowly, but looked at you quizzically. “Third teacher? What, you all had aides or somethin’? Fancy school, kid.” You laughed again, gently. “I wish! The children were actually considered teachers as well and we let their interests guide a lot of our learning practices.” It was then that you noticed she had stopped looking around the room and was looking directly at you instead with a thoughtful look in her eyes. You felt your cheeks begin to blush as she studied you. “Hmm. That’s a pretty neat way of thinkin’ about learnin’. Course it’s a lot more standardized tests and hittin’ all the crazy milestones here in the public schools. But I’m sure you’ll manage to find the right balance. Your kiddos are gonna love this space, that’s for sure. I know my little eagles would!” You felt yourself blush at the compliment. “Well, thank you, Ms. Schemmenti! I appreciate the vote of confidence. It means a lot to hear that from a seasoned educator like you.” Now you weren’t the only one blushing. She seemed to realize that she had been staring and snapped herself out of it promptly. “Uh, yeah. Course. Anyway. I was just stoppin’ by to make sure you knew about the trainin’ session first thing tomorrow mornin’? I usually stop and grab a coffee on the way in. Anythin’ I can grab for ya?” Was this really happening? Did this beautiful woman you just met offer to buy you a coffee? “That’s so kind. Honestly, I’d love a caramel macchiato. As long as the next round is on me!” She nodded gently. “You got it, hon. Looks great in here. See ya tomorrow!” You smiled and waved goodbye and your head started spinning with the promise of tomorrow.

Your first day at Abbott was winding down when you bumped into Janine out in the hallway. “Oh my goodness, Y/N, how was your first day?!” she asked excitedly. “It went really well! Everyone was so kind and my classroom feels amazing! And Melissa even offered to bring me coffee for our early training tomorrow morning.” Janine looked confused. “Melissa?! Wait. What?! Ms. Schemmenti was… nice to you? As in she even spoke to you and told you her name?!” “Yes…?” you responded, not exactly sure what was going on. “Oh, wow. Well, you must have done something to impress her because Ms. Schemmenti is a tough nut to crack. I’ve been here two years and she still makes fun of my clothing daily and has never once said I could call her Melissa. Well done!” You smiled politely as you and Janine parted ways toward the parking lot and the butterflies in your stomach were officially out of control. Melissa Schemmenti. She was smart, funny, generous in her praise and encouragement, and… absolutely stunning. And tomorrow morning she would bring you coffee.

You couldn’t wait for tomorrow.

Chapter 2: Uncharted

Summary:

It’s your second day of professional development at Abbott Elementary. There’s coffee, there’s a lot of smiling, there’s some bonding with Barb and Melissa, there’s cheesesteaks, and there’s Melissa Schemmenti walking you out to the parking lot.

Notes:

Let me know what you think! I will admit my Melissa is coming off pretty soft here at the start, but there is plenty of spicy, fierce Mel to come! Just wait! :)

Chapter Text

Tomorrow came as it always does and as you washed your hair in the shower you imagined what the day ahead might be like. Sure there would be some learning opportunities and more introductions and likely some terrible ice-breakers or team building activities. But knowing that it would at least start with Melissa was an exciting prospect. What if she wanted to sit next to you during the training? What if you wrote each other little notes in the margins of the meeting printouts? What if her thigh rested gently next to yours, just barely touching? What if she laughed at one of your jokes and touched your arm? What if… you could feel your hand making its way down your abdomen when you stopped and realized you absolutely did not have time to let your mind wander that vigorously this morning. You couldn’t be late. Not today. With one final rinse you jumped out of the shower and dried off. Since it was still professional development week and most of the day would be spent sitting through trainings or working in classrooms, you knew comfort was key. You threw on a black t-shirt and a light pair of jeans rolled up at the bottom, keeping it simple with your favorite pair of sneakers and your watch. Only the essentials today. Your attire would become much more professional once school was in session next week. And who didn’t love a good blazer?

When you arrived at school you briefly looked around the lot to see if you could find Melissa, but no luck. You decided to head to your room to set your things down and grab a notebook before the training session. The focus would be on effective parent communication, a topic you had plenty of experience with considering your five years of teaching at a private school. Those parents paid insane amounts of money for their children to attend and as such had an heir of entitlement that still made your skin crawl. They rarely accepted feedback about their children and nearly always blamed you for any challenges or setbacks their children faced in the classroom. It was exhausting, but in the end was excellent practice and you learned where your backbone was very early on. Needless to say you didn’t expect for this training to blow your mind, but you knew it would benefit newer, younger teachers and maybe even some of the older ones who struggled with things like email communication and scheduling parent meetings through the various internet portals.

You had just grabbed your green cardigan that was hanging on the back of your chair when you heard three gentle taps on your door. “Mornin’, hon. One pipin’ hot grande caramel macchiato for ya.” When you turned to her the bright smile on her face made you weak in the knees and you took a mental picture. You never wanted to forget how stunning and joyful she looked in this moment. “Wow! What service!” you joked as you walked toward her and your desperately needed cup of caffeine. Your fingers brushed as she handed you the drink and the electric spark you felt woke up the butterflies that had been napping while the two of you were apart. “What can I say?” she chuckled, and then added “Wanna head over to the meetin’? We can snag some seats toward the back with Barb.” “Absolutely!” you replied with enthusiasm. As she turned to lead you out of the room you had a chance to admire her incredible figure. Today she wore a dark green blouse that accentuated her beautiful breasts and curvaceous figure and a pair of tight black jeans that showed off her full, round ass. Thank god you had your coffee to hide your face because you were practically drooling. She looked amazing. And you had a feeling that she would continue to look amazing every single day. What.complete.f*cking.torture.

The three of you found a table toward the back of the library and waited for the presentation to begin. Barbara took a few notes throughout the session, “just in case,” she said with a small smile. And she and Melissa rolled their eyes in unison every time Janine raised her hand to ask yet another question, which made you laugh. You tried to pay attention and tried to fake your interest and enthusiasm, but you kept feeling like Melissa was looking at you. Of course you didn’t want to turn and face her in case she was and might stop if she thought you had noticed, but you felt her eyes on you nonetheless and you couldn’t help but wonder why. It was clear from only a day of knowing her that she was at the very least intrigued by you. And according to Janine, her behavior toward you was completely out of character. You knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that you were extremely physically attracted to this woman, but you also knew it was more than that. Much more. You felt a connection. A pull. A thread between you that would tug if you moved too far apart. You hadn’t felt like this in years and you couldn’t stop thinking about what it might mean or if she felt it, too. You also felt a little foolish for falling for someone this fast, but didn’t dwell on that for too long because you knew yourself well enough to know that fighting against something that felt this good would be even more foolish. You liked her. It was as simple and magical as that.

After the meeting was over the teachers were excused to their classrooms for an hour before the scheduled lunch break. You gave Melissa a small wave as you walked toward your classroom and she said, “See ya at lunch?” It was a posed as a question, but could have easily been a demand. You’d do anything she told you to. “Sounds great!” you said as you smiled, blushed, and then promptly darted into the safety of your cozy little classroom. You felt like a giddy school girl, but forced yourself to snap out of it in favor of actually being productive in your room for the next hour.

By the time lunch rolled around you had finished preparing your morning meeting space and labeled all the desks and chairs with student names. You noticed from your roster that many of your students were little eagles in Melissa’s class last year and made a mental note to ask her more about them later this week. And just as you thought of her, she appeared. And again she announced herself with the same three gentle knocks she made earlier this morning. “Hey, Narnia! We decided on cheesesteaks from down the block! Ya in?” she asked, looking like she already knew the answer would definitely be yes. “Oh, absolutely! I’m starving. I’m in 100%!” you replied. Melissa’s smile brightened as she nodded her head and said, “Yeah, I think I like that about you.” You blushed, but brushed it off quickly by clapping your hands together twice and shouting “let’s do this, Schemmenti!” She shook her head, laughed, and looked down at the floor for a moment before she caught your eyes again. “You dork.” she said. And even that felt like a compliment coming from her lips.

Lunch was a blast! While the idea of grabbing lunch with just Melissa may have seemed intimate, having Barbara along for the ride made it even more fun. You learned so much about them both. They talked about how long they’d both been at Abbott and how they came to be friends. Barbara spoke about her husband Gerald and her daughter in New York while Melissa shared that she divorced her ex-husband a long time ago and loved to cook for people and watch football. They had inside jokes and a kind of effortless friendship that made you feel welcome and at ease. And they were very clearly work wives who supported and cared for one another on the hard days. It was completely adorable and you were so glad they had felt comfortable enough to invite you to share in it so quickly. You shared a little about yourself, mainly about your educational background and general interests. Nothing too deep, but that was normal for you. It took a lot for you to allow yourself to be vulnerable with anyone. That, and you had just never found yourself particularly interesting. You loved teaching, went on the occasional bike ride, and your ideal activity was writing poetry while sipping hot chocolate. You were a square and you knew it. But they didn’t need to know it just yet. Plus, who doesn’t love a little mystery?

The three of you walked back to school together to finish up the afternoon trainings on time management and lesson planning and by the time the final session ended, everyone was wiped and ready to be done. You covered a big yawn and stretched your back as you stood up from the hard wooden chair and noticed Melissa roll her neck back and forth, trying to get out a knot. Her eyes were closed as she did it and she let out a soft moan as she attempted to stretch the long day out of her neck and shoulders. You watched her, mesmerized, and imagined what it would be like to massage her shoulders after a long day at work with a bottle of wine nearby and your favorite home improvement show playing in the background. That's when you noticed Barbara watching you with a slightly amused look on her face. You blushed and then grabbed your cardigan, preparing for a swift escape. “Well, I’m heading out ladies. Thank you for letting me sit with you today and for sharing your lunch hour with me. What an honor! And what a cheesesteak!” you said. “We were happy to have you, dear. It’s so nice to have a new face here at Abbott” Barbara said as she gathered her purse. “Hey, wanna walk out together? There’s somethin’ I wanna show ya” Melissa asked. You were surprised by the question, but apparently answered “of course” without even feeling your own lips move because Melissa started to follow you out of the library and made her way next to you as you walked out to the parking lot.

She led you to her car, unlocked the door, and reached across to her passenger seat and grabbed something. When she turned back to you she was holding an old photograph of an elderly man sitting in a chair, staring stoically at the camera. “When ya mentioned the Reggio philosophy yesterday and the third teacher and all that, it reminded me of my great uncle who lived in Reggio Emilia, Italy way back in the day. Y’know the place where that whole philosophy came to life, right?” She asked, and you nodded with enthusiasm, taken aback by her vulnerability as she shared this memory with you. “I dunno. Hearin’ you talk about it just made me remember how when I was little and said I was gonna be a teacher when I grew up, y’know if bein’ a firefighter didn’t work out of course, he always said the best schools in the world were in Reggio Emilia. Said the kids could really explore and construct their own learnin’. I never forgot about that. But I also don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone mention it since then. Not even when I was back in college. Listen, long story short, hon, you reminded me of somethin’ special and I think it’s real cool that you’re incorporatin’ that stuff into your teachin’.” Melissa looked at you eagerly, not sure how you would respond and also not entirely sure why she felt compelled to share this with you. “Melissa, thank you so much for telling me this. That’s such a special memory. Your great uncle sounds like he knew what he was talking about! I love that he encouraged your interest in teaching and that it stuck with you” you said back to her with a warm smile on your face. Melissa smiled back and shook her head softly. “Yeah. Stuff like that reminds me what matters in this gig: the kids. So, y’know. Thanks for the reminder, is all.” The two of you stood there smiling at each other for a moment and then exchanged a quick goodbye after you confirmed her coffee order for the morning.

You sat quietly in your car for a few minutes, unable to wipe the shy smile and blush from your face. Hearing her share that memory, hearing her say that something you mentioned made her feel connected to her heritage and her profession… it felt so damn good. Truly to know she thought of you at all would have been outstanding. But this? This felt special. You saw her reverse her car out of her parking space and as she pulled away from the lot, you felt the thread tug at your heart.

Another day had come and gone, and again, you couldn’t wait for another tomorrow with Melissa Schemmenti.

Chapter 3: Eyes on You

Summary:

It’s day three of professional development at Abbott and you and Melissa share many special moments together. There’s sass, there’s ravioli, there’s knees touching, there’s extended eye contact, there’s cleavage, and there’s some high quality comforting. You really think you’re going to like it here.

Notes:

Happy New Year, friends! Three chapters in one day? Say whaaaat?! I hope you’re enjoying this so far. There’s still so much to come. Stay tuned.

Chapter Text

It was Wednesday. Day three of professional development at Abbott and day three of being in Melissa Schemmenti’s intoxicating orbit. You woke up earlier than usual so you’d have extra time to grab your drinks from the coffee shop she’d recommended. You picked up your order and drove just a little faster than usual as you made your way to the school. To be honest, you hoped it would buy you a few extra minutes with Melissa before another busy day began. You couldn’t stifle the huge smile on your face when you pulled into the lot and saw Melissa wave at you from the sidewalk. You also couldn’t help but notice you weren’t the only one sporting a huge smile. The pitter patter of tiny wings sounded against your ribcage as you grabbed your coffees and got out of the car to meet her.

You walked slowly toward her, taking her all in. Another day, another form-fitting and completely flattering Schemmenti ensemble. She wore a bright pink shirt that showed more cleavage than anything else she’d worn previously this week. And her pants… well, honestly your eyes were glued to her chest, so you weren’t exactly sure what was going on anywhere else. Then you realized one big difference. Her hair was pulled up in a ponytail today, showing off her beautiful neck and clavicle which was, as always, adorned with a variety of gold necklaces. How you managed to keep walking without tripping over your own jaw down there on the ground was beyond you, but eventually you made it close enough to hand Melissa her coffee and exchange enthusiastic good mornings with one another as you walked toward the building. You opened the door for her, “M’lady,” you said, jokingly as you gently waved her toward the entrance. “Careful now, babe. A girl could get used to this!” she replied and you were sure she could hear the audible gulp you made. Babe, huh? That was a new one. You didn’t mind in the least. You followed behind her and you both decided to hang out in the teacher’s lounge for a few minutes before the grade level meetings started up.

The couch was… horrible. It was the equivalent to sitting on a styrofoam finger, but Melissa opted for the couch over the chairs. She said it was the better choice since you’d both be stuck sitting in hard plastic chairs for most of the day with your fellow teachers as you exchanged lesson plans and project ideas during your meetings. She made a good point. And of course it didn’t hurt that the couch sunk in a little bit at the middle, causing your bodies to lean in toward one another in a way that you were completely and totally okay with. You sipped your coffee and made small talk, trying to ignore the fact that Melissa’s knee was touching yours and that neither of you made any effort to change that. She asked what you did last night and you stumbled briefly as the truth was not an option. “Oh, umm… I just looked over some of my old lesson plans to prep for today. Still trying to figure out how to incorporate the Reggio stuff into the public school setting” you lied. In truth, you sat in bed thinking about her. You thought about the way her laugh was quickly becoming your favorite sound. You thought about the spark you felt when your hands accidentally touched the day before. You thought about how she said she loves to cook and wondered what it would be like to watch her at work in the kitchen, wiping sweat from her brow as she prepared lasagna from scratch. You thought about her watching football and jumping up and down every time the Eagles scored and cursing like a sailor whenever the refs made a bad call. You thought about her and the thread and the tugging and how all of a sudden you were excited to wake up every day just to be near her. You couldn’t tell her any of this. So, yeah. You lied. Then you asked her what she got up to. “Oh, I was so wiped from being stuck in those chairs all afternoon. I took like an hour long bath and then passed out” she said. You nodded along, trying desperately to hide the fact that you were now picturing her in a bathtub, wet and hot and soapy and… The bell rang, signaling the official start of another day of training and team-building and you were beyond thankful for the interruption. You and Melissa parted ways as she joined Janine and the other second grade teachers and you went off to find the third grade team.

Most of the teachers you met that morning were kind and welcoming, but none of the younger ones had Janine’s energy or spirit and none of the older teachers had Barbara’s calm demeanor or level-headed attitude. The newer teachers seemed like nervous wrecks and the older teachers seem jaded and annoyed that they even had to be there. You briefly mentioned your previous experience and the concept of child-led learning and the oldest teacher in the group openly laughed at you. “Sure,” she said, “let the kids lead the lessons. Can’t wait to learn more about Roblox and Minecraft from a bunch of eight year olds.” It was rude, misinformed, and completely condescending. And in a normal circ*mstance, you would happily educate her and throw a little bit of that disdain right back at her. But this wasn’t a normal situation. This was day three of a brand new job and whether you liked them or not, these were your colleagues, and peaceful cohabitation seemed important. Unfortunately for that teacher, Melissa Schemmenti happened to be walking by the auditorium when she spoke to you that way and she had absolutely no fear and a fierce desire to protect you that even she herself didn’t quite understand yet. “Yo, Wendy! Better learnin’ about video games from a kid than watchin’ you fall asleep at your desk again while they watch Toy Story for the hundredth time! Why don’t you hear her out before you run your mouth just because you’re scared you won’t understand, ya gabbadost!” The other women looked shocked and Wendy’s jaw dropped at Melissa’s words, but you could only laugh quietly. You looked to Melissa and mouthed a soft “thank you” as the other women changed the subject to the new math curriculum. She winked at you and continued on to wherever it was she was going. Though you had a suspicion she wasn’t actually going anywhere and had just stopped by to check in on you. Wishful thinking, of course. But it was a nice thought.

In an unfortunate turn of events, the schedule for the day encouraged teachers to eat lunch with their grade level peers to build camaraderie. You somehow missed this detail and hadn’t packed a lunch. You dug through your bag, hoping there might be a granola bar hiding somewhere in its depths when you felt three gentle taps on your shoulder. Melissa handed you a small plastic container. “I had some leftover ravioli the other day. Ya want it?” she asked casually. “Um… is that a serious question? Has anyone, anywhere, ever refused ravioli?!” you responded jokingly. “Well, no one with half a brain! C’mon, hon. Eat up. You’re gonna need your strength to deal with this particular group of hens.” she said as she laughed. Then she handed you a plastic fork and gave you another quick wink as she walked away. You were starting to wonder if you were still asleep and the entire day had been a dream so far. From Melissa’s perfect outfit and pulled back hair to her knee resting against yours to the now TWO times she came to your rescue in a moment of need… you couldn’t possibly be awake. Not to mention she called you “babe” and winked at you TWICE! You shook your head gently to snap yourself out of your stupor and focused on the delicious ravioli in front of you, listening and nodding along as this particular group of hens chatted through the lunch hour.

The rest of the afternoon passed without incident. You learned more about your peers, their experience, and their teaching styles, and felt a little bit better about the prospect of learning and teaching alongside them this year. As yet another day of work came to an end, you made your way back to your classroom to gather your things. At this point, your green cardigan was truly just a socially acceptable form of a baby blanket and you grabbed it from your chair, knowing you’d wrap yourself up in it tonight with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s in your lap and an episode of whatever playing in the background. You stopped at Melissa’s door, hoping to tell her goodnight and maybe even walk her to her car, when you noticed she was sitting at her desk with her glasses on, looking deep in thought. You said her name softly, not wanting to derail her train of thought, but also physically incapable of not telling her goodbye, and she looked up at you with a smile. “Sorry, hon. I was lost there for a sec. How was the rest of your day?” she asked. “It was fine after my knight in shining armor saved me from the dragon and then brought me a royal feast” you said jokingly. Her head titled to the side a little and she shrugged her shoulders. “Hey, I been called a lotta things, but that one’s new. What can I say? See a damsel, save a damsel!” “Haha! Very funny” you replied, blushing slightly at her playful tone. “Are you okay, though?” you asked, “you looked like you were working through something when I came in. Sorry if I interrupted you.” She caught your eyes again and had a defeated look about her. “Yeah, I’m good, hon. Just tryin’ to figure out how to help one of my incomin’ kiddos who struggled a lot last year” she admitted. “Well… I’m free to grab dinner if you want to get out of here and talk it over with someone” you offered. And then there’s that smile. “Yeah?” she asked with a hint of disbelief. “Yeah,” you replied. “It’s me and you at the closest burger joint or me, myself, and I at home with a pint of ice cream. Your call, Schemmenti” you said, teasingly. She took her glasses off, flung them on the desk, and grabbed her purse. “A burger with you sounds perfect” she said. And you couldn’t agree more.

It was a hole-in-the-wall place maybe three miles from Abbott, but Melissa swore they had the best burgers in town. And frankly, you’d follow her off a cliff at this point so it was an easy decision. She offered to drive since she knew the area better and you were thrilled as you sat down in the passenger seat and were instantly enveloped in her scent. Melissa smelled like lavender and vanilla and it was soothing in a way you couldn’t even begin to articulate. It was a short drive and the two of you were seated in a tiny booth within minutes of arriving. You both enjoyed your burgers and even ordered a few beers as you discussed the day and laughed together. As the waiter cleared the baskets you decided to ask for one more round of beer when you realized the two of you never actually talked about Melissa’s student. You wanted to hear what she was thinking and support her in any way you could. “So, tell me about your little eagle, the one you were thinking about when I came in” you said. “Oh. Yeah. Jessie. He’s a sweetheart. Barbara had him back in kindergarten and worked so hard with him. Then he had a real bum for a first grade teacher last year and fell behind in readin’ big time. It’s just…” she stopped herself for a moment and wondered whether or not to say what she wanted to say. “Well, it’s just that I’m dyslexic so I understand how hard readin’ can be for kids at this age and how the teasin’ feels and how parents don’t always know how to help. It’s hard to navigate” she said, her eyes intently focused on her beer, the wall decor, and anything else that wasn’t your face. “Oh, Mel” you replied, “I’m so glad you felt comfortable sharing that with me. I’m sure that was really hard for you growing up. And I imagine it’s something that still isn’t always easy to navigate for yourself as an adult, let alone for one of your students. But, if I may, I have to say I think that kiddo is with exactly the right teacher at exactly the right time in his life. Having someone who gets it and is invested in him will make such a huge difference for him. I’m sure it won’t be easy, but damn is that kid lucky to have someone like you in his corner.” She looked up at you with tears forming at the corners of her eyes and smiled. “Mel, huh?” She asked. “sh*t. Sorry, Melissa. I don’t know why I said that” you replied, worried you had crossed a line. “No, no… I… I like it” she smirked. “And I appreciate all the other stuff you said after that. Maybe you’re right. Maybe he’s with me for a reason. Yeah. I like that idea. Thanks, hon.” she smiled.

The two of you settled the tab and Melissa drove you both back to Abbott to collect your car. Neither of you were drunk, but happily buzzed? Most definitely. Once she had parked, you were surprised when she got out of her car and walked you over to yours. “Thanks for tonight, hon. I needed it. And I appreciate everything you said. Really” Melissa said as she looked at the ground and kicked half-heartedly at a small pebble near her boot. “It was the least I could do, Melissa, especially after everything you did for me today. And I meant everything I said. Truly. You’re an incredible teacher. Jessie is in excellent hands” you replied as you watched Melissa kick at the pebble. Then you both looked up at the same time and held eye contact for a moment before she leaned in and embraced you in a hug. “I’m really glad you came to Abbott” she said as she squeezed a little harder. “Me, too, Mel. Me, too” you replied as you felt her soft body pressed against yours and smelled her shampoo as your head rested on her shoulder. She pulled away gently and looked you directly in the eye. “And I really like when you call me Mel” she added, as she squeezed your hand and walked back toward her car. She waited until you got into your own car before she pulled away and you sat there in complete disbelief.

“She likes it when I call her Mel” you said aloud to yourself.

As far as you were concerned, you’d be happy to spend the rest of your life calling her Mel and melting into her hugs and supporting her in any way you could and…

And another day had come and gone and you couldn’t wait for another tomorrow with… Mel.

Chapter 4: Fire

Summary:

It’s day four of professional development at Abbott Elementary! There’s a hot shower, there’s bonding with Gregory Eddie, there’s Barbara Howard’s delicious pasta salad, there’s Ava being Ava, there’s pining, and there’s blatant staring at lips. What a day!

Notes:

Please note the rating change and additional tags. The poor reader could only hold out for so long. Let me know what you think!

Chapter Text

When you woke up on Thursday morning you had a hard time getting out of bed. But it wasn’t because you were unprepared or overly tired or worried about the day ahead. It was because the night before you sat across from the most beautiful woman you had ever seen and made her smile. It was because she had hugged you and held you and told you told you she liked it when you called her Mel. It was because within just a few days of knowing this amazing woman, you could already feel yourself falling head over heels. It was because it had been a long damn time since anyone had made you feel anything at all. It was because of Melissa Schemmenti.

You gave yourself the few extra minutes to just lie there, replaying the events of the last few days in your mind on repeat. Finally, you took a deep breath and got out of bed and into the shower. For a brief moment your mind wandered to Melissa’s hair in a ponytail and the shirt she wore yesterday and how unbelievably f*cking good it felt when she hugged you… and well, today you decided to let your hands wander as freely as your mind. You stood with your back against the shower wall, closed your eyes, and slowly slipped your hands between your legs. The wetness already pooling there had absolutely nothing to do with the shower and you gasped slightly as your fingers moved up to slowly circle your cl*t. You imagined Melissa in the shower with you. Her back pressed against the front your body and her neck leaning back against your shoulder. You imagined your bodies pressed together as the hot water rushed over you and you imagined reaching your arms around her body and massaging her perfect breasts and pinching her nipples and feeling lightheaded when she moaned in response. Then you imagined Melissa grabbing one of your hands and guiding it down her body to that heavenly place between her thighs. You imagined that you continued rubbing her breast with one hand while the other explored her slick folds and spread her wetness all over, your fingers finally landing on her cl*t and hearing a moan that was the most holy sound you’d ever heard. You imagined kissing and licking and sucking on her neck as you gently rubbed her cl*t, only to then feel her pressing her ass against your center, begging you to grind against her. You imagined your bodies rocking back and forth together and your breathing and moaning increasing in intensity until finally you imagined Melissa saying “f*ck. Yes! Oh, f*ck. I’m there. Cum with me, baby.” And you did. You came hard. You opened your eyes and braced yourself against the shower wall as you tried to calm your breathing and slowly make your way back to reality.

“f*ck!” you exclaimed once you got out of the shower and saw the time. Looks like it would be a wet hair in a messy bun kind of day. You grabbed a white tank top, a short-sleeve yellow flannel, and a pair of dark jeans and barely managed to slide your feet into your favorite Birkenstock sandals before you sprinted out the door.

You parked like an insane person and went running into the school. You refused to be late, ever! No matter how mind-blowing the imaginary shower sex was! You made it to your classroom, completely out of breath and opened the door to find Melissa sitting at your desk with both of your coffees at the ready. You felt yourself blush instantly, but figured since you were breathing heavily, she’d just chalk the redness in your cheeks up to your mad sprint down the hallway. “There ya are, hon! Left me sittin’ here in Narnia without ya this mornin’!” she laughed. God damn. Why did she have to be so f*cking cute? “I’m so sorry, Mel! I got a late start today. Good morning! Thanks for the coffee. How was the rest of your night?” you asked. Melissa opened her mouth to respond when the bell rang, signaling the start of another day of team-building and presentations. She smiled and said “guess you’ll just have to use your imagination. Have a good day, hon! See ya at lunch!” Little did Melissa Schemmenti know that your imagination had already worked overtime in the shower this morning! You said your goodbyes as she went off for the kindergarten through second grade focus group and you went to find your third through fifth grade peers.

Today’s session actually turned out to be really fun. Even though you hadn’t exactly hit it off with some of the women in your third grade cohort yesterday, there were a lot of really nice fourth and fifth grade teachers that were excited to exchange ideas and plan together for the year ahead. One of them was Gregory Eddie. Today was your first time meeting him, but you’d heard a lot about him from Janine back on the first day. Apparently he originally came in as a substitute teacher after his application to be the principal fell through. He decided to stay at Abbott for good, but thought he might connect better with kids a little older than the first graders he started with. He’d be teaching fourth grade this year in the classroom right across the hall from you. The two of you talked a lot during the session and you were really excited by his interest in gardening, thinking something like that would be a great way to get your kids out of the classroom and into some fun sensory activities while they learned more about the lifecycle of plants or even the water cycle. Gregory shared your enthusiasm, but admitted with a laugh that he’d probably struggle watching a bunch of kids wreck his garden. “I’m in though,” he said, “seriously. I think the kids would love that!” You smiled back at him and the two of you shook hands, it was officially a deal!

For lunch you joined Melissa and Barbara in the teacher’s lounge. Barbara had prepared a big pasta salad to share with the group and it was so delicious and refreshing. You thought you actually heard Melissa moan at one point while she ate it, which caused you to flashback to your morning shower. You felt the redness rise in your cheeks. “Are you alright, dear? Everytime I’ve seen you today, you’ve looked a bit flushed! I do hope you’re not coming down with anything right before the school year starts” Barbara said with genuine concern in her voice. “Oh… oh, um. Pfft. No, no I’m good. I think maybe this short-sleeve flannel was just the wrong choice when it’s still so hot out” you said as you then decided to further solidify your excuse by unbuttoning the shirt and hanging it over the back of your chair. You sat back in your white tank top and honestly the bit of fresh air on your skin did make a difference. You looked back up and noticed Melissa was staring at you intently as she chewed her food. You couldn’t tell if she was looking at your chest or your arms, but the point was, she was looking! It’s not like you were some buff babe, but you did stay healthy and your arms were probably your one and only vanity. You managed to look fit while still maintaining your softness and you were completely taken aback by the fact that Melissa appeared to be admiring your body. It could have all been in your head of course. Wouldn’t be the only thing that was today. The bell rang out again and it was time for a whole-group session in the cafeteria led by Principal Coleman.

The three of you sat together in the uncomfortable fold-out chairs lined up in the cafeteria. You only realized you’d forgotten your flannel in the lounge when you felt your nipples harden in response to how unbelievably chilly it was in the cafeteria. “sh*t!” you said to Melissa. “I’ll be right back, I forgot my flannel.” She looked over at you as you stood up and you thought you caught her glance at your chest. You had just made it to the aisle when you heard Principal Coleman shout “Not so fast, new girl! Sit back down. You’re not gonna wanna miss a second of this presentation!” She was your boss. So, even though you were freezing and even though she was completely ridiculous, you sat back down next to Melissa like a child who had just gotten in trouble. Melissa laughed and shook her head as you tried to discreetly rub your hands over your arms for warmth. “Zip it, Schemmenti” you said jokingly, quietly laughing along with her.

As you suspected, Ava’s presentation was a complete disaster. Half of it was photos of her in a bikini from a recent vacation she had taken and the other half of it was asking teachers where the professional development happy hour mixer should be tomorrow night. Melissa had her glasses on and had been on her phone for most of the meeting, clearly having been a teacher here long enough to know that ignoring Ava would never actually result in missing any important information. You thought you saw Barbara’s head nod once or twice like she might be dozing off. This was hilarious. You’d be more worried about having a leader like Principal Coleman if it weren’t for all of the wonderful teachers you’d met over the last few days. They were very clearly the heart and soul of the school and the ones who kept things running. You were so excited to be among them.

Once Ava’s laptop ran out of battery she decided to dismiss everyone for the day half an hour earlier than expected. You sprinted to the lounge to grab your flannel and then instinctively made your way to Melissa’s classroom to see what she was up to. When you arrived she was digging through a box of books on her desk. “What are you looking for there, Indiana Jones?” you asked with a teasing curiosity. She looked up at you and smiled and you noticed that was something she was doing pretty frequently. Seeing you, then smiling. You tried not to let it go to your head. “I’m tryin’ to find an old book one of my teachers gave me back in the day. I think it might help Jessie how it helped me. Aha! There you are!” she exclaimed. The book was worn and clearly well-loved and Melissa waved you over to her desk to look at it with her. “See how my teacher highlighted it to help me make sense of the words? Gosh. This helped me so much. Made me love readin’. Hopefully it’ll do the same for Jessie” she said with gratitude and excitement in her voice. “I’m sure it will” you said gently, looking at her rather than the book. God. How did someone this magical even exist? How could a heart that big and a hope that strong even fit inside one body? You were in awe of Melissa Schemmenti. And you knew that every kid who had a chance to learn from her would hold a special place in her heart forever. She looked up when she noticed you were quiet and that you were staring. “What?” she asked with a mild look of concern on her face. “Nothin’” you replied. “I just think you’re great.” She blushed and stood up straight to look you in the eye. “Yeah? Well, the feelin’s mutual, Narnia! I think you’re pretty special, too” she said as she smiled.

The two of you walked out to the parking lot together and this was quickly becoming your favorite part of each day. “You lookin’ forward to the mixer tomorrow after work?” she asked as you walked to your cars. “I think so! It’ll be fun to unwind after a busy week. And it’ll be nice to see how some of these teachers act after a few drinks!” you said, thinking of Gregory specifically since he seemed particularly subdued most of the time. “Yeah, it’s usually a good time. It’s a nice boozy calm before the storm. You feelin’ ready for your first group of Abbott kiddos next week?” she asked. “You know what, Mel? I do feel ready. I really do. This week has been incredible and I’ve learned so much and met so many wonderful people. And of course it doesn’t hurt that most of my students will have had you and Janine as their second grade teachers. I’m sure they’ll be able to teach me a thing or two!” you replied. She laughed and nodded her head. “Yeah. I bet they will!” she said. And after how incredible it felt to hold her last night, you couldn’t stop yourself from leaning in for a goodbye hug. Melissa came into it naturally, her arms reached over your shoulders as your arms dipped beneath hers and landed on her upper back. It was brief, too brief, but when you parted there was a slight pause as your faces passed and it took every ounce of restraint you had not to kiss her. Unfortunately, you had still looked down at her lips. And she absolutely noticed. “See ya tomorrow, hon” she said, looking back at your lips in return. You pulled away slowly. “Night, Mel. See you tomorrow.”

You laughed quietly and shook your head as you walked away. Could it really be possible? Did Melissa… want you, too?

One could dream.

What. A. Day.

Chapter 5: Armor

Summary:

It’s the day you’ve all been waiting for! After an intense week of preparations and professional development at Abbott, it’s finally time to celebrate with your fellow teachers before the chaos of the school year begins! There’s Janine getting on Melissa’s nerves, there’s a few car rides, there’s Negroni, there’s a confession, and there’s no way you’re going to forget this Friday night.

Notes:

*gently places chapter down and walks away* Ahhh! Let me know what you think. This is truly still just the beginning, I promise! There’s so much I have in store for these two.

Chapter Text

As you got in your car early that Friday morning, you wondered how you would possibly make it through another training session when you knew that you’d get to spend the evening at a bar with Melissa Schemmenti. You were nervous and excited and you had no idea what to expect, but you couldn’t shake the feeling that the night would be one to remember.

It was your turn to grab the coffee today and you texted Melissa earlier that morning to see if she wanted a ride to work. You also mentioned that you could be the designated driver for the evening since she had been a teacher longer than you and as such deserved this stress-free, boozy Friday night fun with friends! She texted back immediately: “yes and yes! Here’s my address!” You picked up the coffees and then made your way to her place. When you arrived she was sitting on her front porch reading a book. She had on a red blouse with a plunging neckline paired with a black leather jacket, leather pants, and her boots of course. Her vibrant red hair was down, curled, and flowing across her shoulders and she wore small gold hoop earrings to complement her collection of necklaces. She looked like a painting. Melissa smiled when she saw your car and then made her way down to you. “Mornin’, hon. Thanks for the ride!” she said, glowing. Her green eyes were the brightest you had seen them and it took you a minute to respond because you temporarily forgot how speaking worked. “Of course. Happy to do it. Here’s your coffee!” you replied as you handed her the drink. “Mmmmmm” she moaned quietly as she took a big sip. “God, is there anythin’ better than coffee on a Friday mornin’? I mean, besides the Eagles winnin’ the Super Bowl, of course!” You laughed and the two of you enjoyed catching up on the events of the week as you made your way to Abbott.

You happened to bump into Janine on the way into the building. “Good morning, you two!” she cheered, “you guys excited about the mixer tonight?” “Janine, is anyone ever as excited about anything as you are?” Melissa groaned, clearly not finished with her coffee and therefore not yet capable of handling Janine’s unrelenting enthusiasm. “I’m excited!” you chimed in, “although I’ll be the designated driver this evening, so I won’t be getting too wild” you laughed. “Oh are you two going together?” Janine asked. “What’s it to you, pipsqueak?” Melissa responded. “Oh I was just curious. You two have been spending a lot of time together, that’s all! I think it’s great. It totally makes sense actually. It’s kind of like how I always wanted to be around Barbara my first year here so she could be my mom… MENTOR. My mentor” she caught and corrected herself quickly. Janine had effortlessly succeeded in making this one truly awkward conversation. Is that what people saw when they looked at the two of you together? Some over-eager teacher who wanted a mentor? Some kid with mommy issues? Is that what Melissa thought, how she felt…? You suddenly felt unwell. “It’s actually nothin’ like that, Stuart Little” Melissa said forcefully. “Y/N knows exactly what she’s doin’. I’m not her mentor or her mommy. We just so happen to enjoy each other’s company and have things in common” she spat. Janine stood there with her jaw open as Melissa said “C’mon, hon” and guided you into the building.

She pulled you into her classroom and you both started laughing uncontrollably. “Geez, Mel! You really let her have it out there” you said, still surprised by her. “I really did!” she laughed. “Look, she’s a sweet kid and she means well, but she also likes to meddle and project her sh*t on other people and I just don’t have the patience for it anymore.” It was a side of Melissa you hadn’t seen before. Sure, you had a taste of her fierceness that day when Wendy was rude to you, but seeing how she responded to Janine… she could really put someone in their place when she wanted to. Part of you thought it was hot. But you also wondered when she started wearing this armor, who hurt her, and why she didn’t seem to have a single shield up when it came to you. Janine had said on the very first day how out of the ordinary Melissa’s behavior toward you was. Had you somehow become a safe place for her to land? The thought made you dizzy and also made you feel extremely protective of her. “Where’d you go, Narnia?” she asked, seeing you deep in thought. “Who? Me? What? Nowhere. Just thinking about tonight. So ready to let loose a little after this week!” you replied, hoping you’d convinced her. “Me, too, hon. Me, too!” she said as she smiled back at you.

You were so thankful when the work day flew by. It was the busiest one yet, but also the most fun. Ava had invited several guest speakers to lead interactive workshops on energizing students, teaching culturally relevant curriculum, and developing effective classroom management techniques. You sat with Melissa and Barbara during all three workshops and were thrilled to see how engaged and enthusiastic they were about the different activities. They still wanted to grow and learn and change as educators and seeing how actively they participated completely inspired you and made you understand their bond more fully. They cared. So damn much. It melted your heart.

When the final bell rang on the final day of professional development at Abbott Elementary, the teachers all cheered in unison. The janitor, Mr. Johnson, raised his broom up in the air and shouted “Let’s get to it, party people!” And everyone laughed and cheered again. The parking lot was a madhouse as you and Melissa made your way out to your car. Melissa served as your navigator as you drove to the bar and when you arrived you could already see half the Abbott staff pouring out of their cars and into the building. “Ready, hon?” Melissa asked. “Ready” you replied. She placed her hand on your knee and gave it a gentle rub and said “let’s go!”as she got out of your car. You took a deep breath and followed close behind her.

The place was packed! You instantly saw that the Abbott crew had gathered over in the far corner of the bar, several of them already walking back with drinks in hand. In addition to being very crowded, this place was also extremely loud. You leaned over to Melissa, your mouth just an inch away from her ear, and asked “what can I get you to drink, Mel?” She turned her head toward yours slightly and said “I’ll take a Negroni, hon” and you swore you felt her lips nearly touch your cheek. You pulled back slowly and gave a small salute before you made your way over to the bar. You ordered Melissa’s drink and decided on a beer for yourself. As you waited to pay, you felt the man next to you at the bar staring at you. It wasn’t an uncommon occurrence when you went out, but it was always entirely unwelcome when it happened. You grabbed the drinks and turned in the opposite direction to make your way back to Melissa. You could see her eyes on you from all the way across the bar. And you could also see that she had been joined by Barbara, Jacob, Janine, and Gregory. Once you reached them you handed Melissa her beverage, which she grabbed and quickly began to drink, and then you smiled warmly at the group. Everyone got quiet for a minute and you looked around wondering what you had missed. “What’s going on?” you asked. “Oh, nothing. We were all just taking bets on whether or not you’d let that guy who was checking you out at the bar buy you a drink” said Jacob, teasingly. “He was really, really good looking” said Janine, and not a single person missed how quickly Gregory looked over at her in shock. “He was very handsome” Barbara said as she sipped her co*cktail through a straw. “Was he?” you asked. “I didn’t even notice him. Not that it would have made a difference anyway” you added. “I’m gay.” There it was. You had finally said it. “Me, too!” shouted Jacob. “Yeah, we know you are, Jacob.” Gregory replied. “Oh, wow! I had no idea you were gay, Y/N” exclaimed Janine. “Well, that settles that bet” Barbara laughed gently. The only person who didn’t have anything to add was Melissa. You stared at her for a moment, trying to figure out what she was thinking. She continued to sip her Negroni, avoided your gaze, and then said “I feel like dancin’!” She quickly made her way over to the dance floor, leaving the Abbott crew and you behind her. You found a stool at a nearby high top table and tried to figure out what the hell just happened. Ten minutes ago you could feel her breath on your cheek and now she couldn’t get away from you fast enough. Was Melissa uncomfortable around you now that she knew you were gay? Did that change the way she felt about you and about your friendship? Your head was spinning and you worried that you were about to lose something that had felt so good and safe and right. You finished your beer, stood up, and made your way over to the dance floor.

Melissa danced alone in a crowd of couples with her glass raised slightly in the air as her hips swayed side to side, slowly. When she noticed you walking toward her she looked suddenly flustered. “Mind if I join you?” you asked. She walked toward you slowly as she finished the last sip of her drink and set it down. She put her hands on her hips and said “Well, that depends. You keepin’ any other big secrets from me?” She looked deeply into your eyes as she asked it and as you looked back down at her, you were completely overwhelmed. Between her beautiful red hair and those emerald green eyes, she looked like Christmas morning. “I… I wasn’t trying to keep anything from you, Mel. It just… it never came up” you replied. You could instantly tell she wasn’t convinced and she still looked upset. “Didn’t come up? How about when Barbara told you all about Gerald and I talked about leavin’ Joe? You didn’t think that might have been a good time to say, ‘Hey. By the way, I’m into chicks.’” she asked, frustrated. You took a small step toward Melissa and went to reach for her shoulder when a couple close by bumped into her, pushing her right into your arms. You caught her and she looked up at you as her hands rested against the top of your chest. “Mel, I’m sorry. It’s just… f*ck. It’s so god damn loud in here. Could we maybe go somewhere and talk?” you asked.

She led you out to the patio and stood against the railing with her arms crossed as she waited for you to speak. “Melissa. Please. I promise this wasn’t something I wanted to hide from you” you said. She shook her head and kept her eyes on the ground. “I guess I just thought we were friends and that we felt comfortable together. Like we had a real connection. I told you stuff I’ve never told anyone. Not even Barb. And here’s this huge thing about you and I have to find out about it in front of Jacob and Janine, for Christ’s sake!” Melissa exclaimed with anger. “We do have a real connection, Mel. That’s part of what made me so scared to tell you. What if I told you and it made you uncomfortable? What if it meant you didn’t want to spend time with me anymore? What if it changed things? Look, I was scared, okay? I’ve lost people because of it before and I didn’t want to lose you, too” you said, holding back tears. She still wouldn’t look at you. She knew you still weren’t telling the truth and it frustrated her. “Y’know what, kid? Just drive me home. I don’t feel much like partyin’ anymore” she said, defeated. The last thing you wanted to do was leave it like this, but you could see the hurt in her eyes and you decided to do what she asked.

It was a short, quiet, and tense drive from the bar to Melissa’s house. When you parked in her driveway she quickly took off her seatbelt, got out of your car, and made her way up the porch. Before you even knew what you were doing you jumped out of the car after her and yelled “wait!” as you raced to meet her on the stairs. You were beyond grateful when you saw that she actually stopped and turned back to look at you, it was more than you deserved at this point. She stood with her arms crossed on the porch as you stopped two steps below her. “Look, Mel. I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry. And you’re right. I did keep this from you. But not because I thought you’d feel uneasy or because I thought you’d disappear from my life. And it wasn’t because our connection isn’t real or that I don’t trust you. The reason I couldn’t tell you is… because… I have feelings for you. And that’s really scary for me. I haven’t ever felt like this about anyone before and I honestly just didn’t know what to do about it. I care about you, Mel. More than you can imagine. And… I want you. There it is. That’s the truth.” Your heart felt like it was about to explode by the time you had finished talking. You looked up at Melissa Schemmenti and saw that her emerald green eyes were wet with tears. You searched her face, desperately trying to figure out what she was thinking when you suddenly felt her hands on your cheeks and her lips pressed against yours.

And then you saw stars.

She tasted sweet, like the orange garnish that had rested at the top of her Negroni and her lips felt full and warm and inviting. Her tongue gently licked your upper lip and you felt like you might faint. You couldn’t believe this was actually happening. It ended just as quickly as it had started when Melissa pulled away and looked you in the eyes. “I want you, too, hon” she said. Then she grabbed you by the collar and pulled you up the last two steps to face her. She blushed, looked down for a moment, and when she looked back up at you she wrapped her arms around your neck and pulled you into another Earth-shattering kiss.

You were right.

This would be a night to remember.

Chapter 6: You Matter to Me

Summary:

Let’s pick up right where we left off, shall we?

You’re standing on Melissa’s front porch and she’s kissing you and nothing else matters.

Notes:

This was my favorite chapter to write so far and I really hope you all enjoy it!

Chapter Text

“So, you want me, too, huh?” you asked playfully as you tucked a piece of fire red hair behind Melissa’s ear. She smirked back at you and looked down at your hands before taking them in her own. She rubbed gentle circles into your skin with her thumbs and then guided your arms around her body to hold her, letting them fall to rest low on her back. “Yeah, I do. I really do.” She leaned in for another kiss and you met her lips eagerly. When her tongue entered your mouth you let out an involuntary moan and you could feel her mouth turn up slightly as she smiled against you. This time you were the one who pulled away. “I feel a little dizzy” you admitted as you sat down on the porch. “I’ve been told I have that effect on people” she joked as she sat down next to you and placed her hand on your knee. You laughed, but she could tell you had something on your mind. “You okay, hon?” she asked, concerned. You looked toward her and smiled. “I’m great” you replied, “but I do have a question…” Melissa stared back at you intently, with a hint of worry in her eyes. “Yeah?” she said. “Could I take you out to breakfast tomorrow morning?” you asked. Redness flushed up to her cheeks as she shook her head slightly and said “I love breakfast.”

When you pulled into Melissa’s driveway on Saturday morning she was watering the plants on her front porch. It gave off some strong Poison Ivy energy and you decided to tuck that fantasy in your pocket for future reference. She had on a floral top with dark blue jeans and strappy sandals. And her hair was pulled back except for the wavy curl of her bangs. She looked ethereal. And you couldn’t believe you were about to take this amazing woman out on a first date. You got out of the car to meet her and she greeted you with a kiss. Soft, tender, and light. She tasted like coffee and you liked it so much, you went in for another quick kiss before opening the car door for her. She raised her eyebrows and lowered her jaw, apparently slightly shocked by the gesture. “Gee, I didn’t realize you were so old fashioned!” she exclaimed as she laughed and entered the car. “What can I say?” you shrugged. “I’m a romantic.” And you gently closed the door behind her.

You decided on a cute cafe not far from your apartment for breakfast and asked Melissa if she would like to sit out on the patio. She nodded enthusiastically. It was early enough that the heat of this final week of summer was still held at bay by the cool breeze in the morning air. The waiter seated you and handed out the menus. Melissa ordered the french toast and a coffee while you went with over-easy eggs, toast, and bacon. You ordered a mimosa pitcher to share as well, feeling like a little liquid courage might help calm your nerves. It’s not like this was some blind date. You knew the woman sitting next to you at the table and you were already completely enamored of her. But for some reason that made the stakes feel even higher. You wanted to know more about her. You knew Mel the teacher and were so grateful for the personal stories and details she had shared with you about herself over the last week. But you wanted more. You wanted to ask about her armor. You wanted to understand how Joe hurt her and why she left. You wanted to know her favorite color and favorite kind of flower and her go-to comfort show. You wanted to learn when and how she got that small scar under her chin. You wanted it all. Now of course you realized this wouldn’t be accomplished during one breakfast, but you also realized that you wanted to take things slow as you continued to get to know each other. And you hoped she’d be okay with that.

“Oh my god! This french toast was unreal, babe!” she exclaimed as she finished her last bite and then took a sip of coffee. “Yeah? I’m glad you liked it! I’ve always loved this place. It’s quiet. The food is amazing. I never feel rushed. I actually used to come here to write every Saturday morning” you said. “You’re a teacher and a writer, huh? What kinda stuff do you write?” she asked as she poured herself a mimosa. “Smut” you said, completely straight faced. Melissa’s eyes widened and she choked a little on her mimosa. Then you laughed. “I’m just kidding! I like to write poetry. And sometimes I just like to journal” you shared. “Makes sense,” she said, “you’re good with words. Listenin’ to you talk in some of those meetings or even on that first day we met when you talked about the Reggio stuff… you talk like a poet. I like it.” You hid your face behind your mimosa in an effort to keep her from seeing the blush that had spread across your cheeks. That was maybe the nicest thing anyone had ever said to you. “What do you like to do outside of work? Besides cooking for people and being the number one Eagles fan in Philly?” you asked, trying to deflect. “Well, those two things do keep me pretty busy. But I love readin’ and walkin’ around the neighborhood, listenin’ to the cars go by and kids playin’. Nothin’ too excitin’ really.” It all sounded heavenly to you. You realized as she shared these interests that you both appreciated the simple things in life. The quiet moments that others maybe took for granted. The idea of walking around her neighborhood hand-in-hand excited you. You made a mental note to suggest that for a future date!

The two of you continued to chat as breakfast carried over into lunch. There was a lot of laughter, some gentle touches, and a few stolen kisses. You had a pleasant buzz from the mimosas and as you sat there next to her, you couldn’t remember a time in your life when you felt more at peace. Melissa leaned over and rested her head on your shoulder and played with your fingers as she told you a little bit about her childhood and her family. You closed your eyes as you listened and played with the hair in her ponytail. This was it. This was what you had been waiting for all your life. Her.

Before either of you knew it, it was almost four o’clock. “sh*t! Is that really the time?” she asked. “Oh, wow!” you said as you checked your watch. It had been hours! “We gonna close this place down, hon? Or ya wanna come back to mine and lemme cook for ya?” she asked, fairly confident she already knew what the answer would be. “That would be amazing” you said as you kissed her on the cheek and held out your hand for her to hold as the two of you walked back to your car.

Melissa wanted to keep things simple for tonight’s dinner, but promised to give you a big production sometime soon. She decided on spaghetti aglio e olio. She grabbed the garlic, olive oil, parsley, and Parmesan. Then she poured you both a glass of wine. “Now, this dish, I could make in my sleep, with one arm tied behind my back, naked” she said as she winked at you. “What some people don’t get is ya gotta toast the garlic slices nice and slow in the olive oil. If it’s too light, ya won’t get the full flavor. Too dark, and it starts to get bitter. People get lazy with garlic. Drives me nuts!” You decided then and there that you could listen to her talk about food for the rest of your life. You had never seen her so animated and passionate. It was incredibly cute… and hot. She buzzed through the kitchen, stirring this and that, refilling your glasses, sampling the flavors, and all the while you sat there on the kitchen counter, like you were watching the ballet. By the time you sat down to eat, you’d both had at least two glasses of wine and were rosy-cheeked and tipsy. The meal was delicious and you could see exactly what she meant about the garlic. She had toasted it to perfection! As you both enjoyed the meal you asked her which season was her favorite and she shouted out “FOOTBALL” knowing it would make you laugh, and it did. You asked her what her favorite color was (purple because it reminded her of her Nonna’s favorite broach) and her favorite flower (orange lilies) and how she got that scar (brother’s hockey stick to the chin). You could ask her questions until the sun came up and still not know enough. She asked you plenty of questions, too, and you answered honestly. She learned about your collection of vintage cameras and that your celebrity crush growing up was Ginger Spice (shocking) and that you studied theatre abroad in London during grad school and used to want to be an actor. The conversation was light and fun and effortless. This really had been the perfect day.

You insisted on doing the dishes which she allowed, but only on the condition that she could watch you do it while she finished her wine. You felt heat rising deep inside you and agreed, playfully shaking your ass as you collected the plates and forks. She laughed and said “That’s what I’m talkin’ about!” You made your way over to the sink and you could feel her eyes on you the entire time. You washed and rinsed the dishes and pans, setting them off to the side to dry when you felt her come up behind you and wrap her hands around your stomach. She gave you a gentle squeeze and inhaled your scent as she rested her head in between your shoulder blades. You heard yourself let out a long, slow sigh and then you felt her hands delicately turn your body to face her. You bent down slightly so that your foreheads were touching and saw her bite her lower lip as she looked at your mouth hungrily. “You smell good” she said, lifting her chin slightly so she could look into your eyes. You placed one of your hands on her waist and the other on her neck and pulled her in closer. Melissa licked her lips and you knew now was the time. Your lips crashed together and again… there were stars. While last night’s kisses were otherworldly and exciting and all the stolen kisses from earlier today were sweet and tender, this kiss was something else entirely. This kiss was pure want and desire and hunger and lust. Your tongues teased and tasted and explored each other fervently. You rubbed your hands up and down her sides slowly and she tangled her fingers in your hair, pulling slightly and deepening the kiss. You could feel the heat in your stomach and wetness growing between your legs and you knew you had to pull away. As your lips left Melissa’s she looked up, her eyes heavy with want, but tinged with concern. “You okay?” she asked, trying to catch her breath. “Yeah, yes. I am completely okay, Mel. This feels… f*cking amazing” you sighed. “And as much as I don’t want to stop… I do feel like I want to take things slow with you. I am so, so attracted to you, Mel. Everything about you. And I know when we do… y’know… there will be f*cking fireworks. I just… I don’t want to rush anything. Is that okay?” you asked, hoping she understood. She looked at you thoughtfully and placed her hands on your face. “Of course it’s okay, hon” she said. “I totally get it. I can wait… if you can” she teased with a wink. You kissed her again and gave her ass a gentle tap which made her laugh. Melissa walked you over to the door with her hand clasped in yours. “Goodnight, Mel. Thank you for one of the best days I’ve ever had” you said as you stared into her eyes. She looked shy for a moment, but then said “it really was a great day, wasn’t it?” You shared one more slow, sweet kiss before you let go of her hand and turned to walk out the door. You turned back at the last minute and asked “Would you like to go for a walk around the neighborhood tomorrow?” Melissa smiled brightly and said “love to, babe” before stealing one last quick kiss. She watched you from the door as you made your way to your car and as the warm night air hit your lungs, you smiled and looked up at the sky and felt a poem growing in your heart.

Chapter 7: A Safe Place to Land

Summary:

There’s one day left before a new school year begins at Abbott Elementary. You have student files to read, some lesson plans to review, and an afternoon stroll around the neighborhood with Melissa Schemmenti to look forward to. Let’s get to it!

Notes:

Hi! This chapter is a little shorter than the others, but I hope you enjoy it! Things are really going to take off in a big way here in the next few chapters. Buckle up, buttercups!

Chapter Text

You slept better than you ever had before after your day-long date with Melissa Schemmenti and you woke up with a smile on your face. You reached over to the nightstand to check your phone. It was 8:30 and you had a text from Melissa: “Mornin’, hon! Thanks again for yesterday. I can’t stop smilin’! Wanna make it an afternoon walk? Figured we could both take the mornin’ for any last minute school prep and panic. Lemme know!” Oh, sh*t. That’s right. Tomorrow was the first day of school. If you were being completely honest with yourself, the last time you had thought exclusively about your new teaching position was when you had retrieved that last box of books from your car, seconds before you saw Melissa Schemmenti for the first time. Ever since that moment, your attention had absolutely been divided. Luckily this wasn’t your first time teaching and luckily you would be surrounded by amazing colleagues who were willing and able to support you. The Sunday Scaries set in nonetheless. You considered taking a quick shower before getting started on your school prep, but after how heated things got in Melissa’s kitchen last night, you didn’t trust yourself not to let your mind wander. If it felt that good last time when it was purely your imagination, you knew you’d be a mess now that you had actually tasted her on your lips and had her fingers pulling your hair… Yeah. Skip the shower for now, you decided, proud of your mature decision to prioritize work over pleasure. You texted back “Sounds great! Can’t wait to see you!” And then finally got out of bed.

You sat down on the floor at the low coffee table in your living room and decided to look through your student files. Melissa and Janine had both written such thoughtful and kind notes and observations about their students, even the ones who had obviously struggled in one way or another. Melissa had three pages worth of handwritten notes on a child named Marcus where she discussed his triggers, techniques for helping him re-center, and notes from several parent meetings. Meanwhile Janine had a thick file for a child named Lola who had been struggling with Math. She shared all the different addition and subtraction games they played together and methods for keeping her motivated. It was like having the keys to the castle! You were grateful for their efforts and dedication and made a silent promise to yourself to continue the hard work they’d already put into these students.

Just then you heard the keys jingle in the lock of your apartment door. Amy, your roommate, was returning home from her night shift as an Emergency Room Nurse. You hardly ever saw each other during the week, being on opposite schedules, but there were occasional run-ins on the weekends, usually when your day was just beginning and she was beyond exhausted. “Hey” she said through a yawn as she tossed her keys and bag on the front table. “Morning… or… goodnight? Never know what to say during these rare sightings” you laughed. “Just don’t say anything too loudly. My head is KILLING me” she said wearily. “Heard, chef” you joked. Amy shook her head and laughed before she grabbed a glass of water and retreated to her bedroom to sleep until her next shift. Amy paid her rent on time, kept the space tidy, and was mostly drama free. She had a bad habit of taking her stress out on you now and then, but overall, most of the time, you felt like you lived alone. And in a month, when the lease was set to be renewed, she’d be moving to Portland to start a new job and a new life somewhere else and you’d be making just enough money to keep the apartment by yourself. Maybe you could turn her room into an office? It would beat grading papers at the tiny table on the hard floor, that’s for sure. You decided to leave your home improvement brainstorming for the end of the month and got back to reading through student files.

You spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon going over your lesson plans for the first few weeks of school. You felt pretty confident that it would be a good variety of getting to know each other, establishing a routine, and assessing students so you could meet them where they were, instead of where the county expected them to be. And you and Gregory had already made plans to get the kids out into the garden early on in the school year to get them excited about engaging with nature. You felt ready. You felt optimistic. And you felt like you were exactly where you were meant to be. Around three o’clock you texted Melissa: “Ready for me?” you asked. She responded within a minute: “Always.” You smiled, grabbed your favorite green cardigan to throw over your black t-shirt, and walked out the door.

Melissa was reading on her front porch when you pulled up. She looked up, smiled and waved, and then promptly placed a bookmark in her book and walked down the stairs. “Good book?” you asked as you made your way over to her. “Eh. It’s not rockin’ my world just yet. Just somethin’ to distract me from first day jitters, really” she replied, kissing you gently on the cheek before putting her hand in yours. “Melissa Schemmenti! You still get first day jitters?! I’m shocked!” you teased. “Hey! Just cause I been teachin’ since the dawn of time doesn’t mean I don’t still get a little nervous!” she said as she poked you playfully in the side. “No, I totally get it. It’s a big responsibility, no matter how many times you’ve done it” you replied. “Exactly!” she said, leaning gently against your side as you walked down her street.Melissa really did live in a beautiful neighborhood and the afternoon air was surprisingly cool as you walked hand-in-hand down the sidewalk. The two of you talked about everything and nothing. She joked again about how thrilled your kids would be learning in their own little Narnia and you asked her about Marcus and a few of her other students from last year who would be in your class. She glowed when she talked about them and was almost as animated as she had been talking about garlic in the kitchen last night. Teaching was a challenging and demanding profession, but it was clear she loved it. And it was even more clear what a damn good teacher she was. You felt so proud to be in her orbit. You noticed her shiver slightly as you walked back toward the direction of her house and immediately took off your cardigan to wrap around her shoulders. She smiled and said “Well, now you’re gonna be cold, ya gabadost!” “I don’t know what that means, so your insults don’t work on me! Ha” you replied, with mischief in your eyes. “Oh, don’t you worry, hon. Stick with me, and you’ll know plenty of Italian insults in no time!” she laughed as she turned to face you. “Well, this is my stop, babe. You feelin’ ready for tomorrow?” You took a deep breath in and closed your eyes briefly before you answered. “I’m ready. It really feels like Abbott is where I’m meant to be. I can’t wait to get to know these kids and their families and to feel like part of a community again. I’ve really missed that. And I’m excited to… be near you. I feel really good when I’m around you, Mel” you said. Melissa smiled brightly and leaned in for a hug. She rested her head against your chest and said “I feel real good around you, too, hon.” You looked down at her and gently lifted her chin with your hand. The two of you locked eyes intently before your lips came together in a slow, yet passionate kiss. In your head, you swore you could faintly hear The Cure singing ‘Just Like Heaven’ as Mel placed her hand on the back of your neck and pulled you in closer, deepening the already intense kiss. When your lips parted and you opened your eyes, you noticed hers were still closed and she had a soft smile on her lips. When she opened them you said “Please, keep the cardigan. It’s my favorite thing that I own. I like the idea of it keeping you warm.” Melissa blushed as she pulled on both sides of the cardigan and wrapped it even more tightly around herself. “Thanks, babe” she replied as she placed her hand on your cheek and added, “Now! Go home and get some rest. You’re gonna need it for tomorrow!” You walked back to your car and waited for her to close her front door before leaving.

Tomorrow was a big day. But every day had felt that way since you met Melissa Schemmenti.

Chapter 8: Brave

Summary:

It’s the first day of school at long last! The energy in the air is electric. You arrived early, ready to greet the day, but then you remembered something… you and Melissa never actually discussed how to behave around each other at school!

“Let the wild rumpus start!” Maurice Sendak

Notes:

This chapter was another one of my favorites to write. A lot of you expressed excitement about the first day chapter and seeing their dynamic once school is in session, so the pressure was on! I hope I did it justice and that you enjoy it. Let me know what you think!

There may be a slight time jump in the next chapter. Nothing wild, maybe a week or two? It’ll work. It’ll be good. I swear! 😅

Chapter Text

You woke up before your alarm that Monday morning and couldn’t wait for the day ahead. You showered, brushed your teeth, threw on a white button-up shirt, your navy blue blazer, khakis, and your Oxfords, and off you went! It felt like the start of something wonderful. And you were ready.

You arrived to school half an hour early to make sure you had time to get everything set up and to be there to greet your new students. You walked over to your desk to set down your bag when you noticed a bright red apple next to your calendar and a note scribbled on a Post-It: “Good luck, hon. -M.” You could feel yourself smile from ear to ear as you held the apple up to your lips for a moment before gently setting it back down on the desk. You plucked the Post-It note off your desk and stuck it inside the notebook in your bag to keep it safe. Because it made you happy. And then…you realized something… you and Melissa never actually talked about how the two of you should behave around each other at Abbott. Did other people at school know that Melissa was bisexual? Would they be judgmental about dating within the workplace? Oh. My. God. What about Barbara? sh*t! Even though you absolutely did not have time for this kind of crisis on the first day of school, you knew it was important to check in with Melissa and see what her boundaries and expectations were. You wanted to keep her safe and make sure she was comfortable and you were willing to do whatever she wanted. You needed to find Melissa. Fast.

You started in the teacher’s lounge because you remembered Melissa told you that she and Barbara typically made coffee in there together during the school year. Instead of Melissa, you bumped into… Janine. “Oh my gosh! Hey, Y/N! How was your weekend? You totally disappeared on us Friday night! Where did you go? Oh, did you see my notes on Lola? You’re gonna want to get her set up for extra Math tutoring after school early on to help her maintain her current foundation. Oh, and…” “JANINE” you interrupted her, “have you seen… Barbara? I could really use her help with something” you said, not wanting to risk asking after Melissa and knowing Janine would be honored to direct you to her mom-tor. “Oh, well she and Ms. Schemmenti just left a couple minutes ago. I think they were going to get some fresh air or something before the kids arrived” she replied enthusiastically. “You’re a life saver! Thanks! Have a great first day” you shouted as you ran out of the lounge and then sprinted down the hall.

You burst through the front doors of the school and bent over to catch your breath before you noticed Melissa and Barbara sitting down on the steps in front of you. Barbara looked concerned and Melissa looked slightly shocked, but mostly amused. “Where’s the fire, Narnia?” Melissa asked teasingly. “Y’know I used to wanna be a firefighter, right, Barb?” she added. Barbara laughed and shook her head. “Yes, Melissa. I do believe you’ve mentioned that once or twice. But what I’m concerned with now is why our new teacher just ran out of those doors like she was trying to escape a serial killer!” she said as she looked back at you. “Oh. Me? Yes. Hi. Good morning, Mrs. Howard. Ms. Schemmenti. Happy first day of school!” you stood up straight and then pretended to stretch, arms up over your head followed by a few pathetic lunges. “I just like to start my day off with a little jog. Get the heart pumping. Y’know… Sorry if I startled you. Or interrupted you!” you said, knowing full well you sounded like you had lost your mind. You made brief eye contact with Melissa and nodded your head toward the building. “Whelp. Now that I’m all… exercised, I’m gonna head back in. Have a great day, ladies!” you said as you turned and walked back into the building.

Two minutes later Melissa walked in by herself and spotted you pacing nervously near the water fountains. “Hey, Rocky! Now that you’re all pumped up, ya wanna tell me what’s goin’ on?” she asked, still clearly entertained by your bizarre behavior. “Come here” you said as you grabbed her hand and pulled her into the janitor’s closet. “Hon? What’s the matter?” she said. “Well, first off, thank you for the apple. That was incredibly sweet” you said and then quickly kissed her on the cheek. “Secondly… um. We never talked about what to do… about… us… here at school” you added nervously. She smiled. Of course she smiled. “Yeah, well, we were busy doin’ … other stuff. That’s why!” she said as she laughed softly. Your mind briefly wandered to the multiple mind-blowing make-out sessions from the last few days and how amazing her lips felt and the warmth of her hand on your neck and… you shook your head quickly, like an Etch-A-Sketch trying to erase a very distracting, very hot picture. “I’m not trying to make it weird or anything. I just want to respect any boundaries you might have. This is your home. I’m the newbie. I don’t want to come in and wreck anything for you” you said, earnestly. “Oh, hon. That’s real sweet. You’re right. We shoulda talked it over. Honestly, Barbara already guessed just from checkin’ up on me this mornin’. And she’s my best friend, so I wouldn’t keep somethin’ like this from her anyway. But she won’t tell anybody. So, if you wanna keep it quiet, since we’re takin’ things slow and all, I’m okay with that” she said as she reached for your hands. “Okay. Sounds good. We’ll just act like friendly colleagues for now” you said as you took a deep breath and tried to calm yourself down. “Exactly. Friendly colleagues” she said as she gently pushed you against the wall of the janitor’s closet. “Plus, it’s kinda hot when ya call me Ms. Schemmenti” she added. Melissa swiped over your left eyebrow with her thumb and then rested her hand on your cheek before she pulled you into a long, soft kiss. You could feel your heartbeat start to slow down as her lips pressed against yours. How did she always know exactly how to kiss you? She pulled away slowly and when you opened your eyes, she was smiling at you. “Now let’s get outta this stinkin’ closet and go meet the little eagles? Yeah?” she said with a grin. You laughed and shook your head before you clapped your hands twice and said, “Let’s do this, Schemmenti!”

In an effort to avoid any suspicion, you decided to leave the closet ahead of Melissa. As you walked out, you immediately crashed right into Principal Coleman and caused her to drop her phone. “Seriously, new girl?! I was just about to start my first day outfit livestream. My followers are NOT going to be happy about this delay” she said. “Oh. Principal Coleman. Hi. Hello! I’m so sorry about that. Good morning. I apologize to you and your followers. I was just looking for some cleaning spray. Here. In the janitor’s closet… because there’s a big mark on one of my student’s desks” you said. You sounded unhinged, but you tried to be loud enough so Melissa wouldn’t walk out right behind you. “Geez, girl, I didn’t ask for your life story. Mr. Johnson should have plenty of sprays in there. He may not be a Doomsday prepper like me, but the man does love to shop bulk. Here, let me…” “YOU KNOW WHAT?” you interrupted as you blocked her from entering the closet. “I just remembered that I packed a Magic Eraser in my bag! So. That. Yes. I can use that. Thanks so much, Ava. Sorry again about your phone” and you rushed back to your classroom.

You opened your classroom door and then shut it immediately behind you as you closed your eyes and tried to recover from the chaos of the morning. That’s when you heard Jacob’s voice: “Hey, Y/N! You have a good weekend? Listen to any of those podcasts I recommended?” he asked. Dear god. This had been the longest thirty minutes of your life. “Morning, Jacob! My weekend was great, but podcast free, I’m afraid. I don’t mean to rush you out, but I have to get a few things ready quickly before the kids start coming in” you said. “Understood! I’ll be brief” he said. You had a feeling that was not possible. “After your… revelation at the mixer on Friday night, I wanted to check in with you to see if you’d be open to helping me encourage the students to form a Gender and Sexuality Alliance Club at Abbott this year? We’ve never had one before and I feel like having two queer teachers as faculty advisors would really help make it a welcoming environment” he said eagerly. And now you felt bad for trying to get rid of him so quickly. “Wow! Thanks for asking, Jacob. I know it would have made a huge difference for me to have a safe space like that growing up, so I’d love to be a part of that here at Abbott. What a great idea!” you said. His excitement was palpable and you got the feeling that people didn’t often say “yes” to Jacob. About anything. Ever. “Okay! Excellent!” he said. “We’ll make plans to do coffee soon and go over the details, yeah?” he asked. “Sounds perfect, Jacob. Have a great first day!” you said as he walked out of your room with a spring in his step. You finally sat down at your desk and took a deep breath just as the bell rang and the sound of children talking and laughing filled the halls.

As you stood outside your classroom and prepared to welcome your students, you could see Melissa down the hall getting hugs from most of the children who passed by her. She was glowing and the kids looked elated to receive her acknowledgment and affection. You understood exactly how they felt. And before you knew it, your first student arrived! “Good morning! I’m Ms. Y/N. What’s your name?” you asked with enthusiasm. “I’m Abigail and I’m eight!” said the young girl. “It’s nice to meet you, Abigail! I’m so excited to be your teacher. Are you ready for a great first day?” you asked. She nodded and as she entered the room, you saw her look around and then heard her say “Wow!” ‘Welcome to Narnia,’ you thought in your head. And on and on it went. You welcomed Ethan, Lola, Thaddeus, Jackson, Calvin, Samantha, Madison, Lindsay, Marcus, and all the rest of your new third grade students and everyone seemed to be in good spirits. The morning went very well as everyone got to know each other and you encouraged them to explore the classroom freely. They all seemed to gravitate toward the reading nook and said it looked like maybe fairies could live there!

When the bell rang for lunch you walked the students down to the cafeteria and then handed them off to the third grade teacher on lunch duty. You made your way to the teacher’s lounge and couldn’t wait to see Melissa to ask her about her day. She and Barbara were already sitting together and chatting when you walked in. “Well, well, well. It’s nice to see you’ve finally caught your breath, Ms. Y/N” Barbara said as she gave you a knowing smile. You laughed, still a little embarrassed by your display earlier this morning. “I have indeed! How has the first day been for you both?” you asked. “It’s been just lovely, thank you, dear” said Barbara. “So far, so good” said Melissa. “I’m caffeinated and they know how to use the bathroom on their own. What more could ya ask for?” she added jokingly. Then she asked “How bout you, hon? Kiddos treatin’ you okay?” “They’ve been wonderful” you said energetically. “And you were right, Ms. Schemmenti. They are definitely digging the Narnia vibes” you laughed. “I knew it!” she exclaimed. The three of you sat together and laughed your way through the lunch break. Even though Melissa had told you that Barbara knew you two were… interested in one another, you still made a point to remain completely professional. You didn’t place your hand on her shoulder after she told that funny joke or call her Mel or even look at her longingly. You knew it would take practice and figured trying it out in front of a safe person was a good idea. The bell rang again and the three of you stood up to go to collect your students. Barbara walked out first with you close behind her. And while Melissa walked up behind you, you felt a gentle tap on your ass. You turned around quickly with a look of shock on your face and mouthed the word “naughty” to her. She laughed and said “Oh, you have no idea,” causing redness to rise in your cheeks before you parted ways.

The rest of the afternoon was a breeze. It was a magical first day with your students and you felt energized for the year ahead. You knew there would be challenges, there always were. But you were optimistic and excited. You would make it a great year together. As the final bell rang and the students left to find their parents and buses, you made your way down to Melissa’s classroom. “Good day?” you asked after a few quiet knocks. She looked up, took off her glasses, smiled, and said “Great day, hon! You?” “Fantastic day” you responded. You closed the door behind you, walked over and sat on her desk and then crossed your legs. Then you pulled out the bright red apple from behind your back and took a big bite out of it. Some of the juice got on the side of your mouth and you swiped your index finger across the area and then put your finger in your mouth to clean off the juice. Melissa looked up at you with her jaw open as she slid her chair closer to your body. “I can be naughty, too” you joked, before you hopped off the desk and made your way toward the door. “See you tomorrow, Ms. Schemmenti” you teased. And you heard her let out a big exhale followed by a laugh as the door closed behind you.

Two could play that game. This was going to be fun!

Chapter 9: Wicked Love

Summary:

Things had gone really well during your first few weeks of school. You felt connected to your students, you were bonding with your fellow teachers, and being near Melissa Schemmenti still felt like being kissed by the sun. Everything was going great, until you heard that knock at the teacher's lounge door...

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

The next two weeks flew by and before you knew it, you were halfway through September. You continued to bond with your students and establish your routines and expectations and things were going well. You and Gregory even created a buddy system between your two classes where each of his fourth graders became a big buddy to your third grade students and your classes spent time together out in the garden every Thursday after lunch. The kids loved the fresh air and the chance to get a little messy. They planted seeds, watered the garden, looked for worms, and even pulled weeds together while you and Gregory discussed the lifecycle of plants and encouraged their independent exploration and play. You looked forward to it every Thursday and so did your students. And the more time you spent around Gregory, the more you realized what a patient, hardworking, and generous educator he was. You could see why Janine always got so flustered around him and thought they’d make a great couple.

As for your own romantic endeavors, things couldn’t be better between you and Melissa. You continued to eat lunch with her and Barbara each day and the two of you spent time together after school a few times a week. You’d go out for drinks, sit at that same café you both loved and grade papers together, or go back to Melissa’s place and order Chinese food and watch TV and snuggle on her couch. It had been just about a month since you first met Melissa Schemmenti and it had been the most magical month of your life. You both still felt that taking things slow was a good idea. Melissa hadn't dated much since her divorce and your last relationship had blown up in your face mainly because things moved too quickly from the start. There was still so much you wanted to know and learn about her before you took the next step. And even though you agreed it was the right approach, that didn't mean it was easy for either one of you.

The first time it almost happened was at Melissa's place on a Tuesday night after she had a very long, tiring day at school. The two of you sat on the couch and turned on Jeopardy while you waited for your pizza to be delivered. As you sat there together, you felt her eyes on you instead of the screen. You looked over to her and innocently asked, "What's up?" She stared at you for a moment longer and then shook her head. "I… I just think you're really special. And bein' around ya makes me feel so... I dunno, safe? Good? Like no matter how hard a day is, I know I'll feel better if I see ya. That's all," she said with a small shrug. You smiled back at her and said "You make me feel that way, too, Mel." You locked eyes with each other and suddenly Melissa was on top of you with her thigh between your legs and her breasts pressed against yours. She kissed you deeply and slipped her tongue into your mouth which you welcomed with a deep moan. She held herself up with her left hand and wrapped her right arm behind your back as your hips began to thrust toward each other, searching for pressure and friction. You gasped into her mouth as she moved against you in the most perfect rhythm and you were sure there was no going back now. That's when the doorbell rang. "sh*t!" Melissa exclaimed as she rose from the couch to answer the door and tip the driver. You sat back up on the couch and adjusted your hair and shirt as she made her way back over with the pizza. She looked embarrassed and it broke your heart. "Look, I'm real sorry, hon. I know ya said ya wanna take things slow. And I get it. I want that, too. Honest. You're worth waitin' for. I just got a little carried away tonight. Ya okay?" she asked. You hated that she felt bad about it and immediately wanted to reassure her that everything she did felt wonderful and that you understood how it felt to get caught up in a moment. "Mel, you don't have to apologize. I want you, so much. And that all felt amazing. I'm just... I guess I'm scared. The last time I rushed into sex with someone it was a complete disaster. And none of that is your fault. I just, I don't want to do anything too soon and risk messing things up. You matter too much to me," you said and you desperately hoped she understood. She smiled and pressed a gentle kiss on your lips. "Thanks for sayin' all that. You don't have to worry. I'm not goin' anywhere, babe. Now, c'mon! Ya hungry?" she asked. You sat there and ate pizza together and Melissa kicked your ass at Jeopardy and you couldn't believe how lucky you were to know her.

The second time it almost happened was on a Friday night when you had gone out for drinks. Melissa wore a tight black dress with a plunging neckline and you almost completely lost your resolve. She had stepped away to freshen up in the restroom after you paid the tab and before you knew what you were doing, you had followed her to the restroom and pulled her into a stall. "Well, hello there, stranger" she teased as you locked the door behind you and moved toward her. You pressed her against the stall with your body and kissed and sucked on her neck and the top of her breasts as she moaned in your ear. "f*ck, hon. That feels so good" Melissa whispered as she ran her fingers through your hair, pulling you impossibly closer. "I want you so badly, Mel. You look incredible in this dress" you said in between kisses. Your hands caressed her sides and grabbed her ass and you really thought you might give in when you heard someone else enter the restroom. "f*ck!" you whispered. Melissa laughed quietly and the two of you froze until the other patron left. "sh*t, Mel. I'm sorry. I just... god, you look amazing tonight" you apologized. "Hey, I'm not complainin', babe" she smiled, still slightly out of breath. You took her face in your hands and gave her a soft kiss before you took her hand and led her out of the restroom. It was getting harder and harder for you to resist each other. You drove her home that night and as you watched her wave goodbye from her front porch, you realized something. You were ready. You wanted her and she wanted you and something finally clicked in you that night. She wasn't your ex. You didn't have to be afraid. You knew Melissa would never hurt you. It was time. You would plan a romantic evening for the two of you soon and tell Melissa you wanted to take the next step and make sure everything was perfect. It's what she deserved.

When you got home after dropping Melissa off that night you were surprised to find Amy sitting in the living room watching TV. She usually worked on Fridays. "Where have you been?" she asked. "Oh, I was out with Melissa" you replied as you poured yourself a glass of water. "It's a Friday night and you're sleeping here instead of with your new girlfriend? What did you do wrong?" she teased. You rolled your eyes and walked toward your room, not interested in playing this game with her tonight. "Goodnight, Amy" you said as you closed the door. She could be such a pain in the ass when she wanted to be. You sighed as you reminded yourself she'd be gone in two weeks and then you'd finally have the place all to yourself.

The following Tuesday started off like any other day. You arrived at school, greeted your students, and gave a quick spelling test before you began a new math lesson on multiplication. You bumped into Melissa in the hallway as you escorted your students to Music class and she retrieved hers from Art. "Good morning, Ms. Schemmenti" you smiled. She grinned back at you and said "It is now, Ms. Y/N." You blushed and you felt her hand gently brush against yours as you passed each other. It all felt so romantic. Right there in that moment you decided that Saturday was the day you would tell her you were ready. She made you feel brave and she made you feel safe and you knew she was ready when you were. Saturday couldn't come soon enough!

The teacher's lounge seemed unusually full on Tuesday as you, Melissa, and Barb raced to grab seats at your usual table. "What on earth are all these people doing in OUR lounge?" Barbara asked incredulously. "There's construction on Maple Street and none of these bozos wanna drive down to Benny's for their cheesesteak today" Melissa guessed. Janine, Gregory, and Jacob walked in shortly after and asked if they could squeeze in at your table. "The more the merrier" you said as you welcomed them. It was only when you glanced back over at Melissa and Barbara and saw their death glares that you realized your error. "So, what's everyone eating today?" Jacob asked as he pulled out his salad and Barbara rolled her eyes. "Oh, I have a delightful beef flavored Cup O' Noodles," Janine said cheerfully. "I got a boiled chicken sandwich," added Gregory. Jacob looked over at you, Melissa, and Barbara as he waited patiently for your participation. "It's lunch time, Hill. It ain't Show and Share" Melissa said with disdain and you laughed. "I'll play, Jacob" you said as you unzipped your lunch bag. "I have... wait. Oh, sh*t! I forgot to grab it out of the fridge this morning. Well, it would appear I have some diet air" you laughed. "Don't worry, hon" Melissa said, "You can share my lasagna." "Why thank you, Ms. Schemmenti" you said as you moved your chair closer to hers. "I wish I had forgotten my lunch" Janine said as she stared down at her depressing cup of noodles. Despite the extra company Barbara and Melissa seemed to enjoy themselves during lunch. Janine and Jacob monopolized most of the conversation as they discussed their upcoming board game night. You spent your time enjoying Melissa's mouth-watering lasagna as your thighs rested softly next to each other out of sight beneath the table. She winked at you and you smiled before you heard a knock on the teacher's lounge door. It was Amy. And she had your lunch in her hand. "Hey, Y/N" she said. "You forgot your lunch at the apartment and I was in the neighborhood." You knew there was absolutely no way that was true and quickly got up to grab it from her. "Uh, thanks" you said curtly as you walked over to collect your food. "And who's this?" Jacob asked playfully. "Oh, I'm Amy. Y/N's ex" she said. You looked at Amy in complete disbelief and then turned and saw the heartbreaking mixture of shock and hurt on Melissa's face. "Amy, I think you should leave," you said firmly. "Whatever" she said as she turned and left the room, dropping your lunch in the trashcan on her way out. You turned back and saw Melissa packing up her lunch and pushing in her chair. "Melissa, wait" you implored, but she had already stormed past you. "What's going on?" Janine asked, confused. "If we don't know, I imagine that's because it's absolutely none of our business, dear," Barbara said as she shot daggers in your direction. You ran out of the lounge behind Melissa, but she was already halfway down the hall when the bell rang and you had to go collect your children from the cafeteria.

Somehow you managed to get your students through their social studies and science lessons that afternoon, but your chest felt tight the entire time and you were sick with worry. When the final bell rang you dismissed your students and immediately ran down to Melissa's room only to find she had already left. You drove to her house and ran up those same steps where she had kissed you for the first time and you prayed she would answer the door and let you explain. You rang the doorbell and knocked over and over again, gently saying her name and begging her to let you in. But she never came to the door. You sat down on the steps and let your face fall into your hands as you sobbed. How could you have let this happen? How could you hurt someone you cared this much about? Would she ever forgive you? You stood up and walked down the steps defeated, not sure if you would ever be welcome in Melissa Schemmenti's life again.

Notes:

Hi. Even though I had this part of the story planned since the beginning, the end of this chapter was absolute torture to write. Please don't hate me. And please don't give up on these two. More to come soon!

Chapter 10: Say You’re Sorry

Summary:

You made your way home from Melissa’s house that night and immediately found yourself in a confrontation with Amy. You didn’t realize it would also lead you to finally confront yourself. You hurt Melissa and you had to find a way to make it right. You hoped she would hear you out and give you one more chance…

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

“What the f*ck, Amy? Why did you do that? What the hell were you thinking?” you shouted. “Why did I drive across town to bring you your lunch, you mean? Gee, I don’t know. I guess I thought you might be hungry” she replied dismissively. “Oh, please. You knew exactly what you were doing. That’s where I work, Amy. And you just came in there and deliberately unloaded that information in front of all of my co-workers. And I know you did it to hurt Melissa! But I seriously don’t understand why you would do something like this. I should have kicked you out months ago” you said, exasperated. “Look, Y/N, if you didn’t tell Ginger Spice you were still living with your ex-girlfriend, that’s on you. So don’t come in here pissed off at me because you chose to lie to her” Amy said, clearly disinterested in taking any accountability for the situation. You were furious. Partly with Amy for doing what she did and partly with yourself because you knew she had a point. “You know what? You’re right. I should have told her you were still living here. I should have told her the truth. I f*cked up. But that doesn’t give you any right to do what you just did to her” you replied. “Yeah, well, that’s what you do, Y/N. You hold big things back. You lie to people. And you may think that withholding the truth is the right thing to do sometimes, but all it does is keep people from ever being able to really know you. You did it when we were together, too” Amy said. “Wow! That is especially rich coming from you! I’m surprised you’d notice me withholding anything with as busy as you were f*cking half the doctors at the hospital, Amy. Like you were on Grey’s Anatomy or something. Of course I kept things from you. You broke my heart. Constantly. And kept promising you’d change and do better. You were never a safe space to begin with. Why would I be open and honest and vulnerable with someone I couldn’t even trust?” you asked, holding back tears. “Do you trust Melissa?” she asked. Her question caught you off-guard, but you knew the answer immediately. “Of course I trust her. More than anyone I’ve ever known,” you responded. “Then why are you still keeping things from her? Why are you punishing her and yourself for the f*cked up way I treated you?” Amy asked earnestly. “Because I’m f*cking terrified of losing her. Because you only ever wanted the parts of me that were easy or convenient. Because I don’t think I’m worth knowing. Because my parents disowned me after I came out. The f*cking list goes on and on, Amy. It’s survival. Holding some things back is how I learned to keep myself safe” you cried out. Across the room Amy lowered her head and you could see she looked remorseful. “Y/N, I’m really sorry for what I did to you. When we were together. And today. It was sh*tty. I’m sh*tty. I can’t help myself sometimes. But if you care about Melissa and you want to make things work with her, you have to take the risk and be honest with her from now on. It’s not her fault that I didn’t know how to love you the right way. Don’t hold her responsible for my sh*t behavior. I see the way you look when you talk about her and the smile on your face after you’ve been out with her. It’s okay if you’re afraid. Do it anyway. And trust that she’s better equipped to see and know you than I ever was. Okay? Please?” Amy said as she held back tears. Part of you wanted to comfort her and thank her for the apology and encouragement. But a bigger part of you realized she had broken you. And life had broken you. And in a way, you felt you were beyond repair. “Goodnight, Amy” you said as you walked past her and closed your bedroom door behind you.

Melissa didn’t come to work the next day. And you couldn’t blame her. You knew firsthand how it felt to be blindsided. You understood how painful it was when someone you trusted with your heart let you down. You knew how upset she was after what happened at the mixer. And you realized that this was the second time you had kept something important from her, only to have it revealed in a crowded setting in front of her peers. You understood why Melissa didn’t come to work. You knew you had to fix this, but you also knew that she was entitled to the space she took today.

You walked into the teacher’s lounge and it was nearly empty. Barbara was nowhere in sight. You sat down on the couch and thought back to the day you and Melissa had sat there together sipping your coffee with her knee resting up against yours. You were pulled out of your memory by the sound of Gary the vending machine guy as he barged through the door with a delivery for the soda machine. He nodded at you and then looked around. “Quiet in here today” he said. Then he asked, “Where’s Red?” “What?” you responded, you hadn’t really been paying attention. “Where’s Ms. Schemmenti? Y’know, Red? I always look forward to seein’ her when I deliver here” he replied. You felt sick. You weren’t sure if it was sick with jealousy or sick with empathy because you also always looked forward to seeing her and were disappointed you didn’t get to today. “Um. Yeah, I dunno. I think maybe she’s sick” you said. “Aw that’s a shame. Well, if you ever wanna put in a good word for me with her, I’d appreciate it. I know you two hang out a lot” he smiled as he started to fill the machine. “…yeah, sure, Gary. I’ll think about it” you said unenthusiastically as you got up from the couch to go look for Barbara.

You walked to her classroom and found her eating lunch at her desk. “Hi Mrs. Howard” you said meekly. She looked up at you and shook her head, clearly disappointed in you for hurting her best friend. Again. “Ms. Y/N” she replied curtly, “is there something you need?” “I just… I wanted to apologize for what happened at lunch yesterday. Amy should not have come down here, but I also should have told Melissa about her from the beginning” you said. You didn’t expect her to forgive you or to really understand everything that was going on, but your poor choices had caused a rupture in her routine and hurt someone she cared about, so you had to apologize even if it wouldn’t be accepted. “Well, that’s all very nice, dear, but I’m not really the one you should be apologizing to. Melissa is hurting. And if you care about her, you need to find a way to make this right” she said firmly. “I went straight to her house after school yesterday. She never came to the door. And… since she didn’t show up today, I wanted to respect her space… I don’t want to push her to listen before she’s ready to hear me out and risk making things worse” you pleaded. “Do you have any idea how hard it is for Melissa to let herself trust someone? To believe that someone truly cares for her? It took years for her to open up to me and call me a friend. Joe put her through hell and she’s never been able to let her guard down since. Not until she met you. I couldn’t believe how quickly she allowed herself to fall for you. But she did. And now you’ve gone and proven her worst fears to be true” Barbara said, furious with you. “Barbara I am so sorry. I promise I’m going to do everything I can to fix this and make things right. I care about her so much and I’ll never forgive myself for hurting her” you said as you held back tears. “You better,” she threatened. “Melissa is an incredible woman with a huge heart and she lo… she cares about you very deeply. You go to her and you make it right. And if you ever hurt her like this again, you’ll have me to deal with” she said as she shook her head and turned back to her lunch. As you walked out of Barbara’s classroom and went to collect your students you decided you would go to Melissa’s house again tonight and try like hell to make sure she knew how sorry you were.

When you pulled up in Melissa’s driveway you could see her sitting on the bench on her front porch with a book in her hand… and she was wearing your green cardigan. You got out of the car slowly and made your way over to the porch. To your shock and surprise, she didn’t move to go back inside as you came closer. But she also wouldn’t look at you. She had been crying. A lot, from the look of it. And you felt your heart break into a million little pieces. You knew there was no way in hell you deserved to sit down next to her, so instead you sat on the top step and breathed deeply into your hands for a minute before you turned to her and spoke. “Mel, I am so, so, so f*cking sorry about what happened yesterday. I don’t know if Amy was jealous or just trying to sh*t-stir before she rides off into the sunset like she always does, but she had no right to do what she did. I know she did it to hurt you and us and I am so sorry that you were put in that position” you said, willing her to look back at you. She was quiet for a moment as she absorbed your words. Then she turned to look at you, tears still welling up in her eyes. “It kinda sounds like you’re blamin’ your ex for YOUR decision to lie to me, Y/N. I didn’t just end up in that position. You put me there. Not her. Because ya kept somethin’ big from me. Again. Sure, ya told me you had a roommate, but ya forgot to mention the part where she was your ex. The one who broke your heart and hurt ya so bad. Ya gonna use the same excuse ya did last time? Say it never came up or that ya were scared? That’s bullsh*t, Y/N. Do you know how humiliated I feel? How stupid? I trusted you. Ya tell me I make you feel safe and good, but ya don’t even have the decency to be honest with me about this kinda thing? I don’t get it” she said through tears as she placed her head in her hands. Everything she said was right. And you mentally kicked yourself for still trying to pin this on Amy when it was entirely your fault. “Melissa, you’re right. It’s my fault. I did this to you. And I should have told you the truth about her. I guess I thought since she and I hardly ever saw each other and since she’d be leaving so soon that it was somehow something I could skip over. Like that would be easier than risking hurting you with the whole truth. But I f*cked up. Big time. Twice” you said as you tried to gather your thoughts. “This is not an excuse… but I just want you to understand that me lying, holding things back, skipping over the hard parts… that’s not because I don’t trust you. It’s not because I don’t care about you or think you don’t deserve the truth. It’s because I don’t trust myself. It’s because I’ve spent my life trying to hide and make myself smaller and easier and more convenient for everyone by pretending I don’t have needs or feel things. Every time I’ve ever trusted someone with my truth, they’ve let me down. And so I stayed safe the only way I knew how, by holding things back. Because the truth only ever caused pain” you cried. “But what I did to you wasn’t fair and it wasn’t right. I’m sorry. I am so sorry, Melissa. And if you give me a chance, I promise I’ll never hurt you like that again. Ever. Mel, I… please give me one more chance. I’m begging you” you sobbed.

Your head was down in your hands again, but you could hear Melissa was crying, too. “Can I please come over there?” you asked, desperate to hold her and comfort her. She softly nodded “yes” and you moved as quickly as you could and caught her in time to let her fall apart completely in your arms. You sat there holding her for a while until she stopped crying out of sheer exhaustion. She finally looked up and into your eyes and said “I just… I think I need a few days to think about it. Okay? I heard everythin’ you said, but… ya hurt me. And I want to believe you won’t do it again. But I just don’t know yet…” You understood. Of course you understood. “Mel, please, take all the time you need. I’m not going anywhere. I want you in my life more than anything and I’ll do whatever it takes to make you feel safe. I promise I won’t ever let you down like that again” you said as you took her hand in your own and gave it a gentle kiss.

You walked down the steps and turned to look at her one last time. “See you at school tomorrow?” you asked hopefully. She looked at you thoughtfully before she turned to open her door. “See ya tomorrow, hon” she replied.

You got in your car and sat there unable to move for a minute. As you finally turned the key in the ignition, you looked back up to Melissa’s house and hoped that your cardigan would keep her warm tonight.

Notes:

She’s wearing the cardigan… that has to mean there’s still hope, right?

Hugs. ❤️

Chapter 11: No Such Thing

Summary:

You weren’t sure what to do or how to act as you desperately tried to give Melissa the space she needed to process everything that happened. Not being near her felt like torture, but you didn’t want her to feel any pressure. The waiting and wondering and worrying was hard, but no matter how scared you felt, you still had hope that things would turn out okay.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

The next morning you sat in your parked car in the Abbott Elementary School parking lot for a good ten minutes before you could pull yourself out. You hadn’t slept at all that night after leaving Melissa. She had cried so hard. You had completely humiliated her. And yet she still let you hold her when she needed comfort, when she needed to fall apart. You didn’t know what to expect from the day ahead or know exactly how you should behave around her while she took this time to consider whether or not you deserved another chance. You finally got the nerve to get out of your car and make your way toward the school building. You looked up and saw Melissa walking in the distance. She had on her black boots, black slacks, a white button-up blouse, and… she was still wearing your green cardigan. You felt your heart do a tiny backflip and you hoped that her wearing it was a sign that she was leaning toward forgiveness. A sign that she still cared and hadn’t given up on you. A sign that you might have another chance to keep her warm. You kept your distance, not wanting to disturb her as she settled back into her routine after an emotionally draining day away from school. But in your heart, you felt the thread tugging, pulling tightly, and you desperately hoped that Melissa wasn’t prepared to cut it for good.

That morning in class you read your third graders a chapter from Roald Dahl’s “Matilda.” It was your favorite book growing up and your students loved hearing about Matilda’s extraordinary powers and how she always managed to outsmart the awful grownups. You had just turned the next page when you looked up and saw Melissa standing in your doorway, watching you. “Okay, class. I have to check in with Ms. Schemmenti quickly, so let’s hop back to our desks and get out our independent work folders for the next few minutes before we head to the library, okay?” you instructed before making your way over to Melissa. “Hey,” you said, gently, worried you might scare her off. “Hi” she replied quietly as she tugged absentmindedly on one of the buttons on the cardigan. “I know this is the dumbest thing I could possibly ask you right now, but, are you okay? Do you need anything?” you asked, wanting nothing more than to reach out and hold her. “I’m… yeah. I’m fine, hon. Dropped my little eagles off with the Music teacher and wanted to stop by to ask… I just wanted to ask… would it be okay if me and Barb did lunch together today? Y’know, without you. She’s my best friend. And she’s the only one who knows. So, I was hopin’ to have some time to talk with her and sort my head out. If that’s alright?” she asked as she avoided your gaze. “Of course, Mel. Of course. I was planning to eat in my room anyway to give you space. I don’t want you to feel any pressure. I understand completely. I hope you and Mrs. Howard enjoy your lunch” you said sincerely. “K. Thanks. See ya later” she said before she abruptly walked back toward her classroom. You hoped that your check-in with Barbara yesterday worked in your favor and that she would advocate for you and tell Melissa how sorry you were and how much you cared. But you’d also understand if she told Melissa to never speak to you again. It could go either way, really, and you had no one to blame but yourself. You gathered your students for their scheduled library visit and prepared yourself for a quiet lunch alone in your classroom.

When the final bell of the day rang and your students made their way out of the classroom to go home, you sat at your desk, paralyzed. You knew you needed to go home and wash the dishes and grade papers and fold your laundry, but all you could think about was Melissa and how empty you felt when you couldn’t be around her. You stacked the chairs and pulled down the shades on the windows before you went to your desk to pack up your bag. That’s when you noticed Melissa standing at your door again. You stared back at her briefly before you tossed your bag over your shoulder and walked over to meet her. You didn’t know what to say or do, so instead you stopped in front of her and looked into her eyes. You wanted to let her decide what happened next. “Walk me to my car?” she asked. And you knew she could see the deep breath of relief you took before you enthusiastically nodded “yes.”

You wanted to hold her hand. You wanted to ask her about her day. You wanted to know what she had for lunch and if her kids did well on their spelling test and if that light in her room was still burned out and if you could come and fix it. But you didn’t ask her any of that. You felt like asking her for a second chance was already the biggest question in the world and you wouldn’t dream of asking anything else of her in the meantime. When you reached her car she turned to face you. “I talked to Barb. She told me you were a wreck yesterday” she said. “I was. I am,” you replied. “But I’m more interested in how you’re feeling. What you’re thinking. I’m the one who hurt you, Mel. Please don’t worry about me” you said, hoping she could feel how deeply you regretted your actions. “I’m not sure how I’m feelin’ just yet, hon. Maybe we can do lunch tomorrow and talk a little bit then?” she asked. “Absolutely” you replied immediately. She smiled softly, got in her car, and drove away. And you felt a cautious hope in your heart.

You made it through the next morning of lessons and activities with your students even though your attention was absolutely divided. You were somewhere between excited and nervous about having lunch with Melissa and much like the day before, you had no idea what to expect. When lunch time rolled around you grabbed your water bottle and bag of granola and made your way to Melissa’s classroom. You knocked quietly and she looked up and said “C’mon in, hon.” You sat down across from her and put down your water bottle and granola as she opened her salad and looked over at you, confused. “What’s with the sorry excuse for a meal?” she asked. “Oh, I’m… I just haven’t had much of an appetite. But granola is a comfort food, so I figured a little snack was better than nothing” you responded, a little embarrassed. “I see” she said, worried but sympathetic. “Did you want… you said maybe we could talk… about us?” you asked hesitantly. “Yeah… Well, I’ve been thinkin’ about what happened and what ya said and I had a good talk with Barb yesterday. She really went to bat for ya. I mean, she’s pissed off still, but she seems to think I should give ya one more chance” Melissa said, avoiding eye contact as she spoke. “And what do you think?” you asked as you stared at her intently. “I think… I think I’m scared, hon. I’m real scared that this kinda thing will keep happenin’ and that you won’t let me in. I’m worried you’ll keep skippin’ out on the truth when things get hard or leavin’ stuff out to protect me or yourself. I just… I’m scared” she said and she finally looked back up at you. You were fighting back tears, but you nodded your head sympathetically as she voiced her concerns. It didn’t sound good for you and even though you felt your heart on the verge of breaking, you knew her feelings were more important in this moment. And then she spoke again: “But… I also feel like I’m not ready to give up on this. I wanna be with you… so, I think I’m just gonna have to do it a little scared.” You looked up in disbelief and took her hands in yours. “Mel, I promise you I will do whatever it takes. I’ll never lie to you again. Never. I want to be with you, too. And… I’m scared, too. Scared to finally let someone in. But you’re the most incredible woman I’ve ever met and I trust you. Thank you so much for giving me this chance. I won’t let you down. I promise” you said as you cried tears of joy. She walked over to you with tears in her own eyes as she pulled you up to meet her and then kissed you softly on the lips. You had been so scared that you’d never get to kiss her again. When your lips parted, she pulled you into a tight embrace and you ran your fingers through her hair as she rubbed your back. The two of you stood there holding each other for a few minutes before Melissa looked up at you and asked, “Ya wanna come over tonight? Someone’s gotta feed ya, I mean that granola is seriously pathetic.” She laughed and you laughed, too. “I’d love to,” you said. And when the bell rang it felt nearly impossible to part.

Notes:

Oh happy day! Let us leave the land of hurt and angst and journey back to the island of comfort and fluff. And… smut. Soon. For sure. 😂 Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Chapter 12: The Light

Summary:

Beating out of my chest,
Heart is holding on to you.
From the moment I knew,
From the moment I knew.

You were the air in my breath,
Filling up my love soaked lungs.
Such a beautiful mess,
Intertwined and overrun.

Nothing better than this,
Oh and then the storm can come.
You feel just like the sun,
Just like the sun.

And hear you say, "We'll be alright"
I'm gonna trust you, babe.
I'm gonna look in your eyes.
And hear you say, "We'll be alright"
I'll follow you into the light.

The Light - Sara Bareilles

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

That night Melissa made Penne Alla Vodka for dinner and after the last two days of barely being able to eat your pathetic granola, you thought you had died and gone to heaven. Melissa was such an incredible cook and she took so much joy in preparing food for others and seeing them enjoy it. “Mel… this is amazing” you said as you went back for seconds. “I’m glad you like it. And I can cook things other than Italian food, y’know! I just stick with the best for you!” she joked. “You spoil me” you teased as she sipped her wine and looked at you intently, a question in her eyes. “Would you… ugh. Never mind” she dismissed the thought quickly. “What is it?” you asked. “Well, I was wonderin’… I’ve just really missed ya this week and thought maybe ya might wanna… spend the night?” she asked shyly. You felt your cheeks flush at the thought. You thought back to Monday morning when her hand had brushed against yours in the hall and how you had realized you were ready and wanted to take the next step with her this weekend. And then Amy happened. And then Melissa was hurt so deeply because of your actions. And then there were days of worry and uncertainty and tears. Now here you were in her home again and she wanted you to stay. All night. Melissa became visibly nervous when you still hadn’t responded. “I mean to sleep… I just wanna be near ya. We don’t have to do anythin’, hon” she clarified, hoping it would put you at ease. “I would love to stay the night with you, Mel. I just… it feels wild that after everything that happened this week that you’re here cooking me dinner and asking me to stay. I know I hurt you. Deeply. And I don’t want you to feel like you have to rush through those feelings to get us back to where we were. Are you sure you want me to stay?” you asked. She seemed to understand what you were really asking even though you couldn’t ask it outright. You expected to be punished. You expected for her to take her time forgiving you and to make it hurt you too, just a little bit. You expected guilt and shame and constant reminders about what you’d done. Not because any of that was the way Melissa herself would ever behave, but because that’s what every other relationship in life had always been like for you. It was hard to imagine a possibility outside it. “The way I feel about you isn’t conditional, hon. Yeah, ya f*cked up. But I told ya I want this. And that I trust ya not to do it again. There’s no point in me makin’ ya suffer or feel worse than I know ya already do when we could be gettin’ back to all the stuff that feels so good. Back to each other” she said as she rested a hand on your knee and smiled at you. You looked down at the floor, shook your head, and tried to stop the tears from coming, but you couldn’t. The words she said healed something in you, some part of you that always believed you deserved the horrible treatment that so many people who claimed to love you inflicted upon you. It was the first time in your life you had experienced unconditional care from someone and it completely overwhelmed you. “Babe, it’s okay. It’s okay. C’mere” she said as she pulled you closer and tried to comfort you. “Yes. I want to stay. Yes. More than anything” you said as you looked up into her beautiful green eyes.

Melissa took your hand and led you to her bedroom. It was cozy and inviting and smelled like lavender and vanilla. Just like her. She turned on a lamp and then sat you down on the bed. She walked to the dresser and returned with a pair of grey sweatpants and an oversized Philadelphia Flyers t-shirt for you to sleep in. Then she kissed you and said she’d be right back. You took off your clothes and set them neatly in the chair by her closet. You put on the clothes she gave you and then sat back down on the bed to wait for her. When she came back into the room she had on a white short-sleeved button-up pajama shirt with matching shorts and she had pulled her hair up. She looked like a dream. Melissa took off her earrings and necklaces and placed them on top of the dresser. Then she walked over to the bed and stood in front of you. “Mel?” you asked as you looked up at her. “Yeah, babe?” she replied. “I don’t feel like sleeping” you said.

You reached for her hands and gently pulled her down to straddle your lap. She looked surprised, but excited as she settled on top of your legs and put her arms around your neck. You placed your hands on her exposed thighs and massaged them for a moment before you reached for her ass and gave it a firm squeeze. Then your hands traveled slowly up her back and sides, exploring the soft curves of her incredible body before you arrived at her breasts. Melissa watched you with her mouth slightly open and you heard her breath hitch as you ran both of your thumbs over her nipples through the cotton night shirt she wore. She took your face in her hands then and locked eyes with you, another question looming that she seemed almost hesitant to ask: "Y/N, are you sure?" she finally asked. "Let me show you how sure I am, baby," you replied. Melissa bit her bottom lip and you licked your own before your mouths came crashing together. You felt Melissa's tongue part your lips instantly and you responded with a soft moan as your own tongue reached back and tasted her lips and tongue passionately. You could already feel the heat starting to build low in your body and you were both still fully dressed. You decided to fix that problem. Immediately. With your lips and tongue still entangled with Melissa's, you started to slowly unbutton her shirt. With each button that came undone you leaned down and kissed each newly exposed inch of skin until the shirt was fully open and you took it off and threw it to the ground. Melissa's back arched and she pushed her breasts toward your face. Your mouth instantly began to suck on her left nipple as one of your hands pinched and teased the right one before soothing it with a soft massage. "Oh, god! f*ck, that feels so good, hon" Melissa said as her fingers slid through your hair and toward the back of your head, pulling you against her body as tightly as she could. You moaned in response and your mouth moved to suck on her right breast, leaving a small love mark on the top before you took the nipple in your mouth and flicked it slowly with your tongue. You tilted your neck back up toward her face to pull her into another deep kiss before you grabbed her ass again and stood to lift her, which elicited a squeal of surprise from her lips. You placed her back down on the bed and then ran your fingers across the elastic band of her shorts, looking to her for permission to remove them. "Yes, please" she said eagerly before she bit her lower lip again and closed her eyes tightly, a smile forming on her lips. You hooked your fingers on each side and pulled them down slowly. You moaned when you realized she wasn't wearing any underwear and then felt dizzy when you encountered the wetness that had seeped through her cotton shorts as you pulled them the rest of the way down and threw them aside. That's when you realized you were still fully dressed. You were torn between wanting to feel every inch of Melissa's body against your bare skin immediately and making her wait and then experiencing the pleasure of her undressing you herself later on. You compromised and pulled off the sweatpants, leaving your underwear and Melissa's t-shirt on for now. You saw her looking up at you, wet with anticipation. You had both wanted this for a while and you couldn't believe it was finally happening. You weren't going to waste any more time thinking. You climbed back on the bed and placed your right thigh between Melissa's legs before you laid your body on top of hers. You could feel her wetness on your thigh as your mouth pulled her into another deep, passionate kiss. You placed your hand on the front of her neck and gave it a gentle squeeze as your tongues continued to lick and tease each others lips. Then you moved down to her neck, sucking gently on the spot just below her right ear which caused her to let out a small gasp. As you continued to kiss and lick and suck on her neck, you felt Melissa's left hand start to slide up under your t-shirt. She slowly caressed upward until her hand found your right breast and she squeezed it hard before she swiped her thumb across your nipple, causing your hips to buck against her. You caught her eyes and she smiled up at you again with mischief in her eyes. "That feels really f*cking good" you said as your breathing started to pick up in intensity. "Do it again, please," you told her and this time she squeezed even harder, causing you to moan deeply. Now you could feel Melissa's hips buck up against your own, desperate for more. You kept on kissing her neck and the top of her breasts as she massaged yours and then you slowly let your hand wander down her stomach and toward her center. She closed her eyes and gasped when she felt your fingers finally slide in between her legs and then she moved her hands back to your hair and neck, as if to steady and brace herself for what she knew was to come. You used your middle finger to slowly spread the wetness all over her folds and then up toward her cl*t. You wanted to taste her so badly. You wanted her to come completely undone in your mouth. But more than anything, you wanted to be close to her and see her eyes and watch her face and taste her lips the first time you made her cum. With that, you gently placed two fingers near Melissa's entrance and then rubbed slowly around the area before you looked up again and searched her face for permission. Melissa bucked against your hand and said, "Yes! f*ck me, Y/N. I wanna feel you inside me." And so you pressed two fingers deep inside of her and curled them slightly before you started pumping in a slow, steady rhythm. Melissa gasped with excitement and then let out a long, quiet moan when your thumb started to softly rub against her cl*t. You could feel your own wetness pooling as you rode Melissa's thigh while you continued to thrust your fingers inside of her. "sh*t, babe. That feels so good! Don't stop! Please. Give it to me" she shouted and you could feel her walls starting to tighten around your soaked fingers. You kissed her deeply as you increased your pace inside her and against her cl*t. Her breathing and moaning increased to the point that she had started panting and your lips parted just in time for you to look down and watch her as she squeezed her eyes shut, screamed out your name, and came hard against your hand. It was the most beautiful thing you had ever seen. You continued to pump gently and helped her come down from her climax before you slowly removed your fingers and brought them up to her mouth. You slid your fingers softly across her lips and then leaned down to lick the taste from her mouth. Tasting her was worth the wait and you moaned as the flavor mingled between your lips and tongues. When she finally opened her eyes she looked at you in complete disbelief before she said, "Jesus Christ, hon. That was f*ckin' unbelievable." You smiled against her lips and said "I'm glad I could make you feel good, Mel. I've been thinking about it since the first time I saw you." "I can tell," she laughed sweetly. "My turn to show ya what I've been thinkin' about?" she asked. And you couldn't wait to find out.

Melissa sat up and slowly lifted her Flyers t-shirt over your head and tossed it to the side before gently pushing you down against the mattress. "Wow," she said as she looked down at your body in awe. "You're even more perfect than I imagined." You felt yourself blush at her words and your mind started to spin as you wondered what this breathtaking woman was about to do to you. "Mind if I take these?" she asked as she tugged on your black underwear. You nodded enthusiastically as you licked your lips and lifted your hips off the mattress to help her. You expected her to toss them to the side, but instead she stood up and placed your panties in her nightstand drawer before slowly walking back to you on the bed. "Oh, wow. You really meant 'take them,'" you laughed before you felt her lips passionately crash against your mouth. The moan that came out of you surprised you both and you could feel Melissa's grin of satisfaction as she pressed against you. She placed a few soft kisses on your neck before she made her way down to your breasts. She flicked your left nipple with her tongue a few times before gently pinching it between her fingers and you gasped in pleasure at the sensation. Then she started to suck on your right breast and tease your nipple with her teeth before soothing it with the caress of her thumb. Your eyes were shut tight and you could feel your own wetness as you ached for relief. Melissa felt your body involuntarily buck up against hers and she smiled and asked, "You ready for me, hon?" "God, yes, Mel. Please. I've wanted this for so long. Please f*ck me" you replied desperately. The next thing you knew Melissa's head was between your legs as she licked you from your entrance to your cl*t. "Oh my god," you exclaimed as you threw your hand over your mouth, biting your own hand. As she started to gently suck on and tease your cl*t with her tongue and teeth, you felt her slip two fingers inside you and you moaned and thrusted your hips up slightly off the mattress, pressing yourself into her face. She continued to suck on your cl*t and rub slow circles with her tongue while her fingers pumped in and out of you as hard and fast as she could. You grabbed at her crimson hair in its ponytail and pulled slightly, wanting her as close and as deep as possible. And then you felt your eyes close as a white heat poured through your body and your walls clenched around her fingers. "f*ck! I'm gonna cum, Mel. Please. Just like that. Oh, god!" and then your legs started to shake before you screamed out and collapsed back on the bed with her fingers still deep inside you. Melissa watched you in awe as you came down from your high and then slowly removed her fingers so she could come lie down next to you. She placed a gentle kiss on your lips and pushed your sweat drenched hair behind your ear. "Hey," she said as she held your face in her hand. "Hey" you replied as you closed your eyes and leaned into her touch. "Mel, I... you... that was... incredible" you said, completely exhausted. And she leaned in to kiss you again before pulling you in closer. "Yeah, I think that was worth waitin' for," she said with a smile as you laughed against her chest.

You fell asleep naked and tangled in each other's arms and you had never felt so safe and warm. She felt just like the sun.

Notes:

Hi, friends! Hell yes! They finally did it! Haha. Hope it was worth the wait for you! Mama loves a slow burn.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these first 12 chapters so far! On Monday I return to work as a teacher after a month long absence while I recovered from surgery. I am still 100% invested in this story and will keep writing and exploring their relationship with each other, the Abbott crew, students, etc. Just wanted to give a heads up that it may be a slower turnaround getting the chapters out while I get back into the groove with my commute and 40 hour work week. Thank you so much for reading and for all your comments over the last week. I can’t wait to share more!

Chapter 13: Chasing the Sun

Summary:

“…You've kissed my hair
to wake me. I dreamed you were a poem,
I say, a poem I wanted to show someone...
and I laugh and fall dreaming again
of the desire to show you to everyone I love,
to move openly together
in the pull of gravity, which is not simple,
which carries the feathered grass a long way down the upbreathing air.

-Adrienne Rich, Twenty One Love Poems, II

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

That Saturday morning you woke up wrapped in Melissa’s arms. The two of you were both still completely bare, but had nestled beneath her white sheets. Your body ached in the most wonderful ways imaginable and you couldn’t take your eyes off the goddess asleep beside you. Her ponytail was loose and messy from the night’s exertion and a bright red curl hung down across her forehead as she breathed peacefully in your arms. Last night was… everything. For one, it was the most intense org*sm you’d ever had. And making love to Melissa was beyond exhilarating and left you feeling completely intoxicated by your desire for her. But as you watched her sleep, you knew that what happened between the two of you wasn’t only physical. The sun slowly began to rise outside the window across the room and as its warm rays illuminated her soft skin, it all became very clear. You were in love with Melissa Schemmenti. It was as simple and magical as that.

You didn’t want to wake her, but you were completely overwhelmed by your desire to kiss her lips again. You gently brushed her hair aside before you leaned in and placed a soft kiss on her perfect lips. And she kissed you back. Melissa’s lips curled into a smile as she slowly opened her eyes and looked into yours. “Mornin’, hon” she whispered. “Good morning, beautiful” you replied. “Sorry I woke you, but… I just had to kiss you” you added. Her smile grew as she wrapped her arms around your neck and pulled you over and on top of her. The way your bodies felt as they pressed together under the sheets was enough to make you dizzy. You leaned down and guided Melissa’s lips into a slow, sensual kiss. Your hands softly caressed and explored each other’s bodies for a few minutes before you felt Melissa slowly spread her legs apart beneath you. Your body sunk down against the space she had opened between her thighs and your centers connected. You were both already wet from the arousal of the deep kissing and petting. Melissa looked up at you hungrily, willing you to press against her more fully and you obliged with enthusiasm. You thrusted your hips toward her body and you felt your cl*t slide against Melissa’s. You both moaned at the intensity of the contact and Melissa then spread her legs further apart as she grabbed your ass and pulled you in even tighter against her core. You both began to grind against each other vigorously and you could instantly feel how sore your abs still were from the night before. You pushed through the pain, knowing the pleasure beyond it would absolutely be worth it. The pace between you quickened and became more frenetic as you both approached climax and you felt a white heat rising from your toes all the way to your center. “I’m so close, baby. f*ck! I’m… I’m gonna cum” Melissa said as her eyes closed and her head tilted back against the mattress. You thrusted against each other roughly a few more times and then you both came completely undone together in unison. You were covered in sweat and breathless as you collapsed down next to Melissa on the bed. “That was f*cking amazing” you said to her as you desperately struggled to catch your breath. Melissa looked over at you as she wiped the sweat from her own forehead and said “You’re amazin’.” She rolled over closer to you and kissed you deeply before she abruptly pulled back and said, “I’m starvin’, hon!” “Let me make you pancakes?” you laughed. “Perfect!” she smiled back. “And we can have the leftovers for dinner!”

Notes:

Short and smut… uh, I mean, sweet. 😜

My first day back was wonderful and emotional. I missed my students so much and they were perfect angels all day. Figured I’d throw a short chapter your way seeing as how we left these two in each other’s arms on a Friday night. The next chapter I share will wrap up their special weekend together and then it’s time to get back to work at Abbott!

Chapter 14: Someone Who Loves Me

Summary:

“Could I rest here for a while,
Near that medal 'round your neck.
St. Jude's wearing a smile,
He wouldn't mind I bet.
I can't go face the world,
My bones won't hold me up.
So tell the saint of lost souls where to find me.
Softly sleeping,
Here in the deep end of someone who loves me.”

“Someone Who Loves Me” - Sara Bareilles

Notes:

1,000 HITS?! Wow. I have been blown away by the response to this fic and am so grateful for all your sweet, encouraging comments. I wasn’t originally planning to write this particular bit, but then I felt like OFC needed to fully close the chapter on the past so she could walk into her future with Melissa with her arms and heart wide open. The *next* chapter will wrap up their magical weekend together and *then* it’s back to Abbott life and navigating teaching, friendships, and the damn vending machine man!

Chapter Text

The pancakes were delicious! You were certainly no chef, especially not compared to Melissa, but you were a breakfast enthusiast and had mastered all the staples. After the two of you had finished eating, the temptation to crawl back into Melissa’s bed for the rest of the day was high. But you both had grading to do and mountains of other errands and chores to tend to after what had been a week full of devastating lows and unbelievable highs. The last thing either of you wanted to do was be away from each other, but you decided to part ways until dinner later so you could each get caught up and then enjoy your time together, worry-free. “You wanna stay over again tonight?” Melissa asked playfully as she walked you out to your car. “I’d love to,” you replied. “I could even bring back something… fun for us to try out later tonight, if you want” you grinned, as you hooked your fingers through her belt loops and tugged her closer. Melissa blushed and leaned in for a kiss. “Well, now I’m gonna be distracted all day wonderin’ what it might be” she replied. “You’ll just have to wait and find out, Schemmenti” you said with a mischievous smile. She patted you on the ass and said “Get outta here!” You laughed. “Okay, okay. I’m going! But you’re in a lot of trouble later,” you said as you winked.

It wasn’t until you entered your apartment and saw the floor covered in boxes that you remembered: Amy would leave for Portland tomorrow and you would never see her again. After the stunt she pulled earlier this week, you weren’t interested in wishing her well or even saying goodbye. Her bedroom door was closed, but you heard her rummaging around. You thought that if you could just make it to your room to grab the pile of papers you needed to grade that you could slip out undetected. Unfortunately, you tripped over a box and fell down hard on your left knee. “f*ck” you exclaimed under your breath as you slowly got back up. Amy came running out of her room and looked worried. “What happened? Are you okay?” she asked. “Don’t start worrying about me now, Amy. I just tripped over the stupid boxes” you replied, agitated, as you limped toward your room. “At least let me check on your leg” she said, the nurse in her unwilling to see you in pain. You rolled your eyes and sat down on the sofa before you pulled up your pant leg to show her. Amy came over, kneeled down in front of you, and winced as her fingers ghosted over your swollen kneecap. “Yeah, that’s gonna bruise for sure. Lemme grab an ice pack,” she said. “I can take care of myself. I don’t need you to do this” you replied. “I know. You’ve never needed anyone. But let me do this one decent thing before we never see each other again. Please” Amy pleaded. “Just get the damn ice pack” you scoffed.

As she walked back toward the kitchen you remembered the night you met. It was at a Halloween party two years ago. You didn’t want to go in the first place, but your friends had convinced you that you’d been single long enough and needed to go out and have a good time. You did your best to blend in with the wallpaper in what your friends called your “slu*tty Ms. Frizzle” costume as you downed yet another beer. That’s when you saw Amy from across the kitchen. She had on black scrubs and a silver stethoscope around her neck. You had always had a thing for women in scrubs and Amy was objectively beautiful. That, and you were drunk. And lonely. So lonely. Before you even knew what you were doing, you walked across the kitchen, interrupted her mid-conversation, and said, “Hey, doc. I have this kink in my thigh that I could really use your help with.” Amy looked back at you with raised eyebrows and a grin on her face and you grabbed her hand and led her to the bathroom upstairs. She pushed you against the bathroom door and then f*cked you from behind. Then you went down on her while she sat up on the bathroom sink. The entire encounter was still crystal clear in your memory, despite two years passing and the insane amount of alcohol you drank that night. “I like your costume,” you said as you both got dressed again. “Oh, it’s not a costume,” Amy said. “I just came from work.” And even though you never gave her your number, she found out who you were and called you a few days later to ask you out. Amy was charismatic, confident, and assertive; your complete opposite. And being pursued by her made you feel alive. It was once she caught you that all the trouble began. Amy didn’t believe in monogamy, but she didn’t tell you that until a few months into the relationship when you came home and found her in bed with a co-worker. You never asked her to change, but you made it clear you wanted different things. Amy didn’t want to lose you and promised she just wanted you, too. And then she broke the promise over and over and over again. The sad truth was you were just two lonely people who never felt loved and were trying desperately to hang onto someone just for the sake of feeling tethered to the ground. You and Amy had officially broken up about 6 months ago and you had only agreed to let her stay in the apartment because she had nowhere else to go, you rarely ever saw each other, and she promised she would leave as soon as she had a new job offer. Amy was never meant to be the great love of your life and you knew that from the start. But for a short time, the two of you managed to keep each other from the pain and loneliness that had defined most of your lives. Amy made her way back across the kitchen and handed you the ice pack. “I’m sorry about the boxes… and… everything else” she said, defeated. “Thanks” you replied curtly. She walked back toward her bedroom and had almost closed her door when you said, “I hope Portland is really good for you.” She smiled and then closed the door. And you knew that was the last time you’d ever see her. And all you felt was peace.

You spent the rest of the day grading papers and writing lesson plans at the cafe. The first month at Abbott had flown by, but it seemed like you’d found your stride. You felt supported by your colleagues, bonded with your students, and connected to the school families. As you sat there in a sea of coffee, spelling tests, and math homework, you looked up and saw Melissa Schemmenti staring down at you with a stack of papers under her arm. “Is this seat taken?” she asked innocently. Your heart almost leapt out of your chest. “Hi” you said with a huge smile as you pulled her down onto your lap. “I missed you,” you said as you nuzzled your nose against her neck. “I missed you, too, hon” she laughed. “What are you doing here?” you asked, amused but curious. “Well, y’know, I had a really great date here a while ago and I’ve been wantin’ to come back ever since. Thought I’d sit out on the patio and wrap up some gradin’, but then I saw this beautiful woman and I couldn’t help myself” she teased. You wanted to play along. You wanted to tease back. But you were so overwhelmed by how free you finally felt from Amy and so optimistic about your future with Melissa, that all you could do was pull her into a tight embrace and try to hold back tears. “What’s the matter, babe?” she asked, concerned. “Nothing,” you replied as a single tear finally found its way slowly down your cheek. “I’ve just never been this happy before. You make me so happy, Mel.” Melissa looked down at you and gently wiped your tears away. “I know the feelin’, hon. You wanna get outta here?” she asked with a soft smile. “Yes, please” you replied.

Melissa took you by the hand and led you to the parking lot and you couldn’t wait to be back in her bed, safe in her arms.

Chapter 15: Hold My Heart

Summary:

"I had second thoughts at the start
I said to myself,
'Hold on to your heart.'
Now I know the woman that you are,
You're wonderful so far.
And it's more than I hoped for."

“The Longest Time” - Billy Joel

Notes:

If you'd like a soundtrack for the steamy scene in the second section below, I'd highly recommend "Syrup and Honey" by Duffy. Thanks for reading.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

As planned and promised, it was leftover breakfast for dinner that Saturday night. Melissa put on a Billy Joel record in the living room as the two of you enjoyed the pancakes and sat together grading at her kitchen table. Melissa was a machine! She could easily breeze through grading ten spelling tests in the time it took you to finish two. Maybe that had something to do with the fact that she was actually focused on her task, whereas you kept stopping to look over and watch her, completely mesmerized. Her hair was pulled back again which was essentially torture at this point because all you could think about was kissing her exposed neck. You tried to work, you really did, but she was simply irresistible. As she sat across from you tapping her red pen and quietly humming along to Joel's "The Longest Time," you had an idea! You stood up abruptly, surprising Melissa as you pushed your chair out of the way, and then you began singing along enthusiastically: "If you said goodbye to me tonight, there would still be music left to write. What else could I do? I'm so inspired by you. That hasn't happened for the longest time!" Melissa had a huge smile on her face as she clapped and laughed in response to your impromptu performance and then jokingly asked, "Were you even alive when this song was released?" "Nope!" you laughed, before you jumped back into the song, grabbing a spatula from off the counter for a microphone: "Now I know that happiness goes on. That's where you found me, when you put your arms around me. I haven't been there for the longest time." Then you reached for Melissa's hand. She was blushing and grinning from ear to ear. She took your hand and you gently pulled her into your arms and the two of you started to dance. The way she looked at you as you serenaded her and held her close was enough to melt you completely. You would happily make an absolute fool out of yourself every day for the rest of your life just to see her like this. She put her arms around your neck as the two of you danced and sang along and you made a point to look directly into her eyes as you belted out the final lines of the song: "I don't care what consequence it brings. I have been a fool for lesser things. I want you so bad. I think you ought to know that I intend to hold you for the longest time." The song quietly ended and then the stylus began to track the run-out groove. It was completely silent in Melissa's house. You realized how out of breath you were from your energetic performance and then you felt heat rise to your cheeks as you noticed how intensely Melissa was staring back at you. She leaned in slowly to kiss your lips and you heard her quietly whisper "amore mio" before you were enveloped in the sweet taste of syrup still lingering on her lips. It was, by far, the most passionate kiss the two of you had shared yet and for the first time in your life, you actually felt weak in the knees. Melissa slowly pulled away from the kiss, took your hands in her own, looked up at you and then said, "take me to bed."

You didn't stop kissing her for a single second as the two of you made your way down the hall. Your bodies paused every so often to take turns pressing each other against a door or the walls as you caressed each other, but eventually you made it back to her bedroom. Melissa pulled your shirt off and then pushed you down onto the bed before she slowly removed her own clothing. "God, you are so beautiful" you said as you looked up at her from the mattress. Melissa smiled and blushed and then asked the question you had been waiting to hear all day: "So, what were ya sayin' this mornin' about bringin' back somethin' fun for us?" she teased. You grinned and then asked Melissa to hand you your bag. She grabbed it from the chair nearby and handed it over. Then you slowly pulled out your purple dild* and black harness. Melissa bit her lip as she looked down at you. "Go put it on," she instructed. And you quickly did as you were told. When you returned from the bathroom you saw Melissa laying down on the bed, massaging her own breasts with her eyes closed as she softly whimpered and moaned. You walked over slowly and said "f*ck, that's hot." Melissa opened her eyes and sat up enough to lean back against her elbows. "Just thinkin' of ya while I waited" she said mischievously. Then she leaned over to her nightstand and pulled out a bottle of lube. You moved over to meet her at the edge of the bed and watched in awe as she squirted the lube onto the strap-on and then slowly started to rub it in with her hand. She looked at you the entire time and made sure to press the base of the dild* against your core as she spread the lubrication all over. Melissa wiped her hands on the sheets and then backed her body up against yours near the edge of the bed. You helped her as she positioned her body just above the strap-on and then held her by the hips as she began to rock back and forth on top of it, spreading and mixing her own wetness with the lube she'd already applied. Then she got down on her hands and knees in front of you and her incredible ass and wet core were just inches away from your body. "Jesus, f*ck, Mel. You look so good" you said as you gently squeezed her ass. "f*ck me, please" she begged. And again, you did as you were told. You slowly pressed your hips forward and used your hand to guide the tip of the strap-on to her entrance before you pressed it inside of her. Melissa moaned deeply as she pushed her body back against yours, fully enveloping the purple dild*. You moaned in response when the pressure from her own body pushed the base against your cl*t. Then you leaned forward slightly and reached around her front to tightly squeeze her breasts and pinch her nipples as you continued to thrust against her. Melissa's back arched and her head leaned back as you pumped in and out of her in a slow, steady rhythm. When you heard her say "pull my hair" you almost passed out. While one hand made its way back to her hips to help you maintain your grip as you f*cked her, the other slid slowly up her back and then your fingers tangled themselves in her ponytail and pulled back gently. "Yes!" she exclaimed with excitement when she felt the tug. Having sex with Melissa was the most thrilling and surprising experience of your life and you quickly felt your own excitement start to rise. You increased your pace and pressure and almost instantly heard enthusiastic moans of approval as Melissa continued to push her body back against yours to meet the strap-on with each new thrust. It didn't take long from there. "Oh, sh*t! Don't stop. Yes! Oh, yes! f*ck, Y/N!" Melissa screamed as she panted and rapidly reached her climax. You gave a few more hard, fast thrusts and then felt her body start to shake beneath yours. Melissa moaned in ecstasy as she came hard against your body and you weren't sure if you'd ever catch your breath again as you watched her come undone. You gently pulled out of her and looked on in pure admiration as she turned over onto her back and tried to slowly come down from her org*sm. You took off the harness and tossed it aside before joining her down on the mattress. Her eyes were still closed and her breathing was still erratic, but when her eyes did finally open, she looked back at you the same way she had when you sang to her earlier. “Hey” she beamed over at you. “Hey” you replied with a wink. You stared at each other for a moment before you asked, "So, when we were in the kitchen earlier, you said 'amore mio?'" Melissa smiled, seeming slightly embarrassed that you'd actually heard her say it. "It means 'my love,'" she replied warmly. You felt a big smile spread across your face as you leaned in to kiss her. "I like it," you said. Melissa tried to hide her own grin with her hand before she pulled you into a tight embrace. "Sei la ragione di ogni mio sorriso" she said as she kissed you again and then rested her head against your chest. And then as you held her tightly against your body, you replied, "Mi togli il respiro." Melissa looked up at you in shock. "What in the...?" she asked in disbelief. "I downloaded the DuoLingo app the same day you called Wendy a 'gabbadost,'" you laughed. Melissa grabbed you by the face and kissed you like it was the first time all over again. Then she said, "You're unbelievable, y'know that?" You laughed again shyly as you pulled the sheets up to cover your bodies and nestled deeper into her arms.

Notes:

"Sei la ragione di ogni mio sorriso" – "You’re the reason for all my smiles"
"Mi togli il respiro" - "You take my breath away"

:)

Hope you all enjoyed their special weekend together. Stay tuned for the next chapter! It's time to get back to Abbott!

Chapter 16: Bottle It Up

Summary:

It’s the start of another wonderful week at Abbott! There’s a solar system craft, gnocchi, Janine saving you a spot at lunch, an insecure Melissa Schemmenti, and a couch.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

You pulled up to school at 6:30am that Monday morning, excited for the day ahead. Jacob had suggested an early morning coffee meetup to continue your discussion about establishing a Gender and Sexuality Alliance Club at Abbott. And even though it would have been nice to meet at a cafe or maybe over a drink after work, you were both teachers, and your time (and money) were precious. So, coffee in the teacher’s lounge before the students arrived was the next best choice. Jacob was sitting at his laptop in the lounge when you came in. “Morning, Jacob!” you said with a smile. “Ah! Y/N! You’re here. Excellent! I have been up for hours looking into all the logistics and can’t wait to hear what you think” Jacob replied, clearly already caffeinated to the hilt. “That’s awesome, Jacob! Way to get a head start. Let me take a look!” you said. The two of you sat together and made a plan as you finished your coffee. The process looked easy enough. You would need to write up a mission statement for why you believed Abbott would benefit from the club, review the student handbook to make sure to follow all school rules, and then inform Principal Coleman and get the green light for submitting any necessary paperwork. You and Jacob were excited to volunteer as the faculty advisors and both felt it would be a great way to build community and create a safe space for Abbott students. “I know in most cases this kind of club is typically geared more toward middle and high school students, but I just think of how many kids know who they are so early on or have questions that they can’t ask safely at home and… I just feel like this could really make a difference” Jacob said as he leafed through the school handbook. It was wonderful to hear how passionate he was about this endeavor and even though you didn’t want to make any assumptions, you guessed that Jacob’s coming out experience may have been as lonely and hard as your own had been all those years ago. “I think you’re right, Jacob. I’m in 100%. I’ll work on writing up the mission statement this week and then we can get things moving” you said enthusiastically. Jacob grinned from ear to ear before he raised his hand in the air and waited patiently for a high five from you. You shook your head and laughed before your hands collided in a loud slap! “Let’s do this, Hill” you cheered. You caught the time on your watch as your hands parted and you realized you still had fifteen minutes left before the school day started. “I gotta run, Jacob! But I’ll see you later!” you said as you grabbed your bag and made your way to Melissa’s classroom.

When you looked into her room, you saw that Melissa was writing the day’s math lesson up on the whiteboard. “Morning, babe” you said as you made your way to the front of the room to greet her. Melissa turned to you with a bright smile on her face. “Hey, hon! I checked Narnia for ya when I got here, but no dice” she replied. You put your arms around her waist and leaned in to give her a quick kiss. “Oh, right. I forgot to mention that Jacob and I had plans to meet up about forming the GSA Club” you replied. Melissa looked confused, but you weren’t sure if it was about the club or that you were hanging out with Jacob. On purpose. “GSA Club? What’s that?” Melissa asked. “Gender and Sexuality Alliance! Jacob asked if I’d be interested in being a sponsor with him” you answered as you tucked a piece of hair behind Melissa’s ear. “…You’re trying to do that here? At Abbott? With Jacob?” she asked with a skeptical look on her face. “Well, yeah. I mean, we know it’s normally for older students, but we just feel like having a space for all the kids in our school community would help give them a sense of belonging and maybe even help prevent bullying” you said hopefully. Melissa shook her head gently and avoided your eyes, she clearly had an opinion on the matter, but seemed to want to spare your feelings. “Well, I hope it’s everythin’ you and Jacob want it to be, hon. Just be careful. Parents have a lot of opinions about what we do here as teachers and they aren’t always exactly friendly about sharin’ ‘em” she said as she finally made eye contact with you. You looked back at her intently, wanting her to say more, but then you realized you had one more thing you absolutely had to do before the bell rang. “I have to dash! Lunch today?” you asked. “I packed extra gnocchi for you” she smiled. And off you went.

“Good morning, Mrs. Howard” you said after you had gently knocked on her door. “Well, hello to you, Y/N” she beamed. “I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for everything you said to Melissa. I know how much she values your opinion and your friendship and I am so grateful that you encouraged her to give me another chance” you said, teary eyed, and you didn’t try to hide it. “Melissa is very important to me, dear. And I have never seen her this happy in all the years I’ve known her. Now it’s your job to prove me right and take excellent care of that woman’s heart. Don’t you disappoint me, now” she said with a grin. “I promise I won’t let you down” you replied. Then the bell rang at long last and signaled the start of another day at Abbott.

After last week’s Science lessons on Earth and space, this week your third graders worked together to construct a 3D model of the solar system using recycled materials. There were empty water bottles, egg cartons, and cardboard boxes spread out all over the classroom and your students gathered all the glue, glitter, and paint they could find to decorate their planets. Your room was an absolute disaster. And you and the kids had never been happier! Someone over by the door caught your attention. It was Janine on her way to collect her students from gym class. “Oh. My. Gosh. Y/N!” she exclaimed. “Your kids are having so much fun. I love how collaborative this project is. I wish I could do something like this in my class” she added. “You all are learning about Maps right now, correct?” you asked. “We are! Yes. The kids are interested, but I just feel like finding a way to make it more hands-on would really excite them” she said. “I might have a few ideas if you’re open to learning more about the Reggio philosophy! There’s a real emphasis on exploring and crafting with natural materials or even loose parts like bottle caps, seashells, corks, or buttons. I’d be happy to chat more with you if you want ideas. I think your students would love it” you said with genuine excitement in your voice. “That would be so amazing! Yes! Thank you. Wanna chat about it more in the lounge at lunch today?” she asked. “Sounds great” you replied. But for now it was back to the magical mess of glue and smiles behind you.

When you arrived in the teacher’s lounge, Melissa and Barbara were in their usual spots with a seat saved for you while Janine and Jacob sat at the table over by the windows. Janine waved at you enthusiastically and moved her purse out of the chair next to her. Melissa looked up and smiled when she saw you, moved her bag off to the side, and then handed you your gnocchi, still warm from the microwave. “Thanks, Ms. Schemmenti” you said with a grin as you took it from her hands and made your way over toward Janine. She was behind you at this point, so you couldn’t see the look of shock and pure outrage on Melissa’s face as you walked by, but Janine certainly could. “Don’t worry, Ms. Schemmenti! I just asked Y/N for some help brainstorming for a collaborative project for my students. She’ll sit with you again tomorrow, I’m sure. Unless, maybe I’m the more fun second grade teacher at Abbott. Guess we’ll have to wait and see” she chuckled. You turned back around and saw Melissa’s look of complete disbelief. “Yeah, well, if that’s the case then I hope Y/N likes eatin’ Pop-Tarts and Ramen Noodles for lunch, Lowercase” Melissa jabbed at Janine before she turned around to speak with Barbara again. She sounded like she was mostly kidding, but something felt a little off. You had the same feeling earlier in the morning when you told her about your meeting with Jacob. At this point she was engaged in her conversation with Barb, your gnocchi was getting cold, and Janine was looking at you like a child waiting for their parent to push them on the swings, so you finally sat down. Janine was so receptive to your suggestions and was grateful for your time. The gnocchi was incredible, because of course it was. You wanted to thank Melissa, but she was very committed to the cold shoulder she’d been giving you for the last half hour, so you figured you’d try again later. The bell rang and everyone gathered their things and went to collect their students.

You and Melissa had previously planned to order take-out at her place after work tonight and you were looking forward to cuddling with her on the couch after a long, messy, but very fun day at school. When she opened the door for you she crossed her arms almost immediately and stared you down. “Hey, Mel. We still on for our couch date?” you asked hopefully. “I dunno, kid. You sure ya don’t have plans with your new best friends? You could be makin’ some easy-Mac and watchin’ a recordin’ of Jacob doin’ improv or listenin’ to Janine talk about savin’ the bees or somethin’. Don’t let me keep ya from all that fun,” she said, clearly still feeling the sting from your lunchtime betrayal. “I’m sorry about this morning. And lunch. Honestly. I just totally forgot to tell you about my meeting with Jacob and the Janine thing came up right before lunch. She just wanted some ideas. That’s all” you explained, hoping to appease her quickly so you could go make-out on the couch until dinner arrived. But she still looked mad. She turned away from you and walked toward the kitchen, leaving you to shut the door behind you as you entered. “Mel? Is everything okay? You seem upset?” you asked, cautiously. “I’m not upset. I guess I’m just not as fun as your new, young friends” she said as she poured herself a glass of wine. And there it was. It was so obvious. Melissa was feeling self-conscious about the age difference between the two of you. You knew it might come up eventually, but really never thought it was a big deal. You knew Melissa was in her 50’s and you yourself would turn 32 in a few months. And it’s not like the age gap had caused any problems in terms of your ability to connect emotionally or physically. You had things in common, you liked the same music, you both loved teaching, walking around her neighborhood together was your new favorite thing, and you couldn’t keep your hands off each other. Even though you knew all this to be true in your own mind, the important thing now was to reassure Melissa, to allow her to voice her insecurities and make sure she knew just how completely f*cking magical you thought she was. “Mel, babe, talk to me. Tell me what you’re feeling” you pleaded. She took a big swig from her wine glass and then set it down roughly before she looked back over at you. “I just… I mean, I know we’re still keepin’ things quiet for now, but… I just can’t imagine what Janine and Jacob and all the other toddlers we work with are gonna think when they find out someone like you is interested in someone like me. I’m old enough to be your mother, kid” she said as she poured herself more wine. “Mel, I hear you. I do. And I know it’s hard not to worry about what other people might think about us, but more important than that, more important than anything, is how YOU feel about it. Does being with me feel wrong to you?” you asked. “Bein’ with you… bein’ with you feels like someone finally reached in and turned on the damn lights inside of me, hon. So much so that I got jealous that someone else got to sit next to you for half an hour today!” she laughed. You walked over to Melissa, pulled her into your arms, and kissed her forehead. “I feel the same way about you, babe. And when we’re ready, I’ll be so proud to tell everyone about us. You make me so damn happy. And… well…” you paused, knowing the words ‘I love you’ were dangerously close to escaping your lips. “Well, what?” Melissa asked curiously. “It’s just… well… you’ve got this unbelievable ass that just won’t quit” you grinned mischievously as Melissa laughed and punched you on the arm. “I do, don’t I?” she smiled as she shook her butt in your direction. “You do. You really, really do” you replied as you gave her a gentle smack on her bottom. “C’mere” she said as she took your hand and led you toward the couch. She pushed you down onto the cushions and then straddled your lap before leaning in for a slow, sensual kiss. “Mmm. Mel, you taste so good” you said as your tongue licked her lower lip. She smiled against your mouth and then you felt her start to grind her ass against your center as she pushed her breasts toward your face. “You said you liked my ass, yeah hon?” she asked teasingly. “Yes. f*ck, yes” you replied as you put your hands on her hips and felt her body sway in slow, deep circles against you. “Then lemme show ya what this thing can do” she said with a sultry look in her eyes before she leaned in to kiss you again.

Getting a lap dance from Melissa Schemmenti on a Monday night was definitely not on your Bingo card, but you came entirely undone beneath her within minutes and you couldn’t wait to return the favor after dinner.

Notes:

Hi! I had writer’s block for the first time with this chapter, so I hope it doesn’t totally suck. Still many more chapters ahead. Including a Halloween chapter and a PECSA weekend that no one will forget! Stay tuned and as always, thanks for reading!

Chapter 17: Sweet As Whole

Notes:

If you haven’t heard “Sweet As Whole” by Sara Bareilles before, I recommend a quick listen before you read this chapter. Sets a nice tone for the first bit. 😅 Poor Gary.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

When you entered the teacher’s lounge on that early October morning, you were completely unprepared for what you discovered as you walked in. f*cking. Gary. The f*cking vending machine guy. Gary who called Melissa “Red.” Gary who always stared at Melissa’s tit* and ass. Gary who knew Melissa’s favorite drink and instantly noticed when she wasn’t at school. Gary who asked you to put in a good word for him with your “friend” because he knew you two “hang out a lot.” Yeah. That f*cking Gary. Melissa stood with her arms crossed as she leaned back against the counter chatting with him as he filled the machines. She didn’t even see you come in. Then Gary loudly said, “What did the football coach say to the broken vending machine?” Melissa tilted her head to the side as she tried to come up with an answer before Gary blurted out, “GIMME MY QUARTERBACK!” Melissa laughed and you prayed that it was out of pity because that was THE corniest joke you had ever heard. Even Janine could do better! You made your way over to the cabinets to grab your coffee mug and Melissa finally realized you were there. She smiled brightly at you, but then quickly noticed the look on your face. “Excuse me, Ms. Schemmenti” you said, clearly annoyed, as you reached for the cabinet door up behind her head. Melissa looked confused, but moved over and out of your way as she studied you. “How’s it goin’, Y/N? I was just tellin’ Red here a few jokes of the trade. Love seein’ her smile! I got more if you want in on the action” he teased. “Y’know what, Gary, I think I’m go…” “Why did the Pepsi can quit his job at the vending machine?!” Gary said as he enthusiastically interrupted you. You slowly massaged the bridge of your nose as you grabbed your mug and made your way over to the coffee machine. “What?! No guesses? C’mon, you’re no fun” Gary insisted. Your back was completely turned to him now and as far as you were concerned, Gary and “Red” could go ahead and solve this little riddle without your help. “Cus it was Soda Pressing!” Gary clapped as he laughed at himself hysterically. You heard Melissa laugh along with him and then you decided it might be best to drink your coffee in your own classroom this morning. Far away from whatever the hell was happening in here. You could feel Melissa’s eyes on you as you walked out, but she didn’t try to stop you or come after you.

You were in a bad mood for the rest of the morning. You knew it was pure jealousy and it was one of your absolute least favorite feelings to sit in. Being insecure was nothing new to you, especially after the disaster that was your relationship with Amy. All the lies. All the cheating. All the broken promises. At a certain point you’d started to believe it’s what you deserved. And even though being with Melissa had undoubtedly started to heal and change your mindset about your own self-worth in a lot of meaningful ways, Gary just rubbed you the wrong f*cking way. You knew that Melissa was bisexual, so it was entirely possible that she did find him attractive or charming… somehow. And because the two of you still hadn’t really talked about what you were to each other or shared anything with anyone but Barbara, your worst fears were steering the ship. You just wanted to find some place to run and hide until sanity took control again. After you dropped off your kids at lunch, you walked straight back to your classroom, hoping to avoid Melissa while you were stuck in this sorry state. When you opened the door she was sitting in the chair at your desk, waiting for you. “Oh, hey” you said, sheepishly. “Oh, hey? That’s what you’re goin’ with after how you’ve been avoidin’ me all mornin’? What’s the matter, hon?” Melissa asked sincerely. “It’s nothing… I just… could we maybe talk about it later, Mel?” you asked. “No. We’re gonna talk about it now. Remember how we’re workin’ on you not holdin’ things in and tellin’ the truth? Your face and the way you’re actin’ today isn’t ‘nothin.’ Talk to me” she pleaded. You felt immediately embarrassed. Even though every part of you wanted to lie and brush this off and move past it, a small voice in your head reminded you that you would continue to see Gary every other Thursday for the next year and you didn’t have the stamina to pretend he didn’t bother you for that long. That, and you were never going to lie to Melissa ever again. No matter what. You walked over toward your desk, sat down on top of it, and looked down at the beautiful woman before you. Her emerald green eyes were filled with worry and you could tell all she wanted to do was help you feel better. “It’s just… f*cking Gary” you finally let out with a sigh. “What about ‘em?” Melissa asked with genuine confusion in her voice. “Well, the way he looks at you and tries to make you laugh and calls you “Red” and brings you your favorite drink all the time… I guess I’m just feeling a little… jealous? Insecure? Annoyed? All three rolled into one, really. Melissa looked up at you thoughtfully before she rolled the chair closer to the desk to be near you. “You’re jealous of Gary?” she clarified. “…Yes. I am. Because, look, I know you’re bisexual and maybe he’s your type and we haven’t really talked about what we are to each other yet or told anyone else and I don’t know… I guess seeing you talk to him and laugh at his stupid jokes just made me feel like maybe you might be interested in him, too?” you said, barely able to catch your breath by the time you’d finished. “Like him, too? Gary likes me?” Melissa asked, almost shocked. “Mel, babe. Come on. I know you wear glasses sometimes, but you’re not legally blind. OF COURSE Gary likes you. It’s so obvious” you replied. Melissa laughed and shook her head. sh*t. Did she really not realize that he liked her? Was this exciting news to her? Did you just push her right into his big burly vending machine man arms? f*ck! Melissa stood up in front of you at the desk, gently pushed opened your legs, and pulled your body towards her own until you were touching. “I think maybe I might’ve missed the clues because I was too busy lookin’ at someone else, hon” she said as she placed her hands on your cheeks. “You’re the only one I’m lookin’ at, babe. I promise. I want you. Gary’s just a friendly goober who throws me a free drink now and then. I’m not the least bit interested in him. Okay?” she said as she leaned in to give you a reassuring kiss. You melted like you always did when her lips pressed against yours. And even though your mind was screaming that you weren’t worth her affection, that you’d never be enough, your heart was louder this time. And your heart believed every word she said. You ran your fingers through her hair and pulled her in closer for another kiss. When you finally parted you saw Melissa’s eyes were heavy with want. “Ms. Schemmenti, you better close those eyes or change the way you’re looking at me. This is a house of learning” you teased. “Come over tonight” she instructed, rather than asked. “Why’s that?” you asked, still fully invested in teasing her. “Because I think it’s hot when you’re jealous. And I wanna show ya how much I want ya” she smiled. You instantly blushed and then leaned in for a final kiss. “I’ll be there” you replied. “Good” she said as she bit her lower lip and gave you a gentle tap on the ass before she walked out of your classroom.

You had barely made it through her front door when Melissa pushed you against the wall and started to undress you as she kissed and sucked on your neck. “Well, hello to you, too” you joked as a soft moan escaped your lips. “I want you so bad, Y/N” she replied as she gently bit on your lower lip and pressed her body closer to yours. “Tell me what you want me to do to you” she said while her hands started caressing your breasts through your blouse. “f*ck, Mel, that feels so good, baby” you said as your legs started to feel weak while she continued to fondle your breasts. “I… um… could you maybe take me to your room and I could tell you there?” you asked, slightly nervous. She stopped kissing you immediately, took your hand in hers, and led you down the hallway to her room. You both took your own clothes off rapidly and then laid down together. “So, tell me… how can I make ya feel good, hon?” Your cheeks were red and you covered your face with your hand. She pulled you in closer so your naked body was pressed against her own and she kissed the back of your hand until you uncovered your face. “Well, I really like how it feels when… our cl*ts touch… so, maybe you could, I dunno, get on top of me and… y’know” you said as you closed your eyes tightly. You felt her body move away from yours and there was a brief moment of panic where you thought maybe she was totally not into the idea and putting her clothes back on. Instead, you saw her reach into her nightstand to pull out her lube. She came back to the bed and straddled your center before she squirted the lube into her hands and rubbed it in gently to warm it before applying it to her own puss* and then yours. You instantly felt hot and even more turned on and Melissa didn’t waste any time adjusting her position so that her core pressed directly up against your own as she held one of your legs up against her body. Her red hair was down and swayed back and forth across her shoulders and her incredible breasts bounced up and down as she started to slide her center against yours. When your cl*ts finally made contact you thought you might black out and you let out a moan unlike anything you’d ever heard before. You looked up and saw the huge smile on Melissa’s face paired with intense focus and arousal. You loved this position because of how good it felt of course, but really it was more about the amazing view. You honestly could have cum just from watching her body rock back and forth and seeing the sweat start to cover her skin as she thrusted herself against you. “Mel! Yes! f*ck. Just like that. Oh, god. Yes!” you exclaimed through gasps. It was almost embarrassing how quickly your legs started to shake as you screamed out her name and came against her soaking wet core. Melissa’s huge smile remained as she allowed herself to collapse on the bed after a job well done. But you didn’t plan on giving her time to rest. You rolled over, moved your body down, and slowly slid your tongue inside her entrance. Melissa moaned and instantly grabbed your hair and pulled your face in as tight and close as she could, desperate for your tongue to be deeper. “Yeah, babe. Mmmmm. So good. Keep goin’” she encouraged as she began to rock her hips against your face. She tasted like heaven, which was convenient because you could barely breathe and would happily die in this position, listening to her moans of pleasure. You slowly moved your tongue from her entrance to her cl*t and then slid two fingers inside of her and began to thrust deeply as you sucked on her cl*t. Melissa had one hand still tangled in your hair and the other massaged her breasts and pinched her nipples as she continued to buck against you. You hooked your fingers slightly and knew you had found her G-spot based on the earth-shattering moan she let out. You continued to slide your fingers against it and then felt Melissa start to clench tightly around your fingers. “Ohhh! I’m cummin’. f*ck! Y/N! Yes!” she cried out as she climaxed. You watched in awe as you continued to gently pump your fingers inside of her and when Melissa opened her eyes to look at you, you saw there were tears. You pulled out gently and then moved up to be close to her. “sh*t, Mel! Did I hurt you? Are you okay? I’m so sorry” you said, completely panicked. “No, no. It’s not that” she replied quietly. “You just… no one has ever made me feel this connected and present and good in my body. I feel everythin’ you do and trust you and trust myself when I’m with you and it just feels so amazin’, babe. I… I never thought I’d find anythin’ like this. Anybody like you” she said as the tears continued to rain slowly down her cheeks. “Oh, Mel, baby. Come here” you said as you pulled her into your arms. Her tears were cold against your chest and you leaned down to softly kiss them off her cheeks. “I love… being with you. And making you feel good. And I feel the exact same way. I’ve never felt more like myself, more open to feeling this kind of joy. You mean everything to me” you said as you pulled her into a soft kiss. “You’re sleepin’ over, right?” she asked hopefully. “Of course, love. As long as you can loan me a shirt for work tomorrow” you laughed. “Yeah, I have somethin’ in mind” she teased as she closed her eyes and nestled her nose against your neck.

It was a perfect night. And you would fall asleep with a perfect woman in your arms. You never wanted to let go.

Notes:

Eeee! It’s October in Abbott land. I hope you enjoyed the start. I have the next two chapters mapped out and can’t wait to write and share them. We’ve got Janine and Jacob trying to hook OFC up with someone AND an Abbott Halloween to look forward to. Stay tuned and as always, thanks for reading. ❤️

Chapter 18: 1000 Times

Summary:

“Cause I would die to make you mine.
Bleed me dry each and every time.
I don't mind, no, I don't mind it,
I would come back a thousand times.

You can make me wait forever.
Push me away and tell me never.
I don't mind, no, I don't mind it.
I would come back a thousand times.”

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

The soft sound of Melissa’s alarm woke you early the next morning. She was spooning you and you could feel her rub her nose gently against your back as she slowly started to wake up. Melissa finally reached over and swatted at her phone, buying you a few more minutes in bed together. You turned to face her and kissed her on the nose, which made her smile. “I’m gonna hop in the shower. I’ll wake you up once I’m done” you said. She nodded sleepily and pulled your pillow up against her to hold in your absence. Ten minutes later you emerged to find an empty bed, a cup of coffee on the nightstand, and the shirt Melissa picked out for you hanging on the closet door. It was green v-neck sweater that you realized would definitely show much more cleavage than you were used to. You had your suspicions that Melissa knew this and chose the shirt deliberately. “Mornin’, hon” Melissa said as she came into the room in her white bathrobe with her coffee in hand. “Good morning” you said as you kissed her. “The sweater I picked out work okay?” she asked. You had just finished putting on your bra and you then lifted the sweater over your head and turned to face her. “You tell me” you teased. Melissa nearly choked on her coffee when she saw how the shirt hugged your hips and revealed your cleavage. “You look good enough to eat” she said as she set her coffee down on the dresser and walked slowly toward you. She kissed the top of your breasts and then gently sucked on your neck. Your head fell back instantly to invite her to continue before you saw the clock and realized what time it was. “Mel, baby. We’re gonna be late for school” you laughed. Melissa sighed in response and pulled back to look you in the eyes. “Fine, fine! But I think you should keep that sweater. You look incredible” Melissa said as she tucked a lock of wet hair behind your ear.

Melissa drove you to work that morning and the two of you decided that if you happened to bump into anyone in the parking lot, you’d just say your car was in the shop. You’d already had your coffee, but you and Melissa still made your way to the teacher’s lounge to check in with your friends before the start of the day. Barbara grabbed Melissa right away, eager to tell her about the classy seafood restaurant she and Gerald went to last night. Meanwhile you made your way over to say good morning to Janine, Jacob, and Gregory. “Hey, guys! Happy Friday!” you said with a smile. Janine and Jacob seemed especially thrilled that you had arrived. “Morning, Y/N! We have exciting news. We are all going out to the club tonight and we really want you to come with us!” Janine said, enthusiastic as always. “Yes! We all deserve to let loose a little after surviving the first month of school. Plus you vanished during the mixer, so you kind of owe us” Jacob added. “Just to be clear, I am only going for the hookah. I will not be dancing” Gregory said stoically. “Oh, wow. Yeah. Um, well, my car is in the shop and Melissa drove me in today so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make it” you replied, thankful that the lie you had concocted earlier was already being put to good use to avoid a social gathering. Then you heard Melissa chime in from behind you, “I can take ya, Y/N. Unless of course the invitation excludes the grownups” she laughed as she nudged Barbara. “What?! Oh my gosh. Melissa and Barb we would LOVE if you joined us. That would be so much fun” Janine replied, barely able to contain herself. “Well, I did just have my hair and nails done. It would be a shame to waste all this on a quiet night on the couch with a book” Barbara said with a grin. “Send me the address and we’ll meet ya there” Melissa said. It all happened so fast you felt like you were still catching up by the time the plans had been solidified. Tonight you and Melissa would go out to the club with your Abbott colleagues and you’d have to pretend you weren’t head over heels for her for hours on end and watch her dance and not touch her. This was going to be absolute torture.

The school day flew by and you were beyond nervous for the night ahead. Melissa drove you back to her place to collect your car and she said she’d pick you up in a few hours and you’d head to the club together as promised. You showered, poured yourself a glass of wine, and then stared at your closet for the next hour trying to figure out what to wear. You didn’t typically wear dresses, but you also didn’t typically find yourself out at a club with your secret love. Even though you and Melissa would have to keep your hands to yourselves tonight, you figured you could still give her something nice to look at. You found a short red dress in the back of your closet and were thrilled to see that it still fit. You pulled your hair up, put on a pair of earrings and your favorite necklace, and then put on the only pair of heels you owned. Melissa might not even recognize you at this point! A short while later you heard a knock on your apartment door. You opened it to find Melissa in a tight black dress that accentuated every curve and wearing a pair of strappy black heels. Her hair was curled and pulled back, except for the perfect curl of her bangs that always sat softly across her forehead. She was absolutely breathtaking. You were so busy staring at her that you completely missed the way she was looking back at you. “Holy sh*t, hon! You always look amazin’, but this… wow! You look so beautiful, babe” Melissa said in awe. You felt the redness rush to your cheeks before you took her hand and pulled her into the apartment, closed the door, and pressed her against it, crashing your lips against hers passionately. Melissa moaned and you pulled back slowly to catch your breath and to look at her again. “Oh, yeah? What was that for?” she asked jokingly. “Because you look stunning. And because I won’t be able to do that for the rest of the night” you replied.

By the time you arrived at the club, the Abbott crew was already seated at a table and enjoying their drinks. Gregory and Janine sat close together talking and you saw that Jacob had brought his boyfriend, Zach, who you were excited to finally meet. When Barbara saw the two of you she marched right over and grabbed Melissa by the arm abruptly and led her straight to the bar. You made your way over to the table to greet everyone and set down your purse. “Y/N! You made it! Yay! This is so exciting. Gregory, can you grab her drink? What’ll you have, Y/N?” Janine asked. “Oh, umm. I’ll take a margarita! Thanks, Gregory” you said. As Gregory left the table Jacob and Janine grabbed you by the hands and pulled you down between them quickly. “What the heck, guys?” you asked incredulously. “Well, first of all, Zach, Y/N, Y/N, Zach” Jacob said. “Hi” you said to Zach, still very confused as to what was going on. “Nice to meet you, Y/N. And for the record, I had NOTHING to do with this” Zach responded. “Nothing to do with what?” you asked as you searched your friends for answers. “Well, Janine and I have this AMAZING single friend named Tess and we’ve been telling her all about you and she seemed very interested. So, we invited her out to meet you tonight” said Jacob. “We know you’re single and just think you’re the best and deserve to meet someone special. It kind of seemed like the perfect plan” Janine added, prematurely congratulating herself on her matchmaking efforts. “Wait… you guys invited someone to set me up with?” you asked, hoping you had somehow misunderstood. “Exactly! And I think I see her over at the bar now. She’s the tall blonde! So, get ready! We think you two are really going to hit it off” Janine replied. You looked over toward the bar and saw Barbara and Melissa having what looked like a very intense conversation. And directly next to Melissa was a tall blonde woman in a short blue dress. You realized that Barbara must have heard about the plan and grabbed Melissa as quickly as possible to give her the heads up. You were so busy staring at Melissa that you completely missed that Tess had crossed the room and was standing right in front of you. “Hi, I’m Tess! You must be Y/N. Jacob and Janine have told me so much about you” she smiled. Tess was beautiful, there wasn’t any point in pretending that wasn’t true. But she wasn’t Melissa. You didn’t know what to do or what to say. And you really wished Gregory would hurry back with that damn drink! “Hi. Yes. I’m Y/N. That’s me. You’re Tess. That’s you. Awesome. Yeah. Great to meet you” you finally responded. Tess sat down next to you and put her drink on the table before she turned to quickly say hello to Jacob and Zach. You looked back up at the bar and saw Melissa’s eyes on you. She and Barb had finally collected their drinks and were heading back to the table with Gregory close behind them. Gregory handed you your drink and sat back down next to Janine while Melissa and Barbara sat directly across the table from you. Melissa looked upset, but you hoped she realized you had absolutely no idea this was going to happen and that you were not the least bit interested in the tall blonde beside you. Everyone made small talk and enjoyed their drinks while the music played in the background, but Melissa never took her eyes off you. You couldn’t blame Tess for Janine and Jacob trying to set the two of you up, so you did your best to be polite and kind as you answered her questions and asked her a few yourself. You were friendly, but not flirtatious at any point, and you hoped she could tell the difference.

After a few drinks everyone decided it was time to get up and dance. Janine had to drag Gregory onto the dance floor while Jacob and Zach practically skipped over hand-in-hand. Melissa and Barb said they would stay at the table to watch everyone’s bags and drinks. And even though you had only stood up to make your way to the restroom, Tess misunderstood, took you by the hand, and led you over to the dance floor. You turned to look back at Melissa as Tess pulled you away and you could see a thousand different emotions on her face. She was upset. She was jealous. She was pissed at Janine and Jacob. She was embarrassed that her best friend and the only person who knew about the two of you had to watch this whole night unfold. And she doubted that she could compete with some tall, gorgeous, twenty-something blonde. She looked completely miserable. You couldn’t let this go on for a second longer. Once you reached the dance floor Tess put her arms around your neck and pulled you close. You were completely shocked and put your hands up as you tried to step back and away from her. It was too late. You saw Melissa walk swiftly out of the club and you knew you had to go after her immediately. “Look, Tess. You seem really nice, but Jacob and Janine were wrong. I’m not single and I’m really sorry, but I have to go now” you said as you ran toward the exit.

Melissa had just reached her car when she heard you shout her name and turned to face you. “Mel, wait. Please” you said, breathless. “Look, kid, go back inside and have fun. She’s hot and young and obviously into you. It’s not like we’re in a relationship or anythin’. I say go for it” she said, self-doubt and pain laced in every word. And as much as you knew she was speaking from a place of hurt, insecurity, and embarrassment, what she said hurt your feelings and you weren’t going to let it slide this time. Because you were never going to lie to her again. “You know what, Mel? You don’t get to call me “kid” whenever you feel insecure about us. I’m not a child. I’m a woman who wants to be with you. And whether or not we’ve discussed it or made it official or told anyone else is irrelevant. We are together. This IS a relationship. You matter to me. I love you. And nothing is going to change that. Not some blonde. Not our age difference. Not stupid f*cking Gary. Not what any of our friends think. Nothing. I am in love with you, Melissa Schemmenti. Please don’t shut down or shut me out because you’re scared. You’re all that I want in this life” you said with all your heart. Melissa stared back at you as tears filled her eyes. You took a step toward her, wanting nothing more than to hold her in your arms, but it was her turn to speak. Or to move. Or to run. You wouldn’t take that away from her. “You love me?” she asked, as if she couldn’t imagine it was truly possible. “I do. I love you, Mel. More than anything. Please let me” you pleaded. Melissa moved toward you, wrapped her arms around your neck, and pressed her forehead against yours. “I love you, too, Y/N. So much. And I wanna be with you. I’m ready to tell everyone. I dunno what I’ve been so afraid of. You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I’d be crazy to keep that a secret for a second longer” Melissa said before she moved her hand to the back of your neck and pulled you into a passionate kiss. You were both teary-eyed and overwhelmed when your lips parted. You pulled Melissa into a tight embrace and held her head gently against your chest. “Mel?” you asked softly. “Yeah, hon?” she replied. “Can we get out of here?” you asked. “Yes, please” she laughed.

Like so many nights before this one, you fell asleep wrapped in each other’s arms. But tonight was different. Tonight Melissa Schemmenti fell asleep knowing she was loved, deeply and truly and unconditionally. And you fell asleep knowing the same. It was as simple and magical as that.

Notes:

🥹 I hope the “I love you’s” were worth the wait. Now it’s time for these two to shout it from the rooftops. And then start planning their couples Halloween costumes, of course. 😊

Chapter 19: Sarasvati

Summary:

“I want every piece of me to crash into every piece of you.
I swear to god that's how they make stars.”

“Sarasvati” - Mary Lambert

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

When you woke up in Melissa’s bed that Saturday morning you were alone, but you could hear the faint sound of the oven door closing and a pan being placed on the stovetop. And you heard something else that made your heart skip a beat: the sound of Melissa singing. You couldn’t quite make out the tune from down the hall, so you threw on one of her Eagles t-shirts and slowly made your way toward the kitchen. You should have known it would be a Billy Joel song! She quietly hummed and sang along to “She’s Got a Way” and you felt your heart melt. Melissa was in full chef-mode as she cracked and whisked the eggs, checked on the bacon, and grabbed mugs for the coffee. She hadn’t noticed you as she turned to pour the eggs into the pan, so you quietly walked up behind her and then gently wrapped your arms around her waist from behind. Melissa leaned back against your body and rested her head on your shoulder as the two of you swayed along to the music playing on the record player. “Good morning” you said as you kissed her softly on the cheek. You could still feel her humming along to the music as she turned her head slightly to kiss you back. “Mornin’, hon” she replied sweetly. “You’re going all out for breakfast this morning, huh?” you asked as you watched her stir the eggs. “Well, we worked up quite an appetite last night. And I’m just tryin’ to impress my new girlfriend,” she said, unable to hide her smile. You felt your own smile widen and warmth fill and color your cheeks as you brushed her ponytail to the side and placed soft kisses along the back of her neck. “God, I’ve waited so long to hear you say that word,” you sighed against her. “Me, too, babe. Me, too! Now go sit down and drink your coffee so I can finish up and feed ya already” she said as she turned and playfully slapped your ass. “Yes, mam” you laughed. As you sat down at her kitchen table and took your first sip of hot coffee, you thought back to last night after you and Mel made it back from the club. And what an incredible night it had been…

The two of you held hands as you walked up her front porch and you felt the butterflies in your stomach go wild. You and Melissa had already been intimate several times before and while it was always passionate, exciting, mind-blowing, and insanely hot, somehow you felt like things would be different tonight. You told her that you were in love with her. And she told you the same. It occurred to you as you watched her unlock the front door that you had never been in love before. Not like this. And by extension, you’d never had sex with someone you loved. It had to be different, right? Feel different? Well, you were about to find out. Melissa reached back for your hand as she pushed the door open and guided you inside. Everything felt like it was moving in slow motion. When you finally made it back to her bedroom you could tell you weren’t the only one feeling a little nervous. After you had both removed your heels, you met back in the middle of the room and pressed your bodies close together. You rested your forehead against Melissa’s as you tried to calm your nerves. “Mel?” you asked. “Yeah, hon?” she replied with her eyes closed and her mouth barely an inch away from yours. “I am so in love with you” you said as you closed your own eyes and tried to steady yourself. “I’m in love with you, too, Y/N” Melissa said as she tilted your chin upward. Then you leaned in and passionately pressed your lips against Melissa’s. As her tongue licked your lower lip and coaxed your mouth open, you felt her reach for the zipper of your short red dress and slowly pull it down. Then she gently tugged on the straps and let the dress slide down your body and onto the floor. When she saw your black lingerie she looked absolutely ravenous. You stared back at her with just as much hunger and desire as you found the zipper on the side of her tight black dress and pulled it down. You could barely catch your breath as Melissa shimmied out of it and revealed her red lacy bra and underwear. “You look so amazing, baby” you said as you stepped toward her and took her full, soft breasts in your hands. As you rubbed her hard nipples through the lacy fabric, you felt her reach for your hips as she pulled you in closer and then grabbed onto your ass. You leaned down slightly to suck on her chest as you slowly reached behind her back to unhook her bra. When it came loose you tugged the straps off her arms and flung the bra to the bedroom floor. Melissa quickly followed suit as she sucked on your neck and then reached to unhook your bra as well. Then she got down on her knees in front of you and looked up into your eyes as she dragged your underwear down your legs. You expected her to stand back up so you could remove her underwear as well and even the playing field. Instead, she placed both of her hands on your hips and pulled your center toward her mouth. You felt her tongue wet and warm against your puss* and you gasped at the contact. She started by teasing your entrance with her tongue before she moved slowly up to drag lazy circles across your cl*t. You instinctively reached for her hair and gave a soft tug, pulling her mouth tighter against your dripping wet center. “Mmmm. Yes, Mel. God, that feels amazing, babe” you said as you tightened your grip on her hair. You couldn’t believe how quickly you were approaching the edge. Your cl*t was throbbing and you knew just another few seconds of her tongue pressed against you would have you completely unraveled. You closed your eyes, let your head start to lean back, and felt a trembling in your legs when Melissa suddenly pulled away and stood up to face you. “Wh… Mel? I was so close! Why did you stop?” you asked as you pushed through dizzy breaths. “I know, baby. Now, I want you to do the same thing to me” she said seductively. You stared back at her in confusion for a moment before she walked over to lie down on the bed, removed her underwear, and spread her legs wide open. It was the most intoxicating invitation you’d ever seen. You climbed on the bed and instantly leaned down, pulled Melissa’s legs over your shoulders, and then began to suck on her cl*t. Melissa moaned as she felt your lips and tongue tease and taste and savor her cl*t and the wetness pooling down by her entrance. “Yeah, Y/N! Just like that, baby. Mmmmm. You f*ck me so good, hon” Melissa moaned as she thrusted her hips against your mouth. “Mmmm” you moaned back from between her thighs. The way she talked to you in bed turned you on so much. But you had to focus. Your girlfriend told you to bring her close to the edge, but stop before she could finish, and that was going to take a lot of attention and restraint on your part. As you continued to lick and suck on her cl*t and folds, you could feel her legs start to slowly tighten around your neck. You knew she was close, but had to time it just right. Melissa started to pant and buck her hips more chaotically and that’s when you knew it was time to pull back. Melissa opened her eyes slowly and licked her lips as she stared back at you. She looked like f*cking Aphrodite. “Now what, boss?” you said teasingly as you stared back at her. “C’mere. I’ll show ya” she said as she pulled you down next to her on the bed. Your breasts were pressed together and your legs automatically intertwined like vines that couldn’t bear to part. Melissa started to kiss you deeply and sensually and the sensation of her lips, breasts, and legs all pressed against you made you dizzy with desire and arousal. Then you felt Melissa pull your hand down to her wet core as she guided you to shove two fingers inside her. She moaned deeply as you entered her and at last you realized what she wanted. While you pumped slowly and deliberately with one hand, your other took Melissa’s hand and guided it down to your own throbbing puss* and invited her to push her fingers roughly into your entrance. You stared into each other’s eyes with your mouths open and panting and moaning. Melissa’s sounds of pleasure and the bucking of her hips told you to keep thrusting deep and hard, just as your own grinding and pushing against her hand encouraged Melissa to keep pumping in her steady rhythm within you. The pacing increased for both of you and became more and more frenetic as each of you got closer and closer to the edge you had denied one another previously. “Baby! f*ck. I’m there. Cum with me. Oh, god! Cum with me please” Melissa shouted loudly. And her words were enough to push you completely over the edge right alongside her. “f*ck! I’m cumming. Mel! Oh! Oh, yes!” you screamed as you came all over her hand. Her head was tilted back and her body was clenched tightly around your fingers as you felt her juices leak down and onto your hand. After gently pumping inside each other to help ride out the org*sms, you both slowly pulled out your fingers and then enveloped one another in a tight embrace. “That was really f*cking intense, Mel” you said as you pressed soft kisses across her chest. “Mmm. For me, too, hon. Sometimes puttin’ it off and then turnin’ it back on again really gets me hot” Melissa replied, still deep in her post-org*sm haze. She kissed you on the forehead and then said, “io ti amo, mio caro.” You smiled against her and replied, “sei il mio tutto.” Melissa laughed and said “Should I be jealous of you and Duolingo?!” You laughed back and replied, “things are getting pretty serious. We practice together every night.” Melissa gave your ass a gentle tap and then pulled you in for one final kiss before she turned out the lights.

The sound of Melissa setting your plate down in front of you snapped you back into the present moment and you looked up at her with a bright smile. “Thanks for breakfast, babe. This looks delicious” you said. “Eat up, hon! You’re gonna need your strength today” Melissa replied mysteriously. “Oh, really? Why’s that?” you teased, assuming she planned to take you back to bed immediately after breakfast for a steamy Saturday morning. “Because we only have two weeks to get our Halloween costumes ready! We’re goin’ shoppin’!” she replied enthusiastically. “Oh my God! I know EXACTLY who we should be” you exclaimed as you took a bite of bacon. And Melissa laughed when she realized she may have found herself in a relationship with someone who loved Halloween even more than she did.

Notes:

“io ti amo mio caro” - I love you, my darling.

“sei il mio tutto” - You are my everything.

:)

Almost time for an Abbott Elementary Halloween! And of course a grown-up Halloween party, where I solemnly swear that Melissa and OFC will FINALLY be able to dance together at long last! Any guesses on their Halloween costumes? ☺️

Chapter 20: What’s Inside

Summary:

Melissa is ready to tell the Abbott crew about your relationship at long last. What a terribly inconvenient time for your deepest insecurities to bubble to the surface! You just have to trust that it’ll all work out in the end…

Notes:

2,000 HITS?! 🥹

You all are the best. Thank you so much for reading this and for all the support and encouragement.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

As you waited in Melissa’s driveway that Monday morning to pick her up for work, you suddenly realized how nervous you were to tell your Abbott friends about your relationship. You watched Melissa wave at you as she made her way down the porch steps and it dawned on you how adored she was at school by the teachers, students, parents, everyone really. Melissa had been a staple of the Abbott community for a long time and was loved and respected by those around her. And who were you? Just a thirty-something, new third grade teacher who no one really knew anything about. That bit was entirely your fault, of course, since you were about as open to sharing as a prisoner of war. You knew that keeping people at a distance had kept you safe in the past, but it occurred to you now that you had not made enough of an effort to truly become part of the Abbott community. You hadn’t really given anyone a fair chance to know you for who you really were. When Melissa had expressed her insecurity about your age difference and what people might think, you were easily able to assuage her fears. Maybe if you talked things over with Mel, she would be able to ease your nerves before the big reveal. “Mornin’, hon” she smiled as she leaned over to kiss your cheek. “Good morning, love” you replied as she buckled her seatbelt and took a sip of her coffee. You spent most of the drive to school talking about how the weekend Halloween shopping went. “You really think we can pull this off, babe?” Melissa asked. “I KNOW we can. You’re going to look so insanely hot. I don’t know how I’ll be able to keep my hands off you” you replied with a smile. “Sounds like maybe you’ve been thinkin’ about me in the costume” she laughed. “In the costume. Out of the costume. And more than just thinking about it” you winked. Melissa softly swatted at your arm and then turned away to hide the blush on her cheeks. When you parked in the school lot you felt yourself take a deep breath before you turned to face Melissa. “Hey, babe?” you asked. “Yeah?” she responded. “Umm… are you sure you want to tell everyone about us today? I don’t want you to feel pressured to do anything before you’re ready” you said. “I’m ready, hon. Honest. Sounds like maybe you’re the one gettin’ cold feet” she said with a hint of worry in her voice. “It’s not that… it’s just… these people LOVE you. You mean so much to everyone at this school and I’m just… me. Nobody really knows me. I’m not even sure anyone actually likes me. Maybe they’ve just been nice because you treated me kindly? What if they think I’m not good enough for you? What if they’re right?” you said, lost in a sea of your own insecurities. Melissa studied you for a second before she placed her hand on your knee. “Listen, hon. I love you. I’m proud to be with you. And I want the people I care about to know about it. I promise you got nothin’ to worry about. I think everybody’s gonna be real excited about it. Especially once they see our costumes at the party!” Melissa said as she pulled you into a reassuring hug. And even though you still had your doubts, you decided to trust that Melissa had a plan and knew what she was doing. You walked into the school building holding hands and you braced yourself for all the looks, questions, and possible judgments to come.

Melissa led you by the hand to the teacher’s lounge and when she pushed the door open she walked right over to the table where Janine and Jacob sat grading papers. “Listen up, half-pint and Curly Sue. I didn’t appreciate you tryin’ to set up my girlfriend with that Charlize Theron wannabe on Friday night” she said with all the bravado she could muster. Janine and Jacob stared back at Melissa and then over to you with equally shocked expressions. You were mortified. “Oh my gosh, Ms. Schemmenti! We are so sorry! We had no idea you two were dating or we never would have done that! Although, now that I think about it, you two are ALWAYS together and BOTH vanished during the mixer AND at the club… wow. It was really pretty obvious, huh?” Janine apologized as she slowly pieced everything together out loud. Jacob just sat there, flabbergasted. “Wow, yeah. Sorry, Melissa. And sorry to you, too, Y/N. Tess just really wanted to meet you and we thought you were single so…” Jacob said, clearly intimidated by Melissa. “Yeah, well, tell ‘Mess’ to keep her dirty mitts off my girl, ya hear?” Melissa threatened. You could tell Jacob was fighting back the urge to say ‘it’s actually pronounced Tess,’ but he caught a death glare from Melissa and thought better of it. Jacob and Janine nodded vigorously in response and Melissa led you out of the lounge and down to her classroom. She closed the door behind you and laughed as she made her way over to drop her things on her desk. You just stood there and stared at her, still completely shocked by what just happened. Melissa turned back to look at you and saw the look on your face. “What’s wrong, hon?” she asked. “Mel… what the hell was that back there?” you asked, still in a state of disbelief. “Whaddya mean? I told ‘em we’re together. And to keep their matchmaking crap to themselves from now on. Wasn’t that the plan?” she replied, confused by your reaction. “I thought the plan was to tell our friends that we were dating. Not to admonish them for trying to do something kind. sh*t, Mel. They had no way of knowing we were together. Why did you lay into them like that? Where does this Mr. Tough Guy crap come from? I don’t understand” you said as you barely held back your tears of frustration and confusion. Melissa stared back at you with hurt in her eyes. “Look, it’s just part of who I am, okay? I am who I am. And everybody else around here knows you don’t mess with me” Melissa replied stubbornly. You could feel her putting on her armor with you for the first time and it scared you because you knew so little about it. “But why? What are you protecting? What are you afraid of? Please, Mel. I want to understand so I know how to meet you in these moments. So I know how to help or how to give you what you need. You’re just always so… soft and gentle with me” you said. Melissa turned her eyes to the floor for a moment before she walked over to her desk and sat down in her chair. Then she stared back at you with an unreadable expression on her face. She looked numb. You took a step in her direction just as the first bell of the day rang and the hallways filled with the sounds of children. You didn’t want to leave things like this, but you had to get to your classroom to greet your students. “Mel, I… I’m sorry. I’m just trying to understand. Because I love you. Will you come to my room for lunch? Please?” you asked. Melissa didn’t respond to you, but she did look up and smile when her first student arrived and wished her a good morning. You slowly walked out of her room and toward your own. How did things go so wrong so quickly? And what hurt was Melissa hiding beneath all that armor?

You tried your best to focus on teaching your Science lesson on the lifecycle of pumpkins that morning, but you were distracted and the kids could tell. You decided to occupy them with some sensory fun instead, inviting them to pull the seeds and pulp from several pumpkins you’d brought in to share late last week. Your students loved any chance to get messy and they even decided to set the seeds aside to be washed so you could bake them at home and bring them back for a class snack later this week. When the lunch bell rang you waited in your room for ten minutes, hoping Melissa would be ready and willing to talk. But she never came. You walked by the teacher’s lounge and saw Melissa and Barbara sitting together as they ate their salads. Melissa didn’t see you, but Barbara did. You walked back to your classroom with a sick and worried feeling in the pit of your stomach. She must really be pissed at you. After Math and Social Studies you had a free period when your students went to Music class. You heard a quiet knock on the door and nearly gave yourself whiplash as you looked up hoping to see Melissa’s face. But it was Barbara. “May I come in, dear?” she asked sweetly. “Of course, Mrs. Howard” you replied. She walked over to your desk and pulled up a chair next to you. “Is everything alright? Melissa didn’t seem quite like herself at lunch and you not being there with us seems to indicate some type of rift?” she asked tactfully. You let out a defeated sigh before you responded: “She just gets so abrasive with people sometimes out of nowhere. It’s like she puts on this armor and I suddenly don’t recognize her anymore. It doesn’t make sense to me. She’s never like that with me. I just don’t understand” you replied. “Y/N, I’m going to share a little piece of advice with you that Ava Coleman once shared with me” Barbara said. “Ava Coleman?! As in, our principal Ava Coleman?” you asked, utterly shocked. “One and the same, dear. You say you don’t understand why Melissa puts on this armor and acts tough with people sometimes? Let me ask you this: do you need to?” Barbara asked. You sat there quietly for a moment as you processed her question. Then she continued: “Melissa is a strong, fierce, and independent woman. She’s had to protect herself from a lot in this life. But if you love her, if you truly love her, you’ll let yourself love and appreciate this part of her, even if you don’t fully understand it yet. And trust that when she’s ready, she’ll come to you.” Barbara reached over to pat your hand as she stood up and walked out of your classroom. And you knew what you had to do.

When the final bell of the day rang you calmly made your way to Melissa’s room. She was sitting at her desk with her glasses on when she looked up and saw you and sat back in her chair. You walked over to her desk, sat down on top of it, and then reached for her lanyard and tugged on it, pulling her in close to you. She stood between your legs with a look of hesitation and confusion. You slowly reached for her glasses and gently took them off and set them down on the desk. Then you looked into her eyes. “I love you, Melissa Schemmenti. I love all of you. Everything about you. Even this one small bit that I don’t fully understand yet. You are the most incredible woman I have ever met. I’m so sorry if I made you feel like you had to apologize or explain this part of yourself. If you ever want to tell me more about it, I’ll be here. Ready to listen. I’m not going anywhere. And I don’t need to know why in order to love you. I just want to know you and love you as fully as I can. I’m here, baby” you said as you stared deeply into her eyes, hoping she would accept your apology and see how much she meant to you. Melissa fought back tears as she placed her hands on your cheeks and leaned in to tenderly kiss your lips. You both let out a sigh of relief as your lips parted and then you pulled her into a tight hug. Melissa ran her fingers through your hair as you rested your head on her shoulder. “Thank you,” she said as she placed a soft kiss on your forehead.

Every thing about Melissa Schemmenti was the best thing.

And you knew this from the first day you met her.

How lucky were you that there were still so many new things to learn about her?

Notes:

Halloween chapter is up next! Any more guesses on their costumes??? 😏

Chapter 21: Crimson & Clover

Summary:

“My, my, such a sweet thing.
I wanna do everything.
What a beautiful feelin'.
Crimson and clover.
Over and over.”
♦️☘️

Notes:

Oh my gosh. It’s so long. 😂 I couldn't stop myself. I have been looking forward to writing this chapter since I first had the idea for this fic. So. Y’know. No regrets. I hope you enjoy it. Let me know what you think!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

It always felt like some kind of miracle when Halloween fell on a Friday. Especially for teachers. It meant that you could actually take a break from teaching for a day and let the kids just enjoy themselves as they went trick-or-treating around the school, visited the haunted house in the library, and danced to The Monster Mash over in the gym. You couldn’t get over how adorable they all looked in their costumes. In your classroom alone there were two Spider-Mans, several Disney princesses, and your student, Thaddeus, dressed up as a chocolate chip cookie because you always told him what a smart cookie he was! The kids were having a blast and everyone was in good spirits.

You and Melissa had driven to work separately, both needing the extra time and sink space in your bathrooms to get Halloween ready. You’d gone shopping together, but neither of you had seen each other in full costume and you couldn’t wait to see how amazing Melissa looked. You hoped she’d like your costume, too! You were walking your students down the stairs after collecting candy from up on the second floor when you saw Melissa strutting down the hallway with her second graders close behind her. You felt your jaw drop open as you stared at her. Her long, beautiful red hair was down and curly and laid softly across the dark green cape that rested on her shoulders. She had small strands of ivy braided in with the curls, bright red lipstick on her lips, and light green eyeshadow above each eye with just a hint of glitter. Melissa wore a very short, strapless green dress covered in sequins, jewels, and ivy leaves that she had sewn on herself and she wore green fishnet tights beneath it. She completed the look with a pair of black pointed boots. There she was. The Poison Ivy to your Harley Quinn. You had never been more attracted to her. She looked absolutely breathtaking and sexier than ever. When you finally caught her eye, you could tell that she was equally impressed by your effort. Your hair was in pigtails, in true Harley Quinn fashion, and your dark red and black eye makeup made your eyes dark and mysterious. And of course you had purchased a small black heart temporary tattoo for your cheek. You wore a red leather corset top with black straps and silver buckles across the front and had sewn on black diamonds over each breast. You wore tight black leather pants with four red diamonds sewn into the leather up near your thigh and you completed the ensemble with a few different black belts, loose chains, and your black combat boots. You felt hot. And the look on Melissa’s face made you feel like she might pull you into a closet at any moment and have her way with you. Finally your classes passed in the hallway and the two of you just stopped for a moment to fully admire one another up close. “That’s a… really nice costume you have there, Ms. Schemmenti. You look like you have quite the green thumb” you said, barely able to maintain a professional facade. Melissa smiled back at you mischievously. “Your costume looks pretty great, too, Y/N. You look like you have a few tricks up your sleeve” Melissa teased as she laughed. Okay. This was kind of hot. And as fun as this little game of innuendos was, you were really looking forward to the Halloween party at Ava’s house tonight. She had invited the entire Abbott staff and said costumes (and one bottle of her favorite liquor) were required for entry! You couldn’t wait to drink and unwind and dance the night away with your gorgeous girlfriend. Melissa winked at you before she slowly turned to lead her class up to the second floor.

You had almost made it back to your classroom when you heard Janine shout your name and saw her wave you over. She was dressed as the character Susie from The Rugrats and looked completely adorable, but you could tell from the look on her face that something was going on. She invited your students into her classroom to play pin the nose on the skeleton before she pulled you aside. “Wow. Y/N. You and Ms. Schemmenti went all out on this couples costume. I mean, WOW! You both look so amazing. And. That’s why I need your help. Can I tell you something and you promise you won’t tell anyone?” she asked. “Of course, Janine. What’s up?” you replied. “Okay, so, last year at PECSA weekend, Gregory and I kissed. And it was… wonderful. But I felt like I needed more time to grow and focus on me. And I also just wasn’t sure if dating someone I worked with would be possible, so we decided to just move past it. But honestly, seeing you and Melissa together these last two weeks, seeing how happy you are, made me change my mind. I… I think I want to ask Gregory out at the party tonight. But I can’t do that dressed as a Rugrat. This is where you come in” she said. You had a huge smile on your face as you imagined the two of them finally admitting their feelings and being together at long last. You were also honored that you and Melissa being open about your own relationship made her feel like it would be possible in her own life. “Janine, I support you 100%. You’re great. Gregory’s like THE best guy. You two would be lovely together. How can I help?” you asked. “Well, after school today, could you and Melissa maybe help make me look… hot? Maybe do a last minute costume change so I can really wow him?” Janine begged. “Come to Melissa’s house after school. I think I may have an idea” you replied with a smile as Janine locked you in the tightest, most enthusiastic hug you’d ever received.

You and Janine arrived at Melissa’s house within a minute of each other that afternoon. You had a huge bag of costume options and another bag full of makeup and wigs. Janine had definitely asked the right couple for help. You walked up the porch together and you leaned in to knock on Melissa’s front door. You could hear Melissa’s footsteps as she made her way across the living room and heard her say “Thank god you’re finally here! I’ve been thinkin’ about touchin’ ya all day, baby” as she flung the door open. Your cheeks went beet red and Melissa looked completely shocked when she realized Janine was there with you. “Oh, um. Mel, babe, did you not see my text?” you asked. “…I did not… whoops!” she replied before she asked, “what’s this all about?” Janine stepped forward and offered a small wave. “Hi, Ms. Schemmenti! Y/N said you two could help make me look hot for Ava’s party tonight” Janine said. “What’s wrong with the dorky costume you already got on?” Melissa asked. “Well… it’s just that… tonight I was thinking of… um…” Janine struggled to say it out loud and looked over at you for help. “She wants to ask Gregory out tonight and wants to look smoking hot when she does it, Mel” you chimed in, eager to move things along. “Huh. You and Gregory? About damn time, Thumbelina” Melissa said with a smile as she invited you both in. “Okay. First things first, Janine, go to the spare room and take off that costume. I’ll bring you the bag of options in just a minute” you said as you set down the makeup and outfits. Melissa showed Janine to the spare room and then slowly walked back down the hall, shooting daggers in your direction. She was still wearing her costume, but had taken off the cape. She’d only planned to wear it during the day anyway since it covered most of her cleavage and made it a school appropriate costume. As she was now, her red curls swayed slowly across her pale, lightly freckled shoulders and you were completely mesmerized by how f*cking fantastic her perfect breasts looked in that tight green dress. “I’m mad at you” she said as she pouted her lips. “What? Why? I texted you first” you replied as you made your way over to her and placed your hands on her hips. “I wanted to fool around a little before the party. And now we’re stuck doin’ Extreme Makeover: Nerd Edition with the bambino. You look so good, hon. I don’t know how much longer I can keep my hands off ya” Melissa said as she licked her lips and leaned in to kiss you. “Mmmmmm” you moaned against her lips before you slowly pulled back. “What were you planning to do to me?” you asked teasingly, knowing she was already hot and bothered. “Well, I was thinkin’ I might start by…” “I’m ready, Y/N!” Janine shouted as she abruptly and unknowingly interrupted Melissa’s chance to share her fantasy with you. “Coming” you replied as you grabbed the bags. “Not yet you’re not. But you’re in for it later” Melissa said with a grin as she slapped your ass. Janine tried on pretty much everything you had, but saved the best for last. She came out into the living room to show you and Melissa the tight black leather outfit she had decided on. “This is the one! I’m like Niobe from The Matrix! Pew! Pew!” Janine said with a huge goofy smile as she blasted her imaginary finger guns. “Yes! I wore that a few years ago when I went as Trinity” you said enthusiastically, thrilled to see how great Janine looked and how excited she was. “Okay. I’m gonna run home and fix my hair and I’ll see you guys at the party soon. Thank you so much! I really appreciate it” Janine said through tears of joy. “Don’t forget the sunglasses” you called after her as she made her way out to her car. You closed the door and turned to find Melissa standing directly behind you. “Alone at last” she said with a hungry look in her eyes. Melissa pinned you against the door and started to kiss and suck on your neck. It felt so, so damn good. But you recently learned from Melissa that sometimes putting things off and then turning them back on again could feel pretty f*cking magical, too. You gently placed your hands on her shoulders and pushed her back slowly. She looked confused and frustrated with you. “Mel?” you asked. “Yeah, hon?” She replied as she tried to steady her breathing. “We have to go pick up the liquor before we head to the party. If we start fooling around now, we’ll never make it out the door. And I really, really want to show you off tonight. And spend time with our friends. And feel your body pressed against me when we dance. I promise when we get back, we can f*ck all night long. Deal?” you asked. Melissa crossed her arms and tilted her head to the side and sighed, “fine, fine, fine! Deal.” And you shook on it.

Ava’s house was practically vibrating by the time you and Melissa arrived. It was dark, loud, and exciting. And everyone was having a great time. You made your way to the kitchen to mix your drinks. Melissa asked you to make her a Negroni, which made you think back to the night when you first told her how you felt about her. You decided to make one for yourself as well. Melissa took a sip, let out a quiet moan, and said “it’s perfect, babe” before she pulled you into a soft kiss. That’s when you heard Ava’s voice behind you. “Damn, Y/N! Be careful now. Everybody knows that in addition to Chlorokinesis, Poison Ivy also secretes pheromones from her skin that makes mere mortals like us subservient to her every will.” You laughed and gave Ava a high five. “Wow, Coleman! Who knew you were a fellow comic book nerd! I’m impressed. Also, her pheromones infiltrated my system long ago. I’m subservient for life now” you said with a laugh. “That’s hot, girl” Ava said as she danced her way toward the living room. Melissa tapped you on the shoulder and pointed over to Jacob, Zach, and Gregory standing over in a corner. The two of you walked over to join the boys. Jacob and Zach were dressed as Woody and Buzz from Toy Story and Gregory was dressed as Urkel, complete with suspenders, high water pants, and huge glasses. Poor Janine had spent all afternoon trying to find the perfect sexy costume to surprise him with and here he was dressed as one of the biggest dorks in history. They really were perfect for each other. You heard the door open and Mrs. Howard glided in, dressed as Glinda from The Wizard of Oz. From the huge crown on head to her sparkling wings and bright pink dress, Barbara looked absolutely magical! She was joined by her husband Gerald who was dressed as the cowardly lion. Melissa ran over to greet them both at the door while you stayed back with the guys. Jacob was half way through his verbal dissertation about how each piece of Mr. Potato Head has its own distinct personality when you saw Janine walk in. “Holy sh*t! Is that Janine?!” you asked, pretending to be surprised. You saw Gregory’s jaw drop. “Hey everybody” Janine said with a huge smile as she approached. “Niobe, right?” Gregory asked as he pushed through Buzz and Woody and made his way over to Janine. “Yep! Was just feeling like I wanted some action tonight… wait. That came out wrong” Janine laughed awkwardly. “You look amazing, Janine! You two should go dance! Have fun! Mel and I will see you out there soon” you said with a grin. Gregory and Janine walked away together and you crossed your fingers that everything went the way Janine hoped it would.

A few minutes passed before Melissa made her way back over to you. “Wanna make us another round?” she asked. Her cheeks were rosy and a huge smile lit up her face. She was already tipsy and you couldn’t get over how completely adorable she was. “Sure thing, babe. Wait here. I’ll be right back” you said as you placed a soft kiss on the side of her neck. You returned with the drinks and then the two of you enjoyed talking with Barb, Gerald, Jacob, and Zach for a while. You looked over at one point and saw Janine and Gregory dancing close together. You caught Janine’s eye and she gave a subtle thumbs up. You were so happy for them! And with that, you’d had enough to drink and were ready to dance with your girlfriend. “Apologies everyone, but Poison Ivy is needed on the dance floor” you said as you reached for Melissa’s hand. “It’s just Ava’s living room, there’s no dance floor” Jacob shouted after you. “Unclench already, cowboy!” Melissa shouted back at him and you laughed. The living room was crowded with couples dancing and you pulled Melissa into your arms and held her close. She reached up to hang her arms over your shoulders as the two of you moved your bodies to the rhythm of the music. You slowly moved your hands from her hips to her ass and gave it a gentle squeeze as you pulled her body even closer. “You look so beautiful tonight, Mel. I honestly haven’t been able to take my eyes off of you” you said as you stared down at her. She tilted her chin up to meet your lips, but then stopped just shy of kissing you. “Tell me more” she said. You smiled as she turned her body around and pressed her back against your chest and her ass against your center. She leaned her head back on your shoulder and rocked her body back and forth against yours. You kept one hand on her hip as the other one brushed the hair away from her neck so you could whisper in her ear. “You look so damn sexy, baby. I can’t wait to take this dress off you and f*ck you senseless. I’m gonna make you cum over and over again” you said as you gently bit her earlobe. Melissa moaned in response and then turned back to face you, her eyes heavy with desire. “Take me home. Now” she said. And as always, when it came to Melissa, you did as you were told.

By the time you stumbled through Melissa’s front door the two of you were already soaking wet with anticipation. Melissa had rubbed her hand on your inner thigh the entire drive home and had been talking dirty to you. You couldn’t wait another second to have her. You made it back to her room and Melissa quickly stripped you of your boots, tight leather pants, and your black thong. “Leave this on for me?” she asked as her hand brushed across your corset. “Mhmm” you replied as you realized she probably liked the way it made your breasts look. Then you slowly unzipped her tight green dress and placed wet kisses all over her breasts as you helped her shimmy out of it. Now she was just in her dark green bra and fishnet tights. You were practically drooling. You slowly pulled the tights down and kissed your way down her legs as you pulled them off. “Can I please f*ck you now?” you asked, desperate to make her feel good. “Mmm. Yeah, babe. f*ck me senseless, just like you promised” she replied as she pulled you both down on the bed. You kissed Melissa slowly and deeply as you reached behind her to unclasp her bra and then swiftly buried your face in her full, supple breasts. You squeezed them gently with your hands and then took turns licking and flicking and sucking on each nipple. “Mmm. Y/N! Yes! I love when you suck on my tit*” she moaned as she pulled you in tightly against her. Then you worked your way down her body, leaving small love marks all over her torso and by her hips. When you finally put your tongue in her puss* you felt like you might explode from how badly you wanted her and how good she tasted. She was already so wet and ready for you that you only spent a few minutes sucking on her folds and flicking her cl*t with your tongue. Melissa made the most heavenly sounds beneath you as your tongue teased her and turned her on, and then she begged you for what she wanted next. “Get the strap-on, baby. Please. Oh. Please! I want you to f*ck me so hard” Melissa panted. You moved quickly to her bedside drawer and pulled out the strap-on and attached the harness to your body. You could have grabbed some lube, but decided that a little more teasing would be all the lubrication Mel would need. You crawled back onto the bed and slid the strap on slowly on top of Melissa’s wet core, spreading the wetness all over the dild* and teasing her cl*t as you rubbed it firmly against her. Melissa massaged her breasts and gasped at the sensation before you quickly maneuvered the strap-on down to her entrance and easily slid inside her. Melissa’s hips bucked up against you as you began to f*ck her and she instantly grabbed your ass to keep you as deep and as close as she possibly could. You moved your hips fast and hard against her in a steady rhythm and listened closely to the sounds of her moans and breathing to give her more of whatever she liked best. “Yes! Yes! Oh, f*ck, yes! Y/N! Baby. Just like that. Don’t stop! Don’t ever stop! God I’m gonna cum so hard for you, baby. Mmmm! Ahhh! Yesss!” Melissa’s entire body began to shake and she held her breath for what felt like an eternity before she screamed out your name one last time and came just as hard as she said she would. You watched her in complete awe as you continued to slowly and gently pump into her as she rode out her high. Finally you gently pulled out and laid back on the mattress, exhausted, but incredibly proud of yourself for what you just did to your girlfriend. Once her breathing was back to normal, Melissa rolled over and started to kiss you passionately while she simultaneously unbuckled the harness from your body. Her kisses made you absolutely weak and you were so excited that you actually started to feel dizzy. Melissa threw the harness and dild* off the bed and then slowly leaned up and whispered in your ear, “I want you to sit on my face, baby” she said. You had imagined this very scenario many times, but were always too shy to ask. You smiled brightly at Melissa and then waited while she laid flat on her back and moved closer to the head of the bed before you gently straddled her head and then lowered yourself down onto her waiting mouth. When you felt her tongue slide up your puss* you were beyond thankful that you had the headboard to support you because you nearly fainted. Melissa started by licking and sucking on your cl*t. She knew exactly how you liked it at this point, slow, but with firm pressure. You felt your hips rock slowly back and forth against her mouth and both of you moaned at how good the other one felt as you pressed against each other. Then you felt her move her tongue down toward your entrance and slowly slide it inside of you. “Mel! Oh, Mel! That feels… so f*cking good, babe. Yes! That’s the spot. f*ck. Yes, Mel! Yes!” you said as you continued to ride her tongue. You felt yourself on the verge of coming completely undone and with one final thrust of her tongue you screamed out her name and came hard in Melissa’s mouth. You tried to catch your breath as you rested your head against your arms up on the headboard. Melissa was still gently licking up your juices and helping you come down from your climax. When you finally laid back down next to her you felt like you were waking up from the most perfect dream. You were both completely exhausted and spent from the night’s exertion, but you weren’t ready to go to sleep. You didn’t want the night to end yet. “Hey, Mel?” you asked “Mhmm?” she replied as she cuddled up against you. “Wanna order a pizza and watch a scary movie on the couch?” you asked. “Mmm. That sounds amazin’, hon” she replied as she tilted her head up and pulled you down into one last sensual kiss.

After spending the day in tight dresses and leather, you were both thrilled to put on oversized cotton t-shirts and sweatpants as you snuggled up on the couch with pizza and whichever one of the Scream films was on loop at the moment. Even though it was your idea, you actually hated scary movies. But it was the perfect excuse to snuggle even closer to Melissa as you hid your eyes every time the music turned suddenly intense. The two of you eventually fell asleep tangled and intertwined on Melissa’s couch and that night you dreamed that you were wrapped together in a thick bed of ivy with the sun above you keeping you warm.

Notes:

😘

Would love to connect with more people from this fandom over on tumblr. I’m earpivore there, too! ❤️

Chapter 22: The Joke

Summary:

Another month of school had come and gone. Parent conferences were on the horizon and you and Jacob were so excited to finally hold the first official GSA Club meeting. Well, that was the plan, anyway…

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“They can kick dirt in your face. Dress you down and tell you that your place is in the middle, when they hate the way you shine.
I see you tugging on your shirt.
Trying to hide inside of it,
And hide how much it hurts.
The Joke - Brandi Carlile

Notes:

This is a heavy-ish chapter, friends. But one I really felt like I needed to write. Especially with all the anti-LGBTQ+ bills we are constantly being bombarded with. And considering how teachers are being policed in this current political climate.

TW: LGBTQ+ Suicide Rate Statistics, Mention of past suicidal thoughts, hom*ophobia

Please skip if it hurts.
I love you and see you and understand. ❤️

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

You couldn’t believe October had already come and gone and that Parent/Teacher conferences were just a few days away. You felt confident as you compiled your student assessments and prepared meeting notes. Most of your students were on track with the district’s standards of learning and the few that were behind would easily catch up with some after school tutoring and additional support at school and at home. The only meeting you were slightly nervous about was for a student named Marcus. You remembered when you read his file at the beginning of the year and all the helpful notes Melissa had written about how to identify his triggers and ways to help him de-escalate. The two of you had a good relationship overall, but Marcus could be very impulsive and quick to anger and there had definitely been a few big outbursts over the last two months. You had tried to schedule parent meetings multiple times to discuss the behaviors and come up with a plan to help him be successful at school, but his father always cancelled at the last minute. Ava spoke with him at pick-up one day on your behalf to let him know this fall conference would be mandatory in order for Marcus to remain enrolled at Abbott. It was extreme, but necessary, as some of the behaviors were becoming more disruptive and violent. You felt like once you had a chance to speak to his father directly that the two of you would be able to work together and find a way to support Marcus.

In the midst of the assessments, conference prep, and the five hundred other things teachers do in a day, you and Jacob finally had received permission to establish the GSA Club at Abbott. All the paperwork had been submitted and the first meeting was scheduled for this afternoon. Jacob ordered an assortment of “Safe Space” rainbow stickers to hand out to the teachers at Abbott and explained the purpose and benefits of having a club like this at school. Most of the teachers accepted the stickers and were kind and responsive, but so far only you, Jacob, Janine, and Gregory had placed them on the window of your classroom doors. It didn’t surprise you that Barbara and Melissa didn’t display their stickers. You knew Barbara was a fierce ally and support system to everyone in her orbit, friends, teachers, and students alike. She didn’t need the sticker. Everyone already knew exactly who she was and that they could count on her. The same could also be said for your girlfriend. The gentle care and genuine interest that Melissa showed her students was evident from a mile away. And considering that she was bisexual and that you two were sleeping together on a regular basis, you presumed she was invested in supporting the queer community at Abbott and beyond, sticker or not.

The final bell of the day rang out and you gathered your things quickly so you’d have time to go say goodbye to Melissa before the GSA meeting began. You were just a few feet away from her classroom door when you heard Ava’s voice behind you down the hall. “Yo, Harley Quinn. I got some bad news. You can’t have your little club meeting today after all” Ava said with disappointment in her voice. You were shocked. “What do you mean, Ava? Why not? We’ve been prepping for this for weeks. The kids are excited. What’s going on?” you asked frantically. “Well, apparently a few parents found out about it and they are NOT happy. They demanded an emergency assembly to give parents a chance to voice their concerns. It’s outta my hands, Y/N” Ava said apologetically. You couldn’t believe it. “Are Jacob and I allowed to attend? Do we at least get a chance to speak and explain why something like this matters?” you asked, hopeful that at the very least you could change a few minds. “You can come if you want, but I don’t know what good it’s gonna do. These parents are out for blood. If anything, YOU should do the talking, NOT Squidward” Ava said as she tried to lighten the mood. “Well, when is it happening?” you asked. “In fifteen minutes. In the auditorium” Ava replied as she put a sympathetic hand on your shoulder and then left for her office. f*ck! You did not see this coming. Melissa had warned you about the strength of parental opinion and opposition, but you had brushed it off. Now you had to go defend the right for a safe space to exist at your school and had no time to prepare. You already felt defeated. You walked into Melissa’s classroom and she could instantly sense your distress. “What’s the matter, hon?” Melissa asked, concerned. “Ava just told me that some parents asked for an emergency assembly to oppose the formation of the GSA at Abbott” you replied as you tried to hold back your tears of frustration and disbelief. “Aw, sh*t, hon. I’m so sorry. C’mere” she said as she pulled you into her arms. “Don’t you want to say ‘I told you so’?” you asked as you let your body sink into Melissa’s. “I really don’t. This isn’t the kinda thing I wanna be right about, babe” she replied as she stroked your hair. “Would you… would you come to the meeting? Not to speak or anything. Just to be there?” you asked. “Aw, babe. I’m sorry. I can’t. I made early dinner plans with Barb since I knew you and Jacob would be at the meetin’. She and I haven’t spent as much time together lately and I’d hate to cancel on her” Melissa responded. “Of course, Mel! I completely understand. You should absolutely go out with Barb! I’ll be fine. Honestly. You two have a great time” you said, and you meant it. You knew you had been occupying most of Melissa’s free time over the last two months and you also knew how important her friendship with Barbara was. You could do this. Everything would be fine.

The auditorium was packed when you arrived and you suddenly felt like you might be sick. You frantically searched for Jacob’s signature curly hair and then noticed him hiding behind one of the curtains up on the stage. “Jacob! Come here! Why are you hiding back there?” you asked as you reached for his hand and pulled him down off the stage. “I can’t to this, Y/N. I’m already breaking out in hives. Parents historically do not like me and I’m not sure if you noticed or not, but we are currently surrounded by half the parents at Abbott” Jacob said nervously. “Hill! Focus! Look at me! We can do this. We have to do this. Creating this space matters. You know that and I know that. We’ve done all the work to prove that already. Now we just have to convince these parents. We’ve got this. I promise. I’ll take the lead if you want, just… will you stay close by?” you pleaded. Jacob agreed and the two of you made your way back onto the stage to sit in the chairs Ava had placed near the podium.

Ava came strutting out onto the stage and called the assembly to order. “Can I have everyone’s attention please. This meeting has been requested by a collection of parents in the Abbott community who are opposed to the formation of a Gender and Sexuality Alliance Club at our school. Both sides will be given time to speak and the discourse will be respectful and civil or the meeting will be adjourned. First up, the parents have selected Mr. Michael Lawson to speak on their behalf. Mr. Lawson, the floor is yours” Ava said, a beacon of professionalism. You couldn’t believe all that just came out of her mouth. She actually sounded like a principal! And a good one at that! And then it hit you… Lawson, the parent representative, it was Marcus’ father! The two of you had corresponded via email mainly, and once on the phone, but this was your first time ever seeing him in person. This was the parent elected as the voice of opposition? The same parent you’d have to meet with on Thursday? sh*t. “Thank you, Principal Coleman. I am just one of many concerned parents here to prevent the formation of this completely unnecessary and entirely inappropriate club. We send our children out into the world each day and we trust the administration and teachers of this school to care for them and to leave their politics and personal agendas at home. A club like this, one that will actively encourage our children to talk about sex, is wildly unsuitable for a school setting. It’s bad enough we have to worry about what kind of books they have access to in the library. But we cannot allow hom*osexual teachers to push their lifestyle choices onto innocent children” he said confidently. A few parents clapped and cheered in the background. You were completely floored. These people truly had no idea what they were talking about. And even though it was clear to see you would not be engaging with rational people, you knew that you had to remain calm and collected at all costs. “Thank you for sharing your… concerns, Mr. Lawson. I will now give the floor to one of the club’s teacher sponsors, Ms. Y/N” Ava said as she invited you up to the podium. You were sweating. Your hands were shaking. And you had no idea what you were going to say. But you made your way to the podium anyway. “Thank you, Principal Coleman. And thank you, parents, for taking time out of your day to share your concerns with us. I’d like to begin by describing the purpose of this club and its potential impact on our students here at Abbott. Contrary to what Mr. Lawson claims, Mr. Hill and I have no political agenda. Just as we have absolutely no intention of putting our personal lives on display. As sponsors, our only goal is to create a safe and welcoming space for students of all ages, races, genders, and sexualities in our school to be able to freely express themselves and find a sense of community and support among their peers. The meetings will be student-led and Mr. Hill and I will be there to help students access any resources they may need and to encourage them to actively create an atmosphere of acceptance, kindness, and curiosity” you said, surprised by how calm you suddenly felt. That feeling would soon be gone. Mr. Lawson stood back up, clearly ready for round two of his fear-mongering. “Don’t let her fool you with all this politically correct, woke nonsense. This is all just a ruse for teachers to turn more kids gay. The only goal of this club is to promote hom*osexuality and we as parents will not allow our children to attend this school if this deviant sex club is created” he said, raising his voice at the end. “Mr. Lawson, all we want is to make sure that no student feels alone or unsafe because of who they are or who they love. Not every child has access to that same sense of safety and acceptance at home. This club will help us combat bullying in our school and provide resources to anyone who needs them, students and parents alike. Caring for our students and making them feel valued and seen for who they are is a group effort. And we welcome parent involvement and support” you said. “Ah. I see. So any parent who doesn’t actively encourage their child to be gay is a bully, is that right? Well, that’s rich!” Mr. Lawson replied, baiting you. “That’s not what I said. But to my point, if a child doesn’t feel safe to come out or openly express themselves at home, this club will offer that sense of security they all deserve” you said. “Oh, please! These are kids! They’re too young to have any concept of the demented crap you all are pushing. You just want them to be like you and then lie to their parents. This is utterly transparent!” Mr. Lawson spat. You could feel the anger rising inside of you. “Sir, 41% of LGBTQ+ young people seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, and young people who are transgender, non-binary, and/or people of color reported even higher rates than their peers. This is a crisis. And if forming this club can prevent the students in our community from feeling that level of hopelessness, then I will never stop fighting for it” you said passionately. “Listen, Miss. I don’t care how many letters of the alphabet you fling at us or what fake numbers you pull out of your ass. Your perverts club has no business in our school!” Mr. Lawson shouted, finally losing his temper. You saw Ava stand up to stop the meeting, but you knew you had to go on. “I was one of those kids, Mr. Lawson! My parents disowned me and kicked me out when I was thirteen years old because I told them I was gay. I spent most of my youth feeling like I had absolutely no place in this world after the people who were supposed to love me unconditionally abandoned me when I was different from what they planned. I thought I was better off dead. No child should ever have to experience that level of isolation and self-loathing” you said as you held back tears. You weren’t sure what kind of reaction you expected after your revelation, but the complete silence was still terribly unsettling. Ava walked up to the podium, placed her hand on your shoulder, and said “This meeting is now adjourned. Our school secretary will send out a ballot and the formation of the GSA at Abbott Elementary will be put to a vote. Thank you everyone for your time and have a good evening” she said firmly. The parents began to disperse and you just stood there on the stage, feeling like an open wound. Jacob wrapped his arm around your shoulders and led you out to the parking lot.

And neither of you had noticed Melissa standing at the back of the auditorium.

Notes:

Lots and lots and lots of comfort ahead. Melissa is en route to take care of her girl. ❤️

Chapter 23: Hold Me in the Dark

Summary:

“I'll show you good.
Restore your faith.
I'll try and somehow make a meaning of the poison in this place.
Convince you love, don't breathe it in.
You were written in the stars that we are swimming in.”

“Orpheus” - Sara Bareilles

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

You drove home slowly after the assembly. For one thing, you were crying. Hard. And for another, you weren’t in any hurry to be alone in your empty apartment. All you wanted to do was call Melissa, tell her about how awful it was, and fall apart in her arms. But there was no way you were going to interrupt her dinner with Barbara. They deserved that special time together. And honestly, what would you even say anyway? You still couldn’t believe you had let that man get under your skin to the point that you felt compelled to dig up one of the most painful moments in your past and share it with half the parents at Abbott. You felt raw and emotional and humiliated and just wished you had been able to rise above his vitriol. You couldn’t even begin to imagine how unpleasant your one-on-one conference with Mr. Lawson would be on Thursday if he was that abrasive and cruel in a group setting. It all felt like too much. You pulled into your usual parking spot outside of your apartment and then slowly got out of your car and made your way up to the third floor, crying softly the entire way up. When you turned the corner, you were shocked to find Melissa Schemmenti standing outside your door. “Mel? Wh… what are you doing here? I thought you were out with Barb?” you asked as you tried to subtly wipe the tears from your eyes. Melissa immediately walked toward you and pulled you into a tight embrace. She held you close as she stroked your hair and whispered, “I love you. I love you. I love you.” That’s when you realized that she must have cancelled her plans with Barb and attended the assembly after all. You felt instantly embarrassed. That meant that Melissa had heard what you said about your past. “I… I didn’t know you were there. Mel, I tried so hard not to let him get to me. I really did. He just said the most horrible things and I tried to stay calm, but I… those parents needed to hear what the real price of their ignorance and intolerance is for kids. I couldn’t hold it in. I tried, I swear. But it hurt too much. I’m sorry, Mel. I’m so sorry” you said as you sobbed against her. “What on earth are you sorry about, hon? I am so proud of ya for standin’ up to that asshole and for advocatin’ for our kiddos. You did that! Sharin’ your story just showed ‘em how much is at stake. Why this all matters” she said as she stroked your cheeks with her thumbs. You buried your face in her neck as the tears continued to pour from your eyes and Melissa whispered, “Shhh. C’mere. It’s okay, hon. I got ya. I’m here, baby.” And maybe part of the reason you couldn’t stop crying was because this was absolutely the first relationship in your life where you felt safe, unconditionally loved, and seen. “I’m sorry you were ever made to feel that way, hon. I can’t even imagine how hard that must’ve been. But I’m so damn glad you’re still here and that ya didn’t give up. I’d be lost without ya” Melissa said as she gently wiped the tears from your cheeks. You looked up and into her eyes and pulled her into a soft kiss. Her lips were warm and inviting as always and the kiss itself felt like a promise: I see you and I love you and you are not alone. When your lips parted, Melissa took your chin in her hand and said, “I want ya to pack a bag and come stay with me the rest of the week, K? You’re goin’ through a lot right now and I wanna be there for ya, Y/N.” Spending the rest of the week with Melissa sounded like the perfect cure to the catastrophe that was the assembly. You smiled, took her hand in yours, and opened your apartment door to pack your bag for a week-long stay at Melissa’s house.

Melissa drove the two of you back to her place and told you to go get settled and comfortable while she made dinner. You set your toiletries on Melissa’s bathroom counter, hung up a few of your work blouses for the days ahead, and then changed into the same over-sized Philadelphia Flyers t-shirt you wore the night you and Melissa made love for the first time. You walked down the hall and into the kitchen and saw Melissa hard at work making a baked ziti with sausage. You made your way over to the cabinet and pulled down two wine glasses. “Which wine, chef?” you asked teasingly. Melissa laughed softly and then thoughtfully considered the best possible pairing. “Chianti Classico, amore mio” she replied with a smile. You grabbed the bottle from off the wine rack, poured two full glasses, and then handed one to Melissa for her to enjoy while she worked her magic in the kitchen. Then you hopped up on your special spot on the counter and watched as your girlfriend prepared yet another incredible meal. Melissa stopped what she was doing every so often to come over and gently rub your knees, softly kiss your wine-soaked lips, and brush your hair behind your ear. You could tell she still felt worried about you and very protective and the periodic check-ins melted your heart. “Hey, Mel?” you asked. “Yeah, hon?” she replied as she pulled the ziti from the oven. “I’m… I’m okay, y’know? I mean, you don’t have to worry about me. Everything that happened with my parents, with me, that was a really long time ago. I’m fine now. Honestly” you said. Melissa set her oven mitts down and turned back to look at you. She walked over to the counter and pulled you toward the edge of it until your body was pressed up against hers. “I hear ya, hon. But I also think it’s okay if you’re not okay. What you went through… it’s no small thing. And I just want you to know I’m here for ya. You’re not alone. You never have to feel that way again” Melissa said as she leaned in and pressed a soft kiss against your lips. This was it. This was what peace felt like. How did you ever get so lucky?

The two of you enjoyed your dinner and wine and talked about everything and nothing like you always did when you were together. Melissa shared that Barbara had also attended the meeting to show her support and that she was so moved by your passion and vulnerability. She thought the parents would be too as they submitted their votes. Melissa also shared more about Mr. Lawson and all of her interactions with him from when Marcus was in her second grade class. Apparently Mr. Lawson was a huge fan of Melissa and had been an open and active participant in helping Marcus last year. You wondered what had changed over the past few months and if it had anything to do with the increase in violent and disruptive behavior Marcus was exhibiting in class. You cleaned up dinner and put the plates and wine glasses in the dishwasher. Melissa walked up behind you and placed several delicate kisses on the back of your neck. “Lemme take care of you tonight?” she asked, her voice sweet and tender. You turned to face her and were overwhelmed by how soft and beautiful she looked. “Mhmm” you replied as you leaned in to kiss her lips. “You wanna take a bath?” Melissa asked. “Only if you’ll get in with me” you replied. She blushed and then led you back to her bathroom.

Melissa pulled her hair up in a ponytail before she stepped into the warm water and sat back against the tub. You stepped in after her and sat down between her legs with your back pressed against the front of her body. You felt instantly relaxed as the warmth of the water and Melissa’s body enveloped you. You leaned your head back against her left shoulder and turned your head slightly to look up and admire her. You sat quietly together like this for a few minutes. Both of you had your eyes shut, enjoying the heat and the closeness. Then you felt Melissa’s lips press against your temple. “How ya doin’, hon?” she asked as she looked down at you. “I… I’m good, Mel. Really. I mean, if I had been alone tonight, I probably would have been a complete wreck. But as soon as I saw you at my door, I knew I would be okay. You take such good care of me, baby. I appreciate you so much” you replied as you placed soft kisses against Melissa’s neck. “Mmmm. The feelin’s mutual, babe” Melissa said as her fingers played with your hair. You took her hand in yours and slowly pulled it down and placed it on your breast. Melissa gave it a firm squeeze and you moaned as she pinched and rubbed your nipple between her fingers. “Mmm. That feels so nice, Mel” you said as you licked your lips. Then you felt her other hand slide down your body through the water and onto your inner thigh. You turned your head to meet her lips in a sensual and desperate kiss. Melissa licked and then gently bit your lower lip, which sent a bolt of excitement straight down to your core. As you continued to kiss, you took Melissa’s other hand and guided it from your thigh up to your center. Melissa moaned when she felt the slick wetness between your legs and with your hand still placed behind hers, you pushed her fingers up against your cl*t and moved them in slow, circular motions. “sh*t, baby. You’re so wet for me” Melissa whispered as she gently bit your earlobe and rubbed your throbbing cl*t. “Mmm. God, I love how you touch me, Mel. Keep going. Feels so good” you replied as you thrusted your hips up against her hand and moaned with your mouth pressed onto her neck. Then you felt Melissa slide two fingers deep inside you and you gasped in excitement before a deep moan escaped your lips. “Oh, Mel. Yes, baby. Mmm. I want more, please” you begged. And Melissa quickly obliged as she added a third finger and continued to pump firmly inside you. “You like that, hon? You like when I go so deep inside you?” Melissa asked as she sucked on your neck. “Yes, baby! f*ck, Mel. I am so close. Don’t stop. Please. Oh!” you said through ragged breaths as your toes started to curl and you felt the heat rapidly start to rise up your legs and towards your center. “I want you to cum for me, baby” Melissa whispered against your cheek and with just a few more thrusts, you screamed out her name and let the incredibly intense org*sm flow through your entire body. You let yourself fall limp against her as you tried to catch your breath. Melissa slowly withdrew her fingers and then wrapped both her arms around your stomach before she pressed one last kiss against your temple and said, “I love you so damn much, Y/N.” And you could feel it with every fiber of your being.

When you finally climbed in bed and into Melissa’s arms that night, your mind felt calm, your body felt relaxed, and your heart felt full. “C’mere, babe” Melissa said as she pulled you close and wrapped you in her arms. “Mel?” you asked. “Yeah, hon?” she replied, like she always did. “You… you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me. And maybe you’re right. Maybe I’m not okay. Not all the way. Not yet. But you make me feel so safe and loved that I know one day I will be. You make me so happy, love. I’m so glad you’re mine” you said as you squeezed her tightly and kissed her cheek. Melissa stared down at you and you could feel the way her heart was beating beneath your hand. “I’m always gonna be here for ya, Y/N. No matter what. You’re my world, hon. And I promise I’m gonna make sure you feel my love every single day. K?” she replied. “Okay” you said as you pulled up the covers and snuggled closer against her warm body.

It had been a hard day. But in this moment, Melissa’s love was your solid ground. And you knew you were loved beyond measure.

Notes:

🥰 Melissa Schemmenti is the absolute best.

More to come! Stay tuned. ❤️

Chapter 24: Anchor

Summary:

It’s parent-teacher conference day at Abbott Elementary. And unfortunately no amount of planning can prepare you for your meeting with Mr. Lawson.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Thursday morning arrived much quicker than you would have liked. You, Melissa, and the rest of the Abbott teachers had two full days of parent-teacher conferences ahead of you and after what happened at the assembly earlier in the week, you felt extremely nervous. You absentmindedly poked at the scrambled eggs Melissa had made you for breakfast as you tried to mentally prepare for your meeting with Mr. Lawson. “You okay, babe?” Melissa asked when she noticed you hadn’t eaten anything. “Huh? Oh. Yeah, I’m fine. Just not very hungry” you replied, still lost in thought. “You thinkin’ about the Lawson meetin’?” she asked as she gently placed her hand on your shoulder. “Yeah… I’m just not sure he’s going to listen to anything I have to say” you said, already defeated. “You make him listen, hon! Marcus is a great kid, but he’s goin’ through somethin’ right now. Michael’s gotta hear ya out and commit to bein’ part of the solution” Melissa said passionately. “Michael, huh? Didn’t know you two were on a first name basis” you teased gently. “Listen, we had a lot of conferences together last year. He was in my room once or twice a month at least. Used to be much more involved and concerned. I dunno what happened. I heard a rumor that he and his wife were splittin’ up, but I never asked him directly. Maybe that’s worth checkin’ in on?” Melissa said. You considered her words for a minute and then realized that his parents divorcing could definitely explain some of the big feelings and disruptive behaviors Marcus had exhibited over the last two months. “Thanks for telling me that, Mel. Maybe that’s the key to figuring out what Marcus is feeling and why he’s acting this way” you replied as you leaned in to kiss your girlfriend on the cheek.

Melissa drove you to work and you held hands as you walked into the school together. Even if the day ahead was sure to be stressful, you could at least soak up this short walk in the sun, hand-in-hand with the woman you loved. You had about twenty minutes until conferences were set to begin. Melissa invited you to have coffee with her and Barb in the teacher’s lounge, but you felt like you needed the extra time to prep for your meetings. Melissa walked you to your classroom and said, “You can do this, babe. I heard the way you spoke at that assembly. All these parents will be able to see how much you care about their kids. Teachin’ is a callin’ and you answered. They’re lucky to have you.” You couldn’t hide the smile that formed on your lips as you leaned in to kiss your girlfriend goodbye for the day. “Thanks, Mel. For everything. I wouldn’t have made it through this week without you” you replied. Melissa blushed and then pulled you in for a hug before she left you to prepare for your conferences.

You heard a knock on your door about five minutes before the meetings were set to begin and were surprised when Ava entered the room. “What’s good, Y/N? Don’t let anybody else see you in conference prep mode. You look almost as nerdy as Janine!” Ava said with a laugh. You could tell she was trying to lighten the mood and that she had something to ask you. “Hate to break it to you, but I AM as nerdy as Janine” you replied with a smile and Ava smiled back, glad she had temporarily pulled you out of yourself and your worry. “Well, the reason I’m here is because I wanted to ask if you’d like me to be present for your conference with Mr. Lawson today. I know he got pretty aggressive by the end of the assembly and I wanna make sure you feel safe and comfortable” Ava offered. You were touched by her concern and her sincerity, but you felt like you needed to do this on your own. If only to prove that you could. “Thanks for checking, Ava. I think I’ll be okay flying solo. I’m just going to keep the focus on Marcus, the behaviors we’re seeing, and see what kind of plan we can make to help him manage his emotions and feel engaged in class again” you said with much more confidence in your voice than what you actually felt. You didn’t want Ava to think you were weak or intimidated by this parent. She was your boss. And she hired you under the assumption that you could do your job and do it well. You didn’t want to let her down. “Okay, Y/N. But if that man steps outta line, so help me he’s gonna be on the receiving end of the Ava Coleman Molly-Whop” she said enthusiastically. You laughed and said “Thanks, Ava. I appreciate it!”

The first few conferences went very well. It was so nice to finally have the face-to-face time with the parents and to be able to share all the wonderful things their children were doing at school. You had made a portfolio for each child for the first two months of school to display their writing samples and crafts and the parents seemed very impressed by your efforts. One parent even mentioned that they’d heard about what happened at the assembly and they assured you that many of the other parents around the school were very supportive of the creation of the GSA and thankful that you spoke with such passion. You still felt slightly embarrassed, but it was encouraging and nice to hear.

It was time for your last conference of the day and Mr. Lawson was late. You sat there and nervously waited for him to arrive. Finally you heard footsteps in the hallway and saw him enter your room. He paused briefly to look at the Safe Space sticker on your door, rolled his eyes, and laughed quietly. “Good afternoon, Mr. Lawson. Thank you for coming” you said as you extended your hand to shake his. Mr. Lawson just stared back at you, clearly disinterested in formalities. You withdrew your hand and sat down, expecting Mr. Lawson to do the same. He remained standing. “Okay then… let’s get started. I wanted to speak with you today about some of the escalating behaviors we’ve seen from Marcus during the first two months of school. At first it was just little things like interrupting his peers, not doing his homework, and not staying in his seat. But now he’s started to pull chairs out from under his classmates, throw books, and he even pushed one of his friends to the ground last week. Marcus is a very kind and very intelligent student, but it seems like maybe there’s something going on beneath the surface that’s making it hard for him to have successful days at school” you said with genuine care in your voice. “Or perhaps he just has a teacher who doesn’t know what she’s doing or how to keep her students engaged” Mr. Lawson said as he stared down at you with disdain in his eyes. “Excuse me?” you asked incredulously. “Marcus didn’t have any of these kinds of issues last year when he had a capable teacher who spent her time focusing on her students instead of forming hom*osexual social clubs” Mr. Lawson said. “Sir, I have read his file many times and have been in contact with Ms. Schemmenti regarding his behavior. I know Marcus had many of the same struggles last year and I scheduled this meeting so we could get to the bottom of what’s troubling him” you said, trying your best to remain calm and professional. “Maybe he’s troubled by the fact that his teacher is encouraging his peers to be gay instead of teaching the curriculum. I know I certainly am” he scoffed. “Mr. Lawson, I really think it would be beneficial to leave the GSA out of this conversation. We’re here to talk about your son and what he’s going through. I don’t think it’s productive to…” Mr. Lawson slammed his fist down hard on the table in front of you. “I will NOT allow some pervert to sit here and tell me how to raise my son! How on earth do you expect a child to learn from someone they don’t respect? You disgust me” he shouted. As you sat across from this sad, angry man, you were reminded of your own father and the way he acted when you told him you were gay. The yelling, the slamming of hands, even the words felt the same. Your father looked you in the eyes at 13 years old and called you a disgusting pervert and told you to leave his house. You wanted to respond to Mr. Lawson, but instead you sat there, frozen and numb. He had a smug look on his face like he’d won. And maybe he had. Just then you saw Melissa calmly enter your classroom. “Hey there, Mike” she said with a smile. “Ah! Ms. Schemmenti! Now here’s a teacher who knows what she’s doing. I was just telling Y/N here that if she spent less time on her little queer crusade, she might actually be able to focus on teaching her students” Mr. Lawson said with a smile. “Is that so?” Melissa asked as she looked down at you, concerned by your catatonic state. “Cause from down the hall it kinda sounded like you were in here screamin’ at my girlfriend. And if that were the case, you and I would have a real problem, Mikey” Melissa said as she glared at him. Mr. Lawson looked down at you and then back up at Melissa, completely shocked. “You have got to be kidding me” he said with disdain. “‘Fraid not, Mikey my boy. Now, ya gonna pull your head outta your ass and work together to help your son, or what?” Melissa asked. Mr. Lawson laughed, shook his head, and stormed out of your classroom.

The two of you watched him leave and when Melissa turned back to face you, she looked worried and apologetic. You stood up, walked around the table, and pulled Melissa into a soft, tender kiss. When your lips parted, Melissa looked confused. “You… you’re not mad I stepped in? I know you’re not the biggest fan of my ‘tough guy crap’” she asked tentatively. “I’m not mad, Mel. I’m grateful. I really wanted to do this on my own. I thought I could handle it and get through to him and find a way to help Marcus… but I couldn’t. I couldn’t even speak by the time he was done shouting. Thank you for looking out for me, babe. It means a lot. I just wish he could have heard me out, for Marcus’ sake” you replied. “I know, hon. It’s so hard when parents can’t see past their own crap and help when their kids are hurtin’. I know you’ve experienced that first hand, which is probably why this was so hard on you. But listen to me, you’re a fantastic teacher. And you have such a big heart. You do the best you can every day and that’s all any of us can do. Kay?” Melissa said as she pulled you into a tight embrace. You smiled and nodded as you pressed your head against her chest and listened to the sound of her heartbeat. “Let’s get outta here, hon!” Melissa said with a smile as she took your hand and led you to the hallway. When you passed Melissa’s classroom, you saw that she had placed the Safe Space sticker on her own classroom door.

Instead of driving home, Melissa drove the two of you to a nearby bar. When you walked inside, you saw Barbara, Janine, Gregory, and Jacob sitting at a table waiting for you. “Mel? Wh…?” you started to ask. “When I’m feelin’ down, I wanna be around my people. My chosen family. The ones who get it. Your family… well, they didn’t get you. And they didn’t deserve you. But those guys over there? They’re your family now, hon. And family takes care of each other. Now, c’mon. You deserve a drink” Melissa said as she placed a hand on your cheek and looked into your eyes. You fought back tears and leaned in to kiss your girlfriend. Then the two of you walked over to spend the evening laughing and talking with your friends. With your family. These were the people who made Abbott feel like home.

And after years of feeling lost at sea, drifting aimlessly, you had finally found your anchors.

Notes:

Hope you enjoyed this one, friends. ❤️

The next chapter is gonna be 🥵. So, get excited. 😆

Chapter 25: Like Sand in Your Sea

Summary:

Melissa spent the past week taking care of you. Now it was your turn to show your girlfriend how much you loved and appreciated her. ❤️

“Sweet sun,
Send me the moon.
Empty the skies out,
Bringing me one step closer to you.
Send it soon,
And I will breathe in, breathe out,
'Til you come in and out,
Of you.”

“Send Me the Moon” - Sara Bareilles

Notes:

Enjoy. 🥰

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

After what had been the longest, most emotionally exhausting week of your life, you couldn’t wait to spend the weekend at Melissa’s place. On Friday night you offered to cook dinner to thank her for all her support and for the week-long sleepover. You didn’t want to get too fancy with the meal and end up embarrassing yourself, but you also wanted to treat her to something special. You decided on filet mignon, mashed sweet potato, and roasted broccolini. Melissa took your usual spot up on the countertop and enjoyed the role reversal as she sipped red wine and watched you at work in the kitchen. You wore an apron, not to be cute, but because you were always an absolute mess when you cooked, and Melissa couldn’t help teasing you about it. “God, hon. You just look so adorable. It’s like I’ve got my very own housewife! Right outta that TV show, Bewitched!” Melissa said with a laugh. You tried to twitch your nose like Samantha did on the show and Melissa laughed even harder. “Watch it, lady! Don’t make me use my magic on you” you joked as you walked over to give your girlfriend a quick kiss. She held your face in her hands and said “I’ve been under your spell since the first time I saw you, babe.” God. Damn. How did she always know exactly what to say to make you melt? You felt completely weak in the knees and wanted nothing more than to rip off her clothes and make love to her right there on the countertop. Then you remembered the three things cooking on top of actual fire behind you and had to douse your own flames of arousal temporarily. As you were the one cooking, that also meant you got to choose the record for the evening and Melissa had an absolute blast watching you sing and dance along to Elton John’s “Honky Cat” as you seasoned the food. Sometimes you regretted your decision to pursue teaching over performing, but you knew you’d never have a more captive audience than the breathtaking redhead cheering you on from the kitchen island.

“Wow! This looks amazin’, hon” Melissa said as she cut into her steak. “I hope you like it” you said nervously, watching her as she took the first bite. “Mmmm. Cooked to perfection, babe! I’m really impressed” she replied in a state of bliss. And you couldn’t help the proud smile that formed on your lips. To impress Melissa Schemmenti in her own kitchen felt like winning a gold medal in an Olympic event! The two of you enjoyed your dinner and the musical stylings of Sir Elton John while you talked about how the Eagles were doing so far this season and whether or not Melissa thought one of the guys she knew would be able to score you two some tickets. Melissa had a guy for everything and it didn’t surprise you in the least. You knew how resourceful and charismatic she was. Anybody who entered her orbit would be happy and willing to help her out and put a smile on her face. That, and they knew what an incredible cook she was and understood they could always count on a fair exchange. You finished your dinner and you insisted Melissa relax and enjoy her wine over on the couch while you cleaned things up. It felt so wonderful to be able to take care of her and treat her to a relaxing, care-free evening after everything she had done for you this week. You looked over your shoulder as you washed the dishes and actually felt yourself swoon as you watched her sip her wine and sing along to “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” Melissa was the most beautiful woman you had ever seen and sometimes it still felt surreal that you were the one she chose to love. You felt the heat rush to your cheeks as you turned back to finish the dishes and thought about how grateful you were to have someone this remarkable in your life. You couldn’t wait to spend the night worshipping her body and basking in her love.

When you finally joined her in the living room, Melissa had a seductive look in her eyes as she looked you over hungrily. You went to sit down next to her, but Melissa put her wine down on the coffee table and pulled you over to straddle her lap instead. She placed gentle kisses on your breasts through the thin white tank top you wore and licked and nipped at your erect nipples through the fabric. “sh*t, Mel. That feels so good, baby. But I’m supposed to take care of you tonight” you said as you tangled your fingers in her hair and pulled her mouth even closer against your chest. Melissa replaced her mouth with her hands as she firmly massaged your breasts, rubbed and pinched your nipples, and brought her lips close to your mouth. “Takin’ care of me means givin’ me whatever I want, right?” she asked playfully. “Mmm. Yes, Mel. Whatever you want” you replied as she started to suck on the exposed skin just above your breasts and you let yourself lean into her even further. “Well, what I want is your body beneath mine, wet and sweaty and screamin’ for more. I want ya beggin’ me to go harder and faster and deeper than I ever have before, baby. And when you just can’t take it anymore, then maybe I’ll let you touch me. If you behave, of course”Melissa teased as she left a love mark above your right breast. You felt lightheaded and more aroused than ever before. Melissa Schemmenti could have whatever she wanted tonight, and what she wanted more than anything was to f*ck you senseless. You were already wet just from listening to her plans for your body. She was so f*cking sexy. This was definitely going to be a night to remember.

Melissa led you to her bedroom and laid you down on the bed. She slowly stripped off her own clothing in front of you before she lifted your tank top and kissed and licked her way up your stomach and chest. Melissa pulled it up and over your head and then instantly kissed her way down to remove your underwear. She was thrilled to see your wetness had already soaked through your panties as she pulled them down and flung them to the side. Then she stood up and looked down at you with lust and awe in her eyes. She slowly pulled her hair back into a ponytail and then kneeled down and pressed a wet kiss against your cl*t, which caused you to gasp in excitement. Melissa then threw your legs over her shoulders and slid her tongue from your entrance to your cl*t, moaning as she tasted your arousal. She had barely begun and you swore you could already see stars. Melissa sucked on your sensitive bundle of nerves and flicked it with her tongue as her hands reached up to tug gently on your nipples. You could feel your legs spreading wider and wider to invite her mouth to press even more fully against your wet core when she pulled away abruptly. You whimpered at the loss of her skillful tongue and then opened your eyes to see what she was up to. She had made her way over to the nightstand and pulled out the strap-on and lube. “C’mere” she instructed. You slowly got up and walked over to meet her at the side of the bed. “Put it on me” she said as she licked her lips and stared deeply into your eyes. You took the harness in your hand and got down on your knees in front of her to attach the strap-on as she had instructed you to do. Once everything was in place and you had tightened the straps, Melissa looked down at you and gently nudged the dild* toward your face. You inched forward and licked the tip of the dild* as you looked up and into her eyes. Then you grabbed Melissa’s ass with one hand and the base of the dild* with the other and pulled it into your mouth, sucking on it slowly as you made sure to press the base up against her cl*t. She instinctively laced her fingers into your hair and gently tugged you against her body as you continued to suck on the dild* and rub it up against her. Melissa moaned at the sensation and at the sight of you beneath her before she gently stepped back and said “get on the bed, now.” You sat back down on the bed and Melissa took your hand and squirted the lube into it. You rubbed some of it against your puss* before you spread the rest across the strap-on, keeping your eyes on Melissa the entire time. Then she pressed against both of your shoulders until you fell back onto the bed, wet and lubricated and ready to give her exactly what she wanted tonight. Melissa spread your legs and then slowly lowered her body down against yours, letting the dild* tease your puss*. She leaned down and placed a deep, hungry kiss against your lips before she took the strap-on in her hand and guided it inside of you with ease. She pushed her hips against you and thrusted in as deeply she could. It felt f*cking incredible. “Oh my god, Mel! Yes, baby! Mmmmm, please f*ck me” you moaned through ragged breaths as her hips pounded against your center. Melissa could barely contain her excitement and you saw a bright smile spread across her face when you realized she had exactly what she wanted, your wet, sweaty body beneath hers, begging her to f*ck you. She found the perfect rhythm very quickly and with each deep, hard, and fast thrust, she brought you closer and closer to the edge. You began to pant beneath her as you pushed your hips up to meet each of her mind-blowing thrusts against you and you knew you were close and that you were about to cum harder than you ever had before. “Mel, baby. Yes! Yes! Oh my f*cking god, Mel. I’m gonna cum all over you. You f*ck me so good. Yes! Yes! More! More! Oooohh!” And with one final deep push you felt your head fall back as the intense heat overtook your entire body and you shook uncontrollably and unraveled completely beneath her. “Yeah, baby! That’s it. I’ve got you” Melissa said as she watched you fall apart. Both of you were drenched in sweat and Melissa leaned down to give you a sensual kiss as your body recovered from the aftershocks of your org*sm. Melissa gently pulled out and then fell down against the bed. You somehow found the strength to lean up on your elbow and kiss the sweat on her chest before you praised her for THE most intense org*sm you’d ever had. “Melissa Schemmenti… that was un-f*cking-believable” you said as you leaned down to kiss her lips. Her eyes were closed, but she smiled in response and shook her head almost shyly. “Did I behave, baby? Did I give you what you wanted? Can I touch you now, please?” you asked eagerly. Melissa opened her eyes and slowly nodded. It was your turn now.

You reached down to unbuckle and remove the strap-on and then instantly took one of Melissa’s perfect breasts into your mouth as fully as you could. You sucked hard on her nipple as your fingers slowly traced their way down her torso and toward that heavenly place between her legs to gauge her arousal. And you almost couldn’t take it when you felt just how wet and ready she was for you to f*ck her. As you continued to suck on her breasts and neck, you slid your fingers against her cl*t and started to rub slow circles against it. “Mmm. That’s just how I like it, Y/N. Yes! Just like that, hon” Melissa said as she looked deeply into your eyes and pulled you down to kiss you and nip at your lips. You sat back up and started to rub faster and more firmly against her when you felt her grab your other wrist with her hand and maneuver three of your fingers to thrust inside of her. “f*ck, Mel” you said, so turned on and excited by her whenever she took control like this. While the fingers on one hand continued to tease and massage her cl*t, the three fingers that you had inside of her pressed as deeply as they could, eliciting moans of pleasure and desperation from your gorgeous girlfriend as you searched for and quickly found her G-spot. “Oh! Mmmm. Yes! f*ck me, babe. That feels so… so… Oh, baby! Yes! I’m gonna cum” Melissa said as her legs began to shake and she threw her head back in ecstasy. That’s when you replaced your fingers on her cl*t with your tongue and licked it over and over again until you felt her cum all over your fingers inside her. Melissa continued to push her puss* down against your hand as she slowly came down from her climax and you gently pulled your fingers out and then took them in your mouth as you looked down at her. She tasted absolutely heavenly. You laid down on top of her and gave her one more deep kiss before you collapsed onto the bed next to her. You both just laid there for a minute, trying to catch your breath and to find the words to express how absolutely magical being together felt.

But tonight, you didn’t need words. You turned to face Melissa, gently brushed the bright red hair from her face, and looked into her eyes. And when she looked back at you, you could hear every thought in her mind: you make me feel everything. I spent so long worried I might never feel again. But you make me feel it all. All the time. And I can’t live without you.

You pulled her close and kissed her forehead and simply said, “Me, too, babe. Me, too.”

Notes:

Hope this was a nice palate cleanser after a few hard chapters.

We’re halfway through November in Abbott land. Excited for the holiday season ahead!

Chapter 26: The First Time

Summary:

Saturday morning in bed with Melissa Ann Caterina Schemmenti.

What else is there?

Notes:

Hi. I’m just here to use Melissa’s full name. 😂

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

The delicate sensation of Melissa Schemmenti’s fingers tracing lazy circles across your naked back woke you that Saturday morning. You could immediately feel the soreness in your abdomen and in between your legs from last night’s enthusiastic lovemaking and you felt your heart flutter as you thought back on the things you two had done together. “Mornin’, hon” Melissa said with a soft smile as she leaned down to kiss you between your shoulder blades. “Good morning” you smiled. And you realized you would be perfectly content to wake up this way for the rest of your life. You turned to face her and pressed your body up against hers before you took her chin in your hand and pulled her into a tender kiss. “I was dreaming about you” you said, still half asleep as your lips parted. “Oh, yeah?” she smiled mischievously. “Yeah… it was snowing and we were walking around your neighborhood. And then we sat down on a bench and you told me to please stay warm, but then you walked away and left me… it was so strange” your body involuntarily shivered as you recalled the dream. Melissa looked at you apologetically. “Aw, babe. I’m not goin’ anywhere without ya” she said as she put her hand on your cheek and kissed your forehead. “Good” you replied with a small smile. “Well, that’s not exactly true. Like, right now, I am gonna leave ya here in bed while I go grab our breakfast from the delivery guy” she laughed as she stood up, wrapped herself in her bathrobe, and left the room.

You had breakfast in bed that morning and you felt more relaxed and at ease than you had in a long time. Melissa cleaned up and then crawled right back into to bed with you, pulling you close again. You looked up at her and you could tell she had a question on her mind. “What’s up, babe?” you asked. “I just… ah, it’s nothin’, hon” she deflected. “Melissa Ann Caterina Schemmenti! I can always tell when you’ve got something on your mind. Talk to me, babe” you replied as you gently rubbed her cheek with your thumb. “I just… I wanna know more about ya. Y’know? I feel like I’m pretty much an open book and I do a lotta talkin’… I just love you so much and I want you to feel like you can share all of yourself with me” she said as she stared into your eyes intensely. You realized she was right and that there was still a lot she didn’t know about you, but you also weren’t exactly sure how to change that. Being open and vulnerable was still new and uncharted territory for you and you knew it would take some practice before it started to feel natural. “I’m sorry, Mel. I know I’m not always the most open when it comes to myself or my life. Is there something in particular you want to know? I’ll do my best” you replied nervously. “Well, like, what happened when your parents kicked ya out? Where’d ya go?” Melissa asked. “Oh, um, well I was in a group home for a little while, since I had been, uh, having a hard time… but then my Godmother, Rachel, found me and took me in. She raised me” you said, trying hard not to let the memory of repeatedly having the sh*t beat out of you at the group home overwhelm you. “And she was good to ya? You guys still talk?” she asked. “Yeah, I always liked Rachel. She was best friends with my mom in college. She couldn’t have kids of her own, so, it kind of worked out, I guess. Granted I was 13 years old at the time and pretty miserable. But yeah, she accepted me and encouraged me to pursue my teaching degree. We check-in now and then, but never really see each other” you replied. It seemed normal enough to you because it’s just the way life had been for the last twenty years. But you could tell by the look on Melissa’s face that she felt bad that you didn’t have more family to support you and help you feel tethered. “D’ya have any siblings?” Melissa asked next. “I do. A younger sister, Natalie” you said as you tried to remember her face. “She was eight when they kicked me out. I haven’t seen her since then” you added. “Haven’t ya wanted to reach out to her? Maybe meet up and connect now that you’re both older?” Melissa asked. You felt the walls inside your head slowly begin to rise and were struck by a sudden sense of panic. You didn’t want to shut down the conversation and prove Melissa’s point that you still weren’t able to be fully vulnerable with her (or anyone), but this particular wound felt too tender at the moment. “I… I mean… I guess I’ve thought about it… I’m sorry, Mel. I think I’m just still feeling a little raw about the family stuff after this week. But I promise I’ll keep working on it. I trust you. And I love you. It’s just… I’m still learning how safe feels. It’s all so new” you replied apologetically. “It’s okay, hon. I get it. This stuff takes time. I just wanted you to know the door’s always open” Melissa said as she kissed your neck and breathed you in deeply.

“Can I ask you a question?” you asked. “Ya just did” Melissa laughed as she tickled your side and you giggled and tried to squirm away. “Oh my gosh, Schemmenti. I don’t know what’s worse. The dad joke or your tickle attack on my ribcage” you laughed. “Okay, okay. Fine. Whaddya wanna know?” Melissa teased. “When was the first time you fell in love?” you asked, genuinely curious. “Oh… wow. Geez, hon. You sure that’s not too intense for a Saturday mornin’?” Melissa asked jokingly. “Pfft! No more intense than your questions! I’m sure. I want to know. Was it when you met Joe?” you asked. Melissa’s eyes looked sad for a moment before she responded. “Nah, it wasn’t Joe. It was my best friend in high school, Charlotte. It was our senior year and we had planned to go to prom together with a buncha other girls, but then some bozo guy asked Charlotte to go with him a few days before the dance and when she said yes I just felt… I dunno? Jealous? Sick? Confused? We were really close and spent a lot of time together. She even used to come to my family Christmas. But I never really thought much of it beyond friendship until she was suddenly interested in some guy. I got real upset and told her not to go with him. And when she asked me why… I couldn’t tell her. Couldn’t explain. I dunno if I’d even made sense of it myself at that point. But I knew I couldn’t be around her. It hurt too much. Was too confusin’, y’know? I spent a long time wishin’ I’d been brave enough to tell her how I felt, but it wasn’t meant to be. Gosh, I haven’t seen her or thought about her in decades” Melissa said. You could picture it clearly. Melissa at seventeen trying to figure out who she was and what she wanted. Maybe that’s when she first found her armor? Back when it was all so overwhelming and intense and she had no alternative but to put on the tough facade and brush it all off like it was nothing. Melissa sat there and watched you lost in your thoughts for a minute before she said, “and what about you? When’s the first time you fell in love?” You thought about it for a moment and then smiled. “Oh, wow! This is gonna be a good story! I can tell already from that silly little grin on your mug” Melissa laughed as she laid back down on the pillow and looked up at you eagerly. “Well, if you must know, it was August 21st, 2023. It was the first day of Professional Development at my new job at Abbott Elementary and I saw a beautiful redhead walk across the parking lot” you said with a huge smile on your face. Melissa looked up at you and rolled her eyes in playful disbelief. “Ya gotta be kiddin’ me, hon” she joked. “You asked me the first time I fell in love? It’s you, Melissa. It’s you. Maybe I’d been attracted to other people before. Maybe I’d wanted to avoid being alone and dealing with my own sh*t. But I never loved until I met you. It’s cheesy. And it’s corny. And it’s embarrassing. But it’s also the truth. I am in love with you, Mel. And I knew it instantly because it was unlike anything I’d ever felt before” you said earnestly. Melissa looked up at you like you were the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and pulled you down against her and into a deep, passionate kiss.

You spent the rest of that Saturday naked in bed with Melissa’s name on your lips and her body pressed up against yours.

And it was holy.

Notes:

Hi, again. You guys still into this? I have so much more in mind, but don’t want people to get bored. Lemme know what you think.

Up next we’re back at Abbott with Thanksgiving and OFC’s birthday looming before we cozy up into Christmas.

But, y’know, only if you’re into it. 😂 #imsoinsecure

Chapter 27: Kiss the Wall

Summary:

It’s the week of Thanksgiving and the teachers and students are all excited for the long holiday weekend ahead! And you? You’re preparing for yet another holiday and birthday spent by yourself with a six pack of beer and the movie “You’ve Got Mail.”

It’s fine. You’re used to it. 🎂

Notes:

The title of this chapter is a song from the new Madi Diaz album and it is absolutely WRECKING me.

This song feels so Mel and OFC to me. It’s making my heart happy. Check it out! ❤️ 🎶

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

When you arrived at school on Monday morning you checked your work email right away to see if the final decision had come through regarding the GSA. Instead, you saw a message from Ava with a subject line that read “Student Withdraw.” You clicked to open it and felt your stomach drop. Mr. Lawson had not only decided to remove Marcus from your class, but he withdrew his son from the school entirely and transferred him to Addington Elementary. You were heartbroken. Even though things in class had been challenging lately, Marcus was a sweet boy and the two of you had bonded as you tried to work through his feelings together. For your last five years of teaching, your most challenging students had always ended up being your favorites. They forced you to reach new levels of patience and encouraged you to try new approaches. You were devastated that he had been pulled and beyond frustrated with his father who prioritized his own ignorant beliefs over his child’s wellbeing. You sat and stared at your computer for a few minutes before you finally sat back in your chair, rubbed your face, and exhaled deeply. You thought about poor Marcus having to go to a brand new school with new teachers and kids and how all that sudden change would likely negatively impact his emotional and academic growth. You felt like you had failed him. You had tried your best, of course. But now there was nothing else you could do. The bell rang and you felt yourself tear up when you realized Marcus wouldn’t walk through your classroom door this morning, or ever again.

The teacher’s lounge was bustling that afternoon as teachers discussed their plans for Thanksgiving weekend. Jacob and Zach were researching the best Tofurkey roasts, Barbara and Gerald had a romantic feast for two planned as their daughter would be stuck in New York, and Gregory had invited Janine to his father’s home in Maryland to introduce her to his family. Melissa’s sister, Kristen-Marie, was set to host their family Thanksgiving which would include nearly all of Melissa’s immediate and extended family, even her third cousin, Vincenzo. The two of you agreed that it would be a pretty overwhelming introduction to the Schemmenti family and decided it was probably best you did not attend this time. “What are your Thanksgiving plans, Y/N? Don’t you have a birthday coming up, too?” Jacob asked innocently. You instantly felt Melissa’s eyes on you. “Wait, what?! How does this sfigato know when your birthday is and I don’t?” Melissa asked, surprised. “Um, I am right here” Jacob asserted. “He doesn’t know when my birthday is, he just knows I’m a Sagittarius because he’s an astrology nerd and asked me about my sign within five minutes of meeting me” you replied to Melissa. “Again, I am RIGHT here” Jacob said in disbelief. “Well, when is it?” Melissa asked as Barbara, Janine, and the rest of your friends looked on. “It’s this Saturday” you replied, feeling incredibly self-conscious. “What are you doing to celebrate?” Janine asked enthusiastically. “I… well, nothing really. Everyone’s always busy with family or traveling since it falls near the holiday. I typically stay in and watch old Meg Ryan films and drink until I pass out” you said with a laugh. None of your friends laughed or even smiled in response. You’d seen this look all your life, people feeling sorry for you. Poor little orphan Y/N, spending holidays and birthdays alone. You felt embarrassed and wanted to leave the lounge and hide in the safety of your classroom as soon as possible. Thankfully the bell rang before anyone could press further and you rushed out of the room to collect your students.

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving was a half day and the kids were so excited about the long weekend ahead that they could barely stay in their seats! When the dismissal bell rang you wished them all a happy holiday and slowly packed up your bag and laptop, not in any rush to be alone and lonely for the next four days. Then you heard three gentle knocks on the frame of your classroom door. You knew who it was before you even looked up, but still felt butterflies in your stomach when your eyes did finally meet. Melissa slowly entered the room and walked toward your desk to meet you. “Hey, babe. Aren’t you heading out to Kristen-Marie’s house soon?” you asked. “Well, that was the plan, but…” Melissa stopped speaking as she reached for your lanyard and tugged on it, pulling you up against her. “But what?” you asked, excited by her forcefulness. “But I found out my girlfriend’s birthday is this weekend and she’s gonna be all alone and needs a special gift to remember me by before I leave” Melissa said mischievously. Then she slowly unbuttoned a few of the top buttons of her green blouse and showed you the lacy black lingerie she had on beneath it. You felt an instant bolt of heat pass down from your chest to your core as you imagined what the rest looked like and how you’d like to tug it off her with your teeth. “Wow, Mel! You look so sexy, baby. Happy birthday to ME” you joked as you leaned in to press a wet kiss against her neck and softly caressed the skin just above the lace. “Mmmm. Your place? Ten minutes?” Melissa asked seductively. “Oh, I think we can make it there quicker than that” you laughed as you gently slapped her ass and then took her hand to walk her out to the parking lot.

Melissa practically chased you up the three flights of stairs to your apartment. When you got to the top and unlocked your door, she pressed you against it as it closed, licked her fingers, and then slowly slid her hand down your pants and pressed her fingers up against your cl*t. “Oh, f…f*ck, Mel” you exclaimed as you reached for the back of her neck and pulled her mouth roughly against your own. “Mmmm” she moaned into your lips as her hand teased and caressed your slick folds and sensitive cl*t. You unbuttoned her shirt as quickly as you could, desperate to see more of her as she f*cked you against the door. Her breasts looked incredible in the sexy lingerie she’d chosen and you took both of them in your hands and gave them a firm squeeze. Melissa moaned in response and then lifted your left leg up from behind your thigh and held it up against her side as she slowly made her way from your cl*t to your entrance. She then pressed two fingers inside of you and found a smooth, steady rhythm that made you dizzy. “Melissa, that feels so amazing, baby. I love when you’re inside me. Mmmm. Yes!” you said as your hips bucked up against her, your fingers gripped her hair, and your mouth sucked gently on her neck. Then Melissa looked up at you with her mouth open and her eyes full of desire and you suddenly felt the complete intensity of how much she loved and wanted you. It was overwhelming. Melissa increased her pace and said, “I want ya to beg to cum” as she licked her lips and watched your body start to quake. “Oh, god, Mel. Can I please cum, baby? Please. f*ck this feels so good. Please let me cum for you” you begged, barely able to hold back the explosion that was building inside of you. “Mmm. Yeah, hon. Cum for me now” Melissa moaned as she leaned in to bite your neck and thrusted inside of you a few more earth-shattering times. “Oh! Oh! Mel! Mmmmm. f*ck! Oh, f*ck! I’m cumming” you shouted as your legs started to shake and the white heat at your core overtook you. Melissa gently lowered your leg, withdrew her fingers, and then embraced you as your body hung limp against hers. And when you looked up, she had a smug smile on her face. “What’s that little look all about?” you asked as you tried to catch your breath. “Aw, nothin’, just get to cross one of my fantasies off my list” she laughed shyly. “f*cking me up against a door until I can’t see straight was one of your fantasies?” you asked as you laughed and leaned in to kiss her. Melissa just smiled back and nodded enthusiastically. She was so f*cking cute. And beautiful. And sexy. “Well, in that case, let’s take this to the bedroom and I can live out one of my fantasies, too! It is almost my birthday, after all” you laughed as you took your girlfriend by the hand and made your way back to the bedroom.

You woke up the next morning to an email from your landlord about a noise complaint from a neighbor. “Worth it” you thought, as you remembered the heavenly sounds that Melissa had made all night long.

So. f*cking. Worth. It.

Notes:

Don’t worry, OFC’s fantasy and the full black lingerie reveal are next. 🥵 I wouldn’t deprive anyone of that.

We’ll also see how everyone’s Thanksgivings go. Gotta know how Jacob’s tofurkey turns out. Right? Right. 😂

Chapter 28: Full to the Brim

Summary:

As you woke up that Thanksgiving morning, you couldn’t help but think back on the intense night before. And the memory was a nice reprieve from the lonely four days ahead of you…

Notes:

“I am grateful,
full to the brim.
I am. I am.
I am grateful,
more than I’ve
ever been.”

“Grateful” by St. Finnikin

Happy Thanksgiving from Abbott Land 🦃 🍁 🍽️

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

You set your phone back down and looked at the empty side of your bed where you wished Melissa was asleep beside you. She’d left late last night to make the drive out to her sister’s house early in an effort to avoid the Thanksgiving Day traffic. You sighed deeply and thought back to last night and how incredible Melissa looked and the steamy evening you had before you parted ways.

After you had taken her back to your room, you slowly pulled off her blouse and pants, revealing the lingerie in all its glory. The black lace was embroidered with roses and you could actually feel your mouth water as you softly caressed Melissa’s skin through the delicate material. This was without a doubt the best birthday gift you’d ever received. Melissa stared back at you longingly and leaned in to pull your sweater up over your head and then brought her hands near your center to unbutton your pants. You decided to keep your bra and underwear on for now, Melissa’s pleasure being your only concern at the moment. You stepped back toward her and slowly turned her body so that her back was pressed against the front of you. You pushed her hair to the side and kissed down her neck and across her shoulders. Your hands started to wander, rubbing her ass first and then gliding up toward her breasts. Melissa let her head fall back against your shoulder as she leaned into your slow, sensual touch. “You’re so damn beautiful, Mel. I love you, baby. I want you so bad” you said as you continued to caress and squeeze her soft, perfect body. You brought your hand to the zipper at the back of her lingerie and pulled it down slowly as you sucked on her neck. Then you pulled the straps down before you turned Melissa back around to face you and you pulled the lingerie down and off her body completely. “It’s so hot that you were wearing this all day for me, babe” you said with a smile as you stood back up and locked eyes with your girlfriend. Melissa smirked and said “the things I do for love! Good thing it was only a half day, huh?” You laughed as you pressed your forehead against hers and then tilted her chin up to pull her into a soft, yet passionate kiss. “So what’s this fantasy ya mentioned earlier, hon?” Melissa teased, clearly ready and excited for whatever was next. You smiled. “Well… I have to give you fair warning, you’re gonna get wet” you said with a grin.

You and Melissa stepped into your shower and let the hot water pour down against your bodies. You leaned back against the shower wall and then pulled Melissa close against you and said, “So, the day before the mixer, I fantasized about you in the shower. It’s why I was late that day. I couldn’t stop thinking about you and touching myself.” Melissa looked back at you with raised eyebrows and a co*cky grin. “Oh, really? That’s hot, hon. What exactly were we doin’?” she asked playfully. That’s when you quickly turned Melissa’s body again and pulled her back against you. You rubbed your hands all over her body as the warm water trickled over her skin. Then you started to massage her breasts as you left a small love mark at the center of her back. Melissa moaned and instinctively pressed her body back against yours firmly, her ass pressed against your core, just like in your fantasy. Dreams really do come true! One of your hands slid from her breast and down toward her center and the slickness waiting for you made you moan. “Mmmm. Mel, you’re so wet, baby” you said as you gently bit her earlobe and then kissed the soft skin behind her ear. “Mhmm. Ya like the way my ass feels up against ya, babe?” Melissa asked as she simultaneously bucked her hips toward your fingers on her cl*t and back toward your own aching puss*. “Mmm. Yeah, Mel. Feels so good” you replied as your cl*t slid against the warm, wet skin of her incredible ass. “What are ya gonna do about it then?” Melissa asked as she turned her head back just enough to pull you into a kiss with her tongue. “Oh, f*ck, Mel!” you replied as you slid two fingers inside her wet puss* and then felt your own hips start to rock against her in the same rhythm of your thrusts inside her. “Yes, Y/N! Oh, baby. Just like that” Melissa screamed out as she rode your fingers vigorously. Your bodies moved back and forth together in perfect unison and Melissa moaned and cussed and screamed louder than you’d ever heard before. She was always a bit more vocal when the two of you got off at the same time. You made a mental note for the future. “God, Mel, I’m so f*cking close” you said through ragged breaths. “Me, too, baby. Don’t stop! f*ck me! f*ck me! Fu… OH GOD!” Melissa screamed out as she started to cum and just hearing her and seeing her frantically grind against your fingers sent you over the edge right along with her. “Oh, Mel! Yes! Yes!” you said as you slowly rode your org*sm out against her ass and gently pulled your fingers out from inside her once her body had stilled. Melissa turned around and pulled you into another passionate kiss as you embraced her. It had been a perfect night and you didn’t want to let her go or be without her for even a second. “I love you” you whispered into her ear. Melissa pulled back and looked you in the eyes as she brushed a strand of wet hair from your forehead. “I love you, too, Y/N. And I’m gonna miss your face so much” she replied, holding back tears.

The sound of your phone buzzing pulled you back into the present moment. It was Melissa calling. “Hey, babe! I was just thinking about you. Everything okay? Did you make it to your sister’s place in one piece?” you asked, excited just to hear her voice. “Hey, hon! Yeah, I made it. Missin’ you already though. Sorry to bug ya, but I got this naggin’ feelin’ that I left my curlin’ iron on before I left last night. Had to get presentable again after that hot shower. Would you be able to stop by my place and check? You know where the key is” Melissa asked. “Sure, babe. I’ll head over soon and I’ll text you as soon as I lock up” you replied. “Thanks, hon! Love ya! And hey, happy Thanksgiving!” Melissa said. “You, too, Mel. You, too!” you replied.

You walked up the stairs of Melissa’s front porch and reached up above the porch lamp to grab her spare key. You turned the key in the lock and opened the door and immediately saw your Abbott friends waiting for you with huge smiles on their faces. “Surprise!” they shouted in unison. You were completely shocked. “What in the…” you said as Melissa walked over toward you, took your cheeks in her hands, and gave you a soft kiss. “We all talked it over, hon. And none of us wanted you to spend another holiday alone” Melissa said sweetly. You were completely emotionally overwhelmed by the surprise gesture, but there was also a nagging guilt in the back of your mind that your loneliness had just cost three other couples and Melissa their special holiday traditions and plans. “You guys didn’t have to do this. Gosh, I mean, this is so sweet. This is the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me. I just feel so bad that now you all are missing out on your own Thanksgivings with family” you said as you tried to let your gratitude overcome your guilt. “We are with our family, dear. Our chosen family. And I for one am excited to spend the day making memories and food with the fine teachers and friends I’ve made during my time at Abbott” Barbara said as she approached you and placed a hand on your shoulder. You looked over at the rest of your friends and smiled. “Thanks, you guys. I’ll never forget this” you said with tears of joy in your eyes.

Melissa, Gerald, and Gregory sat in the living room enthusiastically cheering on the Eagles as they faced off against the Cowboys. Meanwhile you, Barbara, Janine, Jacob, and Zach got to work in the kitchen. You knew how sacred this space was to Melissa and the fact that she had allowed anyone in there besides you was a miracle. You looked over at her from the kitchen and caught her eye as you peeled the potatoes. And the smile she gave you melted you completely. Jacob and Zach worked on the green bean casserole while Janine handled the mac and cheese and Barbara basted the turkey and stirred the gravy. Everyone had their task and enjoyed joking and laughing together as they navigated around each other in the kitchen space. You brought out a round of beers for Melissa, Gerald, and Gregory and saw that the Eagles were ahead, 14-6. And Melissa was absolutely glowing. “Go Eagles!” you said as you kissed her on the cheek. “Damn right, babe!” she cheered back at you.

When you all sat down to dinner Barbara volunteered to lead the prayer. “Thank you, oh Lord, for the bounty we are about to receive. Thank you for bonds of friendship and love we find ourselves surrounded by. And thank you for the green earth beneath us and the blue sky above. Amen” she said with a nod. And you all said Amen together. The meal was delicious. Barbara had cooked the turkey to perfection and the sides and gravy were all amazing. Jacob was especially proud of the green bean casserole and only mentioned a few times how everyone would have to wait to try his tofurkey until next year. The conversation was light and fun and everyone smiled as they enjoyed the food and each other’s company. It was a perfect Thanksgiving day and you had never been surrounded by more warmth in all your life.

After dinner everyone enjoyed Gerald’s pumpkin pie and Melissa’s Ricotta Cake, which she made using her Nonna’s special recipe. The evening began to wind down and you hugged all of your friends goodbye, sincerely thanking each and every one of them for making this the best Thanksgiving you’d ever had. You and Melissa stood out on the front porch together and waved goodbye to everyone. Melissa stepped back inside briefly to grab your green cardigan to throw over her Eagles t-shirt and a warm blanket for the two of you. You sat down on the bench together and Melissa laid her head down against your shoulder. “Mel?” you asked. “Yeah, hon?” she replied. “I can’t thank you enough for making this happen. This was such a special day. And I felt so loved by and connected to everyone. I forgot what family felt like. And you changed that for me. Forever. I’ll never be able to thank you enough for letting me be part of your life and part of this family. I love you, Melissa” you said as you looked down at her. Melissa snuggled closer against your body and said “All I wanna do is take care of ya, hon. You deserve the world. But… you forgot to mention the best part of the day.” You thought for a moment and then welcomed the huge smile that came across your face as you remembered: “The Eagles won?” you laughed. “Damn right they did, babe” Melissa replied with a bright grin.

Notes:

I really enjoyed writing this chapter and hope you all enjoy reading it.

Apologies to AquarianAirbender for the lack of tofurkey content. 😂

Chapter 29: Between the Lines

Summary:

You blinked and it was December already! And even with a nice, long break from school to look forward to at the end of the month, you were busier than ever! Good thing you were surrounded by such wonderful company.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

You were on cloud nine after an incredible long weekend with Melissa and your Abbott family. That Thanksgiving Day would hold a special place in your heart forever. Then Melissa took you to your favorite restaurant for your birthday that Saturday night and the two of you spent the following Sunday morning in bed together reading, watching movies, and cuddling. Well, it started out as cuddling... It was nearly impossible to keep your hands off each other in bed. And you didn’t mind in the least. Melissa knew exactly where and how to touch you to drive you wild and you had quickly learned which positions, words, and sensitive spots sent her over the edge. Things were good. Things were really, really good. You couldn’t believe it was December already and that it had been four months since you started working at Abbott Elementary. And four months of being head over heels in love with Melissa Schemmenti.

Your social life was steadily improving, too. You and Melissa joined the Abbott crew’s trivia team over at Rubensteins. You were called “The Smarty Pints” and enjoyed meeting up at the bar after work every other Wednesday. Everyone was shocked by how well Melissa did each time. They’d clearly never witnessed her completely kick your ass at Jeopardy! You and Melissa had also started going bowling with Barbara and Gerald on occasion and you loved seeing Melissa and Barb laughing and spending time together. Gerald was a sweet man with a kind disposition and a dry sense of humor. He always made sure everyone had the right size shoes, correct bowling ball, and that the fry baskets were never empty. You felt like you were finally part of this community of people that had been so welcoming to you from the start. You cared for them deeply and allowed them to care for you as well. It was still a very new feeling, but you were proud of yourself for leaning into it wholeheartedly after so many years of loneliness and doubt.

One Wednesday night in the middle of December, your trivia team won first place! Melissa volunteered to go up to the bar to collect your prize and to buy a round of beers for the group. You watched her lovingly as she walked away and noticed several men near the bar checking her out. You couldn’t blame them, of course, and you knew you’d be the one taking her home tonight anyway. As you turned back to face the group, you realized someone had asked you a question and you had been completely preoccupied drooling over your girlfriend. “What’s that now?” you asked. They laughed at you and then Jacob repeated his question: “Do you want to get married one day? Zach’s been dropping hints left and right and I just feel so torn. Yes, I love him and I want to be with him long-term. But should we as queer people really participate in an institution that has historically excluded us and is oozing in patriarchal ideologies?” You stared back blankly for a minute before you answered. “I mean… yeah. You make a good point, Jacob. f*ck the patriarchy, for sure. But, I dunno. Maybe it’s not the worst thing, if you’re with the right person and you want the same things. So, yeah… I guess I’d be open to marriage some day” you replied. You looked back over at Jacob, Janine, and Gregory and noticed none of them had replied and they were looking beyond you. Melissa had returned and was standing right behind you with several beer bottles in-hand and a look of confusion and shock on her face.

The car ride back to Melissa’s place that night was… awkward. “So, ya wanna get married someday?” Melissa asked. “Mel, I can explain. That wasn’t… it wasn’t about me. Or you and me. Or us. Or anything, really. Jacob just mentioned that Zach has been hinting at proposing and then he asked how I felt about marriage. As a queer person. In like a totally abstract way. Honestly. I was just trying to get him out of his head about it. Not everything has to be a political and existential crisis, right? Ah, classic Jacob” you replied nervously as you felt your cheeks turn red. Melissa nodded her head slowly once you were finished, but didn’t say anything for a few more minutes. “I just… I know that’s not a conversation we’ve had at this point in our relationship. But hearin’ what you said made me realize that maybe we should” Melissa said as she stared at the road ahead intently. “I’m older than you, hon. And I’ve been married before. And divorced. I tried it and it failed miserably and it’s just not somethin’ I’m interested in doin’ again. Ever. With anyone. And nothin’s gonna change that” Melissa declared adamantly. You watched her for a moment and considered her words as you wondered how in the world you should reply to her confession. “Wait… you’re… older than me?!?” you said with a mischievous smile on your face. Melissa turned to look at you and swatted at your arm. “Smart ass!” she said as she laughed. You felt better already. “Look, Mel. I hear you. Truly, I do. I know you went through hell. And what sane person would risk that twice? I understand” you replied earnestly. Melissa smiled softly at you and then rested her hand on your thigh. “So, you get it then, hon? You understand that it’s not you, it’s not personal, it’s just… my truth?” she asked with a hint of worry in her voice. And in that moment you could finally see how scared she was that this might be a dealbreaker for you. “I do. I get it, babe. And I’m not going anywhere. Marriage isn’t something I’ve ever been opposed to, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only way a relationship can feel meaningful and dedicated and safe. It’s just rings and papers at the end of the day, really. Nothing I need in order to feel loved” you replied as you rubbed Melissa’s hand and smiled back at her brightly. Melissa pulled the car over, put it in park, and then took off her seatbelt and climbed over to straddle your lap. Then she leaned down and pulled you up into a deep, sensual kiss. When your lips parted you were nearly breathless. “Wow, babe! If this is how you respond to me saying I don’t care about marriage, I have lots of other social institutions I’m completely indifferent toward that I’d just LOVE to tell you about” you joked as you reached for her ass and licked your lips. Melissa laughed and shook her head as she stared down at you. “C’mere, you dork!” she said as she pulled you into another kiss.

The next day you were on your way to the teacher’s lounge for lunch when Ava’s voice came over intercom and requested you meet her in her office immediately. When you arrived, Jacob was already there and sitting in one of the chairs across from Ava’s desk. “Hey, guys. What’s going on?” you asked. “Have a seat, Y/N. This will just take a minute” Ava replied. Jacob looked sick with worry, but to be honest, Jacob looked that way most of the time. “We just got the final results for the GSA vote we sent out and unfortunately, the “concerned” parents won by five votes. Ya’ll won’t be able to host the club this year in its current form” Ava said. You and Jacob looked at each other for a moment as you let it sink in. You were disappointed, of course, but not surprised. In a way, you even blamed yourself. If you had just stayed calm and not mentioned your past, maybe that would have made the difference. “This sucks” you heard Jacob say as he gently shook his head in defeat. You laid your head in your hands and rubbed your face for a moment before you looked up and noticed a mischievous grin on Ava’s face. “Wait… you said we can’t host the club in its current form… does that mean… is there another way we can still make this happen, Ava?” you asked, intrigued. Ava smiled back at you and said, “There is. I just need a little bit of time to work out the kinks. Let’s say we meet again after the New Year? The plan will be set into motion by then” she said as she practically cackled. You stood up and walked over to embrace Ava in a tight hug. “Thank you, Ava. This means the world to us. And will help so many kids feel less alone. I’m so glad you’re our principal” you said as you squeezed her. When you pulled away, you noticed Ava had tears in her eyes before she said “Okay, okay, get outta here and go eat your nasty ass brown bag lunches full of cheese sandwiches and saltines or whatever. I have things to do!” You and Jacob both laughed and then made your way to the teacher’s lounge together.

On Friday morning everyone gathered around Janine’s laptop for the upcoming PECSA Weekend reveal for the conference in early February. While you, Janine, Gregory, and Jacob excitedly scrolled through the page to see the various speakers and presentations you had to look forward to, Melissa and Barb laughed at your eagerness and reminisced about how hammered they both got the year before. “I kid you not, Barb almost walked outta the hotel in just her socks the next day” Melissa laughed hysterically. You could picture it now. The two of them taking the edge off of twenty years of teaching with margaritas by the pool. You thought it was awesome. They deserved it! As Janine continued to scroll, the subject of rooms came up. Gregory and Janine obviously decided to share a one-bed hotel room while Jacob told everyone that he planned to room with a friend he’d made from Addington last year. That left you, Melissa, and Barbara. “I can get a room by myself. I know you two have always roomed together in the past. I’ll be fine on my own” you offered sincerely. “Nonsense, dear. Of course you and Melissa should stay together. I won’t mind the peace and quiet as long as you don’t mind that I steal her away for a bit for a few Math-a-Rita’s! Besides, Melissa snores” Barbara said with a laugh. “I do not!” Melissa replied, shocked by the accusation. “You do, babe. You snore” you laughed. “And that’s what you get for telling people I walked around the hotel in my socks” Barbara teased. It was settled then. You and Melissa would share a hotel room at the conference in February. You couldn’t wait to spend the days networking and attending innovative presentations by passionate speakers and the nights collecting your tipsy girlfriend from the pool and f*cking her in the hotel room until she screamed out your name. PECSA weekend couldn’t come soon enough!

When you arrived at Melissa’s for dinner that Friday evening, you could instantly tell that she seemed nervous. The kitchen was in disarray, pots were boiling over, and she looked flushed. She never looked that way in the kitchen. This was her safe space. Her peace. The one place where she had complete control. “Mel? You okay, love?” you asked cautiously. She stared back at you for a moment and then looked around and realized how out of order everything was. “Yeah, hon. I’m fine. I’m good. I was just thinkin’… I mean, I was wonderin’… if maybe you’d wanna spend Christmas with me and meet my family?” Melissa asked as she looked back at you with hopeful eyes. You stared back at her and felt your heart skip a beat. This was huge. And the fact that she was so disheveled and nervous as she worked up the courage to ask you made you realize what a big deal it was to her, too. “I’d love to spend Christmas with you, babe. And I’d be so honored to meet your family. I know how important they are to you and how close you all are. Yes! Absolutely” you replied as you pulled Melissa against you, kissed her forehead, and then held her tight. You felt her exhale deeply beneath you before she tilted her chin up and kissed you softly on the lips. “I was so scared you’d say no. Or that you’d think it was too soon or somethin’. I just can’t stand the thought of you alone on Christmas day and I wanna share you with all the people I love” Melissa said as she looked into your eyes. You smiled back at her and said “I can’t wait to meet the people who shaped you into the incredible woman you are, Mel.”

You helped Melissa clean up the kitchen and the two of you decided to order Chinese food instead and watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

You fell asleep that night dreaming of Christmas morning with the woman you loved.

Notes:

Busy chapter! But that’s because there are many big things on the horizon for Melissa, OFC, and the Abbott gang! Hope you enjoyed it. Stay tuned for more! ☺️

*Completely unrelated: I woke up in a cold sweat last night and realized I never mentioned Ava’s costume in the Halloween chapter. This is unforgivable. Please leave suggestions below and I will go back and fix it. 😂 She is too fabulous to be left out!

Chapter 30: Let Your Heart Be Light

Summary:

It was the start of the holiday break and you were busy wrapping presents while Melissa and Barb enjoyed their annual holiday celebration in the teacher’s lounge. And you were beyond excited for a romantic holiday weekend with your girlfriend before it was time to meet her family on Christmas day!

Notes:

4,000+ hits and 30 chapters later and you guys are still here? 🥹

Thank you so much for reading and for all your kind words. I hope this chapter makes your hearts smile. 🥰

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Your favorite thing about being a teacher during the holiday season was having the opportunity to teach your students about different traditions from around the world. Abbott had a diverse student population and you invited all the children in your class to share stories about their unique holiday celebrations. It was also a great time for messy, hands-on crafting. Your students weaved Mkekas using construction paper during their exploration of Kwanzaa, crafted dreidel garlands after learning more about Hanukkah, and more! Your room was festive and bright, your children were curious and engaged, and the atmosphere of inclusivity made everyone feel welcome and celebrated. It really did feel like Narnia in there sometimes.

There were just a few days left until Christmas and Melissa and Barbara were busy planning their annual teacher’s lounge holiday party. They extended the invitation to you this year, but you politely declined. For one thing, you still felt guilty about everyone ditching their plans to keep you company on Thanksgiving. And for another, you knew you’d get to spend the upcoming weekend and Christmas day with Melissa and thought she and Barbara deserved to enjoy their special tradition together. Just the two of them! From what you understood, Melissa and Barbara were practically connected at the hip before your arrival at Abbott. And even though Barb was incredibly supportive of your relationship and always kind and welcoming to you, there were times when you still felt guilty for occupying so much of Melissa’s free time. You knew they’d have a fantastic celebration together and that you’d be with Melissa for most of the holiday break. You were glad they’d have that time and were honored to have been invited.

Skipping the dinner also meant you had more time to wrap presents for Melissa while you watched your favorite Christmas movies. You had purchased two tickets to the December 28th Philadelphia Flyers game against the Canucks and even bought her a brand new Travis Konecny jersey to wear to the game. You felt confident that your Philly sports-fanatic girlfriend would be beyond thrilled with the gift. Hockey was a little fast-paced for you, but you knew Melissa would be able to explain everything and that she’d need someone there to help keep her warm. You also wanted to get her something a little more romantic and sentimental and thankfully you had started planning back at the beginning of the month. Melissa loved jewelry and wore rings, necklaces, and bracelets every day, only removing them before she went to bed. When you remembered that a friend of yours from college made custom jewelry, you reached out to her immediately, hoping to beat the holiday rush. She loved your idea and said she’d have it to you a week before the holiday. When it arrived in the mail, you were so excited to see how it turned out. Your friend was a very talented artist and the detail of the engraving was absolutely beautiful. It was special and it meant something and you really hoped Melissa would like it. You couldn’t wait to see her wear it on Christmas day.

You made your way up Melissa’s front porch that Friday night with a pile of gifts in your arms. When she opened the door you could tell she was pleasantly buzzed from the wine she and Barb had enjoyed at their party. “Lookin’ good, Santa” she teased with a wink. “You, too, Mrs. Claus” you laughed back at her before you planted a quick kiss on her lips. She tasted good. And she smelled good. And she looked so f*cking good. You couldn’t wait to spend the weekend with her before driving up to meet her family on Monday for Christmas day. You walked in and set the presents down under the tree before you turned back to face your rosy-cheeked girlfriend. “Looks like you and Barb had a good time, huh?” you asked playfully. Melissa sat down on the couch and then smiled up at you. “We did! It’s always a blast. We look forward to it every year. But this year, I couldn’t wait to get home” Melissa replied. “Oh, yeah? Why’s that?” you asked. “Because for the first time in a long time, I knew there was someone waitin’ for me. Someone I hate bein’ away from. I just couldn’t wait to see ya, hon” she said with a soft smile. Four months later and you could still feel the powerful flutter of butterfly wings when Melissa said things like that. You smiled shyly back at her and then said, “Come here.” Melissa stood up slowly and walked over to join you near the Christmas tree. When she reached you, she placed her hands softly on your shoulders and looked deeply into your eyes. As you stared back into her emerald green eyes, you were overwhelmed by how much you wanted her. By how much you loved her.

You reached over and gently pulled Melissa’s black sweater up and over her head, tossing it toward the couch before you bent down on your knees to unbutton and then remove her pants. Melissa tangled her fingers in your hair and tugged as you kissed your way up her legs and toward her center. You pressed several soft kisses on her cl*t through her black silk underwear and then stood up to remove her bra. Melissa watched you hungrily as you undressed her piece by piece and when you finally pulled down her underwear she was absolutely ravenous. You quickly took off your own clothes and then pulled Melissa down to lay on her back on the living room floor. You straddled her thigh before you slowly lowered your body against hers and pressed your breasts against Melissa’s. When your nipples made contact with hers, she moaned in ecstasy at the sensation as you rubbed them together in slow, circular motions. Then you leaned down and licked her bottom lip quickly before you shoved your tongue into her mouth and passionately explored her tongue and mouth with yours. You could feel your own excitement and wetness growing as your cl*t slid easily up and down Melissa’s thigh while you rocked your hips against her. Melissa’s hands slid down your back and onto your bare ass, pulling your center tight against her thigh while your own leg pressed against her core just as firmly. The two of you moved back and forth in a slow, steady rhythm and the sweat and wetness between your bodies began to grow. You could feel yourself getting closer and closer to the edge and could see from the look in her eyes and the sounds she was making that Melissa wasn’t far behind you. Then you had an idea. You abruptly stopped grinding against her and sat up. You were both breathing heavily and Melissa looked momentarily confused before she realized what you were doing. “You brat” she said with a smile as she looked up at you and bit her lip. “What are you gonna do about it?” you teased, still trying to catch your breath. Melissa reached one of her hands behind you and gave you a firm slap on the ass. And it felt so, so f*cking good. “Mmm. Do it again, baby. Harder, please” you begged. You could see Melissa’s eyes light up at your request and she quickly and happily obliged as she slapped your ass again, harder this time. “f*ck, Mel” you moaned as you reached for your own breasts and begged her to do it again as you pinched your nipples and started grinding on her again. Melissa was beyond excited now as she gave your other ass cheek the hardest slap yet. “That one’s gonna leave a mark, hon” she smirked. “Mmmm. I hope so” you said in a haze of pleasure. Then Melissa sat up and pulled you beneath her on the carpet. She wanted to be on top. And you were so aroused by how f*cking incredible it felt to have her hands smack your ass that you were happy to relinquish control. Melissa rapidly lowered herself onto you and began to grind against your thigh vigorously. “Mmmm, babe. I’ve been thinkin’ about this all day. Can’t wait to cum all over you” she said through ragged breaths and moans as her breasts bounced up and down with each enthusiastic thrust against you. “You look so f*cking good, Mel. God, I wanna taste you so bad,” you replied as you sucked on her neck and dragged your nails down her back. Melissa was agonizingly close to climax when you kissed her deeply and then said, “sit on my face, baby.” Melissa immediately sat up and moved her body up to mount your mouth. Your lips and tongue instantly latched onto her cl*t and you sucked it firmly before you slid your tongue down and inside her puss*. Your hands reached back to squeeze her ass and you moaned against her center, completely intoxicated by how amazing she tasted. “Oh, god! Oh, f*ck, Y/N! Yes! Yes! Oooooooh!” Melissa screamed out as she came in your mouth. While she continued to ride your face, you reached one hand down and brushed your fingers against your own cl*t in a quick, steady rhythm. You were so turned on from watching her and tasting her and from how f*cking good it felt when she spanked you that it took just seconds before your toes started to curl and you came against your own hand as you licked Melissa’s puss* clean. Then she laid down next to you on the carpet and cuddled up into your arms. “Merry f*ckin’ Christmas” Melissa laughed as she rested her head against your shoulder and kissed your neck. “And a Happy New Year” you replied with a smile as you pulled her closer and brushed a strand of bright red hair from her cheek.

You showered together afterward and by some magic were able to keep your hands to yourself. Melissa sat down on the couch with a cup of hot chocolate as you walked over to the tree to retrieve the gift you couldn’t wait to give her. The two of you had decided to exchange gifts this weekend so that Christmas day could be spent helping prepare the holiday meal and getting to know Melissa’s family members. You handed Melissa the present and she smiled back at you shyly. She gently pulled off the wrapping paper and then slowly opened the thin, velvet jewelry box. Melissa held up the gold necklace and then took it in her hand as she studied the details. On the front of the pendant there was an engraving of a lamp-post and on the back there was an inscription that said “Home.” Melissa rubbed the pendant between her fingers and then looked up at you with tears in her eyes. “Narnia?” she asked as she smiled through her tears. “Yeah, babe” you replied as you leaned in to kiss her on the cheek. “You… you’re my lamp-post, Mel. You have been since the first day we met. And you teach me more and more every day what home feels like. I love you so much. I hope you like it” you said nervously. Melissa unlatched the clasp and pulled it against her neck before she turned her back toward you to allow you to put it on her. You kissed the back of her neck once the clasp was sealed and when she turned back to face you, her hand rested softly on top of the pendant. “This is the nicest gift I’ve ever gotten, hon. I absolutely love it. And I love you! More than anythin’!” Melissa said with a smile before she pulled you into a tender kiss.

Melissa fell asleep in your arms on the couch that night to the sound of Judy Garland singing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” in the film “Meet Me in St. Louis.”

It was the best gift you could have ever hoped for.

Notes:

In “The Chronicles of Narnia,” the lamp-post symbolizes direction and finding one’s way home. It’s like a compass. And I kind of love that Melissa has been that for our OFC since the beginning. 🥰 Plus we love a throwback to chapter one when Melissa called the reader’s classroom Narnia. ☺️

The Schemmenti family Christmas is just around the corner. Brace yourself, people.

Chapter 31: Merry & Bright

Summary:

It’s pancakes for breakfast and a morning of sharing gifts and kissing Melissa Schemmenti.

Notes:

Short and sweet. 🥰🎄

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

On Sunday morning you made Melissa pancakes for breakfast as Frank Sinatra’s Ultimate Christmas vinyl played on the record player. You had her apron on as usual as you sprinkled blueberries on top of some of the pancakes and chocolate chips over the others before flipping them a final time. You placed them on a big plate in the middle of the table and then brought Melissa her coffee. She set down the book she was reading and placed her glasses on top of it as she smiled at you. “Mmm! I’m starvin’, hon! Thanks for makin’ breakfast” she said as she reached over to rub your hand. “Of course, love” you replied as you removed the apron and sat down next to her. “Now, eat up! I can’t wait for you to open your gifts” she said with a grin as she poured the syrup over her pancakes and then passed it over to you.

Melissa walked over and sat on the floor near the Christmas tree and reached up to take your hand and pull you down next to her. Then she handed you a a neatly wrapped box. “Merry Christmas, hon!” she said. You unwrapped it and then pulled out a white cotton bathrobe. It felt like a cloud! “Oh my gosh! It’s so soft!” you laughed as you instantly put it on over your pajamas. Melissa had already washed it for you and it smelled like lavender and vanilla. It smelled like her. “I just know how much you love to be warm and cozy. It was too soft to resist! Hope ya like it” Melissa said as she watched you hug it against your body. “I love it, baby! Thank you. It’s just a shame that I’m not ever taking it off and will meet your family in my new bathrobe tomorrow” you joked. Then the two of you exchanged a few smaller gifts. You’d bought Mel several new books and an Eagles Football coffee mug and she got you a few fancy pens, a new journal for your writing, and a book of poetry by Ocean Vuong. You both also exchanged records since listening to music together was one of your favorite things to do. Melissa gave you Queen’s Greatest Hits and you gave her The Record by boygenius. You always loved listening to the classics with her, but wanted to share some of your more modern favorites as well and you had been singing along to this album non-stop for months.

Melissa handed you your last gift and you pulled off the wrapping paper and saw a silver cuff bracelet. It was beautiful and simple and exactly your style. “Wow, Mel! This is so lovely. Thank you, babe” you said as you leaned in to kiss her. “There’s an inscription” Melissa said as she licked her lips to savor your taste after your lips parted. You turned the bracelet in your hand and read the words aloud: “Ti voglio sempre al mio fianco” you said in your best Italian accent. You recognized some of the words from your Duolingo exercises, but looked to Melisa for the full translation. “It means ‘I want you always by my side’” Melissa said as she stared back at you lovingly. You felt yourself start to tear up and quickly looked down at your wrist as you put the bracelet on. “I want that, too, Mel. In every language” you smiled as you gently grabbed the collar of her bathrobe and pulled her in for another sweet kiss. Now it was your turn to give Melissa her last gift. Even though you knew she loved the necklace and was touched by how thoughtful it was, you also knew your girlfriend well enough to know the jersey and hockey tickets were going to completely rock her world. Melissa unwrapped the box and squealed the second she saw Travis Konecny’s number 11 jersey. “You gotta be freakin’ kiddin’ me, Y/N! This is so awesome” Melissa said as she immediately threw off her robe and put the jersey on over her black silk bra. The jersey just barely covered her ass and as you saw the lace of her black underwear peeking out from just beneath the bottom of the jersey, you temporarily forgot whose gift this was. Melissa pulled you up and into a tight embrace. “I love it, hon! Konecny is THE man!” she beamed. You smiled back at her and then pulled out a small envelope from behind your back and handed it to her. Melissa opened it, saw the tickets,and screamed before she wrapped her arms around your neck and kissed you passionately. “Oh my god, babe! Thank you so much. I can’t wait to be there with you. You’re gonna love it. Nothin’ like live hockey!” she declared adamantly. “Merry Christmas, Mel! I’m so happy you’re happy” you replied. She smiled brightly back at you and made her way over to the tree. She pulled out a small square package from the branches and then walked back over to you and placed it in your hand. “I lied. You have one more present” she said nervously. You slowly opened the box and were shocked to find a key to Melissa’s house inside. You looked back up at Melissa and waited for her to speak. “I just… I figured it was time, y’know? This way you can just come over whenever, whether I’m here or not. I like havin’ ya close. And I really like your pancakes. And you in my bed. And beatin’ you at Jeopardy. So, this is all very selfish of me, really” she joked. You could tell she was being funny to take some of the pressure off of the gesture, just in case you said you weren’t ready for this next stage of intimacy. But you were. It was a key. It wasn’t a huge deal. You had known where the spare was for months. It was more about what it meant for Melissa to officially give another person a chance to freely enter her home and her heart and her trusting you not to break her. “I’ll make you pancakes every god damn day, baby” you said as you took off your robe and lifted Melissa’s jersey up and over her head. You ate her out and made her cum three times that morning. And Melissa made you squirt for the first time in your life when she fingered you on the couch. “Wow, hon. That may be my favorite gift of all” she said in awe as she leaned down to kiss you.

Tomorrow it would be Christmas day and you suddenly felt very nervous about meeting Melissa’s family. Would they like you? Would they approve of Melissa dating someone she worked with? Or dating someone younger than her? Would they ask you questions about your family? And most importantly, would their gravy be as good as Barb’s? Okay, so that last one was your desperate attempt to pull yourself out of your head. All you could do was be yourself in the end. That, and show them just how much you loved and cared for Melissa.

What could go wrong?

Notes:

The Schemmenti Family Christmas is next and it’s gonna be… somethin’! I’ve had the plans for this one in the back of my mind since the start and I am equal parts excited and terrified to share it with you all.

All I can say ahead of time is please prepare yourselves for a very insecure Melissa Schemmenti. ❤️

Chapter 32: Seasons of Love

Summary:

It’s Christmas Day at last! And time to meet Melissa’s family. The Eagles are playing the Giants, Melissa’s little niece, Sofia, is instantly your biggest fan, and the food all looks incredible.

What could go wrong?

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Melissa carried a basket full of presents for her family while you lugged six bags of groceries up Giulia Schemmenti’s front steps. You were fully sweating at this point and it had nothing to do with heavy lifting. You were so worried about making a good impression that you were starting to inadvertently psyche yourself out. You watched as Melissa went to reach for the doorbell and said “wait!” It startled her and she looked back over at you with concern. “What’s up, hon?” she asked. Melissa was wearing a red blouse with a plunging neckline. It was the same one she wore to the mixer. The one she wore when she kissed you for the first time. And today the only necklace she had on was the one you gave her. You looked down at the gold pendant and the lamp-post and then back up into Melissa’s eyes. “I… I’m just so scared I’m going to blow this. I love you so much, Mel. I’m just worried they won’t like me” you admitted. Melissa set down the basket of gifts and stepped toward you, taking your face in her hands. “They’re not gonna like ya” she said. “What?!” you asked, shocked that she had such little faith in you. “Cus they’re gonna LOVE ya, hon” she said with a smile as she leaned in to press a reassuring kiss against your lips. And the kiss felt just as grounding as the kiss she gave you in the janitor’s closet when you were in full panic mode on the first day of school. Your heartbeat started to slow and as you opened your eyes and looked into hers, you were finally ready. “Let’s do this, Schemmenti” you said enthusiastically. Melissa laughed, shook her head gently, and then rang the doorbell.

Giulia Schemmenti opened her front door and immediately pulled Melissa into a tight and loving embrace. “Amore mio!” she exclaimed joyfully. “Hey, ma” Melissa replied with a soft laugh. “This is my girlfriend, Y/N” she said to her mother as she reached back for your hand and pulled you closer. “Christ, Melissa! You said she was pretty, ya didn’t mention you were bringin’ a goddess to Christmas dinner” Giulia said as she smiled brightly at you. “It’s so nice to finally meet you, Mrs. Schemmenti. Melissa has told me so much about you” you replied as you extended your hand out to shake hers. Giulia laughed heartily, pulled you into her arms, and said “First things first, none of this Mrs. Schemmenti crap. Call me Giulia. And second things second, we hug in this house!”

Giulia guided you inside and led you toward the kitchen to set down the groceries while Melissa went to the living room to put the gifts under the tree and greet her family. “Our girl can’t stop talkin’ about ya, honey. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her this happy” Giulia said to you as she took the grocery bags from your hands. And you couldn’t stifle the huge smile that came across your lips. “Well, she makes me very happy, too, Mrs. Sch… Giulia” you replied. “Let’s go make introductions and then ya can help me in the kitchen. I’m the star around here anyway, kid. Don’t waste your time with the rest of that motley crew” Giulia teased. She led you to the living room and you could hear the familiar sounds of the NFL broadcast on the TV and the sounds of playful and spirited family joking and reminiscing. “Hey, everybody. This is Melissa’s girl, Y/N! Say hello. And behave yourselves, for Christ’s sake!” Giulia said with authority. Melissa walked over to take your hand and introduce you around. You met her brother Mikey and his wife Bianca. They had ten-year old twins, Mike Jr. and Francesca, but everyone called her Chessy. Then you met Melissa’s sister, Kristen-Marie and her husband Antonio, Tony for short. And they had an eight-year old daughter named Sofia. Melissa’s father, Niccolò, had passed away several years ago after a heart attack, but you saw his smiling face in a framed photo that was mounted with pride above the fireplace. Melissa had his eyes. Everyone was so kind and welcoming and the kids were absolutely adorable. You hit it off with little Sofia right away, which made sense considering she was the same age as your third graders. You reached into your bag and pulled out a coloring book and crayons that you had brought especially for her. “I heard you really like to color, Sofia” you said with a smile. She gasped and then leaned in to hug you before she grabbed the coloring book and started coloring in a butterfly on the first page. Mikey and Tony opened some beers and offered you one as they settled in to watch the first football game of the day. “Thanks, guys! I’ll have to drink this one on the go though, I’ve been instructed to return to the kitchen ASAP to help your mother” you said as they laughed and you made your way back to the kitchen.

When you entered the kitchen and saw Melissa, Giulia, and Kristen-Marie all hard at work, you suddenly appreciated Melissa’s passion for cooking even more. It was a family affair. It was tradition. It was her heritage. While Kristen-Marie focused on the more traditional Christmas foods (ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, etc), Melissa was busy making the lasagna from scratch while Giulia prepped the Panettone for dessert later this evening. It was a wonder to behold. You decided to serve as a revolving sous-chef for each of them. Grabbing different ingredients from the fridge, stirring this and that, tasting for flavor, changing the oven temperature. The three of them had their own shorthand, but you caught on quickly and genuinely enjoyed the experience of preparing this meal with them.

Kristen-Marie took a short break once the ham was in the oven and went out to sit with Sofia. You followed behind her to check the score of the game and to grab another beer. The twins were playing on the Nintendo Switches they’d got for Christmas and Mikey and Tony were still planted firmly on the couch. “Hey! Y/N! You’re back! Sneak us anythin’ good from the kitchen? Ma would slap me silly if I tried” Mikey said with a laugh. “Oh, I don’t know if I’m that brave just yet” you replied. “Here, grab another beer” Tony said as he opened the small cooler by the couch. It was empty. “That’s okay! I’ll grab us a few more from the fridge. Wouldn’t want you guys to pull a muscle or anything” you teased as you walked back down the hall toward the kitchen.

Melissa and Giulia were still putting the final touches on the lasagna and you stopped just before you turned the corner when you heard Melissa say your name. “Well, whaddya think of Y/N, ma? Isn’t she great?” Melissa asked. “Yeah… She’s great, honey. She’s lovely. Really” Giulia said. “But…?” asked Melissa. She could tell her mother had more to say on the subject. “Whaddya mean “but?” Alls I said was she’s lovely. That’s all. Yeesh!” Giulia replied indignantly. “C’mon, ma. Say whatever it is ya wanna say” Melissa said firmly. “I just worry… gosh, honey. She’s so young. And ya said she doesn’t have any family? You don’t think she’s gonna wanna get married and have kids and make a family of her own someday?” Giulia asked with genuine concern for both you and her daughter. “Well, we talked about marriage a little recently and she knows that’s not in the cards for me. She said she’s fine with it. She gets it. And I believe her. Kids… I dunno, ma. I guess we haven’t really talked that one over yet. She doesn’t know that I couldn’t do it, even though I tried. It just hasn’t come up yet. Y/N’s never said she wants kids though” Melissa said. You couldn’t see her face, but her voice sounded sad. “Okay… say she really doesn’t mind not gettin’ married and is okay with not havin’ kids… fine. She’s so young, sweetheart. Ya really think that pretty young thing is gonna stick around a few years from now when the menopause hits and ya got hairs growin’ outta your chin and are havin’ hot flashes left and right and got zero sex drive?” Giulia asked sincerely. “Christ, ma!” Melissa said. “Look, she’s wonderful, hon. And I’m so glad you’re happy. You been glowin’ all day. It’s easy to see ya love each other. But the honeymoon always ends eventually. Ya just gotta make sure you’re in the same season when it does. And I’m just not convinced you two are” Giulia said. Melissa didn’t respond. And you weren’t sure what that meant. You put on a smile and turned the corner. “How’s it going in here, ladies? It smells amazing. The boys just sent me in to grab a few more beers” you said enthusiastically as you pulled the drinks from the refrigerator. “Oh, great! Now they’re treatin’ you like a damn servant. When I get my hands on those lazy blockheads…” Giulia said as she stormed out of the kitchen. You walked over to Melissa and brushed a piece of hair behind her ear, willing her to look at you and see you and believe that what you two had was real and true. That it would last. That you’d be there for all of it, the good, the bad, and everything in between. She finally looked up at you and leaned in to press a soft kiss against your cheek. “I love ya, hon” she said with a hint of sadness still hidden in her voice. “I love you, too, Mel” you said as you pulled her close. And as you held her tight, you desperately hoped that the seeds of doubt her mother planted hadn’t begun to take root.

The Christmas feast the Schemmenti women prepared was outstanding! Everyone had full plates and smiles on their faces as they sat down to the table and the atmosphere was warm, welcoming, and full of excitement. Mikey and Tony couldn’t wait to get back to the couch to cheer on the Eagles vs. The Giants, you were having a love affair with Melissa’s lasagna, and Giulia chatted with her grandchildren about school while Bianca and Kristen-Marie complained about another upcoming PTA meeting they’d have to attend. The only one who was quiet was Melissa. She sat back in her chair and sipped her wine as she poked at her salad with her fork halfheartedly. You looked at her from across the table and wondered what she was thinking. You reached your foot to touch hers under the table and she looked up at you with a smile. “You okay?” you mouthed silently. And she nodded.

After dinner everyone made their way back to the living room to open presents and watch the game before dessert. It was the third quarter and the Eagles were ahead, 20-18. It had been a close game! The kids were thrilled by their gifts and frantically opened their new video games from nonna and books and LEGO sets from Aunt Melissa. Then the doorbell rang and everyone looked confused except for Giulia. “We expectin’ company, ma?” Kristen-Marie asked. “We are! I invited someone for dessert!” Giulia exclaimed as she made her way to the door and opened it to invite the guest inside. “Charlotte Locke, amore mio! Aren’t you a sight for sore eyes! C’mon in, honey” Giulia said. And all it took was one quick glance in Melissa’s direction and the look on her face to confirm that, yes, it was THAT Charlotte. Melissa’s best friend from childhood. Melissa’s first love.

Giulia took her coat and hung it up as Charlotte slowly made her way into the living room. She was… beautiful. She had long, dark brown hair, hazel eyes, and an incredible sense of style. She looked like she was ready for dinner at the White House. Melissa stood up and looked completely shell-shocked. “Looking good, Schemmenti! Been a minute, huh?” Charlotte asked as she approached your girlfriend and pulled her into a hug. “Uh, yeah. Been a bit. How ya doin’, Char?” Melissa asked. Between the hug and the nickname, you suddenly felt very unwell. “I’m great now that my divorce is finalized! I was so happy to hear from Giulia! Remember how I used to always come over for dessert on Christmas? I just couldn’t resist her invitation and the chance to see you again” Charlotte said as she placed a hand on Melissa’s shoulder. “Divorce, huh? The guy didn’t rock your world anymore?” Melissa joked. “Well, my ex-wife and I just wanted different things in the end. It was amicable, but I still feel so relieved to be out of it” Charlotte said. Melissa was clearly surprised to learn that her first love had ended up marrying a woman. “Uh, yeah. I know the feelin’. Me and Joe split up ages ago. Best decision I ever made” Melissa laughed. Then the two of them just stared at each other for a moment before Charlotte looked over and saw you. “Oh, I’m so rude. I apologize. I’m Charlotte” she said as she extended her hand out to you. “Hi. I’m Y/N. I’m Melissa’s girlfriend” you replied as you shook her hand tightly. Charlotte had a look of surprise on her face as she stared at you and then back toward Melissa. “Wow, Schemmenti! Way to go!” she laughed. You were so uncomfortable, you thought you might be sick. Then Charlotte made her way into the room to greet Mikey and Kristen-Marie as the Eagles game continued in the background.

Melissa looked at you apologetically for a moment before she took her mother by the arm and led her into the kitchen. And since eavesdropping was apparently your new hobby, you quietly followed behind them and listened around the corner again. “What the hell, ma? What in the world were you thinkin’ invitin’ Charlotte tonight?” Melissa asked angrily. “Why ya jumpin’ down my throat about it? I heard she was back in town and recently divorced and I just thought it’d be nice for you two to reconnect. I know ya always liked her” Giulia said, feigning innocence. “You gotta be kiddin’ me, ma! That was over thirty years ago! We’re different people now. Not to mention that I’m in love with Y/N! I can’t believe you did this” Melissa said with frustration building in her voice. “I get it, honey. You’re mad. I’m sorry. But ya wanna ask yourself why you’re so upset about it? Is it because she still looks good? Did some of the old feelin’s bubble to the surface when you saw her? There’s gotta be a reason you’re so pissed” Giulia replied. Melissa didn’t respond. Again. And again, you weren’t sure what that meant.

You walked back down the hall toward the living room and opened another beer as you watched Charlotte chat with the other couples. She was charismatic. You could see why Melissa had fallen in love with her all those years ago. You drank the beer as quickly as you could and then opened another. Melissa walked in and saw you sitting by yourself. She grabbed your coats from the closet and then came and took you by the hand. “C’mon, hon. Let’s get outta here” she said. She could tell you were drunk and upset. And she put your coat over your shoulders and then pulled you into a hug. “We’re headin’ out, guys. Merry Christmas” Melissa said as she waved toward the living room. “Oh, Melissa! Wait” Charlotte said as she quickly walked over. She handed Melissa her card and said “Gimme a call, Schemmenti! I’d love to catch up over a bottle of wine sometime soon!” Melissa nodded and shoved the card in her pocket before she turned back to lead you toward the front door. Giulia intercepted you on the way out and pulled Melissa into a loving hug. “I’m sorry, sweetie. I just want what’s best for ya. I won’t be around forever. And I wanna make sure you’re taken care of” Giulia whispered in her ear. But you heard it. You heard it all. Melissa shook her head, put her arm around your shoulders, and then walked you out to her car.

It was completely quiet on the drive back to Melissa’s house. Melissa was upset and you were upset. But you couldn’t tell her why without admitting to everything you overheard. You pressed the side of your face against the cold glass of the window and as you slowly drifted off to sleep, you realized something… you forgot to try the gravy.

Notes:

Ho, boy! 😬

*Bonus content*
My internal monologue the entire time I wrote for Giulia:
Shutupshutupshutup 😂

Chapter 33: Songbird

Summary:

“And I wish you all the love in the world. But most of all, I wish it from myself.”

Songbird - Fleetwood Mac

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

You woke up before Melissa the next day and quietly snuck out of bed and threw on a hoodie and some sweatpants. You grabbed your wallet and keys and made your way to the grocery store. You bought a huge bouquet of orange lilies and then walked to the cafe nearby to pick up coffees and a couple breakfast sandwiches. You needed something to take the edge off your terrible hangover. Yesterday was… hard. Before Melissa rang that doorbell, you felt better than ever about your relationship and you knew Melissa did, too. The two of you had such a wonderful weekend together exchanging gifts, making love, listening to your favorite records, and cuddling on the couch. But Giulia Schemmenti had really managed to get inside Melissa’s head and made her question everything she had felt so sure about before. All you wanted to do now was hold Melissa close and reassure her that your love was constant and that you wanted to be with her more than anything. Always. You weren’t sure how to do that without also admitting to listening in on Melissa’s private conversations with her mother. You remembered your promise to never lie to Melissa again, so you decided that you would tell her what you heard. You didn’t know when or how exactly, but it felt important to be honest about it. And you knew it would ultimately make it easier to reassure her of your love and devotion if you could address some of her mother’s specific concerns and Melissa’s insecurities. You made your way back to Melissa’s house and you couldn’t tell whether the sick feeling in the pit of your stomach was from your hangover or nerves.

You quietly walked into Melissa’s bedroom and placed a gentle kiss on her cheek. “Morning, love. I picked us up some breakfast” you whispered as you sat down on the bed. Melissa yawned softly before she stretched out her arms and turned to face you. Her eyelids were pink and slightly swollen. It looked like she had cried last night. You had passed out seconds after your head hit the pillow and must not have heard her. “Hey, come here, babe” you said as you pulled her up onto your lap. “I’m sorry, hon. I just… I had a bad dream last night. That’s all” Melissa said as she wrapped her arms around your neck and started to cry again. You gave her a gentle squeeze and said, “I’m here, baby. I’ve got you.” She sobbed against you for a few minutes and all you could do was hold her, gently rub her back, and tell her it would all be okay. When she pulled away, she couldn’t look you in the eye. “Mel, babe… what can I do? What do you need right now?” you asked. You hated seeing her this way. “I think… I think maybe I just need some space, y’know? I always need time to recover after family gatherin’s. I know that’s a terrible thing to say, especially to you, but family is complicated, right?” she asked. “Of course, Mel. I understand. Do you… want to talk about any of it? I know Charlotte showing up was a big surprise, but you seemed a little upset even before, during dinner. Did something happen?” you asked, as if you didn’t already know. This was your chance to tell truth about what you overheard, but Melissa still looked so upset and you didn’t want to push it further if she wasn’t ready to talk about it yet. “Just the usual drama with ma. I don’t… I kinda just wanna take a shower and be by myself for a little bit, hon” she replied as she wiped the remaining tears from her cheeks. “Okay. I’ll put your breakfast in the fridge for later and then head out. We still on for the Flyers game on Thursday?” you asked hopefully. “Course, hon. Wouldn’t miss it for the world” she said. You took her cheek in your hand and caressed it softly before you leaned in to kiss her goodbye. And even the kiss felt sad.

You left Melissa’s bedroom and closed the door behind you. When you made it out to the kitchen you quickly put her breakfast in the refrigerator. Then you grabbed the first vase you could find and put the lilies in it with some water. You walked out the front door and used the key Melissa had given you just days ago to lock the deadbolt behind you. And the second your car door closed, you started to cry.

You entered your empty apartment that you hadn’t been in for days and tossed your bag and keys down on the floor. You stood in the kitchen and tried to make sense of what just happened. You and Melissa had been together for four months and she had never once asked for space. Not that there was anything wrong in needing space or asking for it. It was the timing that hurt. You had hoped to spend the day reassuring Melissa that you loved her beyond measure and that all the fears her mother put in her mind had no place in reality. You didn’t need to get married. You were content to love and be with Melissa without labels or ceremonies. None of that mattered to you. You loved kids, but never felt compelled to be a mother. Sure, you used to think that you’d like to be a foster parent someday, but so much of that depended on where life took you. It wasn’t something you’d ever committed to in your mind. And as for family, you had found it in Melissa and your friends at Abbott. They were all the family you needed. And they were incredible. And you would never, never leave Melissa. Not for any reason. Ever. And definitely not because of menopause. It would be such a privilege to watch someone you loved embark on another chapter of living and aging and changing. You loved Melissa for who she was on the inside, not how she looked on the outside. You just got lucky that she was the most beautiful woman you had ever encountered in every possible way. You had planned to tell her what you overheard and planned to apologize and planned to make sure she never felt uncertain about anything ever again. But Melissa spent the night crying. And Melissa asked to be alone. And you were so scared and upset that you didn’t know what to do. You opened the freezer, took out a bottle of vodka, walked to your bedroom, and closed the door. It was 9am.

When you woke up, it was dark outside. You immediately checked your phone. Melissa had texted you around 11am to thank you for the beautiful flowers. And that was it. You stood up and instantly felt dizzy and sick. You barely made it to the bathroom in time. As you laid there on the cold bathroom floor, you thought about Charlotte. You thought about how she hugged Melissa and touched her shoulder and how stylish she was and how she had slipped Melissa her card and begged for a call. And here you were, a pathetic mess on the bathroom floor after drinking your pain and worry away. Melissa had loved Charlotte once. Maybe she would again. Maybe she never stopped. She was the better choice. The safer choice. The choice that seemed to make sense to everyone else. You felt the tears start to well up in your eyes again and then you heard your phone buzz from over in your bedroom. You ran out as fast as you could and saw it was Melissa calling. “Hi! Hey, baby! I miss you so, so much. I was thinkin’ bout you” you slurred into the phone desperately. “Hi, hon. You okay? You sound a little… sloshed” Melissa replied. “Mm fine. Just missin’ my girl” you laughed. “I… I miss you, too, Y/N. I was just callin’ to say goodnight. You sure you’re okay?” Melissa asked again, concerned. “Yep. Yep. Yep. Super good. No more bad dreams for you, k?” you said, kicking yourself for not being able to pull it together and tell her what you were really feeling. “Night, hon” she said before she ended the call. You felt another wave of sadness ready to crash into you, but you reached for the bottle by your bed again and took a big drink.

You woke up on your bedroom floor that Wednesday morning with a throbbing headache. The bottle was empty. And you felt that way, too. You texted Melissa right away to apologize for being drunk when she called and to ask if you could see her today. It took her over an hour to reply. She said, “It’s okay, hon. I think I’m gonna take another day to myself, if that’s okay. Got some errands to run and plans this afternoon. But I can’t wait to see you for the game on Thursday.” You felt your heart drop. You couldn’t drink another day away. And you also felt sick with worry as you wondered if those afternoon plans were with Charlotte. You grabbed your planner and your laptop and spent the day in the local library preparing lesson plans for January and February at Abbott. It was a productive distraction and kept you from wallowing in how sad and scared you felt. You convinced yourself that the hockey game would cheer her up and give the two of you a chance to talk and reconnect. Everything would be okay. You just had to make it to Thursday.

You threw on your black Flyers hoodie that Thursday afternoon and then made your way over to Melissa’s house. You had a key now, but still felt more comfortable just knocking at this point. Melissa opened the door and had a bright smile on her face. She was happy to see you. And she looked incredible in her jersey. Her hair was pulled up in a ponytail and the necklace you gave her rested against the slick material of her jersey. You were overwhelmed by how relieved you felt just from being close to her again. “Hey, hon. C’mon in. I just gotta grab my purse and we can head out” she said as she walked back toward the kitchen. You closed the front door behind you to keep out the cold while you waited. And when Melissa made her way back over to you, you took her by the hand, gently pushed her back against the door, and then pressed your body up against her. Melissa looked surprised, but she didn’t have a chance to ask any questions before you passionately pressed your lips against hers. She kissed you back just as vigorously and instinctively laced her fingers through your hair as she moaned against your mouth. You stood there, pressed firmly against one another, and kissed fervently for the next five minutes. When you finally pulled away to catch your breath, you looked down at the breathtaking woman in front of you and thought of all the things you’d wanted to say to her over the last three days. All the ways you wanted to tell her you loved her. Instead, you smiled, took her by the hand, and said “Let’s go, Flyers!”

The hockey game was a blast! It was exactly what both of you needed after the last few days. Melissa was glowing! She shouted the entire time and knew all the chants and cheers. She told you about all the player stats and how many teeth they’d lost and who the king of the penalty box was. She was in her element. And you were so happy to witness it. You spent most of the game standing directly behind her with your arms wrapped around her waist, trying to keep both of you warm. You just wanted to be close to her. The energy of the crowd was contagious and the more you watched and listened, the more you understood. Everything still moved way too fast for you, but it was exciting to be in such an enthusiastic atmosphere. The Flyers came out on top in the end, beating the Canucks 4-1! You drove Melissa home afterward and she asked you to stay the night.

You’d barely made it to her bedroom before you pulled off her jersey and instantly started kissing and sucking on her neck. You loved when she wore her hair up. You reached behind her and skillfully unclasped her bra with one hand and then reached down to unbutton her jeans. Melissa pulled your hoodie up and over your head and then pulled you into a deep, desperate kiss. Her tongue teased your lips playfully at first and then forcefully entered your mouth and you felt faint at the intoxicating sensation. You both finished undressing quickly and then made your way over to the bed. You sat down on the edge and then pulled Melissa down to straddle your lap. You brought your hand up to Melissa’s lips and slid two of your fingers inside her mouth. She sucked on them and lathered them with her saliva and when you pulled them out of her mouth, you instantly began to rub them against her cl*t. “Mmmm. Oh, yeah. Nice and slow, baby. Just like that” Melissa said as she rocked her hips slowly back and forth against your fingers. She pressed her breasts up to your face and you licked and sucked on them hungrily as you continued to apply pressure against her cl*t. “f*ck me” she whispered in your ear once she knew she was wet enough for your fingers to enter her with ease. You quickly slid your fingers down to her throbbing center and thrusted them inside. Melissa moaned and moaned as she vigorously rode your fingers and you just watched in awe as her breasts bounced up and down rapidly in front of your face. “I’m so f*ckin’ close, Y/N! God, you f*ck me so good, hon. Yes! Just like that. Just like th… Ooooooh!” Melissa screamed out as her walls tightened around your fingers and she came undone in your hand. Melissa’s body went limp against you and you laid back to let her rest on top of you while she recovered. She slowly caught her breath and then rolled off of your body to lie down next to you. You both laid there quietly for a few minutes before Melissa finally spoke. “Hey. So, I wanted to let ya know that I met up with Charlotte the other day for lunch. Just to catch up. She asked if you and I would wanna come over to her place for dinner tomorrow night. She feels bad about blindsidin’ everyone on Christmas and said she’d love to get to know ya better. Whaddya think?” Well, for one thing, you thought it was weird that she brought this up immediately after you made her cum. Had she been thinking about Charlotte while you f*cked her? And for another, if she needed space, why was she meeting Charlotte for lunch? Must have just been you she needed space from, you thought. You immediately felt unwell, but knew that if you told her you didn’t want to go and that her meeting up with Charlotte made you really uncomfortable that it would upset her. So, even though you promised you’d never lie to her again, you said “Sure, babe. That sounds nice.” She smiled back at you and then pulled the sheets up to cover you both before she nestled into your arms.

As Melissa fell asleep in your arms, you made a plan for Friday night. You would look better than you ever had before. You would confront Charlotte about her intentions with Melissa. And you would let her know that you weren’t going down without a fight.

Notes:

This. One. Hurt. To. Write. I was depressed all day long working on this. I’m sorry if it’s hard to read, too. 🥺

There is still so much ahead. I love them and am so invested in both of these characters. Melissa is going through so much right now and all OFC wants to do is be there for her. They’re both fighting their biggest insecurities which are always the toughest battles. I always wanted their relationship to be tender and sweet and beautiful and sexy and also shaky and hard at times. They are full humans who deserve to come up against obstacles and struggles.

This is a very long way of asking you all to please trust me and trust them and believe that everything that happens to them is for a reason. And to please not hate me! 🥰

Chapter 34: Feels Like the End

Notes:

“Feels Like the End” by Mikky Ekko

…in case you need a soundtrack in the background to make this hurt even more.

*sorry in advance to any Grey’s Anatomy fans who are triggered by this song*

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

You had just finished curling your hair and applying your makeup when Melissa texted to say that she’d be at your place soon. You were determined to look your absolute best for dinner at Charlotte’s and as you buttoned your black dress pants, put on your purple Chiffon blouse, and stepped into your black high heels, you felt beautiful and confident. You knew it was Melissa’s favorite color and as you put on the silver cuff bracelet she got you for Christmas, you felt ready for the evening ahead. You still weren’t entirely sure what Charlotte’s motives were for hosting this little gathering, but you did intend to make sure she knew that you loved Melissa more than anything and that you two were in a committed relationship. You put on your silver water drop earrings and then made your way over to the door to let Melissa in. When you opened the door and saw the look on Melissa’s face, you knew you looked as good as you felt. “Wow, Y/N! You look so beautiful, hon. C’mere” Melissa said as she pulled you into a tender kiss. Then you stepped back to admire how incredible she looked. Melissa wore a dark green satin blouse that accentuated her breasts, tight dark gray slacks, and black heels. She had on large gold hoop earrings and the necklace you gave her. She was absolutely stunning. “You look amazing, too, Mel. God, I’m so damn lucky you’re mine” you said with a smile. Melissa blushed, reached for your hand, and said, “Let’s get goin’!”

Charlotte opened her front door and immediately pulled Melissa into her arms. “Schemmenti! So glad you could make it” Charlotte said with a huge grin. “Course! Thanks for the invite. You remember Y/N, right?” Melissa said as she slowly pulled out of Charlotte’s tight embrace. “How could I forget her? Welcome, Y/N” Charlotte said as she reached out to shake your hand. “Thanks for having us” you replied as you shook her hand firmly. “Well, come in, you two! It’s freezing out here” Charlotte said as she shivered.

For dinner Charlotte made Greek Roasted Chicken and potatoes paired with a tossed salad and some crusty French bread. It was excellent. It annoyed you how excellent it was. Charlotte and Melissa spent most of the meal reminiscing about their high school days and all the trouble they used to get in together. It was fun to hear what Melissa was like at that age, you just wished the person sharing all the stories would stop resting her hand on your girlfriend’s arm and staring at her longingly. You wished the person telling you all this wasn’t the first person Melissa ever loved. The person who made Melissa realize she was attracted to women, too. Eventually the topic shifted when Charlotte asked how you and Melissa met. You put your hand on Melissa’s back and rubbed gently between her shoulder blades as you told the story of how you first saw her from across the parking lot at Abbott. Melissa smiled and leaned into your touch as you recalled the details of how you fell in love with her. As you spoke, you noticed Charlotte’s demeanor changed significantly. She seemed annoyed, like she couldn’t wait for you to stop talking. And she stared at Melissa the entire time, even though Melissa only looked at you and occasionally chimed in with her own version of events. It was very obvious that Charlotte was attracted to her and it was clear that she didn’t see you as much of an obstacle to pursuing Melissa. Charlotte went to the kitchen to grab dessert and Melissa planted a kiss on your cheek before she got up to use the restroom. When Charlotte returned to the table with the peach crumble, you knew now was your chance to confront her. “So, Charlotte. You seemed really excited that Giulia invited you over on Christmas” you said. “I was, yes! It was tradition when we were younger and I was really looking forward to seeing Mellie again. I’ve thought about her a lot over the years and missed her so much. It feels so great to reconnect and pick up right where we left off” she replied. “It kinda seems like you’re trying to do more than just reconnect with Melissa. Are you interested in her?” you asked directly. Charlotte shook her head slightly as she laughed at you. “Of course I am, Y/N. Melissa and I go way back. We have history. There’s always been an attraction there, a connection. We may not have understood it fully in our youth, but that’s what’s so wonderful about reuniting now.” Charlotte replied smugly. “And you’re not the least bit concerned that she’s already in a relationship with me?” you asked. “Aw, sweetheart. You’re nothing more than a midlife crisis. It’s cute you think she loves you, though. I’m not worried in the least. I’m sure your little fling has been fun, but Melissa will realize soon that deserves a real woman, not some kid who is hot for teacher” Charlotte said dismissively. Now you were pissed. You opened your mouth to give Charlotte a piece of your mind when you heard Melissa walking back down the hall. She smiled at you when she entered room, but could tell from the look on your face that something had happened. “You okay, hon?” Melissa asked. “I… I just have a bit of a headache. Charlotte, would you be heartbroken if we passed on dessert?” you asked as you turned to glare at her. “Not at all, Y/N. The wine is strong and I noticed you had a few glasses. I’m sure you’ll feel better once you sleep it off” Charlotte replied, feigning concern. You took Melissa by the hand and said, “thanks again for the invite! We’ll have to host you next time.” You grabbed your coats and made your way out the door.

“That was fun” Melissa said as she drove you both back to her place. Fun was definitely not the word you would use to describe the evening. You knew what Charlotte was up to before you had even asked, but somehow her arrogance about it and the awful things she said about you and your relationship with Melissa made things even worse. You were furious. But as Melissa drove the two of you home, you noticed the first snow of the season was falling from the sky. And your anger quickly turned to remorse. You couldn’t believe you hadn’t told Melissa about everything you heard on Christmas day and you knew you couldn’t wait any longer to come clean and have the hard conversation. “Hey, Mel?” you asked. “Yeah, hon?” she replied. “It’s snowing! Can we go for a short walk around your neighborhood when we get back to your place?” you asked. Melissa smiled over at you and said “that sounds perfect, babe!”

Melissa slowly made her way back down her front porch after she had run inside to grab gloves, scarves, and beanies for you both before your nighttime winter walk in the snow. Melissa moved in close as she placed the beanie on your head and you looked down at her beautiful green eyes and bright red lips and were overwhelmed by her beauty and by how much she meant to you. You gently tugged on her scarf and pulled her body toward you. She smiled as she softly pressed her lips against yours and you felt your heart flutter as you thought about how romantic this all felt. It was a shame you had to ruin it.

You took Melissa by the hand and the two of you started walking down the sidewalk together. You made your way to the nearby park and sat down together on the wooden bench by the barren weeping willow tree. If you didn’t say it now, you knew you never would. “Melissa… I have to tell you something” you said as you stood back up quickly. “Sounds serious” she said with a playful smile before she added, “what’s up, hon?” You stared down at her and took a deep breath. You loved her. And loving someone meant being honest with them. Melissa had taught you that. And now you had to show her what you’d learned. “You know when I came into the kitchen to grab beers for Mikey and Tony on Christmas? Well, I accidentally overheard you and Giulia talking before I came in. I… I heard everything she said about you, and me, and us. And I heard what you said… about not being able to have a child. I didn’t mean to eavesdrop. I was just so worried your family wouldn’t like me and I wanted to hear what she thought of me. I didn’t expect… I didn’t know… I just… I’m really sorry. I should have turned around and walked away or just kept walking and interrupted the two of you. I’m so sorry, Mel. And I’m even more sorry I didn’t tell you before now. I was going to tell you first thing the next morning, but you were so upset when you woke up and then you asked to be alone… and I… I didn’t want to make it any harder on you” you said. Melissa stared up at you from the bench. You could tell from her face that she was embarrassed and frustrated, but there was something else, too… something you couldn’t quite decipher. “Is that all? Is that everything?” she asked stoically. “No… it’s not. When I saw you bring Giulia to the kitchen after Charlotte arrived… I followed you and I listened. On purpose, this time. I was drunk and still feeling insecure about everything your mom said earlier. And then the first person you ever loved waltzed into your living room and looked f*cking incredible. It’s not an excuse for bad behavior. I’m just trying to be honest about where my head was at the time. It was just such a weird day and all I wanted to do was show your mom how much I cared about you. I wanted her approval so much. And… I guess since then I’ve just been feeling really worried that you believed all the stuff Giulia said. And that you might want to be with Charlotte instead of me because of it” you said as you held back tears.

“Sit down” Melissa said firmly. She wouldn’t look at you. You hated when she wouldn’t look at you. “I’m glad you told me, but I’m pissed that it took you this long. That’s not okay. And as for what you heard… the kid stuff… that’s not somethin’ I was ready to talk about yet. Mainly because it was such a hard chapter for me and I kinda had to lock it away for the sake of survival. I’m sorry you had to find out about it that way. The other stuff… f*ck. I dunno, Y/N. I’ve been tearin’ myself apart thinkin’ about everythin’ my ma said that day. I do think I feel… guilty about the marriage and kids and family stuff. I mean, you’re just so young. How can you possibly know for sure you won’t wake up one day soon and want those things? Those things I won’t be able to give ya? And what about when I do go through menopause and my body changes and I have terrible mood swings and hot flashes and don’t want ya to touch me? How can I know you won’t go runnin’ as fast as you can in the opposite direction?” Melissa asked as she finally made eye contact with you and you saw the tears building in her eyes. “Because I love you, Melissa. I love you. Every part of you. The reality of you aging doesn’t scare me. You changing doesn’t scare me. The only thing that scares me is the idea of losing you. The thought of being without you” you replied as you reached down to hold her hands in yours. Melissa looked down at your intertwined fingers before she tilted her head back up to lock eyes with you. “And Charlotte… I’m honestly not sure how I feel about her showin’ up. It had been so long since I even thought about her and then there she was. My ma had no business invitin’ her, but she’s back now and I can’t help feelin’ like it’s for a reason. Like maybe tryin’ with her, with someone my own age, someone with the same life experiences… like maybe it happened this way because it was supposed to” Melissa said with a hint of sadness in her voice.

You stood up and walked a few feet away from Melissa and tried to keep yourself from sobbing. You couldn’t believe this was happening. Part of you wanted to blame Giulia for everything, but deep down you knew none of her words would have impacted Melissa if she hadn’t already held those same fears in the back of her own mind. Melissa was scared. She was scared that her love would deprive you of other monumental life experiences. She was afraid you wouldn’t love her once she started to change. And she was terrified at the thought of risking everything with you when someone as safe and familiar and certain as Charlotte was just within reach. And you… well, you were completely devastated. And frankly you didn’t know what else you could say or do to convince Melissa that you loved her more than anything in the world and always would. Nothing seemed to penetrate her doubts and insecurities.

“Are you… breaking up with me?” you asked as you looked out at the snow gently falling across the trees in the park. You could already feel your heart breaking into a million little pieces. “I don’t… it’s not… I don’t want to, hon. I love you so much, Y/N. I just feel so confused about everythin’. I’m overwhelmed and I can’t get my head straight” she replied as she started to cry. You immediately wanted to turn around and comfort her, but you knew if you looked at her right now that you wouldn’t be able to stop yourself from falling to your knees and begging her not to do this. “Maybe we should take a break? Just for a little bit… just to make sure we both have the time and space to really think about what we want… what’s best for both of us” she said as she stood up and placed a hand on your back. You flinched at the touch and she slowly removed her hand. “Y/N?” she said when you didn’t respond. You took another deep breath and then turned back to face her. “I love you, Mel. And nothing will change that. Not ever. You’re my home. I know who I am and what I want. I get that you think I’m just some kid and that I can’t possibly know, but I promise you, I do. I want you. But if you can’t believe that… and if you don’t know that you want me, too… I don’t know how to change your mind. So, yeah. I guess we’ll take a break” you replied, defeated and heartbroken. Melissa stared back at you for a moment before she leaned in and kissed your lips. The salty taste of her tears and the way the kiss felt like the end completely destroyed you. You pulled away slowly and then sat down on the bench. “Will you stay over tonight? I don’t want you to be alone” Melissa said as she looked down at you. “I’ll be fine” you said as you did everything you could to avoid her eyes. “At least lemme drive you home, Y/N. It’s freezin’ out here” Melissa begged. “I’ll walk” you replied. With that, Melissa took off her own coat, walked over, and laid it on top of your shoulders. “Please be safe” she said. And then she walked away.

A week ago you had gently clasped the lamp-post necklace around Melissa’s neck and felt completely enveloped in a kind of love and security you had never experienced before.

Now you sat alone in the dark on a cold night as the woman you loved walked away from you. And you had no way of knowing if she’d ever walk back into your arms again.

Notes:

No notes.
Just 💔.

Chapter 35: Waiting Room

Summary:

“If you were a teacher, I would fail your class.
Take it over and over 'til you noticed me.
If you were a waiting room, I would never see a doctor.
I would sit there with my first-aid kit and bleed.
I wanna be the power ballad that lifts you up and holds you down.
I wanna be the broken love song that feeds your misery.
And I can wish all that I want, but it won't bring us together.
Plus, I know whatever happens to me, I know it's for the better.”

Waiting Room - Phoebe Bridgers

Notes:

I wasn’t planning to have the next chapter out for another day or so, but I’m home sick today and these last few chapters have just poured out of me. I think it’s because they’re sad and hard and my body wants them gone. Anyway, off we go!

Chapter Text

It was New Year’s Eve and you were alone. And for most of your life, that had been normal. That had been fine. That was the expectation. You spent every holiday and birthday by yourself and after so many years, you’d grown numb to the loneliness. But then Melissa came into your life and showed you what love felt like and promised you’d never have to feel alone again. And yet here you were.

She had texted you a few hours after she left you in the park on Friday night to make sure you made it home safe and that was the last you’d heard from her. You wished you’d been able to pull yourself together before you parted ways so you could ask some questions about this break. How long did she need? Was she planning to see Charlotte during that time and explore that as an option? Did that mean you were allowed to see other people? What were the rules and expectations? Not knowing was killing you and you knew you had to check in with Melissa for the sake of your own sanity. “Hi. I know we’re taking some time apart and I really don’t mean to bother you, but I have some questions. Could I come over? I promise I’ll just sit on the porch. You don’t have to let me in or anything” you texted. She responded a few minutes later: “Sure, hon. C’mon over. I’ll make us some hot chocolate” Melissa replied. She knew it was your favorite and she knew it would comfort you. And you knew there was no way you were going to be able to let this incredible woman go.

When you pulled into Melissa’s driveway, she was sitting on the bench on her front porch with a heavy blanket over her lap and two large mugs in her hands. You slowly walked up the steps and worried that you’d completely fall apart if you looked her in the eyes. “We can go inside if you want, Y/N. It’s freezin’!” Melissa said as she handed you a mug and then lifted the blanket up for you to sit under next to her. “I… I don’t think that’s a good idea” you replied as you took a sip of hot chocolate. “Kay. I understand” she said. The two of you sat there quietly for a few minutes as you looked out and admired the thin layer of snow that covered the ground. It felt comfortable and excruciating at the same time. “So… I guess I just have some questions about this break. How long do you think you need?” you asked meekly. “Gosh, I dunno, hon. I hadn’t really put a timer on things. I just figured a little space would help me clear my head and figure out what the hell I want… what makes sense, y’know? Would you be more comfortable if we set a date or somethin’?” Melissa responded. And now you felt stupid for asking. “I… no. I guess we can just take it one day at a time. It’s just hard not to know when I’ll be able to see you again” you said as you felt the tears well up in your eyes. “Well, the holiday break is almost over. We go back to Abbott on Tuesday. You know you’ll see me there, right?” Melissa asked. “You know that’s not what I mean, Mel. I mean when I’ll be able to be with you. I love you so much… this is f*cking torture” you replied as the tears started to pour down your cheeks. Melissa watched you and you could tell it wasn’t easy for her either. She put her arm around your shoulders and pulled you close. But she didn’t know what to say. “Are you… are you gonna spend time with Charlotte while we’re on our break?” you asked as you tried to wipe the tears away. Melissa let out a soft sigh. “Yeah, hon. We’re actually grabbing drinks later” Melissa said apologetically. “Are you kidding me?! You’re spending New Year’s Eve with her?” you asked, completely outraged. “No, no! We’re just meeting up for happy hour at Rubensteins. We’re not spending New Year’s together. I wouldn’t do that to you” Melissa said as she tried to calm you down. “Oh, well don’t skip out on a New Year’s kiss with Charlotte on my account, Melissa” you said, furious. Then you added, “I guess that means you’d be fine with me going out and meeting someone tonight then?” Melissa looked back at you and you could see the hurt in her eyes. “I mean… if that’s somethin’ you wanted to do… I guess I can’t stop ya, Y/N” she replied. “Of course it’s not what I want, Mel! I told you what I want. You! You’re the one who isn’t sure. Well, have fun figuring it out with Charlotte, I guess!” you shouted as you set down the mug and left as fast as you could.

You should have gone home. Instead, you drove straight to Rubensteins and found a small, cozy booth toward the back to sit in. You ordered a beer. And another. And then another. You were inconsolable and you felt sick imagining how Charlotte would sit across from your girlfriend later and flirt with her or hold her hand or maybe even try to kiss her. You couldn’t f*cking stand the thought. And even though you knew it was a horrible idea, you decided to sit there until Melissa and Charlotte arrived later and then tell Melissa exactly what Charlotte said to you at dinner the other night. Melissa deserved to know what kind of person Charlotte really was.

When you saw them arrive you were pleasantly surprised to see that Melissa hadn’t overdressed for the occasion. She looked beautiful, of course. She always did. But she looked casual. She didn’t look like she was going on a date. And that gave you hope. You waited for them to sit down and order their drinks before you stood up, took your last swig of beer, and then walked over to their table. “Howsit goin’, ladies? Happy New Year” you said sarcastically. Melissa looked up and was completely shocked to see you. And you knew she could easily tell you’d been drinking. “Oh, now this is really sad” Charlotte said smugly. Melissa shot daggers in her direction before she turned and asked, “What are you doin’ here, Y/N?” You looked into Melissa’s eyes and tried to steady yourself. “Well, I knew you two were coming out tonight and I just thought you deserved to hear what Charlotte said to me at her house the other night” you said. Melissa looked at Charlotte and then back at you. You were surprised but encouraged when you heard Melissa say, “go on.” And so you did. “After dinner when you went to the bathroom, I asked Charlotte if she was interested in pursuing you, even though she knew you and I were together. And she proceeded to laugh in my face and tell me I was just some midlife crisis to you and that you didn’t really love me. She called our relationship a fling and said you’d realize you needed a real woman soon and leave me” you said, hoping you hadn’t left anything out. Melissa studied you for a moment before she turned to face Charlotte. “Is that true, Char? Did you say all that stuff to Y/N?” she asked, her voice tinged with anger. Charlotte laughed, shook her head, and then looked over at you with disdain. “Wow, kid. Didn’t take you long to go running to tattle on me to your mommy, did it? You have issues, Y/N. And yes, Mellie, I did say all that. Because it’s true. You deserve to be in an adult relationship. You deserve someone who knows how to take care of you. And we could be great together. You have to know how silly you two look together, what people think when they see you with her” Charlotte said, digging her own grave. Melissa sat there for a moment and didn’t say a word. Then she put her purse on her shoulder, stood up, and walked toward the exit. Just before she opened the door she turned to say, “Let’s go, Y/N. You can’t drive home like this.” You glared at Charlotte one last time and then followed Melissa out of the bar.

Melissa drove you back to your apartment and walked you up the three flights of stairs. She grabbed your keys out of your back pocket, unlocked your door, and then pointed for you to go inside. She followed behind you, closed the door, and tossed your keys in the dish on the table near the door. You walked over to sit down on your couch while Melissa poured you a glass of water. She brought it over and encouraged you to drink up. “I’m sorry for making a scene, Mel. I just… Charlotte’s so… she’s two-faced and mean. And she wants you like you’re just some thing to have. Not like you’re the only thing that matters in the universe. Not the way I want you” you said as you reached for her hand. Melissa looked down at your hands and then over at you and into your eyes. You knew that look. You knew she wanted to kiss you, to touch you, to pull you beneath her and make you come undone. You stared back at her longingly and bit your lip, praying she’d make the first move and do what you knew she wanted to do. And your prayers were answered when you felt her hand on the back of your neck and her lips pressed roughly against yours. It felt like the world stopped spinning when she lifted your shirt up over your head and then laid you back on the couch to unbutton and pull down your jeans. You reached up from beneath her to unbutton and remove her blouse and then fumbled with the buttons of her jeans before she pushed your hands away and pulled them off herself. Then she laid down on top of you. She squeezed your breasts through your bra and ran her thumbs over your erect nipples beneath the fabric. You moaned into her touch and your hips started to slowly roll against her thigh. Melissa licked and nipped at your lower lip as your own tongue reached out to meet hers and pulled her into a deep kiss. Then Melissa slid her hand down into your underwear and slowly dragged her fingers from your wet entrance up to your cl*t. As she used her middle finger to caress your slick folds and rub circles against your cl*t, she started to grind her own center against your thigh. And as she rocked her body back and forth against you, you tilted your head down slightly to take one of her breasts into your mouth. You sucked and licked and teased her nipple and listened to the heavenly noises Melissa made from above you. You were both usually very verbal during sex, but tonight there was only panting, moaning, and the sounds of heavy breathing as you pressed against each other and searched for your holy release. You were close and you could tell Melissa was, too. You reached your own hand down to Melissa’s wrist and slid her hand down further, urging her to press her fingers deep inside of you. And she did. And when she felt how wet and tight and ready you were, she thrusted deeply inside of you over and over again and then reached her own org*sm from riding your thigh as you screamed out and came hard against her hand. Melissa looked down at you as she desperately tried to catch her breath and then slowly pulled her fingers out from your core. You stared back at her and searched her face as you tried to figure out what this meant. Melissa sat up against the couch and then pulled you over to lay your head down on top of her legs. She rubbed your head and played with your hair until you fell asleep.

When you woke up early the next morning, Melissa was gone. And she had left a note: “I’m sorry. We shouldn’t have done that. I still need time. Happy New Year, hon. See ya at Abbott.”

You laid your head back down on the couch and pulled the blanket Melissa had laid over you tighter against your body.

You would see her at Abbott. And you would have to find a way to give her the time and space she needed to decide what was right for her. No matter how much it hurt you.

Chapter 36: The Great Pasta Bowl of Life

Notes:

Enjoy a short chapter!

Hopefully posting another later tonight! ☺️

Chapter Text

You were the first one in the parking lot on Tuesday morning. You sat in your car and drank your coffee while you looked over your lesson plans and waited patiently for Mr. Johnson or Ava to arrive and unlock the school doors. All you wanted was to be in the quiet safety of your classroom and to avoid answering any questions about your holiday break. You were excited to see your students and looked forward to getting back to teaching, but everything else ahead of you seemed impossible. You would see Melissa, it was inevitable. And when you saw her you wouldn’t be able to hug her or ask how she was or kiss her. She wanted space. She asked for a break. And if you hoped to ever have her back in your life again the way you wanted her, you had to respect her needs right now.

You looked up as you saw Ava’s car pull into the principal’s spot and you promptly got out of your car and made your way toward the school entrance. “Damn, Y/N! You beat the sun to school! Why you in such a hurry?” Ava joked as she locked her car and made her way over to you. “It was a long break, Ava. I’m just ready to get back to work” you said flatly, committed to not giving anything away. “Well, where’s your little Italian meatball? I figured you two would glide back to school together on a gondola or a big piece of garlic bread or somethin’!” Ava teased. And then you immediately fell apart. Ava looked confused for a minute before she pieced it together. “Aw, sh*t. Come here, Y/N. Let’s go to my office” Ava said as she put her arm around your shoulder and guided you through the door.

Ava sat you down in the chair by her desk and handed you a box of tissues. “I’m so sorry, Ava. I know you probably have things to do before the day starts. sh*t. I really thought I’d be able to keep it together” you cried softly. Ava looked over at you sympathetically from across the desk and then said, “You wanna talk about it? Or do you just need to cry? Either way, I’m cool. I just got here early to set up my ring lamp for my IG live later this morning.” You were so embarrassed, but also incredibly grateful to have the chance to get this out of your system before the day began. Ava was the last person you expected to let your guard down with, but for some reason you felt safe. And you felt like she genuinely cared. “Um, well, Melissa and I are taking a break. She said she needs time to figure out what she wants. And I’m… I’m a f*cking mess, Ava. I love her so much and I just want to be with her. More than anything. What if she decides she doesn’t feel the same?” you asked. “She’d have to be pretty damn stupid to reach that conclusion. But if she does, there’s plenty more meatballs in the great pasta bowl of life, Y/N. Hell, I can think of at least five different women I could hook you up with by the end of the day!” Ava said as she tried to cheer you up. “Five, huh?” you asked jokingly. “What can I say? Gay people love me” Ava laughed. And you laughed, too. “Look, Y/N. I may not always have the capacity to understand the inner-workings of serving as the mayor of a kinda smelly, underfunded school, but I do understand power dynamics in dating. And here’s the deal: I get that you want her. Schemmenti is a certified hottie and is respected at this school. But you’re smokin’, too. And new. And young. And spicy. All I’m sayin’ is the whole “she is my sun, moon, and stars” vibe might not work for you in the end. She’s the one who asked for space, right? Now’s the time to hold your head high, be confident and sexy, and show her what she’s gonna miss out on if she’s foolish enough to let you go. Know what I’m sayin’?” Ava asked. Confident and sexy? Had Ava met you? You’d never felt either of those things in your life before you met Melissa. Her wanting you was what made you feel desirable. How were you supposed to act that way now without her? Now that she wasn’t sure what she wanted? “Any tips? Since you’re a professional and all” you asked. “I’m so glad you asked. First things first, we’re gonna get you out of that sad little blazer and into something hot! What’s Schemmenti’s favorite color?” Ava asked as she pulled out a rack of clothing from her office closet. “Uh, purple. Ava… why do you have all these clothes at school?” you asked, confused. “Because I’m an entrepreneur, Y/N, and governing tiny humans and sad, overworked and underpaid adults is only one of my many callings in life. I sell clothes, jewelry, and shoes. Today’s is a freebie, but when you come back for more, it’s gonna cost ya!” Ava teased. She handed you a silk purple blouse and then sent you into her closet to change. When you walked out a few minutes later, Ava clapped her hands. “Now gimme a twirl, Y/N” she said with a smile. And you gave a quick spin. “That’s hot! Now get outta here and remember what I said. No hiding in your classroom or avoiding her. Hold ya head high, Y/N! You got game!” Ava cheered. “Thank you, Ava. So much. I really appreciate it” you said before you pulled her into a hug and then walked out of her office.

You walked down the hall toward your classroom and heard the sounds of Melissa and Barbara laughing in the teacher’s lounge together. Every bone in your body told you to keep walking to your room and to avoid any kind of interaction. But you looked good. Ava had made sure of that. And you wanted Melissa to see how good you looked. You also wanted her to believe you were handling the break well. You weren’t, of course. You were a complete and total f*cking wreck. But you couldn’t be a wreck at school. It wasn’t fair to you or your students. You had to keep it together. So, why not fake it til you make it? You decided to enter the lounge, say hello, and put your lunch in the communal refrigerator. It would be as simple as that. You pushed the door open enthusiastically and Melissa and Barbara immediately looked up and over at you. Barbara smiled awkwardly and nodded her head at you while Melissa looked you over slowly, clearly liking what she saw. And even though you tried to avoid her gaze, you instantly noticed that she still had on the necklace you gave her. And it gave you the tiny boost of confidence you needed to follow through with this charade. “Happy New Year, Mrs. Howard, Ms. Schemmenti! So good to be back at Abbott” you said cheerfully as you walked by them to put your lunch in the fridge. Then you turned around and walked straight back toward the door. “Hope it’s a great first day back for both of you” you added as you pulled the door open and walked out of the lounge. And as you made your way to your room, you saw Ava down at the end of the hall. She must have watched you go into the lounge. “That’s what I’m talkin’ about! Now twirl again!” Ava insisted. And you gave one last awkward spin before you opened the door to Narnia.

Chapter 37: Ready to Lose

Summary:

“It's the heart in you.
I know it in my bones.
It made me change direction,
When I felt better off alone.
Say it one more time,
Tell me you are mine.
I'm ready to lose
Everything but you.”

Ready to Lose - Ingrid Michaelson

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Your classroom was just as you had left it and as the first bell rang and the children shuffled into school after the long winter break, you suddenly couldn’t wait to see them and hear all about their holiday celebrations. Your students made their way into the classroom and set aside their coats and backpacks before the class gathered for morning meeting. Everyone shared something special about their time away from school and then one of your students, Thaddeus, asked you what was special about your winter break. You held back tears as you considered his question. “Well… I… I went to my very first hockey game. And The Flyers won! That was special” you said with a soft smile. And your students agreed that it was pretty awesome.

You made it through the morning lessons and walked your students to the cafeteria as usual. Then you walked back down to the teacher’s lounge to grab your lunch. Ava told you not to hide, but sitting with Melissa and Barbara for an entire meal was not an option right now and you worried that sitting with Jacob, Janine, and Gregory would lead to too many questions. You weren’t sure what, if anything, Melissa had told anyone, but you certainly didn’t want to be the one to tell your friends you two were taking a break. Especially since it wasn’t your idea. You decided to grab your lunch and eat alone in your room, just for today. Just until you had a plan for how to explain things to your friends. You opened the door and turned the corner only to crash right into Melissa Schemmenti. Your salad slammed into your chest, all over Ava’s blouse, and then onto the floor. And when you looked back up, you saw Melissa’s sweater was covered in coffee. “sh*t, Mel. I’m so sorry! Are you okay, babe?” you asked frantically. “I… yeah, I’m okay, Y/N” Melissa replied as she shook some of the coffee off her hands. When you heard her call you by your full name instead of “hon,” you realized you had accidentally called her “Mel” and “babe” without even thinking about it. It had just become natural at this point. And you felt stupid. So, so stupid. “I… I mean, I’m sorry, Ms. Schemmenti. It was an accident. If you follow me, I can get you a change of clothes” you said as you scooped your salad off the floor and threw everything into the trash. Melissa looked confused, but she followed you down the hall nonetheless.

You knocked on Ava’s door and she looked up with a bright smile. “Well, well, well. What do we have here? Two very sticky teachers? Way to go, Y/N! That didn’t take long” Ava teased. Then you shot her a death glare. “Sorry to bother you, Principal Coleman. Ms. Schemmenti and I bumped into each other in the hall and I was wondering if you could loan us some clean blouses from your personal collection? I’ll take care of the dry cleaning bill” you said. Ava laughed and then pulled out her clothing rack again. “Hmmm. Let’s do this green number for our little Branzino here. And for you, Y/N… hmmm. Aha! Yes. Here you go” Ava said as she handed you both new shirts. The two of you thanked Ava and then made your way back out to the hallway. “I’m really sorry I bumped into you and I hope you’re okay” you said sheepishly as you walked Melissa to her classroom. “I’m fine, honest. Accidents happen. Thanks for hookin’ me up with Ava’s secret wardrobe. How’d you know she had all that?” Melissa asked with a smile. “Ava… she’s my friend. We talk. She even gave me this blouse to wear when I got to school earlier this morning” you said honestly. “It’s a great color on ya. Ya look good, kid” Melissa said as she stared back at you. “Don’t do that” you said as you stared back into her eyes intently. “Do what?” Melissa asked, genuinely confused. “You know what. Don’t tell me I look good in one breath and call me ‘kid’ in another. The whole reason you don’t want to be with me is because you think I’m too young to know what I want, right? Fine. Think it all you want, but I’m not a kid. So don’t call me one” you said seriously. Then Melissa replied, “Y/N, I never said I don’t wanna be with ya, I just said I needed to sort through some stuff. It’s not… I didn’t mean to…” and then the bell rang and it was time to collect your students from lunch. “It’s fine. Forget about it” you said as you walked past her and toward the cafeteria.

You managed to survive the first week back at Abbott without any further incidents. You took Ava’s advice to heart and made sure not to lock yourself away while you pined over Melissa, but you also didn’t have the energy to keep up the “I’m so hot and totally okay with this” charade for very long. You were present and pleasant, but you still felt disconnected and worried you would start to isolate and pull away from the chosen family you’d grown so fond of. You decided you needed to take matters into your own hands and you pulled each of your friends aside at different times to let them know what was going on with you and Melissa. And they were kind, supportive, and sympathetic. Janine did briefly worry how the current strife would impact your trivia team, The Smarty Pints, but you assured her that you’d skip the next few trivia nights since Melissa was the better teammate anyway and was always much more passionate about it. Which is why you were surprised to get a phone call from Jacob the following Wednesday when you knew they were all together at trivia night at Rubensteins. “Hey, Jacob. What’s up?” you asked. “Uh, hey, Y/N. There’s no easy way to say this, but I think you’re gonna have to come pick up Melissa. She got totally wasted tonight and she won’t let us call her a cab. She’s dancing and these sleazy guys are watching her and we are just not equipped to deal with this situation. Plus, she’s been talking about you all night. Help! Please! I’m sorry!” Jacob said before he quickly hung up the phone. “f*ck” you said to yourself as you threw on a hoodie and sweatpants and grabbed your car keys.

When you walked into the bar you saw Jacob, Janine, and Gregory sitting at a high top table near where Melissa was dancing. “Thanks for staying with her, guys. And thanks for calling me. Anything else I should know before I go over there?” you asked. “Well, we got second place in trivia. We think what set her off was that the final question was about a playwright. And we got it wrong. The answer was Samuel Beckett and she got really upset and kept saying, ‘Y/N would have known that!’” Janine said apologetically. You looked over at Melissa dancing and the first thing you noticed was how sad she looked underneath it all. Then you noticed the handful of men ogling her nearby and tried to decide the best course of action. You didn’t want to upset her. You didn’t want to get into it with any of these sleaze bags. All you wanted to do was take her home, give her a glass of water, and put her to bed. You walked over slowly and placed your hand on her arm. “Hey, Mel. Can I take you home now please?” you asked gently. Melissa stopped dancing and then tried to steady herself as she looked into your eyes. “I can’t believe they called you. Buncha narcs!” Melissa shouted. “Hey! They called me because they didn’t want you to drive home like this. They care about you. And so do I. That’s why I’m here. C’mon. Let me drive you home” you said as you reached for her hand. Melissa went to reach back for your hand when one of the men nearby stepped forward and said, “Aw! Don’t make her leave. We were all enjoyin’ the show. You got a real nice pair of tit*, ginger! C’mere and lemme give ‘em a squeeze!” And before you knew what you were doing, you shoved your hands against his chest and pushed him back and away from Melissa. “Back the f*ck up, you piece of sh*t” you shouted as Gregory ran up in front of you and said, “You heard her, man. Step off!” Jacob and Janine quickly walked you and Melissa out to your car and then went back in to retrieve Gregory and head home themselves.

Melissa didn’t speak during the ride back to her place. She just quietly stared out the window. You knew she was embarrassed and you didn’t want to push her to talk about it if she wasn’t ready. You parked your car in her driveway and then walked over to open her door. Then you took her by the hand and slowly guided her up the porch. You unlocked her front door with the key she gave you for Christmas and then led her into the kitchen. You sat her down at the table and then poured her a glass of water and set it down in front of her. “Drink, please” you said. And she did. When the glass was empty you poured another and then you took Melissa by the hand again as you walked her back to her bedroom. You sat her down on the bed and put the water on her nightstand. Then you walked back over to her with her pajamas in your hands. “Do you need help changing?” you asked. Melissa looked up at you and then stood up right in front of you, inches away from your face. She pulled her shirt up over her head and her pants down before she put on the white cotton t-shirt you’d brought her. Then she leaned in to kiss you, but you slowly brought your fingers up and pressed them against her lips to stop her. “No. Not like this. Please. Lay down and I’ll tuck you in” you said as you felt the tears building in your eyes. Melissa looked back at you and her eyes apologized more than words ever could. She was a mess. You were a mess. Everything about this relationship suddenly felt messy and hard. But as Melissa rested her head on top of her pillow and let you run your fingers through her hair as she fell asleep, you realized that all the mess was worth it. All the worry and heartache and confusion was worth it. Because you loved her. And you knew she loved you, too. You didn’t know when or how, but you believed things would work out. You believed the two of you were meant to be together.

When you knew she was asleep, you wrote a quick note: “I’ll pick you up for work in the morning. And we’ll stop by and grab your car at the bar after school. Sweet dreams, Mel.”

Notes:

Hi! Just wanted to say I love you guys and I am so thrilled people are still reading this. More to come soon, as always. ♥️

Chapter 38: Salt In The Wound

Summary:

“You put salt in the wound,
And a kiss on my cheek.
You butter me up,
And you sit down to eat.
You add insult to injury,
You say you believe in me.
But you haven't decided
About taking or leaving me.”

Salt In The Wound - boygenius

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

You texted Melissa first thing the next morning to make sure she saw your note and to let her know what time you’d be by. When you pulled into her driveway, she had just walked out her front door. And as she made her way down the porch steps, you could tell she was nervous. She opened the door and sat down, avoiding your eyes. You were perfectly content to drive in complete silence if that’s what she needed. You were just glad to be near her. You handed her a coffee and then took a quick sip of your own before you started to drive.

After a few minutes she finally spoke. “Hey, so… I wanna apologize for last night. I think I just had one too many. Sorry I was such a pill. And thanks a lot for comin’ to my rescue. I didn’t deserve it, but I appreciate it” Melissa said as she watched you drive. “Of course. I was happy to do it. I’ll always show up for you, Mel” you said. You could see her smile slightly before she turned to look out the window. And then it was quiet for a few minutes before she spoke again. “Oh, I meant to tell ya, I’ve been listenin’ to that Smart Guys vinyl ya gave me” Melissa said enthusiastically. Smart Guys? You had absolutely no idea what she was talking about. And then it hit you. “You mean the boygenius record?” you asked as you laughed. “sh*t! Ha! Yeah, that’s the one. Close enough, eh?” Melissa said as she laughed at herself. “So, what do you think of it then?” you asked eagerly since it was one of your all-time favorite albums. “It’s good… I like it a lot! It’s just… well, to be honest, it’s a little sad” Melissa admitted. “I love sad music!” you replied passionately. “I know ya do! This one’s just extra depressin’” Melissa teased. You shrugged and thought about it for a second before you responded. “When I was twelve years old I went to my mom to tell her I was feeling depressed and anxious. It probably had a lot to do with the fact that I knew I was queer, but didn’t know exactly how to articulate it yet… just that feeling of being different and not fitting in… Anyway, my mom looked me square in the face and told me that depression wasn’t real and that sadness was a choice I was making in my life. She told me to go to my room, listen to ABBA, and I’d feel better in no time. She literally thought ‘Dancing Queen’ would fix me. I think I’ve liked sad music ever since then. Sad music tells the truth. Makes me feel less alone, you know?” you said. Melissa didn’t say anything, but you could feel her staring back at you. For a minute you regretted sharing that story. It felt too intimate considering the current rift between the two of you. But then you realized how easily you had said it. You had allowed yourself to be vulnerable, to share something painful, but true about your past. And you did it because you trusted the person sitting next to you. You felt comfortable and safe enough to be open. It felt like progress. It felt like growth. It felt huge. “Yeah, I get that, hon. And I like all your sad songs” Melissa said as she rested her hand on your shoulder. And you never wanted her to pull away.

You pulled into the Abbott parking lot and turned off your car. “Mel?” you asked. “Yeah?” she replied. “Would you maybe want to grab dinner tonight after work? Just to talk? It’s been two weeks… I guess I’m just wondering if anything’s changed” you asked hopefully. “I… I can’t tonight, Y/N. I have plans” Melissa said apologetically. “With Charlotte?” you asked as you felt nausea hit you like a tidal wave. “No! I haven’t spoken to her since ya told me what she said to ya. I don’t want someone like that in my life in any way” she said as she reassured you. You felt instant relief, but then realized that meant the plans were with someone else. Maybe she was seeing someone new? If she was going out with Barb, she would have just said that. But she didn’t. Ultimately it wasn’t any of your business who she had plans with. You weren’t together right now. But you still felt sick with worry. And then you had an idea! A stupid, awful, horribly idiotic idea.

Melissa thanked you for the ride and said she’d meet you by your car after school to go pick up her own car from the bar. You parted ways just inside the school entrance and then you sprinted down the hall to Ava’s office. You crashed through the doors like a bat out of hell. “Ava! I need your help!” you said desperately. “Damn. If I had a dime for every time I heard that this morning. They really should put someone in charge of handling everyone’s needs at this school. This is just too much” Ava replied and you weren’t sure if she was joking or not. “The other day you said you could think of five women you could set me up with?” you asked. “sh*t, Y/N! You move on fast” Ava exclaimed. “I haven’t moved on. Not even close. But Melissa is going on a date with someone else tonight and if I sit at home thinking about it, I’m going to be a f*cking mess. I just need to be distracted for a night. And maybe if she finds out I have other options too, she might figure out what she wants a little quicker” you said. And you realized how completely unhinged you sounded. It was a bad idea, but you couldn’t stop yourself. “Well, if you’re sure, I can send a few texts. You got any preferences?” Ava asked as she scrolled through her contacts. “Whoever is the hottest” you replied, fully shocked by the words coming out of your own mouth. Jesus Christ! What was wrong with you?! Ava laughed at your response and said, “That’s easy enough. Lemme text Naomi. I’ll hit you up later and give you the details” Ava said confidently.

Your students aced their spelling test that morning and they were really getting the hang of division during your Math lesson. You were proud of yourself for still teaching with such enthusiasm despite all the stress in your personal life. You decided to eat in the teacher’s lounge today to catch up with Jacob, Janine, and Gregory after the chaos of the night before. Melissa and Barb sat at their usual table and chatted while they ate lunch and caught up on some grading. Jacob was in the middle of reading his latest teacher evaluation out loud to the group when Ava waltzed in. “Hey, Y/N. Naomi got back to me. You good to meet her at Tully’s Bar tonight around 7?” Ava asked, fully aware of what she was doing by telling you this in front of Melissa. “Oh, uh, yeah. Definitely. Tully’s. Sounds great” you said as you felt yourself start to blush. Melissa looked over at you and you couldn’t read her expression. Was she surprised? Jealous? Upset? It was hard to say. You still felt absolutely gross for doing this, but the part of you that was mad at Melissa for asking for this space in the first place felt like you had every right to date as freely as she did until she figured out what she wanted.

The drive to retrieve Melissa’s car after work was silent and tense. Melissa didn’t say a word until you parked the car. “Thanks for the ride. And have fun on your little date tonight” she said sarcastically before she got out of your car, slammed the door shut, and walked away. She was jealous! Ha! You knew it! And as soon as you realized you were right, you felt instant regret. You didn’t want Melissa to feel jealous or upset. You just wanted to be the one she loved. You were kicking yourself for coming up with this horrible plan. But then you remembered she had plans of her own tonight and you promptly forgave yourself and drove home to freshen up for your date.

You walked into Tully’s later that night and found a seat at the bar. Ava had texted Naomi your photo so she knew who to look for. You on the other hand had absolutely no idea what to expect. It was five minutes after seven when you felt a soft hand on your shoulder. And for a brief moment, you thought you’d turn around and see Melissa standing there. But it wasn’t her. “Hey! Y/N, right? Wow! You’re even more beautiful in person. I’m Naomi” she said. Naomi was… hot. There was no other way to put it. She had short blonde hair, legs for days, and a beautiful smile. Ava did not disappoint! “Wow yourself!” you replied, like a complete f*cking idiot. She laughed and then sat down next to you at the bar and ordered an Old Fashioned. The two of you talked for hours. Naomi was a secretary at a legal firm and was currently pursuing her own law degree. She was smart, sexy, flirtatious, and ambitious. And if you were being honest with yourself, you didn’t think about Melissa once when you were with her. That had been the plan, of course. You wanted to be distracted. You were just surprised that it worked. Maybe you were just lost in how good it felt to have someone’s undivided attention and interest. You hadn’t felt like Melissa had really seen you fully since Christmas day. Since the day all her doubts and fears came to the surface and made her question everything that had felt so stable and sure and true to you. Naomi asked if you’d like to come back to her place for a nightcap and you agreed.

Her apartment was small, but very stylish and inviting. You sat down on her leather couch and waited awkwardly as she made you a drink. She handed you the glass and then sat down close to you on the couch. You talked more about teaching and the two of you laughed as you discussed some of Ava’s most outrageous antics. You were having a good time and you could tell Naomi was, too. Then she put her drink down and said, “I’d really like to kiss you right now.” You looked back at her, took the last sip of your co*cktail, set down your glass, and then leaned in to kiss her. Her lips weren’t as soft as Melissa’s and she didn’t moan against your mouth the same way Melissa did and her body wasn’t as full and curvaceous as Melissa’s. You kept kissing her anyway. You were hurting. So much. You loved Melissa more than you could even articulate and all you wanted was for her to be sure about you. To trust that you’d hold her heart and love her unconditionally. But she wasn’t sure. Not yet. And tonight, you let your pain steer the ship and found yourself in the arms of another woman. You felt awful, but that didn’t stop you.

You woke up in Naomi’s bed the next morning with a pounding headache. You had on a t-shirt and shorts and could hear her in the shower in the bathroom nearby. You checked your phone and saw that you had a text message from Janine. You opened it and saw it was a selfie of Janine holding a big plate of lasagna. You immediately recognized Melissa’s kitchen in the background and could see Melissa and Jacob drinking wine behind her in the photo.

Melissa didn’t go on a date with anyone last night. She had invited Janine and Jacob over for their monthly cooking lesson. And last night they made lasagna. And you? You had slept with a hot blonde within hours of meeting her.

sh*t! Mother f*cker! f*ck! sh*t!

Notes:

🫠🫠🫠

By the way, the ABBA bit is based on a true story. Thanks, mom! 😂😅

Stay tuned! January is flying by quickly in Abbott land and PECSA weekend is just around the corner!

Chapter 39: Fire & the Flood

Summary:

You woke up in Naomi’s bed and had absolutely no idea how you got there or what happened. And once you found answers, you knew the next step was to find Melissa and explain. You just hoped she would hear you out…

“You're the fire and the flood.
And I'll always feel you in my blood.
Everything is fine,
When your hand’s resting next to mine, next to mine.
You're the fire and the flood.”

Fire and the Flood - Vance Joy

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

You sat up in Naomi’s bed and slowly rubbed the bridge of your nose as you tried to wake yourself up. A few minutes later she walked out of her bathroom in her bathrobe as she towel-dried her short blonde hair. “Good morning” she said with a bright smile. She really was very beautiful. And maybe if you weren’t completely in love with someone else, you would spend more time getting to know Naomi. “Did you sleep okay?” she asked. “I… uh, yeah. Fine, thanks. My head is killing me, though. I’m sorry to have to ask, but I honestly don’t remember… did we, y’know… last night?” you asked. Naomi laughed softly and shook her head. “Trust me, Y/N. You’d remember if we did. I’d make sure of it” she said as she smiled seductively at you. You blushed and looked away from her intense gaze. “So, how’d we end up in bed together?” you asked. “Well, we made out on the couch for a while… which was hot. But then you pulled away and got really upset. Told me a little about, Melissa, is it? And everything that’s going on. You were too drunk to drive yourself home, so you just stayed over. You did ask me to spoon you, though. So, that was nice” Naomi winked. She must be really into you to still be making sexy eyes and winking at you after you spent the night crying about your girlfriend in her bed. “I’m really sorry, Naomi. I’m a mess. And I never should have asked Ava to set me up with anyone. I guess I just wanted a distraction. Or to feel wanted? I dunno. Regardless, it wasn’t fair to you. You’re lovely. And I’m sorry” you said earnestly. Naomi sat down next to you on the bed and rested a hand on your knee. “Look, I get it. We’ve all been there. You don’t need to apologize for wanting a break from the pain. And I had a great time. The night may not have ended the way I hoped, but I still had a lot of fun. And… I’d like to see you again. As friends! If you’re open to that” Naomi said as she smiled over at you. You thought about it for a minute before you responded. “You know what? Yeah! I had fun, too! I’d definitely be up for being friends” you replied honestly. “I do have one question, though… could I borrow a shirt for work?” you asked shyly. Naomi laughed and then made her way over to her closet to find something for you to wear.

You tugged gently on the tight navy blue sweater Naomi loaned you as you walked down the hallway toward your classroom. You looked up and saw Melissa walking ahead of you and figured you needed to clear things up with her as soon as possible. You called her name once, but she didn’t respond and just kept walking. And it was her angry walk! Her knees weren’t even bending. You jogged down the hall to catch up with her and then stopped and stood in front of her. “Hey” you said, slightly out of breath. Melissa just stared back at you as she crossed her arms. “Can we talk?” you asked hopefully. “What is it you need to discuss, Y/N? Gonna gimme a play-by-play of your date with Naomi?” Melissa asked as she moved one of her hands to her hip and leaned into it as she stared back at you angrily. She remembered her name. f*ck. She was jealous. And mad. And staring at you like she wanted to break you in two. “I just want a chance to explain…” you started to say before Melissa interrupted you. “Ya don’t have to explain a thing to me, Y/N. Ya keep tellin’ me what a grown up you are. Ya make your own choices. Sounds like ya enjoyed your adult sleepover. What else is there to say?” Melissa asked, the hurt finally coming through in her voice. You stared back at her and then took her by the hand, pulled her into the janitor’s closet, and closed the door behind you. Melissa crossed her arms and paced back and forth, refusing to look at you. “Melissa, listen. Yes, I went out with someone last night. But only because I thought you were going out on a date, too. You just said ‘I have plans’ and I thought that meant you were seeing someone else. I already sit at home thinking about you every night. But the idea of you with someone else? I couldn’t take it. So, I did the only thing I could think of and made plans for myself” you admitted honestly, hoping she would understand. She finally stopped pacing and looked up at you. “…did ya kiss her?” Melissa asked. “I… we… yes, we made out on her couch for a little bit. But that’s it, I swear!” you replied. Melissa looked you over slowly and noticed your sweater was a little snug. “If that’s all that happened, why are you wearin’ her clothes?” she asked as she tilted her head to the side and bit her lip. You could tell she was absolutely furious with you now and you knew it was because she thought you were lying. And why shouldn’t she? You’d lied before, multiple times. You were essentially a repeat offender at this point. “I was too drunk and upset to drive home, so I stayed at her place. Nothing happened, Mel. I promise you. I did not have sex with her. In fact, I spent the night crying and telling her how much I loved YOU” you said firmly as you stared down into Melissa’s eyes. She still looked upset. And she still looked like she wasn’t sure if she could trust that you were telling her the truth. Melissa leaned back against the door with her arms still crossed. She looked down at the floor and shook her head slowly. You walked over and stood in front of her and put your hand on her cheek. And when you felt her lean into your touch, you knew you wouldn’t be able to stop what happened next. You took one step closer, brushed a curl of her hair away from her face, and then leaned in, stopping just an inch away from her lips. “I love you. I only want you. I never stop thinking about you. Please, you have to believe me, baby” you said. And when Melissa finally looked up and into your eyes, you knew she did believe you. But it wouldn’t hurt to show her as well. You slid your hand from her cheek to the back of her neck and slowly leaned in and pressed your lips against hers. And when she kissed you back, it felt like the first time all over again. It was passionate, exciting, and completely earth-shattering. And when you both pulled back to catch your breath, neither of you knew what to say or do next. And then the morning bell rang.

Somehow you managed to get through the morning’s Social Studies lesson on the three levels of government even though all you could think about was how good it felt to kiss Melissa again. Then you heard Ava’s voice on the intercom: “Attention Abbott Elementarians! This afternoon we will have our annual Fire Safety Assembly in the auditorium. It is mandatory for all classes. That is all.” And you felt immediate relief when you realized you’d be able to take a mental break and try to collect your thoughts while your kids learned how to stop, drop, and roll from some firefighters.

The students found their seats and the teachers stood at the back against the wall as the firefighters made their way onto the stage. Melissa was GLOWING and her excitement was palpable. She loved everything about firefighting and was beyond thrilled by the visit. You walked over to stand next to her and she tried to hide her smile. “Please, don’t try to act normal about this. I know there’s a tiny Melissa Schemmenti running around inside your head doing somersaults and making siren noises” you laughed as you nudged her with your shoulder. She laughed and nodded her head and then looked up as an older gentleman approached the podium. “Good afternoon, Abbott Elementary. My name is Captain Robinson and I am here today to teach you about fire safety. We’re gonna talk to you about prevention, how to contact emergency services, and what to do if you see fire or catch on fire yourself. So, buckle up kiddos. We’ve got some learnin’ to do” he said.

The assembly would have been incredibly boring if it weren’t for the enthusiastic redhead standing next to you. She nodded along vigorously, raised her hand to ask questions and share knowledge, and even told a few stories about her family’s history of firefighting… and occasional fire-starting. Everyone enjoyed listening to her and you especially loved seeing her so animated and passionate. The last few weeks had been hard on you both, but you were hopeful that things were taking a turn in the right direction. The assembly ran late, probably because of all the enthusiastic interruptions, and the students were dismissed directly from the auditorium that afternoon. As you ushered your students out of the assembly, you looked over and noticed that Captain Robinson had approached Melissa. She had a huge smile on her face as she talked to him and he was definitely looking at more than her stance as she mimed holding an axe. You weren’t going to worry or overthink anything right now. She was having fun and she looked happy. And there was nothing wrong with that.

You made your way back to your classroom to pack up before heading out. Then you heard three gentle knocks on your door. And just like the first time she did it back in August, you felt butterflies in your stomach when you looked up and saw her. You watched as Melissa walked through your classroom and then stood across from you at your desk. “How’s it going, Station 19?” you teased, knowing Melissa would appreciate the reference to her favorite show. “It’s goin’ good, rookie” she laughed. “How ‘bout that assembly, huh? You really know what you’re talking about, Mel. The kids were so excited to listen to your stories” you said, praising her. She blushed brightly and tried to hide her smile again, before she shook her head softly, like she was trying to remember why she came to your room in the first place. “The Captain just asked to take me out for drinks tonight” she said as she stared back at you. Of course he did. “Oh, really? And where will you two upstanding citizens be drinking tonight?” you asked teasingly, trying to take the sting out of the situation. “Nowhere. I told ‘em thanks, but no thanks. I’m interested in someone else” Melissa said as she smiled at you. And you immediately felt dizzy. Was this it? Had she made up her mind? Did you going out with Naomi really end up working in your favor? Did she finally feel sure about you? Your head was spinning, but all you could think of to say was, “Oh?” Melissa walked around your desk and stopped in front of you. “Look, hon. I think we’ve been goin’ about this all wrong. For one thing, I never shoulda gone out with Charlotte. That was a big mistake. For another thing, I think we’ve both been leanin’ on booze a little too much. What happened on New Year’s Eve… with me at the bar… with you and whats-her-face last night… Maybe what we need is a reset. Instead of datin’ other people or drinkin’ like sailors, maybe we just need to talk more. Spend a little more time together. Space may not have been the answer to all the questions I have in my mind. But all that said, I do think it’ll get hard again if we keep kissin’ and touchin’ and… other stuff. I think we gotta step back from the physical for a little bit and focus more on all the other things that make this feel so great. Whaddya say, hon? Wanna give it a try with me?” You felt the tears well up in your eyes. It wasn’t the complete welcome back you were hoping for, but it was an invitation to try, to recalibrate, and to connect again. It was a start.

“I’m in, Mel. But only on one condition” you said firmly. Melissa looked up at you nervously. “Yeah, hon?” she asked. “Can I please kiss you now? Just one last time before the new rules go into effect” you teased. Melissa laughed and said, “C’mere” as she took your cheeks in her hands and pulled you against her. Her tongue licked your upper lip and then entered your mouth and you welcomed her enthusiastically. You wanted to remember exactly how she tasted and how warm and inviting her lips felt against yours. It would be hard not to kiss her and it would be hard to resist touching her, but if holding back for a little while meant you could have her back in your life for good, you’d do whatever it took.

“Wanna come over for dinner on Saturday?” Melissa asked as your lips parted. “I do. I really, really do” you replied as Melissa smiled and then walked slowly out of your room.

Notes:

And you guys were worried! 😂😅🥰

Get excited for dinner at Mel’s place on Saturday night! But, y’know, not too excited. They’re keeping their hands to themselves! Hopefully. Probably. Yeah. They’ve got this!

Chapter 40: Just Like That

Notes:

It’s Chapter 40! And you’re still here! Woohoo! Let’s start things off with a bang to celebrate! 🎉

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

“Oh, f*ck! Yes, baby! Suck on my cl*t! Just like that. Mmmmmm. Feels so damn good” Melissa moaned as she grabbed your hair and forcefully pulled your face tighter against her throbbing puss*. She tasted exactly how you remembered and you licked and sucked every inch of her to make up for all the days you hadn’t been able to taste her. Both of her hands were tangled in your hair now as she continued to ride your face and begged you for more. You slipped two fingers inside her soaking wet core and thrusted as deeply as you could over and over again. “Oh, Y/N! Yes! YES! I’m gonna cum so hard for you. Mmmm. Baby! Yes! f*ck me! f*ck m… Ooooooooooh!!!” Melissa screamed out as her legs started to shake uncontrollably and she came undone beneath your tongue. You slowly removed your fingers, but continued to gently lick and suck on her folds as she caught her breath. “God damn, I’ve missed doing that” you said with a co*cky smile as you wiped your mouth and crawled up next to Melissa on the bed. “Mmmm. I’ve missed you doing that, too, hon. No one’s ever f*cked me like you do” Melissa said through a smile as she caught her breath. Then Melissa flipped you over onto your back and pinned your arms above your head with her hands. She looked down at you hungrily, licked her lips, and said, “my turn.”

Your 5:30am alarm blared louder than ever that Friday morning and you were absolutely pissed that you wouldn’t get to finish the hottest dream you’d ever had. You were drenched in sweat and could feel how wet you were between your legs. And even though you were no longer dreaming, you slowly slid your fingers down against your cl*t and did your very best to imagine what Melissa had planned to do to you.

Today at school your students would work on their Science Fair projects. While this was usually considered an at-home assignment, many of your students did not have access to the materials they needed in their own homes. Abbott didn’t always have much to offer in the way of supplies either, but it was enough for what you needed. You snuck into the Art supply closet before the bell rang that morning and searched for extra glue, construction paper, and, per your student Lola’s request, some pink glitter. You heard footsteps in the hallway outside the door and knew you were busted! Then Melissa Schemmenti walked in. “Oh, sh*t! You scared me, hon!” she exclaimed. “Sorry! For what it’s worth, you scared me, too! Thought I was about to get busted by the Art teacher” you said as you laughed. “Whatcha got there, sticky fingers?” Melissa teased as she tried to peek behind your back. You hid the materials from her view, shrugged, and said, “Ms. Schemmenti, I haven’t the slightest idea what you’re referring to.” She smiled and then reached just past your head to grab some glue sticks. She smelled amazing. And her hair was up today which always felt like torture to you. Melissa was just inches away from your face and she looked so, so good. All you wanted to do was throw your supplies to the ground, pin her against the wall, and suck on her neck while you fingered her. The sweet sound of her voice snapped you back to reality. “Don’t worry, hon. I won’t rat ya out!” Melissa said with a wink as she tucked the glue sticks into her purse and left the closet. You realized that if you were going to survive this period of resisting physical intimacy, you’d need some firm rules in place. Rule one: no being in tight spaces alone with Melissa. Ever.

Your students were so excited to have materials to work with. They collected their project slides from the library printers and then decorated their Science Fair boards. They were having fun and learning and your room felt more like Narnia than ever.

You packed your bag up after dismissal and made your way down the hall to see if Melissa wanted to walk out to the parking lot together. You bumped into Ava on your way there. “Happy Friday, Ava” you said cheerfully. “You, too, lil heartbreaker” she replied with a laugh. “Heartbreaker? Me? What?” you asked, confused. “Naomi won’t stop texting me about you. She said she had such a good time the other night and that she really likes you. Meanwhile here you are on your way to scoop up your little cannoli. That’s cold, Y/N.” Ava said as she shook her head. “I… we… she’s… Naomi was great. I had a lot of fun with her, too. She said she’d like to be friends before I left” you said, trying to convince yourself that friendship was all she wanted from you. You saw the way she looked at you that morning and heard the way she said that if the two of you had sex, you’d definitely remember it. You shook your head and said, “Look, I apologized to her and explained everything. She understood. She was great about it. I’d be happy to be her friend. In fact, I’ll text her right now to see if she wants to hang out this weekend” you lied as you pulled out your phone, opened your Notes app, and pretended to send Naomi a message. “Mhmmm. Well, don’t ask me for any more hookups. I can’t have all your lovesick puppies blowin’ up my phone” Ava teased and the continued down the hall.

When you walked into her classroom, Melissa had her glasses on and was busy entering student grades onto her computer. “Hey, babe” you said softly. She looked up at you and smiled brightly and for a moment it felt like the last month never happened and that everything was completely normal again. But if things were normal, you’d already be kissing her. Melissa had made a good point about how using alcohol as a coping mechanism had been making things harder on both of you, but you were less supportive of her ban on kissing and touching and… other stuff. Hence the incredible dream you had last night. But you would restrain yourself and take things slow again. You’d done it before in the beginning and survived… somehow. It was fine. Everything was fine. “You headin’ out?” Melissa asked as she rubbed the back of her neck and winced. “Yeah. I was gonna see if you wanted to walk out together, but it looks like your settled in for some grading fun. Are you… okay? Is your neck bothering you?” you asked, concerned. “Ugh. Yeah. Just feel like I might’ve tweaked it a little earlier. I had to break up a fight between some sixth graders. These kids, I tell ya” she sighed. “May I?” you asked as you slowly walked toward her desk. “Oh, I dunno, hon. Wouldn’t that be in violation of our no touchin’ rule?” Melissa teased. “It’s just a neck massage. Completely professional. Not sexy in the least. I am here as a healer, not a lover” you said as you laughed. Melissa smiled back at you and gave a small shrug of agreement, and even that small gesture caused her pain. You set down your bag and walked behind her. You put your hands on her shoulders and you could instantly feel the tightness and tension as you slowly massaged your way toward her upper back and neck. You used your thumbs to apply firm pressure and rubbed against the areas that felt the tightest. Melissa’s eyes closed as she relaxed and leaned into your touch. “Mmm. Right there. Just like that” she said as you found the main source of her pain and slowly and gently squeezed and pressed against it. Hearing her response sent you right back to the dream you’d had earlier this morning where your girlfriend was moaning beneath you, saying “Just like that.” You felt the arousal start to build low in your stomach and knew it was time to stop. You stepped back slowly and said, “There! Feel better?” Melissa opened her eyes and looked up at you. “I do. Thanks, hon. You got the magic touch” she said as she reached for your hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. “I’ll see you tomorrow?” you asked. “You will! Come by around noon? Dinner is gonna be a big project. Bring a couple records, too!” Melissa said with a grin. And as you walked out of her classroom you thought of another rule. Rule two: no massages.

You unlocked Melissa’s front door with the key she gave you and you were thrilled by what you heard and saw when you walked in. Melissa had Best of Bowie spinning on the record player and she was busy in the kitchen with her hair pulled back and an apron on. “Wow, babe! This must be a serious pasta project if Bowie’s playing and even you’re wearing an apron” you teased as you set down your bag. “Well, hon, ya said ya wanted to learn how to make ravioli from scratch! Today’s the day, babe” she said with a sly smile. “Holy sh*t! Seriously?! I’m so excited” you replied enthusiastically. “I gotta warn ya, hon. It takes a lotta practice and repetition. But once ya get into the groove, it’s gonna feel like therapy. I promise!” Melissa said. You pulled your own hair back, walked into the kitchen, grabbed an apron for yourself, and then clapped your hands and said, “Let’s do this, Schemmenti!”

Melissa had already drained the ricotta the day before and prepped a simple pomodoro sauce. And together you two would make the pasta dough, the ravioli filling, then roll the pasta dough into sheets and assemble and cut the ravioli. You loved being in the kitchen with Melissa and working alongside her. She was patient and kind as she instructed you and only laughed at you a few times. “Yeah, yeah. I’m no Italian chef! But my pancakes kick ass” you laughed. Things got tricky when it came to assembling and cutting the ravioli. Melissa stood close by as she watched you. You smoothed the pasta sheets with your fingertips and worked around the filling to get the air bubbles out. “Am I doing this right?” you asked. “I always use my pinkies” Melissa smiled over at you. You tried that and instantly felt that it worked much better as you sealed the edges and sides. “Like this?” you asked. “Yeah, hon. Just like that!” Melissa said. And again your mind wandered to the spectacular dream you had the day before and you felt yourself blush. “You okay, hon? Is it too hot in here?” Melissa asked when she saw how flushed you were. “Me? Oh! Yeah. No. I’m fine, Mel. No worries” you said, hoping you’d convinced her. The last step was to trim the ravioli into squares and it was your favorite part because you liked Melissa’s fancy cutter wheel. Using it was so relaxing!

The two of you decided to take a short break together in the living room before you cooked the ravioli. “Starman” was playing in the background as you sat across from Melissa on the couch and you couldn’t get over how wonderful the day had been. “This was really fun, Mel. I can’t believe I know how to make ravioli from scratch now! You’re such a good teacher” you said with a seductive grin on your face. “Well, you’re a good student, Y/N” Melissa teased back. If this was a normal Saturday, this would be the part where Melissa would mount your thigh and press her breasts up against yours and the two of you would f*ck the afternoon away. But it wasn’t a normal Saturday. There were rules now. Boundaries. This is what Melissa needed right now to help her clear her mind and make a decision about your future together. So, even though all you wanted to do was kiss her, you kept control and looked over at her with a smile on your face. “Under Pressure” came on the record player next and you simply couldn’t stop yourself. “Yes! This one’s my favorite” you said as you stood up and started to sing and dance along. Melissa watched you lovingly from the couch for a minute before you reached out a hand and said “Get over here, Mel!” She raised an eyebrow and looked back at you. “What about the rules?” she asked playfully. “We can dance without touching. I’m here as a performer, not a lover” you teased back. Melissa laughed and then jumped up from the couch to join you. You both sang and danced your hearts out, close, but never touching:

“Cause love's such an
old-fashioned word.
And love dares you to care for
The people on the edge of the night!
And love dares you to change
our way of caring about ourselves!
This is our last dance!
This is ourselves!
Under pressure!”

This was the best day you had ever had with Melissa Schemmenti.

And the ravioli was f*cking amazing.

Notes:

This was my favorite chapter to write so far. I had a huge smile on my face the entire time. Hope you enjoyed it! More to come, my little cannolis. ♥️

Chapter 41: Same Risk

Summary:

“Do you think this could ruin your life?
Cause I can see it ruining mine.
And I feel mean for even thinking this.
Are you gonna throw me under the bus?
Make me take the hit for the both of us.
All that I'm asking is,
Are we taking the same risk?”

Same Risk - Madi Diaz

Notes:

Caution: pain ahead. 🥺

Also, I highly recommend listening to the song above before you start this chapter. The lyrics really capture the different perspectives OFC and Mel have when it comes to love and risk and being open to something even if it may hurt you in the end. I love it.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

It was the Monday before PECSA weekend and you, Jacob, Janine, and Gregory sat together in the teacher’s lounge and mapped out which presentations you wanted to attend. There were so many brilliant educators and motivational speakers to choose from and you didn’t want to miss a thing. Meanwhile Melissa and Barbara discussed the different swimsuits they’d purchased in preparation for their weekend by the hotel pool and debated whether or not Melissa could win the Math-a-Rita drinking contest two years in a row! “You two really don’t go to any of the presentations?” you asked. “My dear, we have been teaching longer than most of these presenters have been alive!” Barbara stated emphatically. And Melissa smiled and nodded along as Barbara talked more about the value of self-care and the importance of letting loose every once in a while. She made good points! You turned back to your laptop to continue planning your itinerary and noticed Melissa was watching you with a soft smile on her face. You felt yourself blush, but were determined to focus on the task at hand.

When the bell rang and it was time to go collect your students from the cafeteria, Melissa asked to walk down with you. “So, hon, I’ve been meanin’ to ask… are ya still okay with us sharin’ a room this weekend? Cause I could check to see if they have other rooms left, if ya want. It’s just… we haven’t slept in the same bed together in a while and we have all these rules now… I don’t wanna make ya uncomfortable or anythin’” Melissa said. You had never seen her this self-conscious or awkward before. “Oh… I mean, I’m fine with it if you are. Or I could sleep on the couch, if that’s what you want. I thought… I guess maybe I thought… ugh. Never mind” you said as you continued to walk and desperately tried to avoid making eye contact with the beautiful redhead next to you. “Thought what, hon?” Melissa asked. You stopped walking and then turned to face her. “You want the truth?” you asked. “I… yeah, I want the truth. What is it?” Melissa replied. “Honestly… I guess I just thought this would all be resolved by now. One way or another. I’m not trying to rush you or anything, Mel. But… how long do you need to decide whether or not I’m worth the risk?” you asked. Melissa stared back at you and you knew she could hear the hurt in your voice. You weren’t trying to hide it anymore. “Whaddya mean?” she asked as she stared back at you. “I mean… there are these questions you’ve been asking yourself for the last month, right? You’re wondering how can you be sure about me? How can you be sure I won’t change my mind about what I want? How can you be sure I won’t leave? Those are the big questions keeping us apart, right?” you asked. Melissa stared back at you and nodded softly instead of speaking. “And I get that. I do. Truly. But, Mel… at a certain point, you just have to accept that there’s nothing any of us can really be sure about in this life. And you have to give yourself permission to take the risk and let yourself love anyway… regardless of what the outcome might be. I’ve known you were worth the risk since the first moment I laid eyes on you. And I thought that by now, you’d be willing to take the same risk as me. To let yourself choose me and be with me. Even in the face of uncertainty. And… you’re just still not there yet. And I’m worried you won’t ever get there” you said through tears. Melissa looked back at you with tears forming in her own eyes and was about to respond when one of her students said, “We’re ready, Ms. Schemmenti!” She turned to face them, wiped the tears from her eyes, and said, “Yes you are! Look at that straight line. Wow. I am very impressed. Let’s get back to class, my little Eagles!” She looked back at you apologetically as she walked down the hall with her students and as you watched her walk away, you felt the invisible thread between you grow taut.

It was the Wednesday before PECSA weekend and trivia night at Ruby’s. It had been a busy week and you and Melissa hadn’t spoken since your conversation outside the cafeteria on Monday afternoon. Not that you would have known what to say even if you had the chance to talk to her. You had planned to skip trivia in favor of staying in and packing for the weekend ahead, but Jacob insisted you rejoin the team and give them a fighting chance. You dragged yourself out of your apartment and decided you would do your best to help the team for a little while and then fake a migraine and leave early. You loved Melissa. Deeply. But constantly worrying that you weren’t worth loving back had really started to take its toll. You felt like an open wound as you walked into the bar and when you saw Melissa sitting with your friends, you did your best to put on a happy face. “Let’s go, Smarty Pints!” you cheered and everyone clapped, excited for your return. You sat down directly across from Melissa and gave her a quick smile and nod before the quizmaster announced the first category of the night. Gregory had ordered a pitcher of beer for the table, but you and Melissa both abstained and stuck with water. The first few rounds of trivia were easy enough and your team scored points in categories like American History, Pop Culture, Sports, and Science. Everyone was pulling their weight and having a good time. The host called for a short break and Janine and Gregory made their way over to the bar to order more drinks and Jacob walked outside to vape and call Zachary quickly before the next round began. It was just you and Melissa at the table. You sipped your water and tried to avoid eye contact, but you couldn’t escape her eyes on you. And then she finally spoke. “I’ve been meanin’ to call ya, hon… to talk about what ya said the other day. It kills me that you’ve been feelin’ that way… that I made ya feel that way. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, Y/N. You don’t deserve that. I swear I’m tryin’ real hard to figure this out. I just… I didn’t see ya comin’, y’know? I had just kinda accepted that I was gonna be alone in life. I’d gotten used to the idea. And then you came along and now it’s like… I can’t imagine my life without you in it. That’s what makes this so scary. I had nothin’ to lose before you. And now… if somethin’ happened, if I lost you, I’d never be able to pick up the pieces” Melissa said as she held back tears. You looked back at her and opened your mouth to speak, but Jacob returned to the table and started talking about how he’d been trying to quit vaping with no success. Janine and Gregory followed close behind with another pitcher of beer. You were overwhelmed by what Melissa said and you weren’t sure how to respond, so you decided to fake your migraine a little earlier than you planned. “I’m… I’m not feeling very well, guys. I think I’m getting a migraine. I’m gonna head out” you said as you took another sip of water and then stood up to leave. Melissa looked concerned and said, “Lemme walk you out, hon.”

Melissa walked next to you as you made your way to your car and then she reached over to softly rub on your back. “That’s against the rules” you said flatly as you shrugged your shoulders and Melissa slowly pulled away. You couldn’t look at her, so you took the opportunity to search your bag for your car keys instead. “Did I make sense back there, hon? Do ya get why this is so hard for me? It’s not cause I don’t love you… it’s cause I love you more than I’ve ever loved anythin’. And it scares me” Melissa said as she took a step closer, willing you to look up at her. You couldn’t stop the wave of emotions that overtook you. You were angry. You were upset. You were hurt. And you were done. “I get it. I just didn’t think THE Melissa Schemmenti was a coward” you said. “What?” she asked in disbelief. “You are! You’re so scared of the possibility of getting hurt one day that you’d rather let me go now, even though you love me. You want to be in control of when and how your heart breaks. You’re not risking a god damn thing. You’re a coward. And it’s a shame, because I f*cking love you. And I want to spend the rest of my life loving you. But there’s really nothing I can do to make you believe that’s true. You’re scared? Fine. You want to end this? That’s fine, too. Being alone is safer, you’re right about that. But choosing not to embrace love when it’s standing right in front of you, begging you to see it, that’s just sad. And I feel bad for you” you said. And with that you got into your car and drove away. You looked back in your rear view mirror and could see Melissa sobbing in the parking lot. All you wanted to do was turn around and take her in your arms and apologize. But you couldn’t. Because you weren’t sorry. You were in love with Melissa and she wasn’t brave enough to love you back. So, you kept driving.

And you drove all night.

Notes:

PECSA weekend is up next and Melissa will finally make a decision about her future with the reader. Stay tuned! ♥️

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*Personal side note: I quit my job today. 🥺 I’ve been teaching at the same school for five years and most of that time was wonderful, but the new director who started six months ago is hom*ophobic and condescending and hateful and unkind and today I made the decision to no longer work in the toxic and hostile environment she created in our school.

I am… heartbroken. I can’t stop thinking about my students and their parents and the sense of community I built there. I tried really hard to ignore her treatment and keep my head down and just teach and love those kids. But it’s not a safe space anymore. And it really sucks to have to leave.

All that said, I’m very sad. And have to find a new job. I am still 100% invested in this story and plan to continue to share at least 2-3 new chapters a week. But if it’s quiet for a few days, just know I’m still here. Writing this and talking with you all in the comments brings me so much joy. Thank you for making this such a safe and welcoming place to share my ideas. I appreciate you all. ♥️

Chapter 42: Prove It

Summary:

PECSA WEEKEND!

Notes:

So, I’m a complete monster and absolutely HAD to make this two parts. Enjoy part one! Should have part two posted by tomorrow night. 😘

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Schools were closed across the Philadelphia School District that Friday as teachers made their way to the Pennsylvania Educational Conference for the Southeast Area. Check-in at the hotel was at noon and there was a welcome mixer in the evening to encourage networking amongst teachers from different schools. Saturday would be full of seminars, workshops, and motivational speeches and the keynote by Erin Gruwell was supposed to be incredible! She was the founder of the Freedom Writers Foundation and an educator you had always really admired. It would all wrap up on Saturday night with what your co-workers referred to as PECSA-Geddon: a huge party with an open bar where teachers could really unwind.

Jacob had offered to give you a ride to the hotel, but you told him about your conversations with Melissa from earlier in the week and explained that you needed the time alone in your car to think. In reality, you made a playlist of all the saddest songs you could think of and cried for the entire duration of your drive. Melissa hadn’t explicitly said that she wanted to end things, but after the last few days, you felt like she was leaning toward breaking things off. You had called her a coward and left her alone and crying in a parking lot. And even though you were still worried that you had been too harsh, ultimately you knew that you had to speak your truth about how her inability to make a choice was tearing you apart inside. You loved her. You loved everything about her. And no matter how much it all hurt, you knew you’d still go running into her arms if she asked you to. But it felt hopeless. And your heart was breaking. You accepted that all you could really do this weekend was try to learn something at the conference and then return to school on Monday ready to focus on your career and be the best teacher you could be.

You grabbed your bag out of your car and made your way into the hotel to check-in and then find the PECSA booth to collect your tote bag, badge, and conference program. You saw Barbara and Melissa over at the front desk and realized that you’d have to collect your keycard from Melissa directly since the room was reserved under her name. You took a deep breath, put on a brave face, and then made your way across the lobby. Barbara had just stepped away to go unpack and freshen up when Melissa turned around and nearly bumped into you. “sh*t, sorry, hon” Melissa said immediately. “It’s fine. The concierge gave you two keys, right?” you asked. “Oh, uh, yeah. Here ya go” Melissa said awkwardly as she handed you the card. “Thanks… I’m gonna go put my stuff in the room before I check-in with the PECSA folks” you said as you walked toward the elevator. “Yeah me, too. If that’s okay…?” she asked. You nodded and then pressed number 7 on the elevator.

You slid your keycard in the door and walked into the room and down the narrow hallway. When you looked up, you saw rose petals spread across the king-sized bed, a silver bowl filled with chocolate covered strawberries, and a bottle of champagne chilling on ice. You dropped your bag on the floor and then turned to look at Melissa. She saw the confusion on your face and looked concerned. “What’s up?” she asked. And then she saw it all and cursed under her breath before she spoke again. “sh*t, hon… I completely forgot I’d asked them to do this… I… this was… it was supposed to be a romantic surprise for our first weekend away together. I booked it so long ago, I forgot all about it… I’m real sorry” Melissa said apologetically. You turned back to look at the display and tried to figure out how it all made you feel. On the one hand, you wanted Melissa to push you down on the bed, look you in the eyes, and tell you that she loved you and she wanted to be with you. On the other hand, this romantic gesture felt like a complete punch in the gut after everything the two of you went through over the last month. You didn’t know what to say or do. So, you walked over, opened the bottle of champagne, and then took a huge sip before you handed Melissa the bottle and then walked into the bathroom to freshen up.

You made your way back down to the lobby and found Janine, Gregory, and Jacob waiting for you by the PECSA booth. The four of you collected your materials and then walked over to the hotel bar for the teacher mixer. You thought about all the rules you’d been following over the last week. No kissing. No touching. No… other stuff. No drinking. And since all signs pointed to Melissa breaking up with you any day now, you said to hell with the rules. You decided to order a beer and extend your mild champagne buzz. Your friends socialized easily since all three of them had made connections during last year’s conference. You were a little more shy as you sat at the bar, sipped your beer, and tried to gather your courage. Then a cute brunette sat down on the stool next to you. “Hey! I’m Gwen. I’m here from Addington Elementary! I teach fourth grade. What’s your name?” she asked enthusiastically. “Hi, Gwen. I’m Y/N. I teach third grade at Abbott Elementary” you replied cheerfully. The two of you sat and talked together for a little while, enjoying the drinks and exchanging horror stories about prepping for standardized testing. Then a flash of red hair near the bar caught your eye. Melissa and Barbara were in their swimsuits and coverups and had stopped by to order drinks before heading to the indoor pool. Melissa looked incredible. Her hair was pulled up and her cleavage in the tight black one-piece swimsuit she had on was enough to drive you absolutely wild. You were so busy staring at her longingly that you didn’t notice her staring back at you and the brunette by your side. Was she jealous? Did she think you were flirting with her? You couldn’t tell. She and Barb grabbed their drinks, left the mixer, and made their way to the pool.

It had been a fun night overall. Gwen introduced you to a few other teachers she knew from Addington and other surrounding schools and you enjoyed commiserating with your peers. You finished your beer and then made your way over to the hotel pool. Melissa and Barb sat reclined in their chairs as they chatted and sipped their co*cktails. “Good evening, ladies” you said as you walked toward them and slowly removed your blouse and pants, revealing the black bikini you had on beneath your clothing. Then you slowly walked down the steps, entered the heated pool, and laid flat on your back and floated through the water. Melissa looked shocked, but Barbara laughed hysterically. “Yes, Y/N! Now THAT is how you unwind at PECSA weekend” Barb said as she clapped. You laughed and then noticed Melissa staring down at your body as she continued to sip her co*cktail.

You didn’t swim for long. And if you were being honest, you weren’t even sure why you did it. You’d bought the bikini the day after Melissa booked the room and had originally planned to spend at least a portion of your PECSA weekend poolside with your girlfriend. But that was before everything else happened. You didn’t even know why you packed it, let alone put it on. Maybe it felt like a mini revenge for the romantic gesture Melissa forgot to cancel, maybe you were just tipsy. The ‘why’ didn’t really matter in the end, you decided. You showered, washed the chlorine away, and then threw on the bathrobe Melissa had given you for Christmas and walked out of the bathroom as you towel dried your hair. When you turned the corner you found Melissa sitting on the edge of the bed, drinking the rest of the champagne from earlier. You tossed your towel onto the back of the chair nearby and then sat down next to her on the bed. The two of you sat there in silence for a few minutes before Melissa finally spoke. “I… I’m not a coward, y’know” she said as she looked over at you and handed you the bottle. You took one last sip of champagne, handed back the bottle, and then said, “Prove it.” Melissa looked into your eyes and all you wanted was to feel her lips against yours. But she didn’t kiss you. And she didn’t say a word. You crawled into the bed and pulled the covers up over your shoulders. Melissa went to the bathroom to shower and you were still awake when she returned and crawled into bed next to you. She moved in close behind you and spooned your body with hers.

And you let her.

Notes:

Get excited for part two, my loves! 🥰

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*Personal side note update:
You guys. I talked to District Managers and Regional Vice Presidents today and guess what?!? My hom*ophobic boss got f*cking FIRED! And I get to return to teaching on Friday! I am still in complete shock.

It’s like… I knew I could not stay in that environment and be treated that way, but I also didn’t think any of the higher ups would care. I messaged a few of the big wig corporate people today and they listened to me and supported me and said they didn’t want to lose me and holy sh*t I cannot believe that I get to stay and be with my students and keep doing this job I love so much.

Thank you again for all the kind words yesterday. I really thought my time there was done and that the villain was going to win this time. I am so relieved and excited and feeling so valued and cared for after months of this awful director making me feel like nothing.

Thanks again for everything you all do to keep my spirits high. Looking forward to sharing many more chapters with you soon! 🩷

Chapter 43: Wherever Is Your Heart

Summary:

PECSA WEEKEND PART TWO!

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“I think it's time we found a way back home.
You lose so many things you love as you grow.
I missed the days when I was just a kid.
My fear became my shadow, I swear it did.

Wherever is your heart I call home.
Wherever is your heart I call home.
Though your feet may take you far from me, I know.
Wherever is your heart I call home.”

Wherever Is Your Heart - Brandi Carlile

Notes:

What if I was like… actually… PECSA weekend is three parts now? 😂🤣😅 I kid, I kid.

I hope you enjoy this one and that it feels like it was worth the wait. 🥰

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

When you woke up on Saturday morning, your face was inches away from Melissa’s and your arm was draped across her waist. She was resting peacefully against you and you were instantly overwhelmed by how beautiful she looked and how content you felt lying there next to her. You wanted to pull her closer. You wanted to kiss her. You wanted to wake her up and beg her to decide what she wanted and release you from the uncomfortable limbo you’d been stuck in since Christmas. You gently pushed a piece of hair behind her ear and then slowly got out of bed to get ready for the day ahead. Once you were finished getting dressed, you grabbed a water from the mini fridge and a bottle of ibuprofen and set them down on the nightstand next to Melissa. Then you made your way down to the hotel restaurant for breakfast.

You looked over your itinerary as you enjoyed your scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast. The first session of the day was the one you were the most excited for. It was called “A Culture of Belonging” and the focus was on celebrating diversity in the classroom and creating safe and welcoming spaces within school communities. As you, Jacob, and Ava were still in the process of finding a way to create a space like that at Abbott, you thought this would be a great resource and an excellent opportunity to ask questions. Everyone was seated and the speaker came on stage to begin their presentation when you heard the door to the conference room open and saw Melissa sneak in and find a seat toward the back. You turned to Jacob and whispered, “Why is Melissa here? I thought she and Barb didn’t go to any of the presentations?” Jacob looked back in her direction and shrugged as he pulled out his notebook full of questions.

It was a wonderful presentation and you felt reinvigorated to keep pursuing an atmosphere of inclusion and safety back at school, regardless of what the parents said! The next few sessions were equally inspiring and interesting. You attended a workshop on Teaching Through the Arts, listened to a presentation on Learning and Space Design, and sat in on a panel called “Supporting Neurodiversity in the Classroom.” You loved learning and you loved being a teacher. And you were so thankful to have the chance to learn more from your peers and to keep growing as an educator. But what surprised you more than anything you learned that morning was that Melissa Schemmenti attended all the same presentations as you. The two of you never acknowledged each other directly, but you noticed her in every room and were shocked and impressed when you saw her taking notes. Why was she doing this? This was sacred relaxation time that she and Barb looked forward to every year. What had changed?

When it was time to break for lunch, you went to meet up with the Abbott crew in the hotel restaurant. You were surprised to find Melissa and Barb already sitting at the table with Gregory, Janine, and Jacob. “Have you been going to the presentations too, Barb?” you asked as you sat down. “Well dear, Melissa and I were talking by the pool last night and we decided that we could squeeze in just a little continuing education at the conference this year. But after lunch, it’s back to the pool! And then onto PECSA-Geddon tonight, of course” Barbara said enthusiastically. “And how exactly did you decide which presentations to attend at the last minute?” you asked as you looked directly over at Melissa. She looked back at you with a sly smile and said, “I made Jacob send me a picture of your itinerary.” You turned to Jacob who promptly realized that he, Janine, and Gregory had planned to head over and see the new Living Classroom display and quickly left the table. Barbara read the room and decided now would be a good time to go get a sweet tea refill before heading to the pool. You turned back to Melissa and studied her for a moment, not exactly sure what to make of her efforts this morning. “Why did you want to go to the same sessions as me?” you asked, genuinely confused and curious. Melissa looked at you and seemed to struggle to find the words for a moment before she finally spoke. “Cause… because I’m interested in what interests you! If we’re gonna have a safe space at Abbott, we need an army of informed teachers. And the talk that lady gave on space design? That’s just like what you did when you turned your room into Narnia. I never woulda thought about stuff like that. Now I do. Because of you! You’re a great teacher, hon. Ya care. And it shows. Course I wanna learn more about what you’re passionate about. And it means I get to learn even more about you in the process. More about what matters to ya” Melissa said passionately. You felt the tears start well up in your eyes as you smiled back at Melissa. And for a moment it felt like the two of you might kiss. But then you felt your stomach tie itself in a knot. “You know another good way to learn more about me? Grow up and let me love you already” you said angrily as you stood up and walked away from the table.

You were a mess for the rest of the afternoon sessions. You continued to sit in on presentations and tried your best to take notes and actively participate, but your mind was elsewhere. You finally managed to pull yourself together in time for the keynote address and were in awe of the speech Erin Gruwell shared with the audience. The way she saw herself as an educator and the heart and energy she put into her students inspired you so much. The crowd gave her a standing ovation and there were cheers all around as she invited everyone to join her over at PECSA-Geddon!

You went back to the room to change before the party. You put on a white button-up shirt and rolled up the sleeves and then put on a pair of navy blue slacks. You curled your hair and then reached for the silver cuff bracelet Melissa gave you for Christmas. You ran your thumb over the inscription: “Ti voglio sempre al mio fianco.” I want you always by my side. Melissa said that. And you thought she meant it. It’s all you wanted, but she couldn’t let you in. You put on the bracelet anyway and then promptly left the room, ready to drink the night away with your friends.

You found Jacob at the bar with his friends Daniel and Summer and exchanged quick greetings before you ordered your drink and then turned to survey the room. You saw Gwen from earlier in the day and waved softly and then you noticed Janine and Gregory over at the Photo Booth. You remembered Janine telling you how she and Gregory kissed for the first time at last year’s conference and you were so glad to see them together and happy now. You wished you had been a better friend to Janine and had asked her more about how things were going with Gregory. You’d been so wrapped up in the rollercoaster that was your relationship with Melissa Schemmenti that you had dropped the ball on maintaining some of your friendships. You shamed yourself about it for a minute, but then you realized you’d probably have all the time in the world to focus on your friends soon, once Melissa cut you loose once and for all.

And just as you thought of her, she appeared. Melissa entered the bar and you were shocked to see Barb and Gerald walk in together after her. He must have driven down to surprise her! Gerald really was the best and Barbara was absolutely glowing. And Melissa… she looked more beautiful than ever. She was stunning in the tight dark green dress she had on and you could see from all the way across the bar that she was wearing the necklace you gave her. And as you watched her, you could also see that she was looking for you. You weren’t sure why, but you instantly felt the familiar pitter-patter of tiny butterfly wings against your ribcage. You grabbed your drink and ordered a Negroni for Melissa and then made your way across the bar to meet her. “Hey” you said from behind her. Melissa turned at the sound of your voice and smiled brightly at you. She took your breath away. “For me?” she asked playfully. “Yeah, I know what you like” you teased back with a smile. What in the actual f*ck was happening right now? Why did everything suddenly feel normal? Just a few hours ago you shouted at her to grow up and then stormed off. Now here you were flirting with each other like nothing had happened. It didn’t make any sense. “Ya wanna find some place where we can sit and talk?” Melissa asked as she sipped her drink. “Uh, sure. I think I see a table in the corner over there” you replied as you pointed across the bar. Melissa turned and led the way and you suddenly felt incredibly nervous.

You sat down together and you tried to calm your nerves as you felt her knees pressed against yours underneath the table. “So, how was the keynote? I know you’re a big fan of hers” Melissa asked as she looked over at you. “It was wonderful, actually. She’s done incredible work and I just find her teaching philosophy to be so inspiring” you said excitedly. Melissa laughed softly and shook her head. “What?” you asked. “Nothin’, hon. You’re just really cute when ya geek out about teachin’. This weekend must’ve felt like bein’ at Disneyland for you” Melissa joked. You tried to hide your smile, but couldn’t deny what she said. You were in your element and Melissa could see it.

“You said you wanted to talk?” you asked, wondering if she finally had an answer for you. “Yeah, hon… I… look, this isn’t easy for me to say, but I think…” and before she could finish her sentence you felt yourself starting to cry. You stood up as fast as you could and walked out of the bar. All you wanted to do was make it back to your room before you completely fell apart. This was it. It was over. Part of you had been expecting this for weeks and the other part of you felt absolutely blindsided. You loved her so much. And now you were just supposed to let her go? You swiped your card, ran into the room, and locked yourself in the bathroom. You fell to the floor and started to sob uncontrollably. Then moments later you heard the hotel door open and Melissa called out your name. “Hon, come out of there, please. Ya gotta let me finish what I was gonna say” Melissa begged. You took a deep breath, pulled yourself up off the floor, and washed your face before you opened the door to face her.

Melissa frowned when she saw how upset you were and then reached for your hand and guided you down the narrow hall and into the living space. When you looked up and saw rose petals and champagne again you nearly lost it. “Are you f*cking kidding me?! They did it again! Jesus Christ, this is unbelievable” you said, feeling both frustrated and humiliated. “Oh, no, hon… this was me. I did this…” Melissa said as she sat you down on the edge of the bed. “What? But why?” you asked. “Because I have somethin’ I wanna tell ya…” Melissa replied. She stood in front of you and took both of your hands and held them in her own. Then she looked into your eyes, took a deep breath, and smiled. “I love you, Y/N. I’m in love with you. And I’m so sorry that it took me this long to figure out that lovin’ you is all that matters. You were right… when ya called me a coward… and today when ya told me to grow up. I’ve been actin’ like some scared kid and doubtin’ myself every step of the way. It’s… when Joe and I… sh*t. Look, that bastard really did a number on my self-esteem. Made me think him cheatin’ on me and leavin’ was somehow my fault. And I think I’ve been internalizin’ that message ever since. Like, why would someone stay? I’m just me? Y’know? Nothin’ special. Nothin’ to write home about. But you… you made me feel like I’m the entire damn galaxy and it was such a new, scary, unfamiliar feelin’ that I couldn’t let myself trust it. Couldn’t risk gettin’ torn in two again. And I let other people get in my head, too. My ma, f*ckin’ Charlotte. Anyone else who said this didn’t make sense or that it wouldn’t last… it’s like their voices were louder in my head than my own voice was. And really, the person I shoulda been listenin’ to this whole time was you. Every time ya told me you loved me. Every time ya showed up for me and took care of me and made me feel alive and beautiful and safe. You tell me ya love me all the time, but more than that… ya show me. And ya make me feel that it’s true. That’s what matters. That’s what shoulda mattered most this whole time. And if you’ll forgive me for bein’ sucha gabadost, all I wanna do is get back to lovin’ you and bein’ together and havin’ you by my side. Always” Melissa said as she stared deeply into your eyes and waited anxiously for your reply.

You stood up from the bed and took a step toward Melissa. Your fingers were still intertwined as you gently pulled her toward you. You rested your forehead against hers as you tried to process everything she just said. And when you looked down and into her green eyes, you knew you were home again at last. Melissa had finally surrendered and allowed herself to fall into the unknown. And she trusted you to be there to catch her. “I love you, Melissa Schemmenti. And I want this. I want us. More than anything. I’m so sorry anyone ever made you feel like anything less than the galaxy you are. But I promise you never have to feel that way again” you said as you caressed her cheek with your hand. Melissa started to cry. They were tears of joy and relief and the bright smile beneath the salty streams was the most breathtaking thing you’d ever seen.

“C’mere” she said as she placed her hands on your face and pulled you into a kiss. It started off slow, sweet, and tender. It was a homecoming. And it felt sacred. It was different from any other kiss you two had ever shared. Then Melissa wrapped her arms around your neck to pull you in deeper while you wrapped your own arms around her lower back and let yourself melt into the softness of her lips. Neither of you could stop smiling as you continued to press your lips together and hold each other. And then somewhere in the midst of this tender reunion, something shifted. The joy and the relief slowly turned to desire and lust. The last time you had sex was when Melissa brought you home on New Year’s Eve. And the next morning, she regretted it. You knew neither of you would regret tonight. And you knew that after waiting this long, it was going to be absolutely incredible.

Your lips parted as you slowly pulled back and began to unbutton your shirt. Melissa watched you hungrily and bit her lip as you pulled it off, revealing the cream-colored lace bra you had on beneath it. Melissa stepped back toward you and unbuttoned your pants as you pulled down the zipper on the back of her green dress. You pulled the straps off of her shoulders and slowly dragged the dress down her body and onto the floor. You stayed on your knees and kissed your way up her soft thighs as your hands caressed and squeezed her ass and then pulled down her black thong. And when you pressed a gentle kiss against her cl*t, Melissa let her head fall back as she unhooked her own bra and moaned as she pressed her puss* closer to your mouth. After waiting so long to be with her like this again, you weren’t quite done with your foreplay. You gave her cl*t one quick lick before you stood back up to face her and pulled her into a deep, sensual kiss. You bit her lower lip softly before you used your tongue to invite hers into your waiting mouth. Melissa kissed you passionately and then dragged her lips from your mouth, down to your neck, and then onto the tops of your breasts before she unhooked your bra and threw it to the floor. Then as she took one of your breasts in her mouth and the other in her hand, she guided your body backward to the bed and sat you down. Now she was the one on her knees as she pulled down your pants and underwear. Once you were both completely bare, she pulled you back up again and your naked bodies pressed against each other firmly. You were both so warm and so wet. You’d waited so long for this moment and if you were being honest, you had been scared for a while now that you’d never be able to make love to Melissa again. You planned to make sure she knew just how much you wanted her and how impossible it had been not to touch her for so long.

Melissa’s hands caressed your ass and your hips as you took her breasts in your hands and squeezed them and pinched her nipples between your fingers. “Mmmmm. f*ck, Y/N. God, I’ve missed the way you touch me, baby” Melissa said as she licked her lips and pulled you into desperate kiss. She was ready. And so were you. You stepped back and pulled Melissa onto the bed with you and laid her down. You leaned down to take one of her nipples into your mouth while your other hand rubbed slowly down her torso. Melissa moaned beneath you and then gasped in pleasure as she felt you leave a love mark on the top of her breast. Then you finally let your hand slide down and through the wetness between her thighs and you massaged her cl*t in slow, firm circles, causing her to let out a guttural moan. Your face was barely an inch away from Melissa’s as you rubbed her cl*t and she moaned and cursed into your mouth. “Can I?” you asked. And Melissa nodded enthusiastically before she took your wrist in her hand and expedited the process by shoving three of your fingers deep inside her soaking wet entrance. “Oh, yes! Mmmm, babe. That feels so f*cking good. God, I’ve wanted you so much. Every day. Give it to me, now” she cried out as you thrusted in and out in a firm and steady rhythm. Neither one of you could believe how quickly she approached her climax, but it had been so long since you’d seen her cum that you couldn’t delay it for even a second. “Cum for me, Mel” you whispered in her ear as you nipped her earlobe and continued to f*ck her. “Oh! Oh! Ooooooooooh!” Melissa screamed out as her walls contracted around your fingers and her body tightened as she came before she fell limp on the bed. You withdrew your fingers slowly and then leaned down and pulled Melissa into a tight embrace before you kissed her again.

And before you knew what was happening Melissa was on top of you with her puss* pressed down firmly against your own. She reached down to squeeze your breasts and pinch your nipples as she started to grind her center against your cl*t. “sh*t, Mel! Oh my god that feels f*cking amazing. Mmmm. Don’t stop, baby” you said as you felt your legs spread wider and wider so she could press even more fully against you. Melissa remembered how much you liked this position, how much you liked watching her grind herself on top of you, and she had barely begun when you felt the white heat start to build all the way down in your toes. You grabbed her ass and pushed your core up against her and melted into how heavenly the friction felt. “I’m… oh, I’m there, Mel! Yes! Yes! Fuuuuck!” you moaned as you came against her. Melissa continued to ride you softly as you came down from your high and then she laid down on top of you, took your face in her hands, and said, “I love you, Y/N. I love you so much, hon. And I’m never lettin’ you go.” You stared back at her, still breathless, and pulled her into a kiss that promised all the same things as tears formed at the corners of your eyes. “I love you, too, baby” you replied as you pulled her down into a hug and breathed in the familiar scent of lavender and vanilla.

You fell asleep with your head on Melissa’s shoulder that night and your hand resting on top of the gold lamp post necklace around her neck. It had been a hard month, but you had finally found your way back to each other. You’d made it home. And you knew you’d never lose your way again.

Notes:

Yaaaaaaaay!!!! f*ck off, angst island! We are leaving you now and waving our middle fingers up in the air the entire way back to flufflane and smutsville.

Do you see now!!?!? I couldn’t fit this all in one chapter. That would have been madness! 😂

Love you guys! More soon! ♥️

Chapter 44: Even the Days Are Brighter

Summary:

You woke up with Melissa Schemmenti in your arms again and everything felt right in the universe. You couldn’t wait to spend a lazy Sunday with your girlfriend. You both deserved it!

Notes:

Fluff. Smut. The good stuff. ♥️

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

“Buongiorno, mia bellissima dea” you whispered from behind Melissa as you gently kissed your way up her naked back. She let out a quiet yawn and stretched her body slowly as she turned to face you. “We got like two hours of sleep last night and you’re really gonna wake me up speakin’ Italian? Ready for more already?” Melissa asked with a laugh as she leaned in to kiss you. “Sono sempre pronto per te” you said with a mischievous smile. “Oh, that’s it!”
Melissa said playfully as she rolled over on top of you.

You spent the rest of the early morning wrapped in each other’s arms and breathless and only stopped when you realized it was almost time to check out of the hotel. Luckily you had just enough time to take a quick shower together. And while the original goal had been to get cleaned up before heading out, Melissa had other plans. You had forgotten how f*cking good it felt when Melissa smacked your ass and how deep her fingers could go inside you. At one point, Melissa even had to cover your mouth to stifle your screams and moans of pleasure. Your poor neighbors in room 718.

You eventually made it out of the shower, packed up your things, and checked out of the room. You met up with Barb and Gerald for a quick breakfast and they both insisted that your bi-weekly bowling nights would have to resume as soon as possible. Barb had driven Melissa down to the conference, but said she and Gerald planned to stay in town a bit longer, so Melissa could ride back to Philly with you instead. You handed Melissa your phone as you pulled out of the lot and told her to pick the music for the ride home. She chose Air Supply’s album “Now and Forever.” Melissa must have remembered when you told her it was one of your favorite cassettes when you were a kid. You used to steal it from your mom’s stereo and put it in your boombox up in your room and hold little concerts for your stuffed animals. 80’s music really was the best. Especially the cheesy love songs! You and Melissa belted out one corny ballad after another and sang especially loud during “Even the Nights Are Better.” You didn’t care how cheesy it was. The woman you loved was sitting next to you, singing her heart out, and she’d finally decided that she wanted to be with you. You couldn’t hide the smile on your face.

You pulled into Melissa’s driveway and she invited you in for a cup of coffee to help perk you up after the long drive. You walked into her kitchen and sat in your usual spot up on the island as she made the coffee. In a way, it felt like no time had passed at all. And yet everything also felt completely different. You were different now. You’d spent the last month worried out of your mind that the person you loved was going to leave you. And there was some small part of you that was still scared she might change her mind if things got tough. Even though you were hesitant to pop the bubble the two of you had been in all morning, you had to be honest about your feelings. “Hey, Mel?” you asked. “Yeah, hon?” she said as she walked over to the island, stood between your legs, and gently rubbed her hands on top of your thighs. “I… I’m just… God, I am so happy to be here. To be near you. Last night was… incredible. But I feel like I need to tell you… I’m still… it still hurts. Like, I understand you needed that time to figure out what you wanted and how you felt about everything. I totally get that. But… I kind of can’t shake the way it made me feel. I was so scared you were going to leave me and that you’d decide I wasn’t enough for you… I guess I’m still a little worried you might change your mind about us…” you said. Melissa looked back at you and you could see the pain and regret in her eyes. “Aw, hon… I’m real sorry I put you through all that. But I promise it was never a question of whether or not you were enough. I always knew I wanted you. I just couldn’t believe you wanted me, too. And I couldn’t drown out everyone else’s bad advice. I’m so sorry I hurt ya, but I swear I’m gonna make it up to ya. I meant what I said. I wanna be with you. I love ya, Y/N” Melissa said as she slid your body toward her and pulled you into a tight embrace. The hug was reassuring and instantly silenced the voice in your head that said you weren’t worth loving as you were. “Would you wanna… stay over tonight?” Melissa asked as she stepped back and looked into your eyes. “Yes, please” you replied.

Melissa ordered Chinese food for dinner and the two of you sat close together on the couch and ate directly out of the containers with chopsticks while you watched TV. When you were finished eating you cuddled and made out on the couch for a little while. It had been the perfect night. Then you both decided to call it a night early since you barely slept the night before and had to return to Abbott tomorrow morning.

You changed into the same Flyers t-shirt you always slept in at Melissa’s house and brushed your teeth before you went to join her. She was reading a book in bed while she waited for you. And you couldn’t get over how sexy she looked in her glasses. Melissa looked up when she felt you staring at her and smiled. She placed her book on her nightstand and then pushed her glasses up and into her hair. She seemed almost… nervous, but you weren’t sure why. “Hey, hon, could ya open up the nightstand over on your side?” she asked. “Uh, sure” you replied. You turned and slowly pulled open the top drawer of the nightstand on the left side of the bed. It was empty. You looked over at Melissa with a confused look on your face and saw she was smiling. “I know it’s not much… but I thought maybe if ya wanted to bring some stuff to keep here… for when ya stay the night. I wanted ya to have some space. I made room in the closet, too. I really like havin’ ya over and I just wanna make sure you’re comfortable and that ya have whatever ya need when you’re here” Melissa said nervously as her cheeks turned red. You felt like your heart was about to beat out of your chest. “You… you made space for me?” you asked, making sure you weren’t imagining things. “Yeah. I want ya to feel at home when you’re here” Melissa said. You could have easily replied with words and told her how sweet this all was, but instead you decided to show Melissa how much this gesture meant to you.

You leaned over and pulled her into a passionate kiss and then pushed the sheets aside. She licked and nipped on your lower lip as you slowly pulled down her cotton shorts. She wasn’t wearing any underwear beneath them which reminded you of the first time you had sex and got you even more excited. Then you unbuttoned her pajama top as you continued to tease her tongue with yours. You pulled back for a moment and gently reached up into her hair and placed Melissa’s glasses back on her face and said “Ms. Schemmenti, will you please sit on my face.” Melissa’s jaw dropped in excitement at the request and she seemed intrigued that you wanted her to wear her glasses and that you called her Ms. Schemmenti. You laid back on the bed and licked your lips as you watched Melissa crawl over to mount your face. When her puss* finally met your mouth you immediately dragged your tongue from her entrance up to her cl*t and then began to slowly suck and lick her cl*t. You looked up and saw Melissa’s mouth was wide open and you were so turned on as you watched her fondle her own breasts and pinch her nipples as her hips started to grind against your face. “Mmmmm” you moaned against her as you continued to explore her center with your tongue. “Oh! Y/N! Just like that. You’re such a good girl. Mmmm. Now put your tongue in me, baby” Melissa panted. And when you heard her call you a “good girl,” you nearly came. You liked it. You really liked it. And you wanted to hear it again, so you did as you were told. You grabbed and squeezed Melissa’s ass with both of your hands and pulled her puss* even tighter against your face as you shoved your tongue inside her and licked and tasted her intoxicating flavors. Then you felt one of her hands in your hair and you moaned in pleasure when she gave a rough pull. You could tell from how her legs were shaking that she was quickly approaching her climax. You redoubled your efforts and continued to thrust your tongue into her core over and over again and then rubbed her cl*t with your thumb. “Yes! f*ck yes, hon. Oh, God! That’s my good girl. Mmmm. Ooooh! I’m gonna cum… I’m gonna…” Melissa shouted out as she reached for the headboard and came hard in your mouth. You had missed tasting her and pleasing her this way and you were so aroused from f*cking her that you could barely contain yourself. You placed soft kisses on her thighs as she recovered from her org*sm and then helped her lay back down on the bed.

When Melissa finally caught her breath and opened her eyes, she could see how turned on you were from f*cking her. “Hey there” she teased. “Damn, Melissa. You are so sexy, babe. I love watching you cum” you said as you reached over and ran your fingers up and down her thighs. “Mmmm” she sighed as you touched her and you could see the gears turning in her head as she decided what she was going to do to you. “I love watchin’ you, too, hon” Melissa said as she leaned up on her elbow and pulled you into a slow, sensual kiss. Then Melissa sat up, pulled off your shirt, and slowly flipped you over so that you were lying on your stomach. She moved behind you and leaned down and placed a trail of kisses from your neck all the way down to your lower back. Then she started to rub and squeeze your ass before she pulled your underwear down and then bent over and whispered in your ear, “You ready to be my good girl again?” This was absolute f*cking torture. “Yes, Ms. Schemmenti. I’ll do whatever you tell me to do” you replied desperately. “Good” Melissa said as she laid down on top of you and slid her hand down between your puss* and the mattress. You let out a loud, long moan the second her fingertips found your cl*t and you instantly began to grind your hips against her hand and the mattress. The weight of her on top of you felt so f*cking good. And you could feel her wetness on your ass as she rubbed her cl*t against your body while she f*cked you from behind. Her skillful fingers continued to slide firmly against your cl*t and you could feel your toes starting to curl as the two of you moved your bodies back and forth in the same incredible rhythm. “Oh! sh*t! I’m so close, baby” you said through ragged breaths. “Mmm. Me, too. f*ck! Me, too. Wait until I tell you to cum for me” she said as she thrusted her hips against your ass. You gripped the sheets as hard as you could and tried like hell to keep your euphoria at bay until Ms. Schemmenti gave you permission to cum. “Oh! Now, baby! Now! Be my good girl and cum with me now” Melissa shouted out as her own body went rigid against yours. “Fuuuuuuck!” you screamed as you came against her hand. You were dizzy from the intensity of your org*sm and you both continued to gently press against each other as you tried to catch your breath.

Melissa rolled off of you and onto her back. She was drenched in sweat and had a huge smile on her face when she looked over at you. “Jesus Christ, Mel!” you said as you leaned over to kiss her. She smiled against your lips and then took off her glasses and tossed them on top of her nightstand. “You like when I wear those, huh?” she asked. You instantly blushed. “I mean… yeah” you replied with a shy grin. “Can I ask why?” Melissa asked playfully. You sat up slowly and smiled down at the beautiful woman next to you. “God, this is so embarrassing. Honestly, I realized I was gay the first time I watched the movie Matilda! I had it bad for Miss Honey. A gorgeous teacher with glasses? She’s like my root!” you laughed before you continued. “And the first week I met you, I walked into your room one day and saw you in your glasses and just thought you looked so beautiful and sexy. You looked incredible, babe. And… I don’t know. I guess I’ve just always been hot for teacher. And you’re the hottest teacher I’ve ever seen, Mel” you said with a co*cky smile. Melissa blushed and smiled brightly at you before she pulled you down into a kiss.

“C’mon, good girl. It’s time for bed” she teased as she reached for the lamp and then pulled you into her arms.

Notes:

“Buongiorno, mia bellissima dea” = Good morning, my beautiful goddess.

“Sono sempre pronto per te” = I’m always ready for you.

Tooth-rotting stuff, really.

Hope you enjoyed it. Something big is on the horizon for OFC! It’s a good thing Melissa will be there to support her! ♥️

Chapter 45: How Simple It Can Be

Summary:

It’s time to return to Abbott after a long, exciting weekend. You’re looking forward to reconnecting with your friends, rearranging your classroom, and holding your girlfriend’s hand in the parking lot.

But an unexpected phone call leaves you feeling sick with worry…

——————————

“How simple it can be.
I love you and you love me.
There's nothing in our way.

How simple it can be.
The sunlight on a tree.
There's nothing more to say.”

How Simple It Can Be - K’s Choice

Notes:

Extra points if you can spot the Heartstopper reference! ♥️ 🍃

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Melissa drove you both to school the next morning and it was so good to be back at Abbott. You were grateful for all the wonderful speakers who shared their ideas at PECSA and you were excited to get back to your classroom and start incorporating some of the things you learned. You were also thrilled to be reunited with Melissa. You had an incredible weekend of reconnecting with each other, both emotionally and physically. It was amazing! She held your hand as you walked into school together and neither of you could hide the smiles on your faces.

You happened to bump into Ava in the hall right outside the teacher’s lounge. “Oh, is this back on? What happens at PECSA doesn’t stay at PECSA, I guess. Poor Naomi’s gonna be devastated, Y/N! She hasn’t shut up about you” Ava said, sh*t-stirring just to help herself wake up on a Monday morning. You looked over at Melissa and you could tell what Ava said bothered her. “I’m sure she’ll be just fine, Ava. I already told you she said she’d just like to be friends” you said as you tried to reassure Melissa that she had nothing to worry about. “Yeah, friends who fu..” Ava started to say before Melissa interrupted her. “Ya sure ya wanna finish that sentence, Coleman? Cause I promise ya, you’re the only one who thinks you’re funny right now” Melissa said as she stared her down. “Damn, why are lesbians always so angry?” Ava said jokingly as she strutted away toward her office. “I’m bi, actually” Melissa said as she pulled open the door to the lounge and you both laughed.

You had time to make your coffee and catch up with friends for a few minutes before the first bell of the day. Melissa sat with Barb and asked her about her romantic Sunday with Gerald and you sat down next to Janine. Jacob was still warming up his egg white bites and Gregory hadn’t arrived yet. “Hey, Janine. How are you? PECSA weekend treat you okay?” you asked. You really liked Janine and wanted to be a better friend to her. “Why? Did someone say something to you?” Janine asked frantically. “What? No… nobody said anything. Are you… is everything okay Janine?” you asked, concerned now. “I… um… yeah. Gregory and I just… well, we broke up” Janine said as she tried to hold back tears. “What? Are you serious? Gosh, Janine! I’m so sorry. Do you want to talk about it?” you asked as you reached for her hand. “I mean, it all just happened really fast. I got offered this internship with the school district and was thinking about taking it and he just got really upset. I guess he wanted to spend the summer traveling together, but this new opportunity would keep me busy through the summer and into next fall. It’s hard because… I want to be with him. And I get what he’s saying. It would be so great to have that time together away from school. But… I put myself on the back burner in my last relationship and I’m never going to do that again. I have to take this opportunity for myself. For MY future. And if he can’t support that… then this was never going to work out anyway” she said passionately. “Aw, Janine. That’s a really hard situation. But I’m proud of you for choosing yourself and prioritizing your needs. And Gregory could still come around. Maybe he just needs time to process everything? Don’t give up hope! Both things might work out in the end” you said. Janine nodded softly and smiled over at you. “Thanks for listening, Y/N. And maybe you’re right. Maybe it’ll all be okay. Oh, and by the way, I’m really happy you and Melissa worked things out. I can’t remember the last time you looked this happy” Janine said as she gave your hand a squeeze. The first bell rang and all the teachers gathered their things and left for their classrooms. You and Melissa were the only two left in the lounge. You walked over to Melissa, took her by the hand, and pulled her close. “I love you, babe. I hope you have a great day” you said before you leaned down and placed a soft kiss on her lips. “Mmm. Love you, too, hon. Can’t wait to see ya later” she replied with a bright smile. Then you both left the lounge and made your way to your classrooms.

Your students had a lot of energy that morning. They were always a little out of sorts after long weekends or holiday breaks. Luckily you were prepared for this and had already preemptively swapped your recess time with a fourth grade teacher in the room next to you so your kids could get outside sooner and get some of that energy out. When you went outside, you saw Gregory supervising the playground and noticed he looked even more stoic than usual. “Hey, Gregory. How’s it going? The garden looks amazing. Did you come in yesterday to spread the new soil?” you asked. “I… uh, yes. I had a little extra time on my hands after the conference and figured it was best to be productive” he replied, avoiding eye contact with you. “Look, for the sake of being honest, I want to let you know that Janine told me what happened. Are you okay? Do you want to talk about it?” you asked. Gregory shook his head and then looked over at you. “Talk about it? What am I supposed to say, Y/N? She wants to go. Nothin’ I can do to stop her” Gregory said dismissively. “She doesn’t want to leave you, Gregory. She wants to pursue this opportunity to grow as a teacher. To help Abbott and other schools. To make a difference. And it’s not even long-term. Can’t you find a way to support her? Isn’t she worth waiting for? I’ve seen you two together. This kind of thing doesn’t always happen twice” you said, hoping to get through to him. Gregory looked out over the playground and tried to find the words he needed to express himself. “I just… I can’t imagine Abbott without her. I can’t imagine coming here every day and not seeing her. Janine is the one who convinced me to stay here. She believed I had what it took to be a teacher. I feel like… if she leaves… I’m losing my anchor” Gregory said passionately. You were shocked by his vulnerability and sympathetic to what he was going through. You reached out and rested a hand on his shoulder. “I hear you. Truly. I can’t imagine this place without her, either. Janine is something special and she has a way of bringing out the best in everyone. But maybe what she needs right now is for YOU to believe in her. To make her feel like she can do this hard thing. To know she has you in her corner. Whether you’re together or not, y’know? Just have faith in her ability. And believe her when she tells you she’ll be back. Okay? At least think about it” you said as the bell rang and your students lined up to head back inside.

You spent your lunch period alone in your classroom that day. You’d already told Melissa earlier that morning that you planned to take time to make some changes in your room after hearing the Space Design presentation at PECSA and she understood. You snuck a few bites of your sandwich as you rearranged the desks, shifted the reading nook over closer to the windows, and moved a few lamps around. You loved your room. You loved how magical it always felt and how connected your students felt to their academic space. And you would do anything you could to improve their learning experience. You heard your phone buzz from across the room while you moved furniture around and when you went over to check it you saw that it was Rachel calling. Rachel was your Godmother and the woman who raised you when your own parents disowned you. The two of you hadn’t spoken since the late summer when you told her about your new job. She was a kind, nurturing woman and you wished you kept in touch with her more. But the truth was that no matter how grateful you were for everything Rachel had done for you, deep down you would always be the hurt child who wished her parents could have loved her. And you knew that it was that pain that kept you from being able to fully love and embrace your Godmother. You froze as you watched the phone vibrate on your desk and knew you had to let it go to voicemail. You had no idea why she was calling or what might be going on. But you knew no matter what it was, you weren’t emotionally equipped to deal with it during work hours. You saw the voicemail notification pop up on your lock screen and then sat down at your desk. Just then Melissa walked in so the two of you could go collect your students together. She could tell from the worried look on your face that something was up. “You okay, hon? Ya look like you’ve seen a ghost” Melissa said as she walked over and placed a hand on your shoulder. “I… umm… yeah. It’s just… my Godmother just called and left a voicemail. We haven’t spoken in a while and… I’m just not sure what to expect” you replied honestly. Melissa looked down at you as she sat on the desk in front of you. “You gonna listen to the message? Want me to leave while you do?” Melissa asked as she reached for one of your hands. “I… I can’t while I’m at work. Maybe… could I listen to it at your place after school today?” you asked, hoping she wouldn’t mind. “Of course, hon” Melissa said as she pulled you up into a comforting embrace.

It was a quiet car ride back to Melissa’s place that afternoon as you tried to mentally prepare yourself to listen to Rachel’s message. You still had no idea what she might be calling about, but you feared the worst. Was she sick? Was she in some kind of financial trouble? Was she upset with you for not reaching out more? You really couldn’t guess. The cold February air instantly hit your lungs as you got out of the car and you realized the fresh air might be a good thing while you listened to her message. You and Melissa sat down on the top step of her porch as you pulled out your phone and pressed play on the voicemail:

“Hi, sweetheart. It’s Rachel. I wanted to give you a quick call to let you know… I heard from your sister. From Natalie. And she asked about you. She… well, she said she wants to connect with you. I told her I wasn’t sure if that’s something you’d be open to, considering everything that happened. But I also told her I’d reach out to you to see how you felt. Don’t feel like you have to call me back right away. I understand this is a big deal and that you’ll need time to think it over. I love you, honey. And I miss you. Give me a call when you’re ready to, okay? Bye now.”

You locked your phone and then set it down next to you on the porch. You turned to face Melissa and saw the look of shock and concern on her face. Then you looked back out toward the bare trees in Melissa’s neighborhood and the setting sun and your breath in the air. You rested your head in your hands and gently rubbed the bridge of your nose. “f*ck” you whispered quietly as you tried to hold back tears. Then Melissa put her arm around your shoulder and pulled you in close. “It’s gonna be okay, hon. You’re gonna figure this out. Don’t worry. I’ll be here. I got you, babe” she said as she kissed your temple and rubbed on your arm.

It had been almost twenty years since you’d seen your little sister. You were thirteen when your parents kicked you out and she was just eight years old. And now, seemingly out of nowhere, she wanted to connect. To know you. Your mind raced and you felt sick to your stomach.

But then you felt Melissa’s other hand rest on your knee and heard the comforting sound of her voice and you knew that no matter what you decided to do, you had the safety of her arms to rely on.

Notes:

Ah! More to come.

God, I’m so glad Melissa is here for this. ♥️

Chapter 46: Let Them Eat Cake

Summary:

It’s Janine’s last week before her internship at the school district begins and you and the rest of the Abbott crew want to celebrate her before she leaves! If only one of you had a house big enough to host a proper farewell party…

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Your students were in the middle of a spelling test on Thursday morning when Ava’s voice rang out over the school intercom: “Good morning, Abbott Elementary! It is with great joy that I share with you today that Janine Teagues will be leaving our school” she said enthusiastically. Then Janine’s voice was faintly audible along with what sounded like a struggle for the intercom. “Fine, fine, I’ll say it right! Damn! Ahem. As I was saying, Ms. Teagues will be leaving Abbott for a while to pursue a glamorous internship with the Philadelphia School District. We wish her well on her new endeavor and I think we can all agree that Abbott will miss its shortest and most obnoxious teacher” Ava said. Your students giggled softly before they got back to their test and you smiled and shook your head. The only thing you’d miss more than Janine while she was gone would be the transparent way Ava always teased her. The two of them seemed like such unlikely friends, but you could tell that they were bonded in a way that not everyone else could recognize. Ava was sad that Janine was leaving, you could hear it in her voice. And you knew Janine was sad to leave, too. Ava was currently in the process of recruiting a long-term substitute to finish out the spring and they were still working on a plan for the fall. Janine would return to teaching full-time after the new year.

Everyone gathered around Janine in the teacher’s lounge that day. Jacob had brought in a cake and the teachers went around the room and shared some of their favorite memories of Janine. “You guys know I’m coming back, right? You can’t get rid of me that easily” Janine said with a bright smile. You saw Gregory sitting over in the corner eating his boiled chicken sandwich and he looked completely miserable. You wanted to go check in on him, but then Jacob came over and sat down between you and Melissa and let out a long, dramatic sigh. Melissa rolled her eyes, already annoyed by whatever mission Jacob was on. “You gonna make it, Jacob?” you asked, both amused and intrigued. “Yeah, it’s just… we really wanted to throw a big farewell party for Janine, but none of us have enough room in our apartments to invite all the staff and significant others and what not. I just wish we knew someone with a house big enough to host such a special goodbye gathering for our dear friend, Janine” Jacob sighed again as he looked over at Melissa. She laughed and then pushed her glasses up into her hair. “Ya gotta be kiddin’ me, Hill! I invite you and Teagues over for a few cookin’ lessons and now you think I’m the new frat house? No way” she said firmly as she pulled her glasses back down and then resumed her grading. Then Jacob glanced over at you with a pleading look. You rolled your eyes at him, irritated, but clearly unable to resist trying to help him achieve his goal. “A party could be fun though, right babe? And I mean, it’s for Janine. Where’s that second grade teacher camaraderie you’re always talking about? Dont you want to send her off with a bang?” you asked. Melissa pushed her glasses back up and stared over at you in disbelief. “Since when does Jacob have you doin’ his dirty work?” Melissa laughed. You smiled back innocently and batted your eyelashes for dramatic effect. “Aw, Christ. Fine! Whatever. We can do it at my place on Saturday night. But I’m not cookin’ or cleanin’ a god damn thing. You’re lucky I can’t say no to her, Hill!” Melissa said as she closed her grade book and marched out of the lounge. Jacob smiled and extended his arm out to give you a high five. “You owe me one, Mr. Hill” you joked as your hands clapped together.

You got to Melissa’s house early on Saturday to help her set up for the party. Jacob was covering the pizzas and you purchased all the plates, cups, napkins, and decorations. Everyone was encouraged to bring their own beverages and true to her word, Melissa did not cook or clean a thing. She pretended to be put out, but you could tell she was excited for the party and that she was really going to miss working with Janine. You knew Ava would play the role of DJ during the party, so you and Melissa took advantage of your time alone together to listen to Queen on the record player while you set everything up. You sang along to “Don’t Stop Me Now” up on the ladder as you hung up the banner and streamers. Melissa stood behind you with her hands on the backs of your legs to support you and she begged you to stop shaking your ass to the music before you fell down. The house looked amazing and you knew Janine would be so moved by the gesture. Everyone was going to miss her and she deserved to be celebrated by her friends and co-workers.

Everyone started pouring in around 8:00pm. Jacob invited the entire staff and gave everyone a plus one. Truthfully, he just wanted to bring Zach and show off his sweet boyfriend in front of his arch nemesis, Mr. Morton. The pizzas arrived and the teachers loosened up with some drinks as everyone waited for Janine to show up. Then the doorbell rang and you went to open the door, expecting to find Janine. Instead, you were greeted by Ava and her plus one: Naomi. “What it do, Y/N?! DJ AVA FLAV IN THE HOUSE” Ava shouted as she strutted into the living room and began hooking up her equipment. You looked back to Naomi who had just closed the front door behind her. “Hi… hey, Naomi! How are you? I’ve been meaning to text you” you lied. It wasn’t that you didn’t want to be her friend. It was that you worried that wasn’t all she really wanted from you. And you did NOT want to make Melissa upset or uncomfortable in any way. Especially after everything you two had been through recently. “Relax, Y/N. I know you’ve been busy. Ava told me you and Melissa got back together? I’m disappointed for myself, but happy for you! I could tell by the way you talked about her that night that you really loved her. Ava’s boyfriend couldn’t make it tonight, so she invited me. I just wanted a chance to ask again if you’d be up for being friends? Everyone in the legal world is so pretentious and self-involved. And I had so much fun just talking about nothing with you. What do you say? Friends?” Naomi asked sincerely as she extended her hand out to shake yours. You looked around to see whether or not Melissa was watching you, and when you saw her deep in conversation with Barb over in the dining room, you quickly shook Naomi’s hand and said, “Friends! But I have to talk about it with Melissa first. She knows we went out… and made out… and that I had to stay the night... I just need to make sure she’s okay with it before we make brunch plans and design friendship bracelets, okay?” you asked nervously. “But does she know that you asked me to spoon you? Because frankly I think that was the most scandalous part of the entire evening” Naomi teased. “Ha, ha! Very funny” you replied as you laughed and rolled your eyes.

You pointed Naomi in the direction of the kitchen so she could grab a drink and then the doorbell rang again. You opened it and saw Janine smiling from ear to ear with Gregory by her side. Everyone cheered when she walked in and you could see her holding back tears. “PUT YA HANDS TOGETHER FOR THE TINIEST BALLER IN THIS HOUSE: JANINE TEAGUES!” Ava shouted into the microphone as Boyfriend’s “Marie Antoinette” started to play. Ava and Janine made quick eye contact and then started to do the first step routine they worked on together with the Abbott Steppers. Everyone clapped and cheered them on as they nailed the routine and then laughed and hugged each other. It was all so bittersweet. And while Janine made her way into the crowd and greeted her peers, you made your way over to Gregory. “So…?” you asked. Gregory looked back over at you and a slight smile formed at the corner of his mouth. “You were right, Y/N. Janine is something special. And… I wanna be with her. I wanna support her the same way she supported me. Thanks for talkin’ some sense into me the other day” he said. You smiled up at him and placed a hand on his shoulder. “I’m really proud of you, Gregory. But more than that, I’m happy for you. You two deserve each other” you said, teary eyed.

After playing the role of doorman for the last ten minutes, you were finally ready to go spend some time with your girlfriend when you happened to look over and saw Melissa and Naomi talking to each other in the kitchen. f*ck. f*ck. f*ck! You made your way over and casually grabbed a beer from the fridge before you approached the situation. Then Melissa looked up and saw you. “Hey, hon. Your friend Naomi was just introducin’ herself. Said she came here with Ava?” Melissa asked, and you could not read her feelings at all. She seemed completely calm. Too calm. You looked up at Naomi in disbelief. You had just told her you wanted to talk to Melissa about whether or not she’d be comfortable with your friendship. Naomi smiled back at you and looked completely at ease. What the hell was going on? You smiled and then quickly took Melissa by the hand and guided her back to her bedroom. You shut the door behind you and said, “Mel, I can explain.” Melissa stared back at you and crossed her arms, clearly waiting for you to shed some light on the situation. “Ava brought her. I didn’t know she was going to do that. I promise you that she and I have not been in contact. Tonight is the first time I’ve spoken to her since we… since that night. She says she just wants to be friends, but I told her I needed to check in with you first. I can’t believe she just came in and started talking to you like that. I’m so sorry, babe. This… it’s… this wasn’t okay” you said apologetically. Melissa seemed almost amused by how frantic you were. She uncrossed her arms and walked toward you slowly. “She told me the same thing. Said she wants to be your friend and thinks you’re a great person. I couldn’t argue with that. And she told me how hard ya cried that night and all the nice things ya said about me… how much ya loved me. Said she wanted me to know how happy she is for us. That’s all. She seems… she seems like a nice girl. And I’m okay if ya wanna be friends with her” Melissa replied. “Wh…what? Seriously? It doesn’t bother you?” you asked, shocked. “I mean, don’t get me wrong, it definitely bothered me when I knew you went out with her, but… she seems harmless. And like she could really use a friend. I’m okay with it. Honest” Melissa said. You smiled softly and pulled her into a hug. “Now let’s get back out to the party” Melissa said as she gently smacked your ass. “Yes, mam” you saluted before you pulled her into a kiss.

The party was a blast. Janine had a wonderful time and everyone had a chance to celebrate her and wish her well before her internship was set to begin on Monday. She and Gregory were connected at the hip for most of the night, but at one point you did see Melissa and Barb pull her aside to talk with her for a few minutes before each of them embraced her. Barb had served as a mother and mentor to Janine since she first started working at Abbott. And Melissa had taught her so much over the years about how to avoid burnout and how to do the best she could to keep showing up for the kids. It was emotional to watch. When it was finally your turn to say goodbye, you were a mess. Janine was the first person that spoke to you on that first day of professional development last August and she had made you feel welcome instantly. And just as Gregory said, it was hard to imagine Abbott without her presence. “This place won’t be the same without you, Janine” you said through tears. “Don’t worry, Y/N! I’ll still be around. Can’t stay away from my Abbott family for too long” she insisted as she pulled you into a hug. “And thanks for this. For tonight. I know it’s Melissa’s house and all, but I also know she’d only agree to let all these people into her home if you were the one who asked. You’ve really opened her up, Y/N. I feel like we’re all seeing more and more of the real Melissa each day. And it’s because of you” Janine said with a smile. You gave her one last hug and then sent her on her way.

The rest of the guests made their way out shortly after and you and Melissa sat down on the couch, exhausted. You took off her shoes and rubbed her feet as she laid her head back against the armrest and relaxed. “You gonna miss her?” you asked. “I… yeah. I am. I really am. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the kid can be a real pain in the ass, but… she’s just got this contagious energy and… she cares so much about this school and has a way of makin’ us all show up and try harder each day. She’ll be back though, and then maybe it’ll be easier to pull strings at the district” Melissa said, clearly trying to stop herself before she got too sentimental. It warmed your heart to hear the impact Janine had made on Melissa during her short time at Abbott. Melissa could feel you watching her and she looked up and said, “What?” You smiled back mischievously. “Oh, nothing. It’s just cute to see you like this. Such a softy!” you teased. “Oh, really?” Melissa asked as she sat up on the couch and slowly moved toward you. “Yep. You’re a regular teddy bear, Schemmenti” you said playfully. “I’ll show you a bear” Melissa laughed as she leaned in and growled before she gently bit your neck and then soothed it with a soft kiss. You smiled and let yourself relax beneath her as she pulled you into a passionate kiss and started to unbutton your shirt.

Notes:

Hope you enjoyed this one!

Next up OFC will have to decide whether or not she wants to risk meeting up with her sister!

Stay tuned.

Chapter 47: My Head

Summary:

“If you were my head,
You'd know where it hurts.
You'd clean up the dirt.
If you were my head,
I would be heard.”

My Head - K’s Choice

Notes:

Sorry for the delay. ♥️
I’ve been very sleepy this week. 🥱 😴

But hey! Holy sh*t! It’s over 100,000 words! 🥳🥳🥳

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

You and Melissa went to your favorite cafe for breakfast the morning after Janine’s celebration and sat at your usual spot over by the window. The fireplace crackled nearby and the atmosphere was cozy and inviting. You enjoyed your waffles and side of bacon while you finalized next week’s lesson plan and Melissa ate her veggie omelet as she graded math quizzes. It was quiet except for the indie music that played faintly in the background, but it was a comfortable kind of silence between two people in love and hard at work. You took a sip of your hot chocolate and looked over at Melissa. She had on her glasses, your black Flyers hoodie, a pair of dark denim jeans, and her boots. It was the most casual you had ever seen her look in public and you couldn’t get over how beautiful she looked. Of course you loved all the blouses and sweaters and leather pants that hugged her curves and showed off her incredible figure. But there was something about how relaxed and soft and comfortable she looked that really made your heart swoon. “Psst! Hey, you” you said quietly. Melissa looked up at you and smiled as she pulled off her glasses. “Yeah, hon?” she whispered back, playing along. “You’re really beautiful. Do you have a girlfriend?” you asked jokingly. “Y’know, I do actually. And I don’t think she’d be too happy to find out you’ve been flirtin’ with me, stranger. Better get back to work” she said with a wink. “Ah, well. Can’t blame me for trying” you said as you smiled back at her and then took another sip of your drink. Melissa put her glasses back on as she shook her head and laughed quietly. You were glad you made her smile.

After breakfast the two of you went back to Melissa’s place, dropped off your planners and grade books, and then went for a walk around her neighborhood. It was still one of your favorite things to do together, besides listening to records and cooking, of course. But ever since the night Melissa asked to take a break, you never walked back in the direction of the park. You’d never forget how hopeless you felt sitting alone on the bench that night and avoided the area at all costs. If Melissa noticed the intentional change of direction, she was too kind to mention it. She held your hand and leaned in against you slightly as you walked. You enjoyed the cold air in your lungs and the closeness of the woman you loved, but you couldn’t help but sense a quiet tension. Melissa kept looking up at you as if she wanted to ask you something, but then looked away like she had decided against it. “Something on your mind, Mel?” you asked. “I… well, I mean… I just wanted to check in… it’s been about a week since Rachel called ya, right? You been thinkin’ about what she said about your sister? Ya gonna get back to her about it? I don’t mean to push or anythin’. Ya just haven’t mentioned it since that day and I want ya to know I’m here if ya wanna talk it over” Melissa said sweetly. You felt your body tense up slightly at the question. Truthfully, you hadn’t given it another thought since the day it happened. Not because you weren’t interested or curious, but because compartmentalizing was a hard habit to break. You weren’t sure what to say to Melissa because you didn’t know how to explain the hurt and the worry and the fear inside your head. Of course you wanted to reconnect with your little sister. Who wouldn’t want that? But you were terrified that it would be awkward or uncomfortable or that she would make excuses for your parents or blame you for leaving her. There were so many unknowns… you didn’t know what to do. “I’ve thought about it… a little. I just… I don’t know what to expect. Or maybe it’s that I do know and I’m not sure I can be what she’s looking for, you know? We were always close, but I never heard from her once I had to leave. Like… what did my parents even tell her? What does she know? I just… I mean… I can’t…” and you suddenly felt very dizzy and out of breath. Melissa helped you sit down on the curb and put her hand on your chest as she tried to guide your breathing with her own. “Y/N! Hey, Y/N! Look at me, hon. Watch me breathe. C’mon, baby. It’s okay. Just slow down” she said calmly through her fear. Melissa had never seen you have a panic attack, but you were impressed by how quickly she was able to recognize what was happening and talk you through it. You sat there together for a few minutes until you stopped feeling dizzy and your breathing returned to normal. “You okay, hon?” Melissa asked, concerned. “I… yeah. I’m fine now, Mel. Th…thanks for getting me through that. I guess I’m feeling a little more anxious and uncertain about this than I realized. I’ll give Rachel a call tonight and we’ll see how that goes, I guess” you said. You walked back to Melissa’s place together, grabbed your things, and kissed her goodbye on her front porch before you got in your car and made your way back to your own apartment for the evening.

You decided to call Rachel as soon as you got home to get it over with even though you still had no idea what you wanted to do about the situation. “Y/N! How are you, sweetheart?” Rachel said. You could hear her smile through the phone and you felt like such a little sh*t for not making more of an effort to be an active part of her life. “I’m good, Rachel. Sorry it took me so long to get back to you… H…how are you?” you asked, sounding like a martian making their very first phone call. “Oh, I’m doing just fine, love. No one told me retirement would be this boring, though! I think I’ve watched every damn show on Netflix already” Rachel said as she laughed. You were horrible at small talk and sick with nerves and knew you had to get this over with as quickly as possible. “Oh, wow! That’s impressive! So, look. About Natalie… what was your impression when she reached out to you?” you asked. “Honestly, sweetie? It seems like she’s been wanting to connect with you for a while now, but thought you wouldn’t be interested. She said she recently found a box full of letters she wrote to you when she was younger. They were hidden away in your mom’s closet. I guess all this time she thought your mom had sent them and that you just never replied. It was heartbreaking to hear. I don’t say that to make you feel guilty or anything. It just seems like she wanted to know you and they made it impossible for her” Rachel said apologetically. And just as you could hear her smile through the phone earlier, you could hear her sadness now. “Wow. Just when I thought I couldn’t hate my parents more. That’s so unbelievably sh*tty. I can’t believe they did that” you said, frustrated. You sat there and shook your head in disbelief and then knew what you had to do. “I… I think I’m okay with meeting up with her, Rachel. As long as you think it’s a good idea. I trust your opinion” you said, hoping Rachel could feel how much you cared about her, even if your trauma kept you from being able to really ever show her. “I’m so glad to hear that, Y/N. I’ll touch base with her and get back to you on the when and where. You sure about this, love? I know it’s a huge, hard thing to say yes to” Rachel asked, giving you one last chance to back out. “I… yes, I’m sure. Let me know what she says, okay?” you said. “Will do, sweetie” Rachel replied. “And… Rachel?” you asked. “Yeah?” she said. “I… I love you. Thanks for helping with this. And thanks for everything else you’ve done for me. I wouldn’t have made it without you. I hope you know that” you said as you fought the tears welling up in your eyes. There was silence for a moment before she responded. “I love you, too, Y/N. And I wouldn’t have made it without you, either” Rachel replied. You hung up the phone and laid back on your couch. You had done it. You’d made the decision. You would meet up with your little sister after nearly twenty years apart. And you desperately hoped it would be a happy reunion.

You told Melissa about the phone call first thing on Monday morning as you sat and sipped your coffee together in the teacher’s lounge before the school day began. “I’m real proud of ya, hon. I know this is a big deal. And I really hope you’ll both get what you’re lookin’ for out of it. Family is complicated, but your parents keepin’ you apart was complete bullsh*t. It wasn’t right. I think this’ll be real good for you” Melissa said, being the perfect supportive girlfriend she always was. “I hope so…” you replied nervously. Melissa reached over and gave your hand a gentle squeeze as she smiled softly at you. “I feel like I’m just going to be a nervous wreck until I hear back from Rachel though. I have to find a way to distract myself if I’m going to get through the next few days” you said, completely innocently. “Oh, I can think of a few ways to keep you distracted. It’s my specialty” Melissa said with a co*cky smile. “Oh, yeah? You want to prove it to me after school today?” you teased. “You’re on, baby!” Melissa said with a huge smile. And suddenly you couldn’t wait for the school day that hadn’t even begun yet to end already.

You drove straight to Melissa’s house after work and felt yourself get aroused just from imagining what she might have in store for the two of you. You unlocked her door and didn’t see her in the living room or the kitchen. You dropped your bag by the front door, kicked off your shoes, and made your way back to Melissa’s bedroom. And you were completely unprepared for what you found when you opened her door.

Melissa was lying on the bed, completely naked, waiting for you. “This distractin’ enough for ya, hon?” she asked playfully. You were practically drooling. “f*ck, Mel… God, you’re beautiful” you said as you slowly took off your clothes and then threw them to the floor. She pulled you down onto the bed and asked, “whaddya wanna do to me, baby?” Your head was spinning. Was that a serious question? You wanted to do everything to her. All the time. Sometimes you couldn’t sleep at night because you couldn’t stop imagining all the things you wanted to do in bed with Melissa. “Hmm. Well, I wouldn’t mind tying you to the bed and having my way with you. Only if that’s something you’re okay with, of course” you said as you leaned down and nipped at Melissa’s neck. You had a feeling she’d be into it, which is the main reason you asked. “Mmmm. Sounds good to me, hon” she said as she pulled you into a sensual, hungry kiss. You stood up and immediately made your way to Melissa’s bathroom and then returned with the soft, cotton tie from her bathrobe. Melissa bit her lip and then raised her hands up over her head. You slowly and gently tied her to the bedpost. Melissa licked her lips and then said “you’re gonna wanna make it a little tighter, angel” and you felt instantly dizzy in the best possible way. You did as you were told and tightened the tie and then slowly straddled Melissa’s hips, making sure that your center was pressed right up against hers as you rested your weight upon her. You leaned down and teased her waiting lips with your tongue while you squeezed her breasts and pinched at her nipples with your hands. “Mmmm” Melissa moaned against your mouth as you slowly started to grind your center against hers. “Oh… Y/N… baby, that feels so nice. Mmmmm” Melissa said as she bucked her hips against you, desperate for the slick friction of your wet puss* against hers. You moved your hands from Melissa’s breasts up to your own and squeezed them tightly as you continued to slide your cl*t up against hers. You knew she wanted to touch you. You knew this was torture for her. And you enjoyed teasing her and being the one in control for the moment. Melissa started to pant as you both pushed against each other and you knew that she was close. You were, too, if you were being honest. But you had a plan from the start and couldn’t be distracted by something as trivial as your own org*sm. You abruptly dismounted Melissa and sat off to the side of her body on the bed. She opened her eyes in disbelief as you smiled down on her. “‘Mmmm. You’re lucky I’m tied up, hon” Melissa said jokingly. “Mhmm. I bet” you said as you gently tapped Melissa’s cl*t with your hand and watched as she gasped in pleasure. “You might be tied up, but you’re still in charge. Tell me what to do now” you said as you leaned down and kissed Melissa’s neck. “Ya sayin’ ya wanna be my good girl and gimme what I want?” Melissa asked, her voice dripping in arousal. “Yes, baby” you said, completely desperate to please her and receive her praise. “Mmkay. Well, why don’t ya start by sucking on my cl*t then. Show me what a good girl ya can be” Melissa said with a sultry voice. You kissed and sucked and bit your way down Melissa’s torso and then threw her legs up over your shoulders as you took her cl*t in your mouth. “Mmmm” you moaned against her as you sucked on and teased her bundle of nerves. “Oh, yeah! That’s it, hon. Just like that. Mmmm. Now, be my good girl and f*ck me” Melissa said as she pressed her hips up firmly against your mouth. You immediately slid two fingers deep inside Melissa’s entrance and moaned when you discovered the wetness that was waiting for you. “Oh, f*ck, Mel. Mmm, baby. You’re so f*cking wet” you said in between breaths as you continued to lick and suck on her cl*t while you plunged your fingers inside of her. “It’s all for you, Y/N. You f*ck me so good, hon. Mmm, my girl knows exactly what I like” Melissa said. You searched for her g-spot and knew you found it by the moan that came out of her. You thrusted your fingers deeper and deeper and flicked her cl*t with your tongue and watched in awe as she came beneath you. “Oh! Oh! Oh! Yesssssss! Oooooooh!” Melissa screamed out as she reached her climax. You took your fingers in your mouth and licked them clean as Melissa desperately tried to catch her breath.

You slowly reached up and untied her hands and then massaged her arms as she brought them down and rested them by her side. Then you laid down on top of her and placed soft kisses against her neck. It had been the perfect distraction. And watching the woman you loved reach that point of ecstasy was such an incredible feeling.

“God damn, you’re good” Melissa said with a quiet laugh as she ran her fingers through your hair. You blushed and then pressed a quick kiss against Melissa’s lips. “You make me good” you smiled as you laid your head down against her chest and then marveled at the miraculous sound of her racing heartbeat.

Notes:

Listen. I wrote this chapter under the influence of alcohol. Apologies for any errors. But zero apologies for the smut that dominated the last portion of the chapter.

I am merely a servant to my muse, Melissa Schemmenti.

Chapter 48: Stable Song

Summary:

“Give us our measly sum.
Getting the air inside my lungs,
Is heavenly, starting out,
With nothing but crippling doubt.”

Stable Song - Death Cab for Cutie

Notes:

It’s a shorter chapter than usual, but I had writer’s block and teaching the tiny humans was absolutely exhausting this week, so I did my best. 😭🥱

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Rachel got back to you midweek. She said she spoke with Natalie again and that she had time to meet this weekend if you were free. You knew you didn’t have any plans and made the decision to meet up with her for coffee on Saturday afternoon. That way if it was a disaster, you’d have Sunday set aside to recover in Melissa’s arms.

The rest of the school week dragged on. You taught your lessons, graded spelling tests and homework assignments, played kickball with your students during recess, socialized in the teacher’s lounge. You did everything you were supposed to do, but you didn’t really feel present or engaged. You were going through the motions and completely preoccupied as you wondered how this reunion might go and what it would feel like to see your sister again.

You stayed over at Melissa’s house on Friday night and made her dinner. You had to stay busy to keep your anxiety at bay. You made chicken and potato gratin with brown butter cream and you both enjoyed a glass of wine with dinner. Then you settled in on Melissa’s couch for a movie night. She could tell how nervous you were about meeting with Natalie and she spent the night cuddling and soothing you. She played with your hair and massaged your scalp as you watched the movie and she pressed soft kisses against your cheek every so often just to remind you that she was there and that you were safe.

That night in bed, Melissa spooned you and placed light kisses across your naked back as she held you close. “Tell me what you’re thinkin’, hon?” Melissa said as she rubbed your arm. “I’m just… I’m so scared she’s going to hate me. Or that she won’t be able to understand and accept why I couldn’t come back for her. I guess the thing I’m most worried about is… what if she wants to know me? Y’know, really know me? I suck at that kind of stuff…” you said. “Ya do… but only at first. It’s hard to let people in when you’ve been hurt. When the people who were supposed to love ya no matter what failed ya so miserably. Look, hon. I think you’re puttin’ too much pressure on this first meetin’” Melissa replied. You instantly turned to face her. “Of course I am! If it’s a complete sh*t show, I won’t get another chance! If I want to have any kind of relationship with her, I have to get this right” you said passionately. “Well, sure, babe. But you’re not givin’ yourself any credit. Natalie’s the one who wanted to connect. That doesn’t come from nowhere. She remembers what it felt like to have ya as a sister. And she’s willin’ to put aside a twenty year gap just to have the chance to meet ya where ya are now. That’s… that’s huge. Ya may not have been able to be there, but she remembers when ya were, hon. That’s somethin’. And trust me when I say this: you’re worth knowin’. You open people up. It’s a gift. And it’s one I really think ya oughta share with your sister” Melissa said as she stared deeply into your eyes. You looked back at Melissa and started to cry before you pressed your face against her neck and pulled her close. You’d spent your entire life thinking the exact opposite of everything she’d said. You did not feel like you were worth knowing. You did not think you were worth much of anything. And yet, there was a smart, kind, passionate, and breathtaking woman staring back at you who swore that you were worthy of love. Worthy of being known. Truly known. It surprised you. It healed you. And it assured you in a moment of complete self-doubt. Melissa Schemmenti saw you and she loved you and she believed others would, too, if you gave them the chance. “Mel, I… I love you so much. Thank you. Thank you for everything” you said as you leaned in to kiss her as the tears of gratitude continued to slowly slide down your cheeks. “I gotcha, Y/N. I’m right here, hon. I’m always gonna be right here” Melissa said as she hugged you through your tears.

Melissa helped you into your coat on Saturday afternoon as you prepared to leave her house to meet Natalie at the coffee shop. You had never been more nervous in all your life and it took everything you had to keep your breathing steady and your mind quiet. Melissa looked up at you and tugged gently on the collar of your jacket to get your attention and to bring to back to yourself. And back to her. “Hon?” Melissa asked softly. “Yeah, Mel?” you replied as you inhaled deeply and then centered yourself by looking into her eyes. “I promise ya, no matter what happens, it’s gonna be okay. Just breathe. Just be who you are. Ya got nothin’ to worry about and nothin’ to apologize for. You were a child. You were just a kid. It’s not your fault. None of it is. This is a chance for you two to start again. And to be there for each other. I love ya, hon. And I’ll be waitin’ for ya to come back to me tonight and tell me all about it” Melissa said. She tilted her chin up and placed a tender kiss on your lips. “I love you, too. More than anything. Thanks for helping me find courage I didn’t even know I had” you replied. And with one final hug, you walked out of Melissa’s front door, put the key in your ignition, and made your way to the coffee shop.

You walked in and looked around for a minute before you saw her. The last time you saw Natalie was the day you came out to your parents. You remembered it clearly. She was out jumping on the trampoline in your back yard. She had on jean overalls and a bright yellow t-shirt and her hair was in pigtails. And she had her favorite stuffed animal bunny, Mr. Dawn, in her arms as she bounced up and down and laughed and laughed and laughed.

You took a deep breath, clenched your fists, and slowly walked over to the table. And when she looked up, you saw the freckles across the bridge of her nose. And you were heartbroken that you’d forgotten about them.

Notes:

We’ll see how the reunion goes in the next chapter! Stay tuned, loves! ♥️

Chapter 49: Sisters

Summary:

“I tied your shoes while you sat and watched the rain.
Hands folded across your lap, and the dull look of peace across your face.
Mom down the hall, Bible pressed to her chest.
She swore the Devil hides in everything, and her room was the only safe haven left.
She watched us grow through windowpanes.

Something in the middle,
Something in the middle,
Something in the middle,
Something’s in the way.
We knew what we lost if we strayed from paths only they could see.

But sink or swim is all they'd say.”

Sisters - Radical Face

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Natalie stood up slowly. “Y/N?” she asked tentatively. “Yeah, it’s me, Nat” you replied. And for a second it seemed like she wanted to hug you, but then changed her mind. “Gosh, this is wild. Do you… do you want to sit down?” she asked. You nodded and then sat down in the booth across from her. You noticed she’d already ordered her drink. And it was hot chocolate. It made you happy to know that even with everything that happened, the two of you still had this tiny, silly thing in common. This thread of connection. “Can I go grab you something to drink while you settle in?” Natalie asked sweetly. “Oh, um… sure. I’ll take a… caramel macchiato. Thanks” you said. Natalie smiled and made her way over to the register. Why couldn’t you just let yourself order a damn hot chocolate like you wanted?! It would have been such an easy way to break the ice. Look, sister I haven’t seen in twenty years, we have the same drink order! Isn’t that special! You were kicking yourself for holding back before things had even really begun. You had to do better. You had to try. You thought about everything Melissa said last night and before you left her house earlier. You were worth knowing. She believed it and you needed to believe it too if you wanted to connect with your sister.

Natalie handed you your drink and then sat down across from you. “Thanks” you said as you took a quick sip and then set the mug down. It was now or never. “I didn’t… this wasn’t what I really wanted” you said. “Oh? I’m sorry. Did they make it wrong? I can take it back and have them make it again” Natalie said with concern. “No, no. It’s not that. It’s good. I like it. It’s just… I normally order a hot chocolate… just like you” you said with a slight smile. “Really?” Natalie asked with a grin. “Yeah. It’s my favorite. Remember when our babysitter always used to make it for us after we played out in the snow?” you asked excitedly. “Yes! Gosh, what was her name? Oh, Dakota! Yes! And her hot chocolate was always so much better than mom’s was and mom got jealous because we never asked her to make it for us” Natalie laughed. And all it took was the mention of your mother to take the wind right out of your sails. Natalie noticed the change in your disposition and immediately apologized. “sh*t, I’m so sorry, Y/N. I didn’t mean to bring her up” Natalie said. “It’s fine” you said unconvincingly.

It was quiet for a few minutes after that. The two of you sipped your drinks and looked out the window and neither of you knew what to say next. “I guess… I mean, while we’re on the topic of your mother… can I ask… what did she tell you about what happened?” you asked hesitantly. Natalie looked back at you with sadness in her eyes. “She told me that you were sick in the head and that your sickness made you make bad choices. She said that it wasn’t safe for us to have you in the house anymore. She… she made you sound like some kind of monster. And at first, I was really scared. Because I believed her. We’re supposed to believe what our parents tell us, right? But the longer you were gone, the more I missed you. And the more I thought about it, what she said didn’t really feel true. I asked her if I could write you letters to see if you were better and ask if you could come home. But like I told Rachel, she never sent them. Just hid them away. Along with the truth. I didn’t find out what really happened until Rachel told me” Natalie said apologetically. You sat there and absorbed her words as you stared down at the wooden table and traced the various knicks and scratches with your fingertips. Not only had your parents disowned you and kicked you out of their home because of who you were, but they had also tried to make your little sister afraid of you. They lied to her. And it made you sick. You knew if you kept talking about this now that you wouldn’t be able to pull yourself out of the pit of anger and frustration that you felt growing in your stomach. So you decided to move on.

“So, what do you do for work?” you asked. Natalie looked momentarily confused by the abrupt change in direction, but seemed to understand why it was necessary. “Oh, I’m working toward my DVM over at Penn Vet! I have two years left and then I plan to open my own practice” she replied enthusiastically. “Wow! A veterinarian? That’s so cool! You must be really smart. I know that’s a competitive program” you said, very proud of your little sister. She’d always loved animals and used to pretend her play house was a doctor’s office. And stuffed animals from all over the world would stop by for her care. “I don’t know if I’m smart, but I am stubborn! And I work hard. This is what I’ve always wanted to do. I feel pretty lucky to actually be doing it” Natalie said passionately. “Well, congrats! It’s a big step up from taking care of your stuffed hippo Hilda and your Pooh Bear” you laughed. And she laughed, too. “Thanks! And what do you do?” Natalie asked. “I’m a third grade teacher at an elementary school nearby. I just started back in August. I taught at a private school for a few years, but I just like I could do more and give more in a public school” you replied. “I bet you’re a wonderful teacher! I mean, you basically taught me how to read and were always the one helping me with my homework. I’m sure your students love you” Natalie said with a bright smile. “They’re pretty great. The whole school is, really. The people there are incredible. They’re like a family to me” you said before you could stop yourself.

Natalie nodded and looked out the window for a minute. You could tell she was happy to hear you had that sense of family, but that she wished your own home had never fractured the way it did. “I… listen. It’s not… the choices they made and the lies they told… those things aren’t our fault. They made me leave and they lied to you to make you stay. We both had to keep on living our lives the best we could. I’ll never forgive them for what they did, but I just want you to know that I’m sorry I didn’t try harder. And I understand why you couldn’t. We both had to keep ourselves safe. And we could really only do that by staying apart” you said, surprised by your own clarity. Natalie turned back to face you with tears in her eyes. “Yeah, I guess you’re right… I just wish things had been different. And it’s so hard for me to reconcile… because I know how much they hurt you. I know that you’ve carried that pain with you all your life. But… they were amazing parents to me. They encouraged me and showed up to every soccer game and spelling bee. They were the best. And I don’t know how I can love them and try to get closer to you without it feeling like a betrayal to you. Like I’m letting you down. I was angry at them, of course… but I can’t hate them. And I know you do. And you have every right to. I just… I wish everything had been different. f*ck, I said that already” Natalie said as she tried to wipe her tears away. You reached across the table and rested your hand on top of Natalie’s hand. “Hey, it’s okay. You don’t need to hate them for me. I understand. Really, I do. I think… I think maybe we’ll just have to take it slow and maybe make some boundaries that feel good for both of us. I never want to see them again. Even talking about them makes me feel sick to my stomach. But I do want to know YOU, okay?” you asked earnestly. Natalie looked up at you and smiled. “Okay” she replied.

You drove straight back to Melissa’s house afterward and couldn’t wait to tell her how it went. You unlocked her front door, but didn’t see her in the kitchen or living room. “Babe?” you said as you hung up your coat. When she didn’t answer, you walked back to the bedroom. You opened the door and saw Melissa asleep in bed. There was a bottle of Tylenol and a big glass of water on her nightstand. You quickly changed into a t-shirt and sweatpants and then crawled into bed next to her. You leaned in to kiss the back of her neck and she was burning up. “Mel, baby? Are you okay?” you asked quietly as you woke her. “Mmm? You’re back, hon! How’d it go?” Melissa asked. “It was fine, love. But I’m more worried about you right now. You have a fever” you said, concerned. “Yeah… I got the chills earlier and just couldn’t warm up. Took some medicine a little bit ago and fell asleep. Not sure if it’s the flu or what. Just suddenly felt like complete crap” Melissa said weakly. “C’mere, baby” you said as you pulled her against you. She snuggled against your chest and curled up into your arms. “I’m gonna run to the pharmacy to get you more meds, okay? Anything else you want or need?” you asked. “Mmm. No, hon. Just hurry back. You keep me warm” Melissa said as she laid back down.

You made chicken noodle soup from scratch for dinner that night and brought it to Melissa on a tray in bed. You were encouraged to see she had an appetite and relieved when her fever finally broke. “This is amazin’, hon! I’ve never had anyone take care of me like this when I’m sick. How’d I get so lucky?” she asked with a soft smile as she drank her soup. You smiled back and then placed a quick kiss on her cheek before you stood up and cleaned up the tissues on her nightstand. “I’m going to run a bath for you, okay?” you asked. “Fine! But only if you sit by the tub and tell me how it went with Natalie!” Melissa demanded.

Melissa stepped into the bath and instantly relaxed as she was enveloped by the hot water. You shampooed her hair for her, which was something you had always wanted to do, and you laughed at the soft moans she made while you massaged her head. Once she was rinsed off, she turned to face you. “Okay! Now tell me all about it, hon!” Melissa said eagerly. “It went well. It went really well. She likes hot chocolate, just like me! She’s finishing up her studies at Penn Vet. She’s sweet. She’s so sweet. And kind. She’s just how I remembered her. And we made a plan to meet up again next month” you said with a smile. “That’s so great, Y/N! I told ya you had nothin’ to worry about. Didya talk about the family at all? About everythin’ that happened?” Melissa asked. “Um… briefly. We both agreed we should take our time and set some boundaries with that stuff. Apparently her parents were always wonderful to her, even though they basically told her I had a mental illness and made her scared to talk to me…” you said, still hurt by the lie. “sh*t. I’m so sorry, hon. Well, they really f*cked up lettin’ you go. And they were fools to think they’d be able to keep you guys apart forever. I’m real proud of ya for meetin’ up with her. I think this is the start of somethin’ real good in your life” Melissa said as she reached over and caressed your cheek. “Well, I wouldn’t have been brave enough to do it without you supporting me, Mel. God, I want to kiss you so bad right now” you said as you brushed her wet hair behind her ear. “Oh, yeah. I’m so hot right now” Melissa joked. “You’ve never looked more beautiful” you said as you leaned in and pressed a gentle kiss on her lips. “You’re gonna get sick, hon” Melissa said as she smiled against your lips and kissed you back. “So, I get sick” you replied.

You spooned Melissa all night and did your best to keep her warm and comfortable. She snored softly by your side and as you drifted off to sleep, you thought about how excited you were to get to know Natalie more and to finally have a sister again.

Notes:

😊😊😊

Chapter 50 is next! Holy smokes! I’m brainstorming a way to make it extra special to celebrate. We’ll see what I come up with!

Thanks for reading. ♥️

Chapter 50: Kaleidoscope Heart - Melissa’s Version

Summary:

“All the colors
Of the rainbow
Hidden 'neath my skin.

Hearts have colors
Don't we all know?
Red runs through our veins.

Feel the fire burning up.
Inspire me with blood
Of blue and green.

I have hope
Inside is not a heart,
But a kaleidoscope.”

Kaleidoscope Heart - Sara Bareilles

Notes:

It’s Chapter 50 and I’ve done something wild to celebrate!

We’re going back to the day it all began and Melissa is the one telling the story this time. It’s Chapter 1 in Melissa Schemmenti’s POV.

It was challenging to write and maybe it’s awful. But it’s something I’d been wanting to try and figured why the hell not.

I hope you enjoy this look inside her head and see what it was like for her the day she met our sweet OFC.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

The sound of my alarm was the first thing that pissed me off that morning. Instead of spending the last week of summer sitting by the pool with a good book or going an Eagles preseason game, I’m forced to endure five God damn days at work before the school year even starts for “professional development.” Whatever the hell that means. I’ve been teaching at Abbott for longer than some of these rookies have even been alive. I’d say I’m pretty damn well developed at this point. Frankly, Barb and I shouldn’t even have to go to these stupid things anymore. Save the workshops and pep talks for the newbies who still have a glint of hope in their eyes. Spare me, for Christ’s sake!

The second thing that pissed me off that morning was the new barista at my coffee shop. Everyone knows me there, knows what I like. I try to be patient when I see an unamiliar face, but this particular twenty-something just didn’t have a clue. I asked for a macchiato. Couldn’t have been more simple. I got into my car, drove away, and took a sip. The gabadost gave me a f*cking decaf black coffee. I almost spit it out all over my car. It was disgusting! How was I supposed to make it through the day without caffeine? Now I’d have to hope I would have enough time to make a pot of coffee in the teacher’s lounge before we were all banished to our rooms for the day.

The third thing that pissed me off that morning was almost getting run over by some coglione in a freaking Tesla right across the street from Abbott. f*cker made me spill my disgusting bullsh*t coffee that was already on its way to the trashcan all over my hand instead and made me drop my brand new copies of Peter Rabbit that I paid for MYSELF! This day could not possibly get any worse.

I shook the decaf abomination off my hand and then heard someone say, “Are you okay? What a jackass! It’s wild those idiots can afford Teslas, but not manners.” I was a little busy trying to get my books up off the ground before they got covered in oil stains and old gum. “Yeah, hon, I’m fine. I’m used to it by now” I said, not really paying much attention at that point. Then she spoke again: “Peter Rabbit! Oh, that was always one of my favorites. Can I give you a hand?”

And then I saw her.

I took off my sunglasses to get a better look at her. Jesus Christ, she was gorgeous. Like… took my breath away kind of beautiful. Holy sh*t! Crap. I was staring… What did she just say? Oh, yeah. Peter Rabbit. “Oh, yeah? Mine, too! My kiddos do a special project with this book every year” I said casually, like I hadn’t just been drooling over her. We both stood up and she handed over the pile of books she’d rescued for me. “I can’t wait to see how they turn out! I’m Y/N. I’m the new third grade teacher” she said. So, this was the new teacher everyone was talking about. A few of my co-workers had mentioned seeing the new teacher during her initial interview and said she had a few years of experience. And that she was cute. That word didn’t even begin to do her justice. “Yeah, I heard a lot about you, hon. Ava wouldn’t shut up about the new hire. I don’t usually let newbies call me anything at all, but since you’ve already done a few years in the trenches, my name’s Melissa Schemmenti. Second grade. Welcome to Abbott” I said. Then I reached over to shake her hand. She dropped her box of books like they were on fire just to reach back for my hand. Was she nervous? Excited? Either way, it was cute. And it made me laugh. I made some stupid joke about looking both ways this time and then we made our way across the street and into the building.

It had been a sh*tty start to the day. But the new third grade teacher put a big smile on my face.

We parted ways in the hall and I dropped off my books quickly before I went to the lounge to make my coffee. By some miracle Barb was in there already and was pouring fresh coffee into her signature red mug. “Good morning, Melissa. Good summer?” Barb asked. “You know it! Spent most of it at the beach drinkin’ margaritas. You?” I asked. “Well, Gerald and I went on another all-inclusive cruise and it was heavenly! Let’s just say Sea Barbara got to come out and play” Barbara laughed. I was glad to hear she got to take it easy and let loose a little. No one at this school worked harder than Barb. She deserved every ounce of joy she could get during the summer away from all the chaos at Abbott! “I met the new third grade teacher and she seems just lovely” Barb said as she nudged my shoulder. “Yeah, me too. Just bumped into her out in the parking lot. She’s… she’s definitely somethin’” I replied. “I just thought she might be your type, that’s all. Beautiful. Smart. Friendly. And a teacher. What more could you want?” Barb teased. She always did know how to make me laugh. “Oh, please, Barb! I’m old enough to be her mother. And we work together. Is that Sea Barbara in there crackin’ these jokes?” I replied, playfully. “Nowhere in that response did you deny that she’s your type, Ms. Schemmenti. So, there!” Barb said as she stirred her coffee. “Yeah, yeah. Fine. She’s good lookin’ and I noticed. Doesn’t mean she’s into chicks” I said as I filled my own mug with caffeinated coffee at long last. “Well, dear, you’ll never know if you don’t ask. That’s all I’ll say on the matter. Now, I’m off to alphabetize my books” Barb said as she left the lounge.

I spent the rest the of the day in my classroom getting things ready for the school year. There was so much to do and never enough time. Maybe we’d be able to get it all done if they let us actually be in our rooms for more than one day instead of cramming in speeches about self-care and classroom management. Such a damn waste of time. My coffee was gone and I was still dragging, so I left my room and planned to head back to the lounge for a quick pick-me-up. I passed the new third grade teacher’s room on the way and stopped to look inside. Just to see what she was up to. Imagine my surprise when I saw her up on a freaking ladder hanging ivy above her windows. She’d only been here a day and her classroom looked like the magical land from my favorite childhood storybook. I had to say something. “Holy sh*t, hon! What is this, Narnia?” I asked. And I swear I saw her blush as she made her way down the ladder. “Yeah, something like that! The private school I used to work at practiced the Reggio Emilia philosophy, meaning we treated the classroom or learning environment kind of like a third teacher. So, making the space feel welcoming was always a big deal” she said. I’d heard of the Reggio philosophy before, years and years ago, but the third teacher thing didn’t sound as familiar. Must’ve been some perk of working at a snobby private school. She must have had aides working for her. She wasn’t gonna last five minutes here at Abbott. “Third teacher? What, you all had aides or somethin’? Fancy school, kid” I said in an effort to let her know she was in for a rude awakening in the public schools. But she laughed… not in a dismissive way… it was more shy and flirtatious. “I wish! The children were actually considered teachers as well and we let their interests guide a lot of our learning practices.” Y/N replied. That’s right! In the Reggio philosophy, the teacher, kids, and environment were treated like equal teachers, they all played a role in learning. It was all coming back to me now. God, it had been forever since I thought about all that. Why weren’t they teaching this stuff in college? It was so cool! I realized I had been staring and needed to say something, and quick! “Hmm. That’s a pretty neat way of thinkin’ about learnin’. Course it’s a lot more standardized tests and hittin’ all the crazy milestones here in the public schools. But I’m sure you’ll manage to find the right balance. Your kiddos are gonna love this space, that’s for sure. I know my little eagles would” I said, hoping she hadn’t noticed how long I’d been staring at her before. It actually looked like she was blushing again. Huh. Maybe she was into chicks? Or just into me. “Well, thank you, Ms. Schemmenti! I appreciate the vote of confidence. It means a lot to hear that from a seasoned educator like you” Y/N said. sh*t. Now I could feel my own cheeks were turning red. “Uh, yeah. Course. Anyway. I was just stoppin’ by to make sure you knew about the trainin’ session first thing tomorrow mornin’? I usually stop and grab a coffee on the way in. Anythin’ I can grab for ya?” I said, trying to brush off my embarrassment. “That’s so kind. Honestly, I’d love a caramel macchiato. As long as the next round is on me” the new third grade teacher replied with a smile. “You got it, hon. Looks great in here. See ya tomorrow” I said as I waved and turned to leave the room.

f*cking Barb. Why did she have to get in my head? Yes, the new third grade teacher was 100% my type. And that was just based on her physical appearance. Seeing what she’d done in her classroom in one day? Hearing her talk about her teaching philosophy and the learning environment she wanted to create? Watching the redness spill across her cheeks and the smile on her face? I was a f*cking goner from day one.

A lot of sh*t had pissed me off that morning. But I knew that tomorrow something as simple as a caramel macchiato was going to make this beautiful woman smile for me. And that was something to look forward to.

And that god damn barista better not f*ck up her drink!

Notes:

Let me know what you think. If people like it, I may revisit some other past chapters or write some future chapters in Melissa’s POV.

You won’t hurt my feelings if you don’t like it, so be honest!

I really like writing for OFC and feel like I know that character very well. Melissa is trickier, but I think with practice, I could get inside her head!

Either way, there are still many more chapters ahead. We have to make sure Melissa makes it out of the woods from the flu!

Chapter 51: Not a Chapter, Just a Question

Chapter Text

Hi, friends! Quick question.

I was contemplating writing four more Melissa POV chapters that would basically cover what Melissa was thinking and feeling during the professional development week (aka the first five chapters written in Melissa’s POV).

But. I am also totally okay NOT doing that and continuing the story with our OFC at the helm and writing new chapters for our two lovebirds.

If you have a preference, please let me know in the comments below and I will do whatever the most people want. I have plenty more ideas for Mel and the reader. But since I got my toes wet with Melissa’s POV in the last chapter, I felt like it might make sense to stay in that voice for just a little while longer, rather than hopping back and forth.

Either way, I WILL write a future chapter with new content in Melissa’s voice somewhere down the line.

Let me know what you want and I’ll get started tonight! 😊

Chapter 52: Uncharted - Melissa’s Version

Summary:

It’s day two of professional development at Abbott Elementary and Melissa Schemmenti has a plan. She’s going to keep her distance from the hot new third grade teacher and focus on getting through the week. It was a great plan. Rock solid. Easy.

But then Melissa saw her again…

Notes:

Hi! Thanks for your comments! This is Melissa’s POV of chapter 2. Hope you enjoy it! ♥️

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

When my alarm went off on Tuesday morning, it didn’t piss me off as much as it had the day before. Today’s schedule was a mixture classroom prep time and some workshops on parent communication, classroom management, and lesson planning. I could do all those things in my sleep. Easily. I should have been even more irritated than I was on Monday. But for some reason, the first thing I thought of when I woke up was the new third grade teacher. I got out of bed and dug through an old trunk in my closet to find a photo of my great uncle. I didn’t really understand why, but I wanted to show it to Y/N and tell her what I learned about the Reggio philosophy from him. And tell her that he actually lived there! I thought she’d appreciate it. And then I got this weird feeling in the pit of my stomach. Was it excitement? Was it nerves? Nah. Neither. f*cking stupidity is what it was. Y/N was way too young for me and she was a brand new teacher at Abbott. And even if both of those things weren’t issues, I had no idea if she was even interested in women. Barb seemed to think that was the kind of thing you could just walk up and ask someone these days. “Hey, Y/N, ya ever kissed a girl?” Please. It wasn’t that simple. And besides, the other two glaring issues made the question of her sexuality totally irrelevant. It was never going to happen. Best to just bring her the drink this morning, wish her well on the year ahead, and make myself scarce. Yeah. That was the plan.

My favorite barista was back at the coffee shop that morning and I knew without a doubt that Y/N would have the best damn caramel macchiato she’d ever had! “Thanks, Abbey” I said as I slipped five bucks in the tip jar. “You spoil us, Melissa” Abbey said with a smile. “I’ll throw in an extra twenty bucks if ya fire that new guy who tried to poison me yesterday” I said with a laugh. “Loan me your baseball bat and I’ll take care of him the old fashioned way” Abbey joked. There was a reason she was my favorite. She was f*cking funny!

I walked into Abbott and didn’t even bother to drop my stuff off in my classroom. I wanted to make sure the new third grade teacher got her drink while it was still hot. I had a plan. I’d hand her the drink, tell her to have a good day, and then go hide with Barb in the back of the library during the stupid training session. There were plenty of other teachers she could sit by and make friends with. I barely knew her. It was a great plan.

But then I saw her.

She had just slipped on a green cardigan and the color made her eyes shine. sh*t. I could feel the plan slowly dissolve as I knocked three times on her doorframe. “Mornin’, hon. One pipin’ hot grande caramel macchiato for ya” I said. “Wow! What service” Y/N said with a smile as she walked toward me. I reached out to hand her the cup and her fingers brushed against mine. It was pathetically brief, but it still excited me for some reason. Christ, I’d been single a long time. “What can I say?” I laughed, trying to avoid blushing like an idiot. This plan was really failing miserably. “Wanna head over to the meetin’? We can snag some seats toward the back with Barb” I asked her before I could stop myself. It didn’t take her more than a second to respond. “Absolutely” she said enthusiastically. Well, sh*t.

Barb and I made our way to our usual table at the back and Y/N sat down with us. The training was just as excruciating as I thought it would be, but was made infinitely worse by Janine asking a thousand damn questions every five seconds. Didn’t that little hummingbird ever get tired? She was always out of breath and over-eager and meddling in things that did not need to be meddled in. Janine was exhausting. And yet, I still got a kick out of the kid and enjoyed giving her a hard time now and then and helping her find her backbone. I decided I’d be a lot less bothered by Janine if I paid more attention to someone who didn’t annoy me and I instantly felt my eyes focus on the new third grade teacher. She really was beautiful. Her eyes. Her hair. Her skin. Her smile. And she clearly had no idea how beautiful she was because she walked around all shy and blushing and surprised that anyone bothered to give her a second glance. It’s like no one had ever told her before. I’d tell her. I’d make sure she knew. Make sure she felt it. I spent the rest of the meeting studying her features and watching her reactions. And I could not believe how stupid I was this morning for thinking I’d be able to stay too far from her at Abbott. I wanted to know her. And I couldn’t really explain why. Something about her just felt inevitable.

We left the library and everyone made their way back to their rooms for some more prep before the lunch hour. Y/N smiled and waved goodbye to me and started to walk toward her classroom when I practically shouted, “See ya at lunch?” God, I was really making a fool of myself. “Sounds great” she replied. And there she was, blushing again. I couldn’t believe it. It was an absolute tragedy that this woman didn’t realize how attractive she was. I smiled back at her and then made my way to Barb’s room to tell her we’d have company for lunch today. “I see” Barb said with a sly grin. “Nah, it’s not like that, Barb. I just feel sorry for her, is all. Don’t want her eatin’ some sad little muffin alone in her classroom. We gotta make her feel welcome. Abbott can’t afford to lose any more new hires” I said passionately. Barb saw right f*cking through me. “Mhmm. Whatever you say, Melissa. However, this is the first and only time I’ve ever seen you pulling the Welcome Wagon. Usually you’re the one making the new teachers cry” she teased. “So, it’s my fault those kids can’t take some constructive criticism?” I said, indignant. “Melissa, calling a brand new teacher a ‘dead man walking’ is hardly constructive” Barb said seriously. “Yeah, but I was right, wasn’t I? That bozo didn’t make it to October” I reminded Barb, triumphantly. Then she just looked at me and shook her head. “Ms. Schemmenti, what am I going to do with you” Barb laughed.

I knocked on Y/N’s door and said, “Hey, Narnia! We decided on cheesesteaks from down the block! Ya in?” She looked up at me and smiled. “Oh, absolutely! I’m starving. I’m in 100%” Y/N said. “Yeah, I think I like that about you” I said back without evening thinking about it. f*ck! It was embarrassing, but true. I’d barely known her two days and I could already see how devoted she was to teaching and learning and being a part of Abbott. It’s what our school needed. And her enthusiasm was contagious. Not annoying, like Janine’s! I noticed her blush again and then she stood up, clapped her hands, and said “Let’s do this, Schemmenti!” It caught me off guard and made me laugh. “You dork” I joked as I gestured for her to follow me.

Lunch was fun. We took her to the best cheesesteak spot near school and it was nice enough that we sat out on the patio. Y/N asked a lot of questions and seemed excited just to be invited. Barb told her all about her family and her love of cruises. Y/N asked me about my family and seemed surprised when I told her I was divorced, but then she laughed when I told her my real family were the Philadelphia Eagles. God, she had a great laugh. Me and Barb asked Y/N a few questions, too, but she didn’t give much away. She talked about teaching and stuff she did for fun, but nothing too personal. Y/N got up to use the bathroom at one point and Barb poked me in the ribs. “The f*ck, Barb?” I asked. “When she comes back, ask her if she’s seeing anyone” Barb said mischievously. “Oh, give it a rest, would ya?! I’m not askin’ her that. I’m sure if it’s somethin’ she wanted to talk about, she would have already” I said as I rubbed the tender spot where Barb had jabbed me. “Come on, Melissa! Don’t you want to know? I saw the way you watched her at the training session this morning. And then you invite her out to lunch? You’ve never once extended an invitation to another teacher to join us before. There’s no harm in it. It’s a simple question. And then you’ll know” Barb said. “Ya don’t quit, do ya? Fine. Fine. I’ll ask her. But then I don’t wanna hear another peep outta ya about this” I said firmly. Y/N walked back to the table and looked down at her watch. “sh*t! Doesn’t our next training start in five minutes?” she asked, concerned. Crap! It did! We split the bill and then booked it back to Abbott. Guess the question would have to wait.

The afternoon sessions were a complete waste of time and there wasn’t enough caffeine in the world for me to fake my way through it. I almost fell asleep multiple times and my neck and back were killing me from being in those stupid damn chairs all day. I closed my eyes and tried to stretch out the knot, but nothing worked. When I opened my eyes, Barb looked like she had been laughing. Then Y/N abruptly said, “Well, I’m heading out ladies. Thank you for letting me sit with you today and for sharing your lunch hour with me. What an honor! And what a cheesesteak!” Barb smiled back at her and said, “We were happy to have you, dear. It’s so nice to have a new face here at Abbott.” Barb left the library and I stood there trying to find the nerve to ask Y/N to walk out with me. “Hey, wanna walk out together? There’s somethin’ I wanna show ya” I asked nervously. “Of course” she replied. sh*t. I was really going to do this, wasn’t I?

I grabbed the photo out of my car and told Y/N about my great uncle and everything he told me about Reggio Emilia and how he inspired me to pursue teaching. And the whole time I was talking, she just had this bright, excited smile on her face. Like she couldn’t believe I was even talking to her, let alone sharing something this personal. If I was being honest… I couldn’t believe it either. I just had to tell her. I didn’t know why. I just knew she’d get it. And maybe that’s why being around her was something I was really starting to look forward to. I felt comfortable and at ease in myself when I was near her. It was completely ridiculous, but again, it was also true. “Melissa, thank you so much for telling me this. That’s such a special memory. Your great uncle sounds like he knew what he was talking about! I love that he encouraged your interest in teaching and that it stuck with you” Y/N said to me. “Yeah. Stuff like that reminds me what matters in this gig: the kids. So, y’know. Thanks for the reminder, is all” I said as I tried to take some of the intensity out of the exchange. She asked me for my drink order and then waved goodbye before she walked over to her car. I watched her the entire way and then sat down in my car and turned on the radio. “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by The Rolling Stones was on. “Yeah, no sh*t” I laughed as I checked my mirrors and then pulled out of the lot.

I’d do better tomorrow. I had to. This was just silly. There was absolutely no way someone like her would be interested in someone like me. It wasn’t possible. No matter how much I wished it was.

Notes:

Melissa POV for chapter 3 is next. That’s the one with the knee touching on the teacher’s lounge couch and Melissa being a knight in shining armor for our poor OFC when the mean teachers are rude to her and when she forgets her lunch. Oh and they go out for burgers and beer after work. Can’t wait to dive in and see what Melissa was thinking that day… ☺️

Chapter 53: Eyes On You - Melissa’s Version

Summary:

It’s day three of professional development at Abbott and Melissa spends most of the day keeping an eye on the new third grade teacher.

As if she could take her eyes off her…

Notes:

Melissa’s POV for chapter 3! 🥰

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

On Wednesday morning I stood on the sidewalk outside of Abbott and waited patiently for Y/N to arrive. When I saw her car pull up, I immediately felt myself smile. I couldn’t help it. I watched her walk across the parking lot and felt like I could barely catch my breath. And I might have been imagining things, but for a second I thought I saw her checking me out. “Good morning, Melissa” she said cheerfully as she handed me my macchiato. “Mornin’, hon! Thanks for the drink” I replied. Our fingers brushed again when she handed it to me and it was just as brief and embarrassingly exciting as it was yesterday. We made our way to the school entrance and Y/N walked slightly ahead of me, pulled the door open, and said “M’lady.” It was so cute. And totally unexpected. “Careful now, babe. A girl could get used to this” I said with a smile as I passed her. She looked slightly shocked for a moment, but I didn’t give her enough time to blush before I asked her to come sit with me in the lounge until the morning team building activities started up. I held open the door to the lounge for her and briefly remembered the promise I’d made to myself yesterday afternoon. I said I was going to do better and distance myself from the new third grade teacher and move past this silly little crush.

Yeah… it was pretty clear there was no chance that was going to work. So, why bother trying, right? Right.

We sat down on the couch together and the middle cushion sunk in, like it always did, to the point that our knees rested softly up against each other. I could have easily shifted and adjusted my position… but she could have, too. And neither one of us did. “So what did ya get up to last night?” I asked her as I sipped my drink. “Oh, umm… I just looked over some of my old lesson plans to prep for today. Still trying to figure out how to incorporate the Reggio stuff into the public school setting” Y/N replied nervously. Was I making her nervous? Was she uncomfortable? I couldn’t tell. But whatever it was, she didn’t make any attempt to move her body away from mine. “How about you?” she asked me. “Oh, I was so wiped from being stuck in those chairs all afternoon. I took like an hour long bath and then passed out” I admitted honestly. I just left out the part that came after the bath, before I fell asleep. Whoops! I’d been single for a long, long time and had gotten pretty good at taking care of my own needs. Last night after I got out of the bath, I laid down naked under the sheets and touched myself. I wasn’t thinking about anything in particular at first. Masturbating was basically just part of the weekly routine at this point. Just a nice way to feel good every now and then without the stress and drama of dating and relationships. My fingers felt amazing against my cl*t like they always did. And I squeezed my breasts and pinched my nipples like I always did. And that all felt great, too. But then Y/N’s face popped into my head and suddenly everything felt much more intense and exciting and urgent. I thought about her smile and her skin and her laugh and the way she always blushed. I thought about what it would be like to kiss her and touch her and make her feel good. It was almost embarrassing how quickly I came undone as I thought of her. It was an intense org*sm and I was breathless after I came. It had been a really long time since I’d thought about someone while I touched myself and I felt a little ashamed for fantasizing about this woman I barely knew. Not that ashamed though, because I did it two more times that night. Like I said, whoops!

Then the bell rang. Thank f*ck! We waved goodbye to each other and then went to find our teaching teams.

Us second grade teachers always got along well. There were four of us in total and we’d all been around for a while now. Janine was still the rookie and she felt like she had a lot to prove. She was always sharing new ideas and inviting us to follow her on Pinterest and wanting us to spearhead Back to School Night efforts. Mostly we just let her talk and hoped she’d get tired eventually. Janine meant well, she always did. She just spent so much energy fighting battles she’d never win. There was something admirable about it, but sometimes I just wanted to shake her and tell her to give it a rest. This job was exhausting enough as it was. Why make all the extra work and stress? It wouldn’t have made a difference though. It was like talking to a wall.

I snuck away to use the bathroom halfway through Janine’s speech about her plan to find a librarian for Abbott and I stopped by the auditorium to check in on the third grade teacher meeting. I stood off to the side and listened in awe as the new third grade teacher told everyone about the Reggio philosophy and child-led learning. Y/N really was a breath of fresh air at Abbott and I hoped the other teachers would see and appreciate that. But as soon as I saw Wendy laugh, I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep my big mouth shut. “Sure, let the kids lead the lessons. Can’t wait to learn more about Roblox and Minecraft from a bunch of eight year olds” Wendy said. Y/N looked embarrassed and defeated. I stormed over and stood next to Y/N and said, “Yo, Wendy! Better learnin’ about video games from a kid than watchin’ you fall asleep at your desk again while they watch Toy Story for the hundredth time! Why don’t you hear her out before you run your mouth just because you’re scared you won’t understand, ya gabbadost!” Wendy looked at me like I’d completely humiliated her. And I hoped I had, especially considering the fact that she was so tickled with herself for being so dismissive of Y/N. The new third grade teacher laughed and whispered “thank you” to me and I felt like my heart was going to pop right out of my chest. I shot her a wink before I even knew what I was doing and then made my way back to the second grade teacher meeting in the library.

Ava made us all sit with our teaching teams during lunch that day. I microwaved my homemade ravioli and was heading back to the library when I decided to poke my head into the auditorium just one more time. I had to make sure Wendy wasn’t still being a complete dick to Y/N. I looked in and saw most of the teachers already eating while Y/N dug through her bag and looked disappointed. I walked in, tapped her on the shoulder, and handed her the container. “I had some leftover ravioli the other day. Ya want it?” I asked. She looked surprised to see me again, but also relieved. “Um… is that a serious question? Has anyone, anywhere, ever refused ravioli?!” Y/N asked as she laughed. It made me smile. “Well, no one with half a brain! C’mon, hon. Eat up. You’re gonna need your strength to deal with this particular group of hens” I replied as I handed her a fork and then winked. Again. Who did I think I was with all this God damn winking today?! I left the auditorium, walked back to the teacher’s lounge, and grabbed a bag of chips from the vending machine and then made my way back to the library. “I must be hallucinating… is Melissa Schemmenti eating a bag of potato chips for lunch?” Janine teased. “What can I say, lowercase? I’m feelin’ salty today” I laughed back at her.

After a few hours of team building torture, I went back to my classroom to look over my roster and student files for the new year. I sat down, put on my glasses, and went through them one by one. Then I saw Jessie’s name. Sweet, sweet Jessie. Barbara had been his teacher back in kindergarten and had done everything she could to prepare him for first grade and to help him catch up with his peers. She had put in the work and it really looked like things were on track for him. Then in first grade he had a terrible teacher named Ms. Cooper. She shamed him, excluded him intentionally, and made no effort to meet him where he was or encourage him in any way. She’d left Abbott for Addington Elementary at the end of last year, but I still got mad every time I thought about her. This year Jessie would be in my class and I felt a huge responsibility to help him after everything he’d been through. And considering Jessie was dyslexic, this hit even closer to home than usual. No one at Abbott knew that I was dyslexic. Not even Barb. It just wasn’t something I felt comfortable telling anyone. Anytime I’d ever told anyone in the past, they just started to treat me like I was dumb. And it pissed me off. So, I figured it was none of anyone’s business and just never talked about it. It was easier that way. Safer. I placed my hand on top of Jessie’s file and tried to think of ways I could help him. Then I heard the new third grade teacher say my name. “Sorry, hon. I was lost there for a sec. How was the rest of your day?” I said as I tried to shake off my worries for a moment. “It was fine after my knight in shining armor saved me from the dragon and then brought me a royal feast” Y/N said playfully. Was she… flirting with me…? I figured there was no way that was possible and decided to shrug it off. “Hey, I been called a lotta things, but that one’s new. What can I say? See a damsel, save a damsel” I teased. “Haha! Very funny” she replied with rosy cheeks. Then the tone of the interaction shifted. “Are you okay, though? You looked like you were working through something when I came in. Sorry if I interrupted you” Y/N said apologetically. I was honest with her and told her I was worried about how to help an incoming student. I figured she’d just say something sweet and empathetic and then be on her way for the night. It had been a long damn day after all. Instead, Y/N said, “Well… I’m free to grab dinner if you want to get out of here and talk it over with someone!” I was surprised, but excited by the prospect of sharing a meal with her and spending time with her outside of Abbott. “It’s me and you at the closest burger joint or me, myself, and I at home with a pint of ice cream. Your call, Schemmenti” Y/N said. And again, her tone was borderline flirtatious. And it made me dizzy. f*ck it. Why not. I tossed my glasses aside, grabbed my purse, and said “A burger with you sounds perfect!” And it did. It really did.

I drove us both down to Angie’s Diner and knew the burger would rock her world. I also knew it would be quiet on a Wednesday and hoped I could use that to my advantage and take the time to learn a little more about this beautiful woman who had been occupying my thoughts. Y/N practically moaned when she took her first bite of Angie’s bacon cheeseburger and there’s no way my cheeks weren’t beet red when I heard the sound. I quickly took a sip of my beer and avoided eye contact at all costs. “Holy sh*t, Melissa! You weren’t kidding. This is the best burger I’ve ever had” Y/N said in disbelief. And all I could do was smile at how happy she was.

We both had a few beers and the new third grade teacher definitely loosened up a little bit. We talked more about our team building meetings and our impressions of our co-workers. Y/N was still annoyed by Wendy’s snarky comment and worried that she would continue to be a thorn in her side this year. But I told her there was no way I’d let that happen. And then she blushed. Because of course she did. It was actually unbearable how cute she was. We talked about our classrooms and how the week had gone so far. It all felt so relaxed and comfortable. I still wished she would open up more about herself, but didn’t want to be pushy and just took what I could get.

The waiter came over and cleared our baskets and I was surprised when Y/N ordered one more round of drinks. “So, tell me about your little eagle, the one you were thinking about when I came in” she prompted. Then I said, “Oh. Yeah. Jessie. He’s a sweetheart. Barbara had him back in kindergarten and worked so hard with him. Then he had a real bum for a first grade teacher last year and fell behind in readin’ big time. It’s just…” No, Melissa. Stop. It’s too much. It’s too soon. You barely know this woman. Are you really about to tell her something you’ve never even told your best friend? f*ck it. “Well, it’s just that I’m dyslexic so I understand how hard readin’ can be for kids at this age and how the teasin’ feels and how parents don’t always know how to help. It’s hard to navigate” I said before I could stop myself. And then I couldn’t even look at her. I was so embarrassed. Why in the hell did I tell her that? I thought about it for a moment and then quickly realized why. I told her because I felt like I could trust her. I felt like she would understand. I felt like all the different parts of who I was would be safe with her. I couldn’t explain why. But I also couldn’t deny how true it felt. “Oh, Mel. I’m so glad you felt comfortable sharing that with me. I’m sure that was really hard for you growing up. And I imagine it’s something that still isn’t always easy to navigate for yourself as an adult, let alone for one of your students. But, if I may, I have to say I think that kiddo is with exactly the right teacher at exactly the right time in his life. Having someone who gets it and is invested in him will make such a huge difference for him. I’m sure it won’t be easy, but damn is that kid lucky to have someone like you in his corner” Y/N said sincerely.

And then I started to cry. She said exactly what I needed to hear, exactly when I needed to hear it. And… she called me Mel… and it made my heart soar for reasons I couldn’t even begin to articulate. “Mel, huh?” I asked. “sh*t. Sorry, Melissa. I don’t know why I said that” she replied nervously. “No, no… I… I like it. And I appreciate all the other stuff you said after that. Maybe you’re right. Maybe he’s with me for a reason. Yeah. I like that idea. Thanks, hon.” I said with a smile. And she smiled, too.

I drove us back to Abbott and then walked her to her car. If I was being honest… it felt like the end of a fantastic first date. And if it had been, this would be the part where I’d ask to see her again and then kiss her goodnight. “Thanks for tonight, hon. I needed it. And I appreciate everything you said. Really” I said, avoiding her eye contact because everything about this moment felt so intense. “It was the least I could do, Melissa, especially after everything you did for me today. And I meant everything I said. Truly. You’re an incredible teacher. Jessie is in excellent hands” Y/N said. And I could feel her eyes on me. I finally looked up, locked eyes with the new third grade teacher, and then reached over and gently pulled her into a hug. She was warm and she smelled amazing and it felt so incredible to hold her in my arms. “I’m really glad you came to Abbott” I said. “Me, too, Mel. Me, too” Y/N replied. “And I really like when you call me Mel” I said as I squeezed her hand and then turned to go back to my car and drove home.

This was one of the best days I’d had in a long time and I knew it was because of her. Something inside me felt hopeful and excited. My heart had been closed off and vacant for so long. And somehow, whenever I was near Y/N… my heart felt wide open.

Every sweet, simple thing about her seemed like an invitation from the universe for me to finally start living again.

And who was I to ignore that?

Notes:

More to come! ♥️

Chapter 54: Fire - Melissa’s Version

Summary:

It’s day four of professional development at Abbott and Melissa realizes how little she knows about the new third grade teacher she can’t stop thinking about.

Notes:

Melissa’s POV for chapter 4!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

The first thing I noticed when I sat down in Y/N’s classroom on Thursday morning was that she didn’t have any photos of family or friends on her desk. No picture frames filled with images of proud parents at her college graduation or friends celebrating big life events. No evidence of a boyfriend… or girlfriend. It was empty. The rest of the room felt so magical and inviting. It had personality and warmth and instantly made me feel cozy and welcome. But this desk? It could have belonged to anyone. It made sense the more I thought about it. The new third grade teacher was incredibly open about her love of teaching and her passion for growing as an educator. And she was a great listener and very empathetic and kind. Other than that… she hadn’t really shared too much about herself. I sat down in her chair and sipped my drink while I waited for her to arrive and suddenly I felt like maybe I hadn’t done enough to make her feel comfortable. Was I not asking enough questions? Was it me? Or was she just naturally reserved? The truth was that I really wanted to know more about her. Yes, she was beautiful and yes I was attracted to her. That was a no-brainer. But I didn’t even know her favorite color and I’d already told her that I was dyslexic. Maybe I just needed to work harder to make sure she knew she could trust me. That I was a safe place. Or maybe I just needed to tell her that I wanted to know more and let the chips fall where they may. Today was set to be the busiest day of trainings yet, but I figured the mixer after work tomorrow would be a good time to try.

I heard the sound of someone running down the hallway and then Y/N busted through the door like a bat out of hell. Y/N was flushed and her hair was a mess and she was still the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen. I realized how big I was smiling and tried to dial it down a bit. “There you are, hon! Left me sittin’ here in Narnia without you this mornin’” I laughed. Y/N smiled back at me as she struggled to catch her breath. “I’m so sorry, Mel! I got a late start today. Good morning! Thanks for the coffee. How was the rest of your night?” she asked as she set down her bag. And just as I went to respond, the first bell rang. I stood up from the desk, grabbed Y/N’s drink, and slowly walked toward her. “Guess you’ll just have to use your imagination. Have a good day, hon! See ya at lunch” I said. I handed her the drink and when she smiled back at me, her cheeks looked even more red than before. I was disappointed we didn’t have more time to chat, but figured I’d make up for lost time during lunch. I left her room and went off to find Barb and the other K-2nd grade teachers.

The focus group was pretty much a waste of time for me and Barb and we spent most of the session writing our lesson plans and chatting. “So...?” Barb said. I looked back at her, confused. “So, what?” I asked. “Did you find out if Y/N is single or not yet?” she asked playfully. “C’mon, Barb. When ya gonna let this go? Nothin’s gonna happen. It’s just a silly little crush. There’s no way she’s into me” I said. And even though I said it, I wasn’t sure I believed it was true. It was more than a crush. Y/N had been the last thing on my mind when I fell asleep at night and the first thought in my head when I woke up each morning since I met her. I had never been more intrigued by someone in my life. I was also starting to feel like the attraction I felt toward her might be mutual. Maybe it was all the blushing, maybe it was the few times I’d noticed her looking me over… There was nothing concrete. Just a hopeful wish that maybe I wasn’t imagining things. “I have no intention of ‘letting this go,’ Melissa Schemmenti! I have known you for decades and I have never once seen you glow like this. You like her! It’s obvious. Now, why not just admit it to yourself and then find out if she feels the same way?” Barb said passionately. “Because it’s never gonna happen, Barb! Even if she was into chicks… into me… you know what I went through with Joe! You think I’m stupid enough to get tangled up in a relationship at my age? I’m way too old for her anyway. It’s a pipe dream. Just drop it already, would ya?!” I said dismissively as I stood up and left the room. I didn’t know where I was going, I just knew that I needed a break. And before I knew it, I was walking right past the 3rd-5th grade focus group meeting in the cafeteria. I looked in and saw Y/N talking to Gregory. She had a huge smile on her face and looked excited about something. I smiled and then walked down to my classroom to sit for a minute. I shouldn’t have blown up on Barb like that. She could clearly see I had it bad for the new third grade teacher and was just trying to help. Why did I always let my temper get the best of me? I made my way back to the meeting, sat down next to Barb, and reached for her hand. She looked up at me and then placed her hand in mine and gave it a soft squeeze. “Ya know I love ya, right?” I said apologetically. Barb rolled her eyes and said, “Mhmm.” I gave her a quick squeeze back and said, “you’re right… I’ll ask her.” And then Barb pulled her hand back and raised it in the air before she shouted, “God is good” and everyone else in the meeting stared back in shock and confusion.

Y/N sat with us during lunch and Barb dished out a few bowls of her famous pasta salad. I’d skipped breakfast that day and was starving! I took a huge bite and practically moaned. Then I heard Barb say, “Are you alright, dear? Everytime I’ve seen you today, you’ve looked a bit flushed! I do hope you’re not coming down with anything right before the school year starts.” She was talking to Y/N who was blushing. Again. And she looked even more embarrassed that Barb had noticed. “Oh… oh, um. Pfft. No, no I’m good. I think maybe this short-sleeve flannel was just the wrong choice when it’s still so hot out” Y/N replied nervously. Then she pulled off her flannel and hung it over the back of her chair. She had on a tight white tank top and I nearly choked on my pasta when I saw her cleavage and the way the top clung to her body. It wasn’t like Y/N dressed frumpy or anything. She just usually didn’t wear tight clothing. Her style was a bit more casual and androgynous. This was the first time I’d really gotten a good look at her figure. Her arms were f*cking incredible. And her breasts? Jesus Christ. I realized I was staring and looked up just in time to see Y/N look away from me. sh*t! Had she noticed the way I was looking at her? Damn! Way to go, Schemmenti! Now she was just going to think I was some big perv!

After lunch it was time for a whole-group session led by Ava. Also known as a free hour to sleep or dick around on my phone. I sat in between Y/N and Barb and when Y/N sat down next to me, her arm was pressed against mine. I instantly felt a warmth in my chest that caught me completely off guard. It was truly that exciting just to be close to her. I glanced over and smiled before I put my glasses on and I noticed her nipples. She was cold! Lucky me! Oh, for Christ’s sake, Melissa! What am I, a teenage boy?! “sh*t! I’ll be right back, I forgot my flannel” Y/N said as she stood up to run back to the lounge. “Not so fast, new girl! Sit back down. You’re not gonna wanna miss a second of this presentation” Ava said firmly. I noticed that Y/N looked embarrassed as she sat back down. It was so cute. I had to laugh. She didn’t like getting in trouble. It was adorable. “Zip it, Schemmenti” she said as she laughed back at me.

The meeting was a joke. It always was with Ava, but hey, I beat my personal record in Bejeweled! Y/N had been freezing the whole time and left for the lounge as soon as Ava dismissed us. I went back to my room to pack up for the day. I sat down at my desk for a minute and saw Jessie’s file. I frowned briefly, still worried I might not be able to help him. Then I remembered something! I went to my closet and pulled out one of my old boxes and started digging through it. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of this sooner! Then I heard Y/N’s sweet voice. “What are you looking for there, Indiana Jones?” she teased. It made me smile. I liked when she teased me. “I’m tryin’ to find an old book one of my teachers gave me back in the day. I think it might help Jessie how it helped me. Aha! There you are!” I said as I waved her over to my desk to show her the book. “See how my teacher highlighted it to help me make sense of the words? Gosh. This helped me so much. Made me love readin’. Hopefully it’ll do the same for Jessie” I explained. And I couldn’t hide my excitement. I really wanted to be there for this kid in the same way my teacher had shown up for me. It changed my life. And I felt hopeful that this book would be the first step toward helping Jessie. “I’m sure it will” Y/N said. I leafed through the book for a minute before I realized Y/N was watching me. I figured I probably just had something in my hair or something. “What?” I asked her. “Nothin’. I just think you’re great” Y/N said as she looked down at me and smiled. Now I was the one blushing. I stood up straight and looked back at her, feeling suddenly brave. “Yeah? Well, the feelin’s mutual, Narnia! I think you’re pretty special, too” I replied.

Y/N walked me to my car and it felt just as intimate as it had the past two days. “You lookin’ forward to the mixer tomorrow after work?” I asked as we approached my car. “I think so! It’ll be fun to unwind after a busy week. And it’ll be nice to see how some of these teachers act after a few drinks!” Y/N replied enthusiastically. I looked forward to being there with her and seeing her unwind. There were so many things I wanted to ask her. Maybe the drinks would make us both brave. “Yeah, it’s usually a good time. It’s a nice boozy calm before the storm. You feelin’ ready for your first group of Abbott kiddos next week?” I asked. Y/N said she felt ready and excited and supported at Abbott. Then she complimented me (and Janine, I guess) and said she knew our students would be more than ready for third grade. We stared at each other for a moment and then she leaned in to hug me. She initiated it this time! I reached my arms up around her shoulders and Y/N’s strong, beautiful arms enveloped me. It felt so good to feel her pressed against me. And as we parted, I saw her look down at my lips. Holy sh*t! There was no way I imagined that! “See ya tomorrow, hon” I said. And I couldn’t help but look right back at her lips and imagine how soft they were and what it would be like to slip my tongue between them. “Night, Mel. See you tomorrow” she replied before she turned to walk to her own car.

I watched her walk away and felt the rapid beating of my heart.

Did Y/N… want me, too?

One could dream.

Notes:

Melissa’s POV of chapter 5 is next!

Then we’ll hop back to the present with OFC and see if Melissa is feeling better, find out the substitute plan for Janine’s class, and see what kind of fun is in store for the Abbott crew during spring break! ♥️

I hope you all have enjoyed this time in Melissa’s head!

Chapter 55: Armor - Melissa’s Version

Summary:

It’s day five of professional development and Melissa is looking forward to a night out with Y/N and the Abbott gang before the start of the new school year. She’s excited to learn more about the new third grade teacher, but she never could have imagined how the night would unfold…

Notes:

Melissa’s POV for chapter 5!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

I woke up before my alarm on Friday morning and saw that I had a text from Y/N. It said, “Morning, Mel! I was wondering if you’d like me to pick you up after I grab our coffee this morning? And I could drive us to the mixer after work, too! I’m happy to be the designated driver. You deserve a fun, care-free night before school starts on Monday!” I shook my head in disbelief and I read the message again quickly to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating before I replied: “Yes and yes! Here’s my address.” Then I set down my phone and took a few deep breaths. I was already feeling excited and nervous about the night ahead, but to wake up to a text from Y/N offering to drive me… especially after how intense last night’s goodbye felt… I was ecstatic.

I wanted to look my best today. I knew I wouldn’t be able to go home to freshen up after the mixer, so I needed to bring my A-game to this final day of professional development. I curled my hair, tossed on my favorite gold hoop earrings and my necklaces, and really took my time with my makeup. Then I put on my favorite red blouse, a pair of black leather pants, and my boots. I felt good. I looked hot. And I decided to complete the look as I snagged my leather jacket before I opened my front door and then sat down on the porch to read until Y/N arrived.

For so many years, reading had been a struggle for me. Books made me nervous and felt like nothing more than a source of pain, embarrassment, and humiliation. But now, as an adult, books were my safe haven. They were a comfort. Reading was how I calmed my nerves and found my center and escaped the world when it felt like too much. I sat down and opened Glennon Doyle’s “Untamed” and allowed myself to be completely immersed in the pages until I saw the new third grade teacher pull into my driveway. And of course I smiled immediately. I tossed the book on top of my porch bench and then made my way down the stairs. “Mornin’, hon. Thanks for the ride!” I said as I buckled my seatbelt and settled in. “Of course. Happy to do it. Here’s your coffee” Y/N said as she handed me my drink. “Mmmmmm. God, is there anythin’ better than coffee on a Friday mornin’? I mean, besides the Eagles winnin’ the Super Bowl, of course!” I joked and Y/N laughed. She pulled out of my driveway and I decided right then and there that making her laugh was my new favorite thing.

We weren’t far from the school entrance when we bumped into Janine on the sidewalk. “Good morning, you two! You guys excited about the mixer tonight?” Janine asked cheerfully. “Janine, is anyone ever as excited about anything as you are?” I said with an exasperated sigh. She’d barely even spoken and I was already annoyed. I think it was less about being bothered by Janine and more that I was frustrated that my walk into school and conversation with the new third grade teacher had been interrupted. “I’m excited! Although I’ll be the designated driver this evening, so I won’t be getting too wild” Y/N said. And as she said it, I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like if Y/N really did let loose and get wild. It was definitely something I’d like to see. “Oh are you two going together?” Janine asked. “What’s it to you, pipsqueak?” I said. “Oh I was just curious. You two have been spending a lot of time together, that’s all! I think it’s great. It totally makes sense actually. It’s kind of like how I always wanted to be around Barbara my first year here so she could be my mom… MENTOR. My mentor” Janine said frantically. Jesus Christ. Why couldn’t Janine ever just zip it! Yeah, we’d been spending a lot of time together. On my end, it was purely selfish. I was attracted to Y/N and felt excited and alive whenever I was near her. But what was she getting out of all this? I mean, sure, I knew she enjoyed our friendship enough to want to spend time with me. But was she really just looking for some guidance from a seasoned teacher? A support system at Abbott? Was I taking advantage of her somehow? Or did she have family baggage like Janine and just naturally gravitate toward someone she saw as maternal? The thought made me extremely uncomfortable. And even though I couldn’t be sure what Y/N was thinking and feeling in terms of our friendship, I decided that I at least had to make it clear how I felt. “It’s actually nothin’ like that, Stuart Little! Y/N knows exactly what she’s doin’. I’m not her mentor or her mommy. We just so happen to enjoy each other’s company and have things in common” I said dismissively. Janine looked over at me like I’d just punched her right in the throat. I felt bad for taking my discomfort out on her, but I also didn’t appreciate her comparing what Y/N and I had with the mommy issues she was navigating through Barb. “C’mon, hon” I said as I led the new third grade teacher inside the building.

I felt brave again as I took Y/N gently by the hand and pulled her into my classroom. And then we both laughed hysterically. I hoped that her reaction meant that she thought Janine’s comparison was just as absurd as I did. “Geez, Mel! You really let her have it out there” she said. “I really did! Look, she’s a sweet kid and she means well, but she also likes to meddle and project her sh*t on other people and I just don’t have the patience for it anymore” I replied honestly. I did like Janine. I really did. I just didn’t always have the energy to deal with her hyperactive little heart. I noticed Y/N looked deep in thought and it caught me off guard. “Where’d you go, Narnia?” I asked. “Who? Me? What? Nowhere. Just thinking about tonight. So ready to let loose a little after this week!” she replied with a smile. God, I couldn’t wait to be out with her tonight. I couldn’t wait to ask her a thousand questions and to sit close to her. “Me, too, hon. Me, too!” I said.

Thankfully the last day of training was relatively quick and painless. The sessions were actually interesting and I think Barb and I were both surprised to find ourselves actively participating for once. Hell, I even took notes during the session on teaching culturally relevant curriculum. Y/N and I walked out to her car and drove to the bar with the rest of the school. And when we parked, I noticed that she seemed a little hesitant. Nervous, even. “Ready, hon?” I asked. I wasn’t sure exactly what had happened during the drive over, but there was a kind of tension in the air and I wanted to check in and give Y/N a chance to talk it through if she wanted to. But all she said was, “Ready.” Then I placed my hand on her knee, gave it a gentle rub, and said “Let’s go!”

It was loud and the bar was crowded with Abbott teachers and regulars. I looked around the bar, searching for Barb, when Y/N’s face was suddenly incredibly close to mine. She asked, “What can I get you to drink, Mel?” and I was so turned on by how close her lips were to my ear that I could barely think. “I’ll take a Negroni, hon” I replied, trying to fight the urge to lean in and kiss her. Y/N pulled back and looked down at me with a smile on her face before she gave a goofy salute and made her way over to the bar. I watched her walk away and admired her tight ass before I looked over and saw Barb waving me down. I walked over and joined her, Gregory, Janine, and Jacob. They all had their drinks already and were celebrating surviving another professional development week. I looked back at the bar and was completely mesmerized by how gorgeous and sexy Y/N looked tonight. I snapped out of it quickly when I realized what my friends were talking about. “Oh my gosh! Do you see that guy checking out Y/N?” Janine said innocently. “I know! He hasn’t taken his eyes off her since she walked up. Oh! I wonder if she’ll let him buy her a drink! Shall we make it interesting and make a modest bet?” Jacob said excitedly as he stared over at me. He knew I loved to gamble and thought I’d be in on it for sure. Gregory could not have cared less, but Barb looked over at me with concern. Suddenly I felt sick with worry. What if Y/N noticed him and liked the attention? What if she let him buy her a drink and then spent the evening with him instead of me? What if she was attracted to him and all of the moments between us that had seemed so intimate to me had actually felt like nothing to her? Barb saw me spiraling internally and put her hand on my back. Maybe it was for the best. Either way, at least I’d know. And then I could finally move on from this ridiculous crush.

The new third grade teacher walked over and handed me my drink and I immediately took a huge sip of the incredibly strong negroni. She noticed that the conversation had gone quiet when she approached and she looked extremely self-conscious about it. “What’s going on?” Y/N asked nervously. “Oh, nothing. We were all just taking bets on whether or not you’d let that guy who was checking you out at the bar buy you a drink” Jacob teased. “He was really, really good looking” said Janine. And even Barb chimed in and said, “He was very handsome.” I looked at her in disbelief before I realized she was just trying to get answers for me. She had been invested in this from day one and wasn’t going to let this chance to find out if Y/N was available pass us by. “Was he? I didn’t even notice him. Not that it would have made a difference anyway. I’m gay” Y/N said.

And I couldn’t f*cking believe it.

I’d spent the last five days with the new third grade teacher. We had lunch together. We walked each other out to our cars after school. We went out for dinner and sat with our knees touching in the teacher’s lounge. We had made each other laugh and she’d seen me cry and we hugged each other goodbye. And in all that time, she never once revealed much of anything about her personal life. I had felt so safe and comfortable in her company and had really tried my best to make her feel the same. Yet here we were. Apparently she felt more comfortable announcing she was gay in a crowded bar full of our co-workers than she did telling just me. And I felt really f*cking stupid for allowing myself to be vulnerable and open and honest with her when she clearly didn’t feel that same level of trust with me. I was humiliated. I heard Barb say, “Well, that settles that bet” as she tried to catch my eye, thinking this revelation was a good thing for me. But she didn’t know that it felt more like a punch in the gut. It reaffirmed what I’d always believed about myself: I wasn’t worth bothering with. I noticed Y/N looking at me and then I took a big sip of my drink and said, “I feel like dancin’!” I just had to get away. Fast.

I made my way to the dance floor and continued to sip my drink as I tried to process everything I was feeling. This should have felt like good news. Great news, even. The best news. Y/N was gay. And she had spent the last five days blushing every time I glanced in her direction and had spent most of her free time with me each day. But the fact that she hadn’t told me about it sooner just made me feel like she either didn’t feel as comfortable around me as I did with her or that she didn’t tell me because she didn’t want me to think she liked me just because she was spending time with me. Either way, it sucked. I had hoped to spend the night getting to know more about her and unwinding after a busy week. Instead, I just felt completely embarrassed that I had actually thought she might be into me. I continued to dance and drink and tried to figure out how the hell I was going to make my way back over to the group when I felt this uncomfortable. And then I looked up and saw Y/N walking toward me. The drink was strong and I felt flushed and frustrated and had no idea why she had followed me over here. “Mind if I join you?” she asked me. I finished my drink and said, “Well, that depends. You keepin’ any other big secrets from me?” I didn’t know what else to say and I didn’t have enough restraint at the moment to bottle up how I was feeling. Y/N just stared back at me for a minute and I had no idea what she was thinking. I just knew I felt like a fool. “I… I wasn’t trying to keep anything from you, Mel. It just… it never came up” she said. “Didn’t come up? How about when Barbara told you all about Gerald and I talked about leavin’ Joe? You didn’t think that might have been a good time to say, ‘Hey. By the way, I’m into chicks.’” I said, frustrated. Then Y/N stepped toward me just as a couple behind me accidentally bumped into me and knocked me against her. She caught me against her chest and said, “Mel, I’m sorry. It’s just… f*ck. It’s so god damn loud in here. Could we maybe go somewhere and talk?” And even though I didn’t want to move, even though I wanted to stay there in her arms forever, I pulled away and led us out to the patio. I figured the least I could do was hear her out, even if I’d already made up my mind about why she’d kept this from me.

“Melissa. Please. I promise this wasn’t something I wanted to hide from you” she said earnestly. But I wasn’t buying it. “I guess I just thought we were friends and that we felt comfortable together. Like we had a real connection. I told you stuff I’ve never told anyone. Not even Barb. And here’s this huge thing about you and I have to find out about it in front of Jacob and Janine, for Christ’s sake!” I said passionately. I was so embarrassed and frustrated for putting so much of myself out there with her that I couldn’t even look at her. “We do have a real connection, Mel. That’s part of what made me so scared to tell you. What if I told you and it made you uncomfortable? What if it meant you didn’t want to spend time with me anymore? What if it changed things? Look, I was scared, okay? I’ve lost people because of it before and I didn’t want to lose you, too” Y/N said. I still couldn’t bring myself to look up at her, but I could hear the sincerity in her voice. And even though part of me believed her, it still felt like she was holding something back. Like she didn’t think I could handle the truth. As if I didn’t already know. She just wanted to be friends. She didn’t like me like that. And maybe at some point she had realized how I felt about her and decided to keep her sexuality private so as not to give me the wrong idea. Like she could let me down easy by just not letting me in at all. I just couldn’t get over how dumb I felt for allowing myself to fall for her in the first place. And I wished I could take back every laugh, tear, and personal detail I’d shared with her. I felt like she had all the power and I had none. And it was a completely unfamiliar and entirely uncomfortable experience. “Y’know what, kid? Just drive me home. I don’t feel much like partyin’ anymore” I said. I just wanted to go home and cry myself to sleep and forget all about the new third grade teacher and the way she made me feel.

I got out of the car the second Y/N parked and walked as fast as I could up the stairs of my front porch. I had to get away from her before the tears came. I was reaching for the door when I heard Y/N shout, “Wait!” And even though I wanted to turn the knob and slam the door behind me, I turned around to face her on the stairs below me. She looked relieved when she realized I’d stopped and then took a deep breath before she spoke. “Look, Mel. I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry. And you’re right. I did keep this from you. But not because I thought you’d feel uneasy or because I thought you’d disappear from my life. And it wasn’t because our connection isn’t real or that I don’t trust you. The reason I couldn’t tell you is… because… I have feelings for you. And that’s really scary for me. I haven’t ever felt like this about anyone before and I honestly just didn’t know what to do about it. I care about you, Mel. More than you can imagine. And… I want you. There it is. That’s the truth” Y/N said passionately. And even though all I had wanted a minute ago was to get inside before she could see me cry, I couldn’t stop the tears that started to well up in my eyes or the smile that spread across my face when I realized that she felt the same way about me as I did about her. Before I even knew what I was doing, I put my hands on her cheeks and leaned in to kiss her.

And it felt more amazing than I ever could have imagined.

I slowly slid my tongue up against her upper lip and felt her quiver against me. I pulled back just long enough to tell her what I’d been wanting to tell her since the moment she’d handed me back my copies of Peter Rabbit: “I want you, too, hon” I said. Then I tugged on the collar of her shirt and pulled her up the last few stairs and onto the porch next to me. She was looking at me in a way no one ever had before and I felt myself blush, completely overwhelmed by how amazing it felt to know she wanted me, too. I wrapped my arms around her neck and pulled her into another deep kiss. I had never experienced anything like this before. Her lips warmed me to my core and excited me and made me feel the same way I did the first time I heard Elton John sing “Your Song.”

“How wonderful life is while you’re in the world.”

Notes:

Thanks for sticking with me through this interlude! I really appreciate the encouragement and support. I enjoyed it so much and am thankful you all trusted me to give it a shot.

Hopefully we all learned a little more about the fierce redhead we love so much.

It’s back to our OFC and the present timeline in the next chapter! Stay tuned. ♥️

Chapter 56: These Photographs

Summary:

Melissa is still under the weather and you’re able to convince her to stay home and rest while you handle things at school. Meanwhile Janine’s new long-term sub arrives at Abbott and you’re shocked to see a familiar face…

“And these photographs
keep me alive.
Babe, here's your song.
Babe, it took too long.
To find in your eyes,
My best surprise.”

These Photographs - Joshua Radin

Notes:

HUGE shout out to sweet rachellows for the idea to have the reader finally put a photo of Mel on her desk at school! So damn cute! 🥰♥️

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Melissa had the flu. Her body ached, she had a headache she couldn’t shake, and she was so tired she barely got out of bed on Sunday. You’d never seen her like this before. Melissa was always so vibrant and full of life and ready for anything. And now she was so depleted. You spent the day taking care of her and there was nothing you’d rather be doing. You warmed up the chicken noodle soup from the day before for lunch and then tucked her in for an afternoon nap. While she slept you got caught up on some grading, showered, and even texted Natalie to see how her Sunday was going so far. It was a quiet day and you felt a kind of calm and peace as you sat in silence.

You were happy.

You were in love with an amazing woman. You had a job that you loved and that challenged you to continue to grow each day. You had a group of friends you could count on. And you were in the process of repairing your relationship with your sister after decades apart. You couldn’t believe how good you felt after so many hard years.

Melissa woke up around five, threw her hair in a ponytail, put on her glasses, and sat down at the kitchen table with her planning notebook. “Whatcha doing?” you asked. “Gettin’ prepped for tomorrow. I’m way behind. Gotta map out the rest of the week” she said before she had to cover her mouth due to a coughing fit. “Mel, baby. There’s no way you can go to work tomorrow. You need to rest and hydrate. Give your body time to recover” you pleaded. “There’s a district-wide substitute shortage, hon. They won’t be able to find anyone to cover my class with such short notice. And I don’t want Mr. Johnson telling them about the lizard people again! Scarred those kids for life last time!” Melissa said seriously. “Well… what if your little eagles joined me and my third graders tomorrow instead? I’d be happy to have them if it meant you’d be here resting” you said sincerely. “You’d do that? For me?” she asked, surprised. “Of course I would, love! You shouldn’t have to work when you’re not well. And I’ll make it work. I promise. Please let me do this for you” you said. Melissa studied you for a moment before she answered. “Wow. I must’ve done somethin’ good in a past life” she joked as she reached for your hand. “Hmm. I always pictured you as Helen of Troy. But that lady caused an awful lot of drama!” you teased. Melissa laughed and rolled her eyes and then stood up to pull you into a hug. “I love ya, Narnia. Don’t ever change” she said as she gave your body a tight squeeze.

You had to leave Melissa’s house to go back to your apartment and grab more clothes and your laptop for work. You tucked her in on the couch with a cup of tea and kissed her on the forehead. “Be back soon, babe. Stay cozy” you said. “K, hon. Drive safe” she replied with a smile.

You walked into your apartment, tossed your keys on the table, and made your way into the kitchen to pour yourself a glass of water. When you closed the refrigerator door, you felt a smile spread across your face as you looked at all the photos on your fridge. There was one of you and The Smarty Pints during your first night of trivia together. You didn’t win that night, but everyone had a great time. There was the photo Janine took of you and Melissa in your Halloween costumes. God, Mel looked so incredible that night! You were so glad to have the photo to remember it by. There was another of you and Jacob sitting on the front steps outside of Abbott during lunch one day. Melissa had taken it without you noticing when she and Barb were on their way back to school after a lunch date. And there was the photo you took of Melissa during your special early Christmas together. It was just after she put on the necklace you gave her. She was wearing her white bathrobe and smiling brightly. It was your favorite photo. You packed a bag with a few outfits for the days ahead, grabbed your laptop, and then pulled the photo of Melissa off the fridge and placed it gently in your bag. Then you drove back to Melissa’s house and spent the night cuddling her and reassuring her that you’d take good care of her students tomorrow.

The first thing you did on Monday morning was pull out a wooden picture frame you had in the bottom drawer of your desk. It was empty. And it always had been. You’d bought it years ago when you first started teaching after you noticed all your co-workers had pictures of family and friends on display on their desks. You’d never had anything in your life that felt like it was worth framing before. But as you unscrewed the back of the frame and placed Melissa’s photo inside it, you realized how far you’d come. You held it in yours hands for a minute and let the full weight of the moment hit you. And you placed the frame on the desk with pride. Then you opened Melissa’s planner to make sure you knew what you’d be teaching her little eagles in class today.

Surprisingly having two full classes in your room wasn’t as stressful as you imagined it would be. Both classes sat together during morning meeting and story time. And you were able to balance teaching two different lessons for two separate grades by allowing your students to work on their Catch Up folders at their desks while you taught the second graders how to read clocks. Then Melissa’s class explored the reading nook during independent reading while you taught your own class about fractions. It was a busy day and a long one, but the students were happy, learning, and cared for and Mel was at home getting the rest she needed. You were tired, but proud of yourself. You couldn’t wait to get home and check on Melissa and tell her about the day.

Melissa was asleep on the couch when you walked in and you were surprised to see that she looked worse. You kneeled down next to her on the couch and gently ran your fingers through her hair. “Hey, Mel. I’m here, baby” you whispered. Melissa slowly opened her eyes and smiled up at you. “Hey, hon! How’d it go? Did they wear ya out?” she asked. “It went great. And it will go great again tomorrow. I think you definitely need another day at home. Can I make you some toast, love?” you asked, concerned she hadn’t eaten much today. “Y/N, there’s no way I can let you do that. It’s too much. I’ll be fine by mornin’. Honest” Melissa pleaded. “Nope. Not happening. I’ve got this, Mel. I love you and I want you to feel better. It’s almost spring break! I need you up and running soon so we can enjoy our time away from work” you replied. “Ugh! Fine. And… um… yes to the toast. I’m starvin’” she laughed weakly.

Ava knocked on your classroom door the next morning. “Schemmenti still sick?” she asked. “Yeah, she’s still under the weather. Is it okay if her kids are with me again today?” you asked. “You say that like there’s some other option, Y/N! Of course they can stay with you. And I have another favor to ask on top of that. Janine’s long-term sub is starting today and I was planning to have Melissa show her the ropes. But since your little cannoli is gonna be home watchin’ The Real Housewives of New Jersey all day, I’m gonna need you to step up and help her out. We good?” Ava asked. “Uh, sure. I guess. What exactly do you need me to do?” you asked, worried taking care of an adult all day in addition to two separate classes might be too much. “Just show her around. Let her observe you teach. Give her a copy of the curriculum. Basic stuff. I know you can handle it, Y/N” Ava said cheerfully. “Fine! Send her to me when she gets here” you said as you shooed Ava away so you’d have enough time to look over both lesson plans before the day began.

You were in the middle of story time when Ava walked in with Janine’s new substitute teacher. And you thought you must be hallucinating. “Y/N, this is Ms. Warner” Ava said as she introduced the sub. “Uh… yeah, we know each other. How are you, Casey? Welcome to Abbott” you said, trying to remain professional. “Good to see you, Y/N! I heard you left us for this school and just had to see what all the fuss was about” she said with a bright smile. “Oh, hell. Y’all know each other? That’s juicy! Anyway, my clothes aren’t going to sell themselves. Duty calls” Ava said as she waved and left the room. “You can sit at my desk until we’re done with our story if you’d like” you said. Casey smiled and walked over to your desk. You saw her notice Melissa’s photo after she sat down and she looked over at you with raised eyebrows. You turned back to the students and finished reading “Wayside School is Falling Down.”

You walked your class and Melissa’s students to lunch and then showed Casey the teacher’s lounge. Jacob and Gregory were sitting near the table by the window and Barb sat in her usual spot. It looked so empty without Melissa there next to her. And the room felt empty without her energy. “Hey, gang! This is Casey Warner. She’ll be the long-term sub in Janine’s class” you said. Jacob stood up to shake her hand and introduce himself. “Nice to meet you, Casey. I’m Jacob Hill. I teach History. I’m Janine’s best friend. But don’t worry. I’m not going to spy on you for her or anything weird like that. Ha!” Jacob said, making the interaction as awkward as possible, per usual. Then Gregory walked over. “Hi, Casey. I’m Gregory Eddie. Fourth grade. I’m Janine’s boyfriend” he said with a shy smile. “Wow! I feel like I just walked in to the annual Janine Teagues fan club meeting! Sounds like I have some big shoes to fill while she’s gone” Casey laughed. “You certainly do, young lady. We’re all very fond of Janine and the things she’s done to make Abbott a better place for teachers and students” Barbara chimed in from behind her. “I’m gonna head back to my room to prep for the afternoon” you said. “Oh, mind if I join you? My lunch is in my bag and I have a few questions about the curriculum” Casey asked. “Um… sure. I guess I have a few minutes to spare” you replied as the two of you left the lounge.

“So, how’ve you been, Y/N? Looks like you’ve settled in nicely. We’ve missed you over at Everbrook Academy!” Casey said. “I’ve been great, actually. I’m much happier teaching in a public school. And the staff here is amazing. What made you decide to leave?” you asked, genuinely curious. “Well, I saw there was a long-term sub opportunity and figured it’d be a good chance to get my feet wet outside the private school setting. Plus our new director is a real bitch, so it wasn’t a hard choice” she replied honestly. “I see. Well, Abbott is great. And Janine is fantastic. I’m sure you’ll meet her soon. She likes to stop by a few times a month to check in on us. The other second grade teachers are incredible, too. Especially Ms. Schemmenti” you said, and you felt yourself blush. “That’s the teacher you’re dating, right? The hot redhead in the picture on your desk? Ava filled me in on our way down. Completely unprompted, might I add” Casey laughed. Now you were blushing even more. “f*cking Ava!” you muttered under your breath. “Oh, I’m not judging. I’m impressed. Just interesting to see the pattern” Casey teased. “And what pattern is that?” you asked, annoyed. “You hooking up with co-workers” Casey said. “Casey… you and I hooked up once. One time. And that was after the staff party where we both had way too much to drink. It was a mistake” you said firmly. Casey stared back at you and crossed her arms. “Well, you were whistling a different tune when I was going down on you” she laughed. “Jesus Christ, Casey! Seriously! Don’t do that” you said as you went to close your classroom door so no one would hear her. “Do what?” she asked. “Don’t act like it meant anything to you. It was just sex. And it was one time. And besides, I’m not ‘hooking up’ with Melissa. We’re together. We have been for almost seven months. It’s not the same thing. And we’re in a really good place now, so I’d appreciate it if you didn’t stir up any drama just because you’re bored” you said angrily. “Geez, calm down. I’m here to teach, not to wreck your love life” Casey said as she gestured like she was zipping her lips closed. “Good. Thank you. Look, I have a lot to do. Do you mind? Janine’s room is just down the hall on the left” you said as you pointed to the door. Casey gave a quick thumbs up, grabbed her bag, and left the room.

When you walked into Melissa’s house she was in the kitchen cooking spaghetti. “Hey, hon” she said with a big smile. She looked so much better! The color was back in her cheeks and you could see the light and energy in her eyes again. “Hey, babe! Feeling better?” you asked as you walked up behind her and kissed the back of her neck. “So much better. Just needed the extra day of sleep, just like ya said. Thank you so much for takin’ care of my kiddos, Y/N! I owe ya one. Big time” she said as she turned to face you and wrapped her arms around your neck. “Mmmm. I may take you up on that this weekend” you said as you gently nipped at her neck and then soothed it with a soft kiss. Melissa let out a gasp of pleasure and then looked disappointed when you walked to the kitchen table to set your bag down. “What’s up, hon? Rough day?” she asked, concerned. “Not exactly… but there is something I need to tell you” you said as you rubbed the bridge of your nose. Melissa sat down across from you and looked nervous. “What is it?” she asked. “Um… well, Janine’s new long-term sub started today. Her name is Casey Warner” you said. “Oh, crap! Is she awful? Did she already mess somethin’ up?” Melissa asked. “No, it’s not that. She’s a really good teacher. I actually used to work with her at Everbrook” you replied. “Okay… so, what’s the problem then?” Melissa asked, not exactly sure what was going on. “Well… she and I… we hooked up once. Once! One time! It was after a staff party and I was drunk off my ass and I regretted it immediately and told her as much. And I reiterated that to her today. But, since you’re going to be the one mentoring her the first few weeks while she gets her bearings… I just wanted you to know. It didn’t mean anything. And I had no intention of telling her about us, but apparently Ava took care of that when she walked her down to my room this morning. And then she saw your picture on my desk” you said. And even though it was hard to tell Melissa about all of this, you were extremely proud of yourself because you hadn’t considered lying about it or keeping it a secret from Melissa for even a second. As soon as Casey had entered your room this morning, you knew the first thing you’d do once you left school was talk to Melissa about it. And that felt like incredible progress. Melissa stared back at you and you couldn’t read her expression. “Mel?” you said. “You put a picture of me on your desk?” she asked in disbelief. “I… uh… yeah. Earlier this morning. The one from our Christmas together” you said nervously, worried she didn’t want her face on display in your classroom in the school where you both worked. Then Melissa stood up, walked over to you, and pulled you up into a passionate kiss. You moaned against her lips as you reached down for her hips and pulled her closer. And when your lips parted, Melissa looked up at you with tears in her eyes.

“Ya really love me, don’t ya, hon?” she asked. And it melted your heart.

“I really do, Mel. More than anything” you said as you leaned in to kiss her forehead before you pulled her into a tight embrace.

Who knew honesty could feel this good?

Notes:

🥰

Up next, Melissa has to mentor Casey the week before spring break. Can’t wait to see how that goes. 😬

Chapter 57: Heaven

Summary:

“All of our love filling all of our room.
Your low warm voice curses,
As you find the string to strike within me,
That rings out a note heard in heaven.”

Heaven - Mitski

Notes:

Hi 👋
This chapter and the next few will be heavy fluff and smut. Our girls deserve it after everything they’ve been through. I’m excited to share it with you all. Enjoy!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Melissa returned to work on Wednesday and couldn’t wait to be reunited with her students. She walked you to your classroom that morning and thanked you again for taking such good care of her little eagles while she was home sick. Melissa gently tugged on your lanyard and pulled you in for a soft kiss. “So, I was thinkin’ you and I could skip town for spring break! I found this cute little cottage to rent about two hours outside of Philly. It’s quiet. Romantic. Thought I could treat you to say thanks for takin’ such good care of me and my kiddos. Whaddya say, hon?” she asked eagerly. You leaned back in to kiss her again and then said, “That sounds amazing! I’d love to, babe!” Melissa smiled brightly and went to speak again, but she was interrupted by Janine’s sub who had just walked up behind her. “Ms. Schemmenti? Hi! I’m Casey Warner. I’ll be filling in for Janine. Principal Coleman told me to shadow you today” Casey said nervously. Melissa rolled her eyes and it made you laugh. Then she turned to face Casey. “Well, I hope you’re faster than you look, Carley, because I move quick and I don’t have time for a slow shadow” Melissa said dismissively. “It’s… uh, it’s actually Casey…” she replied sheepishly. “Yeah? Let’s see how long you’ll be here. Then I’ll remember your name. K, Kylie?” Melissa said as she turned back to wink at you and then swiftly walked down toward her room with Casey sprinting after her. You almost felt sorry for Casey, but you were happy to see Melissa full of energy again, even if it was to antagonize someone who’d seen you naked.

You heard a knock during your free period and you looked up and saw Casey through the window on your door. You walked over and opened it. “Yes?” you asked. “Is your girlfriend this mean to everyone, or did I do something to piss her off?” Casey whined as she walked past you and sat down in your story time rocking chair. “Uh… come on in, I guess” you said as you closed the door. “I mean… she’s a monster! How am I supposed to learn anything from her? All she’s done is send me on bullsh*t errands and call me the wrong name and ignore me” Casey said defeated. “Look, Melissa’s tough on all new hires. And she’s going to be especially tough on you because she loved Janine so much. And… because she knows you and I hooked up” you admitted. “What?! Why would you tell her that? No wonder she’s been treating me like sh*t all day!” Casey said. “I don’t keep things from her. Not anymore. She knows it was just one time and that it didn’t mean anything. But jealousy is a green-eyed monster, y’know?” you laughed. “Oh, ha ha! Very funny, Shakespeare! I’m sure you’re enjoying this” Casey hissed. “You know what? I’m just glad she’s feeling better and has enough energy to torture her co-workers again, honestly” you said with a smile. “I can’t believe you right now” Casey said, shocked. “Casey. It’s going to be fine. She’s just giving you a hard time. You’ve been teaching for years. This assignment is just for a few months. Just suck it up, make it through the next two days, and you’ll be safe in your own classroom” you teased. “Pfft. A lot of help you are! I should have stayed at Everbrook” Casey said as she stormed out. You sat back down at your desk and smiled. Melissa was so cute when she got jealous.

Friday afternoon rolled around and you and Melissa packed up her car to head out to the cottage for the next few days. It was your first real trip away together and you were so excited to spend the this time alone with Melissa. There was a hot tub at the cottage and a dock down by the lake with a wooden swing that would be perfect for watching the sunrise. Melissa packed a few books, her portable record player, and a few of her favorite records. You packed your notebook, a few of your favorite poetry collections, and several of your own records. It was going to be a quiet, relaxing, and romantic time with the woman you loved. And you couldn’t wait.

You arrived around six o’clock that night and had just enough time to transfer the groceries from the cooler to the refrigerator before you snagged a bottle of champagne and two mugs, grabbed a blanket, and then took Melissa by the hand and walked down to the dock to watch the sunset. It was chilly by the lake and you covered yourselves with the blanket as you sat down on the swing and watched in awe as the sky changed colors. You poured the champagne into the coffee mugs and handed one to Melissa. “Thanks, hon” she said with a huge smile. “To us” you said as you raised your mug up to hers. Melissa tapped your mug and then took a big sip before she set it down and then leaned over to rest her head on your shoulder. “Y/N?” she asked. “Yeah, babe?” you replied. “You make me so damn happy, hon. There’s nowhere I’d rather be than right here with you. I love ya so much” Melissa said sincerely as she snuggled closer against your body. You felt the tears start to well up behind your eyes as you turned your head to place a gentle kiss in her hair. “I love you, too, Mel. You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Thank you for bringing me here” you said. When the sun finally set, you wrapped the blanket around Melissa’s shoulders and reached for her hand again as the two of you made your way back up to the cottage.

You threw a few logs in the fireplace and got the fire started while Melissa took a quick shower to freshen up after a long day at work and in the car. She walked out in her bathrobe a few minutes later with her wet hair pulled back in a messy ponytail. You handed her the mug of champagne, kissed her on the cheek, and told her to make herself comfortable with her book until you got back. You took a quick shower, dried off, and then slipped into the new red lingerie you’d bought especially for this trip. You usually kept your undergarments pretty simple, but you wanted to wear something special for Melissa that would really get her attention. You put your bathrobe on and then made your way back out to the living room.

Melissa had laid out a few blankets and pillows on the floor near the fireplace and was sitting in the leather chair nearby with her glasses on, reading her book and sipping her champagne. “Feelin’ refreshed, hon?” she asked as she set down her glasses and her book. “Mhmm” you replied is you walked slowly toward her. You knew she could see the look in your eye and that she knew exactly what you wanted. Melissa looked excited and immediately turned on as you approached her. You reached for her hand and pulled her up off the chair and close to your body. “Hi” you said with a smile. “Hey” Melissa said with a bright grin. Then you tilted your head to the side and leaned in to place soft kisses down Melissa’s neck. “I want you, Mel. I want you so bad, baby” you said as you gently sucked on her neck and nipped at her earlobe. “Mmmm. I want you, too, Y/N. I’ve been waitin’ all day to feel your lips on me” Melissa replied.

You reached down and untied Melissa’s bathrobe and then slowly pulled it off her body. She was completely naked underneath it and seeing her soft, curvy, breathtaking body in the light of the fire made you sigh heavily with desire. “God. You are so beautiful, Mel” you said as you slid your hands down her sides and let them come to rest on her hips. Melissa bit her lip and then looked up into your eyes. She reached over to untie your bathrobe and was very pleasantly surprised by your lingerie. “Holy sh*t, hon! This for me?” she asked playfully as she pushed the robe off your shoulders and stared at your body in awe. “Just wanted to give you a little surprise! Do you like it?” you asked with a smile. “Oh, I love it. Ya look incredible, Y/N. It’s a shame I’m gonna have to rip it off ya soon” Melissa teased. And with that, you wrapped your arms around Melissa and pulled her into a passionate kiss. She tasted like champagne and her lips were soft, warm, and intoxicating, as always. You teased her lips and tongue with your own tongue and she moaned into your mouth like she always did. She knew it drove you wild. You reached down and squeezed her firm breasts as your lips and tongues continued to taste and tease each other. Then you felt Melissa reach down to grab your ass and squeeze your cheeks through the lacy fabric of the lingerie. You were both breathless and excited and turned on when you suddenly pulled away. “Lay down” you said firmly. Melissa looked surprised, but incredibly aroused by your command. She did as she was told and laid down on the blankets and pillows beneath you. And as you looked down at her naked body in the light of the fire, you couldn’t believe someone this perfect existed. You remained standing above her and said “spread your legs.” Melissa looked back up at you and licked her lips as she opened her legs wide for you. You could see her excitement between her thighs and it took every ounce of restraint you had not to immediately fall to your knees and beg to f*ck her. “Now touch yourself for me, baby” you said. Melissa was so turned on by you bossing her around that she instantly squeezed one of her breasts with one hand while the other slowly glided down toward her slick center. You felt your mouth hang open as you watched hungrily while Melissa spread her wetness from her entrance up to her cl*t. And you felt faint as you heard the soft whimpers and moans she let out as she watched you while she touched herself. You felt your heart beating rapidly in your chest and you felt yourself get wet just from watching Melissa pleasure herself. Her breathing became more frantic and you could see she was close to the edge. “Stop” you said firmly. And Melissa pulled her hand away and looked up at you, breathless. Then you came down to join Melissa on the blankets, pulled her legs over your shoulders, and then leaned down and placed an agonizingly slow lick against her cl*t. And Melissa moaned like you’d never heard before. “Oh, f*ck! Y/N! Mmmm. Please f*ck me now! Please! Oooooh!” Melissa screamed out as your tongue traced circles across her cl*t and your fingers slowly slid into her entrance. She was so f*cking wet and you felt lightheaded as you thrusted your fingers inside of her over and over again. Melissa’s legs began to shake against your head and you looked up and said “I want you to cum for me now, baby” as you continued to f*ck her, curling your fingers inside her the way you knew she liked. Melissa grabbed your hair tightly and pulled your mouth back down to her throbbing cl*t and her legs rose up into the air as her org*sm overtook her and she screamed out your name as she came. “Y/N! Y/N! OH MY GOD! YES!” Melissa shouted before her body went limp beneath you as the euphoria poured through her body. You removed your fingers and licked at Melissa’s entrance, wanting to taste her climax. And she finally pulled you up away from her puss* and crashed her lips into yours. And when your lips parted, she just laid there, staring at you in disbelief. You couldn’t help the smug smile that formed on your face as you looked down at your gorgeous girlfriend who was completely spent.

“How you doing, babe?” you asked as you watched Melissa still trying to catch her breath. “I think I need a glass of water, hon. And then it’s your turn” she said with a mischievous smile as she reached for your neck and pulled you down into a sensual kiss.

This was going to be the best spring break ever!

Notes:

More to cu… come.
😉😘🥰

Chapter 58: Like This Together

Summary:

“Because of you I notice
the taste of water,
a luxury I might
otherwise have missed.”

Like This Together By Adrienne Rich

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

You came back from the kitchen with the glass of water Melissa asked for and sat down next to her on the floor as she drank it. Her chest glistened with sweat and her ponytail had come loose. She looked like a Greek goddess. As you watched her, you thought about all the poems you’d written about her since you met and wondered if you’d ever be brave enough to share them with her. Melissa finished her water, set the empty glass down by the fireplace, and then turned to face you. And when she saw how intensely you were watching her, it caught her off guard. “What? Am I a total mess or somethin’?” she laughed shyly. “You’re perfect, Mel” you said as you stared deeply into her eyes. Melissa’s cheeks turned red and she looked back at you like you’d just given her the sun, the moon, and all the stars.

“C’mere” she said as she gently hooked one of her fingers under the strap of your lingerie and pulled you toward her. She pressed her lips against yours and the kiss was slow and tender and sensual. Melissa’s kisses always made you dizzy, but you welcomed the sensation as her tongue slid across your upper lip and then slipped into your mouth. Then you felt her reach for your breast and caress your nipple through the red lace that covered you. Melissa laid you down on your back and kissed and sucked on your breasts through the fabric as she slowly pulled down the straps of your lingerie and guided it down and off your body. When she reached your thighs, she could see the wetness that had stained the bright red material and she moaned as she pulled it the rest of the way off. “Ya liked watchin’ me, didn’t ya, hon?” Melissa said as she bit her lip and massaged your inner thighs, stopping just shy of touching the parts of you that were begging for relief. “Mhmm” you whimpered as you looked up at the beautiful woman who was driving your body wild. “Ya liked bein’ in charge, too, didn’t ya?” Melissa teased as she slid her hands up your torso before she used her nails to gently scrape her way back down to your thighs. “Mmm. Yeah, baby. I liked telling you what to do” you admitted as you bit your lip and squeezed your thighs together. Her hands and fingertips and nails felt so incredible against your sensitive skin and you were so aroused as you imagined what Melissa planned to do to you once she was done teasing your body. “Ya like the way this feels, Y/N?” Melissa asked as she continued to slowly massage and softly scratch your body. “Yes, Mel. God, it feels so good when you touch me like this” you replied. “Ya want more though, don’t ya? Want me to suck on your tit* and fill you up and make ya cum? Tell me that’s what ya want, baby” Melissa said as she scraped her nails down your sides again. “f*ck! Yes! Please, Mel! Suck on my tit*, baby. f*ck me. God, please f*ck me” you begged as you stared up at her longingly. And the smile on her face was almost enough to send you over the edge.

“Close your eyes” Melissa whispered in your ear. You closed them tight and heard Melissa walk away toward the bedroom, unzip a bag, and then walk back toward the living room. “Open ‘em” she said seductively. And when you did, you saw the red strapless strap-on in her hand. “I bought somethin’ red to surprise you with, too” Melissa laughed. And you smiled as Melissa kneeled down between your legs and then slowly spread them apart. Then she looked down at you hungrily as she slid the shorter end up inside her own core and moaned as she felt its vibrations inside her. Melissa leaned down over top of you and gently pressed the tip of the longer end of the strap-on up against your cl*t before she slid it down toward your entrance. You were so wet and excited and ready for her to finally f*ck you that you reached up and grabbed her ass and pulled her body down roughly against you. And Melissa moaned deeply as she watched it slip inside you with ease. You felt her thrust deep inside of you and you both moaned in unison at the sensation of fullness paired with the steady vibrations coming from within the strap-on. Melissa leaned down and flicked your nipples with her tongue and then sucked on them hard as she thrust her hips against you, deep and fast. It always felt amazing when Melissa f*cked you with a strap-on, but knowing she was being stimulated and getting off at the same time made it all feel even more incredible. Melissa moaned in pleasure as you panted desperately beneath her and then you had an idea that you knew would make this one of the most intense org*sms either of you had ever had. “Mel, baby. Pull out for a second” you said through ragged breaths. It took her a second before she registered what you’d said, but she did it and then immediately asked, “sh*t! Are you okay? Did I hurt ya, hon?” She was breathless and worried. “No. God, no. It feels so f*cking good. I just want to try a different position. I want you to f*ck me from behind” you said as you leaned in to kiss her passionately before you turned away and got on your hands and knees in front of her. “Oh, f*ck, Y/N. Mmm. God, you’re so soaking wet and ready for me. Such a good girl” Melissa said as she moved toward you and slowly kissed her way up your back. When her lips reached the back of your neck, you felt the strap-on up against your puss*. Melissa took it in her hand, pushed it back inside of you, and then started to pump against you in a slow, steady rhythm. “Yes! Oh, Mel! Yes, baby! f*ck me. f*ck me” you moaned as your girlfriend squeezed your hips and pounded the strap-on deeper and deeper into your throbbing core. “Ya like that, baby?” Melissa said as she panted from the exertion of f*cking you and from feeling the shorter end vibrate intensely against her G-spot. “God, yes! sh*t, Mel. I’m so close. I’m so f*cking close. Mmm” you said as you felt the white heat starting to build deep within you. “Me, too, baby. f*ck, I love you, Y/N. I wanna see you cum for me. Mmm. Be my good girl and cum right now” Melissa said as she continued to pound against you. And that was all it took. “Oh! Oh! Oooooh! I’m cumming. Oh, Mel! Yes! Yesssss!” you screamed out as you felt your walls tighten around the shaft and your body began to quake. You heard Melissa scream your name from behind you as her thrusts became more frantic and she climaxed against you. You reached one arm behind you and pulled Melissa’s body tighter against your own as you laid down flat on your stomach and Melissa rested her body on top of you as you both caught your breath. She kissed your back again and then slowly pulled the strap-on out of you first and then herself before she tossed it aside and then laid down next to you.

When you were finally able to breathe again, you opened your eyes and saw Melissa looking back at you. She reached over and brushed your hair from your cheek and behind your ear. “Hi” you said, completely exhausted and still in a state of bliss. “Hey” Melissa replied with a playful smile. “That was f*cking unbelievable” you said as you reached over to pull Melissa closer to you. “Mmm. For me, too, hon. For me, too” she said as she leaned in to kiss you. Then she reached over to grab one of the blankets to cover you both and rested her head on your shoulder. “I love you, Mel. You make me feel so good. In every possible way” you said as you placed a soft kiss into her hair. “I love you, too, babe. So much” Melissa replied. And within minutes you felt her snoring softly against your chest.

You woke up early the next morning and saw Melissa sleeping peacefully by your side. You got up, made a pot of coffee, and threw on your warm flannel pajamas. You grabbed your mug and your notebook and sat out on the bench on the back deck to watch the sunrise. The colors looked beautiful across the lake and the sounds of the birds singing and the trees swaying in the breeze filled you with a kind of peace you couldn’t define. You opened your notebook and started to write. You stopped every few minutes to take a sip of your coffee and to admire the view. Then you heard the sliding door open behind you. Melissa stepped out of the cottage in her bathrobe and slippers with her own mug of coffee in her hands. She walked over and sat down next to you on the bench. “Whatcha workin’ on, hon?” Melissa asked as she smiled over at you. “A poem” you replied as you took another sip of your coffee and looked over at her. “Oh, yeah? What’s it about?” she asked. “You. They’re all about you, Mel” you replied as you leaned over and placed a soft kiss on her lips. Melissa’s eyes glistened with tears and she reached over and rubbed your cheek with her hand. “Maybe you’ll let me read one sometime?” she asked. “I will. I promise” you said.

And you meant it.

You pulled Melissa into your arms and the two of you sat together and made plans for the day ahead.

Notes:

Another short chapter or two in this magical cottage before our lovely ladies have to return to the real world.

They haven’t even used the hot tub yet! 😏

Stay tuned. ♥️

Chapter 59: That’s My Desire

Summary:

“We'll sip a little glass of wine.
I'll gaze into your eyes divine.
I'll feel the touch of your lips,
Pressing on mine.
To hear you whisper low,
Just when it's time to go:
"Oh, darling, I love you so"
That's my desire.”

That’s My Desire - Patsy Cline

Notes:

Enjoy. 🥰

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

You both got dressed and Melissa drove you into town to a small diner Kristen-Marie had told her about. Apparently they had the best pancakes in Pennsylvania. “You telling me you’re interested in other people’s pancakes, Schemmenti?” you teased her as you walked into the diner, hand-in-hand. “Of course not, hon! I just have to try these ones so I can confirm yours are the best!” she laughed. Melissa got a coffee and then ordered the pancakes with a side of fruit and you went with a hot chocolate and the bacon and cheese omelet. “So, when are ya plannin’ to see Nat again?” Melissa asked as you both enjoyed your breakfast. “I think we’re going to lunch sometime in the next two weeks? She said there’s this great Mexican place she’s been wanting to try” you replied as you sipped your hot chocolate. “Ya lookin’ forward to it?” Melissa asked as she took a few bites of her fruit. “I am actually. Everything was a little tense and surface level during our first meet up. I’m hoping this time we’ll both be less nervous and can learn more about each other. And of course I can’t wait to tell her all about you” you said as you smiled over at your girlfriend. Melissa sipped her coffee and blushed. “What? Why me? So many other things have happened in your life! Ya made your way through college, became a teacher, ya write, ya sing like a damn angel, there’s a thousand things she should know about ya before ya bother tellin’ her about me” Melissa teased, trying to hide her shyness. “Nothing that has happened to me is more important than you, Mel” you said as you reached over and gently squeezed her hand. And there she was. Blushing again. “Christ, Y/N. Ya know people don’t really talk that way, right?” she joked. “Yeah, I know. But you told me once that I talk like a poet. And plus, it makes you blush. So, I’m gonna keep doing it” you said with a co*cky smile. “Oh, you’re in for it later” Melissa said as she shook her head and laughed again. “Don’t threaten me with a good time” you replied playfully. “But really? What are ya gonna ask her this time? Whaddya wanna know about her more than anythin’?” Melissa asked sincerely as she finally took a bite of her pancake. “Hmm. I think I want to know what kind of music she likes” you said honestly. And Melissa laughed again. “What?! That sh*t is important to me” you laughed. “You are unreal” Melissa said. “So I’ve been told” you winked back at her. “How’s that pancake?” you asked eagerly. Melissa took another bite, chewed it slowly, and carefully considered her answer. “Yours are better!” she said with a bright smile. “Damn right!” you replied.

After breakfast you decided to go for a walk around the lake. It was a chilly spring morning and thankfully the path along the lake wasn’t too crowded. There were a few people jogging, some parents pushing strollers, and a couple of kids zooming past you on their bicycles, clearly enjoying their spring break. You and Melissa held hands as you walked and for a while you were both quiet, just soaking in all the sounds of nature and the gentle crashing of the waves against the shoreline. “Hey, Mel?” you finally asked. “Yeah, hon?” she replied. “There’s something I wanted to ask you about. Kristen-Marie texted me the other day and said you haven’t spoken to your mom since Christmas. Is that true?” you asked. Melissa didn’t let go of your hand, but you saw her body tense up at the question. “Yeah, that’s right. I got nothin’ to say to her after the crap she pulled” Melissa said dismissively. “You mean inviting Charlotte? Or the stuff she said about us?” you asked, trying to understand what caused the fracture. Melissa stopped walking for a moment and turned to face you. “All of it! She knew I was bringin’ ya and how excited I was to introduce ya to everyone. And I’d told her how ya spent most of your holidays alone and how I really wanted it to be a special day for ya. And then she decides to spend the day shovin’ all my own insecurities in my face and then tries to set me up with someone else right in front of ya? What kinda parent does that?” Melissa asked angrily. And you could see that she was still much more upset about everything that happened on Christmas than you realized. You reached over for her hand and guided her to a nearby bench. She looked upset and frustrated and it was the last thing you meant to happen when you asked her the question. “Babe, I hear you. It was a rough f*cking day. And you have every right to be mad. And to take some space if you need it. I just… you and me… we’re okay now, y’know? It all worked out. And I think that even though the way your mom went about things was really wrong, that she did it for the right reasons. She loves you and she wants to make sure you’re safe and cared for” you said, hoping she still knew you were on her side. “Don’t defend her, Y/N. What she did, that’s not love, that’s control. She always wanted my life to look a certain way and I’ve just been one big disappointment after another since Joe and I split up. Kristen-Marie and Mikey? They always did what she wanted. They got married, had kids, and went to her house for dinner every Sunday. And me? I’m the divorced, bisexual, black sheep of the family. And that day was just a perfect example of her tryin’ to fix me. Make me the way she wants me to be” Melissa said, holding back tears. “Come here” you said as you reached over and pulled Melissa into your arms. She cried softly against your shoulder as you rubbed her back with one hand and stroked her hair with the other. “It’s okay, Mel. It’s okay. I’ve got you. I understand” you said as you tried to comfort her. Then you took her chin in your hand and gently tilted it up so you could look her in the eyes. “Just promise me something?” you asked. “What?” Melissa replied. “Don’t stay mad forever. You don’t deserve to carry that weight. You have to talk to her eventually, even if it’s just to say everything you just told me. I saw the way she was with you that day… she adores you. I know she hurt you, but maybe if you give her a chance she can apologize and do better next time” you said. Melissa looked over at you thoughtfully and considered your words. “I just… I wish that day had never happened. Everythin’ just spiraled after that. I hurt ya so damn bad, Y/N. And I’ll never forgive myself for the way I made ya feel” Melissa said apologetically as she gently rubbed her hand on your knee. “You don’t have to, Mel. Because I forgive you. And because I understand now why it was so hard for you. There’s nothing left to apologize for, love. We’re past all that” you said as you tried to reassure her. Melissa let out a big sigh and then leaned over to press a soft kiss against your lips. “I promise I won’t stay mad forever. And I promise I’ll give ma a call soon” Melissa said as she stood up and reached for your hand. Then the two of you finished your walk by the lake and made your way back to Melissa’s car to head back to the cottage for a light lunch.

You packed up the cooler and decided to have a picnic down on the dock. Melissa laid a blanket down and unpacked the grapes, cheese, salami, and crackers while you opened a bottle of Pinot Blanc. It was warm enough outside now to take off your coats and bask in the sunlight as you both snacked and sipped your wine. “Mmm. This is the life” Melissa said with a content sigh. “Yeah, I wouldn’t mind staying here with you forever” you said with a bright smile. “Nah, we’d miss Abbott too much” Melissa laughed. “You’re right. God, I love those kids. And our friends. And the weird way the school smells. And Ava being Ava” you said as you thought about the place that felt so much like home to you. “Me too, hon. Though, I may be on the fence about Ava ever since she tried to play matchmaker for ya” Melissa joked. “Oh, don’t get it twisted. She was Team Schemmenti all the way. Ava just figured making you jealous was the best way for me to win you back. She even calls you my little Italian meatball” you laughed. “Oh, yeah? I’d like to hear her call me that to my face” Melissa threatened jokingly. “I’m so glad I took this job. I can’t imagine how different my life would be if I hadn’t come to Abbott” you said. And for a minute you sat there and thought about how empty and lonely your life had been before you saw Melissa walk across the parking lot that day. Coming to Abbott, falling in love with Melissa, finding your chosen family, teaching and caring for your students… your life was full now. And you were beyond grateful. You noticed Melissa watching you and heard her say, “Where’d ya go, Narnia?” It always made you blush when she called you that because you knew it was her way of telling you how magical she thought you were. “I’m right here, Mel. Just thinking about how happy I am. And how lucky” you said as you leaned over and kissed her. Melissa smiled back at you with mischief in her eyes. “Well, babe. If ya really wanna get lucky, meet me in the hot tub in ten minutes” she said as she stood up and ran toward the cottage. You shook your head and laughed as you finished your glass of wine, packed up the cooler, and then made your way up to the cottage behind her.

You put on the same black bikini you wore during your drunken night swim at PECSA weekend and made your way out to the hot tub to meet Melissa. Her hair was pulled back in a messy ponytail and she had on a dark purple one piece lace-up bathing suit that left very little to the imagination. Not that you had to imagine at this point. You knew everything about her. The way she smelled. The way she tasted. The sound of her voice. The shape of her body. You’d never known anyone more fully in all your life. And you’d never loved anyone the way you loved Melissa. She smiled when you stepped into the hot tub and immediately pulled you into her arms and kissed you passionately. Melissa squeezed your breasts and rubbed your nipples with her thumbs over the wet fabric of your bikini top. You tilted your head down to kiss and suck on her neck and you both moaned as the warm water from the hot tub enveloped your bodies. Melissa sat back against the side of the tub and pulled you over to straddle her lap. You pushed your breasts up to her face and Melissa quickly untied the top of your bikini and roughly pulled it from your body. Your hands tangled themselves in her messy hair as she took turns sucking on and licking your breasts. “Feels so good, Mel” you said as you felt your hips start to involuntarily rock against your girlfriend’s body. Then you reached down and untied the lace-up strings between her breasts and pulled her swimsuit down to her waist, exposing her big, perfect breasts just above the water. Melissa let her head fall back against the side of the hot tub as you massaged her breasts, sucked gently on her neck, and continued to grind yourself against her. Then she looked up into your eyes, grabbed you by the wrist, and pulled your hand down to her center just as she reached for your puss* with her other hand. You both rubbed each other’s cl*ts above the fabric of your swimsuits for a few minutes as you continued to make out and then finally you felt Melissa push your bikini bottom to the side and slide her fingers deep inside you. You moaned loudly and tried to collect yourself as you followed her lead. You slid your hand beneath her swimsuit and instantly felt her slick entrance waiting for you. And when you pressed your fingers inside her, Melissa gasped in pleasure before she pulled you into another kiss and bit your lip hard. It felt so f*cking good. You gently pulled Melissa’s hair at the back of her neck as you rode her fingers vigorously and Melissa rocked her body against your fingers inside her and held your hip with her free hand to help you two find your way into the perfect rhythm. “Mmm. Yeah, hon. f*ck me like that” Melissa said breathlessly as she continued to curl and pump her fingers inside of you. “Oh, Mel! Oh, God! Baby, I’m gonna cum already. sh*t. Oh! Oh, yeah. Oooooooh!!!” you cried out as your org*sm came crashing through you. Melissa stared back at you with her mouth open as her own head fell back and she screamed your name. You watched in awe as her body shook beneath yours and you could feel how tight her walls were around your fingers. Melissa opened her eyes and looked deeply into yours. You both slowly withdrew your fingers and then wrapped your arms around each other in a tight embrace. “I love you, baby” you said as you slowly pulled back to look at Melissa again. “I love you, too, hon. I dunno what I ever did to deserve ya” Melissa replied.

You took a quick shower together afterward and then settled in on the couch in the living room to relax for a little while before it was time to make dinner. Melissa put on a Patsy Cline record and then rested her feet in your lap as she reclined back on the couch with her book.

And as you opened up your notebook to continue writing and you looked over at the woman you loved, you understood exactly what Patsy meant when she sang, “That’s My Desire.”

Notes:

I really enjoyed writing this one and hope you liked it!

The next chapter will wrap up spring break and then it’s back to Abbott! ♥️

Chapter 60: Stand By Me

Summary:

Too tired to write a summary tonight 🥱😂

Notes:

Sorry for the delay! I had parent-teacher conferences this week and I am DEAD! 😅

It’s a short and sweet chapter. Hope you enjoy it!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Melissa laid there on the couch reading her book and humming along to the music and you were completely distracted by how unbelievably relaxed and happy she seemed. You put down your pen and notebook and started to massage her feet. Melissa laid her book down across her chest and looked over at you. “Aren’t ya supposed to be writin’ me passionate love poems over there, Emily Dickinson?” Melissa teased. “Love poems? Where’d you get that idea? All my work is exclusively about your ass” you said with a playful smile. “Oh my god!” Melissa laughed as she sat up and swatted at your arm. Then you leaned over and kissed her before you gently laid her back down on the couch and then crawled over to lay on top of her. You rested your head against her chest and she slowly ran her fingers through your hair. The record player grew silent as the last song ended and it was so quiet you could actually hear Melissa’s heartbeat in your ear. “I can make us dinner tonight, babe” you said. “Ya sure, hon? I don’t mind doin’ it” Melissa replied. “I’m sure. I’m too distracted to write anyway” you admitted. “You remember how I make my meatballs?” Melissa asked. “Yes, Chef” you teased as you gave her a quick peck on the cheek and got off the couch. Melissa laughed and tapped your ass with her book as you stood up. “You do also recall that the rules dictate that she who cooks also controls the record player?” you asked. “Yeah, yeah. I knew this was all just a ploy to take control of the music anyway” Melissa said with a smile. “You were absolutely correct” you joked as you walked over to the record player, put on one of your favorite albums, and then walked into the kitchen to start dinner.

When Melissa heard Ben E. King’s “Don’t Play That Song” come on the record player, she looked over at you in complete shock. “Are ya kiddin’ me, hon? I know I teased ya about not bein’ born yet when that Billy Joel album was released, but even I wasn’t around when this one came out” Melissa said through a surprised smile. You tightened the apron around your waist and pulled your hair up as you walked back toward the living room. “What can I say? I appreciate the classics” you said with a grin. “Maybe ya just like old stuff! That would explain why you’re with me” Melissa teased. “Very funny” you replied. “I try” Melissa said with a wink. “I actually used to listen to this at my grandparent’s house when I was a kid. We used to visit them in Virginia for a few weeks during the summers and every night after dinner, my grandpa would turn on the record player and dance with my grandma. I remember just sitting there watching them and thinking it was so romantic. Even as a kid! They danced every night. It was so sweet. I dunno… I guess this album just stuck with me over time” you said. Melissa looked over at you with a bright smile. Every time you opened up about your past and your childhood, Melissa smiled at you like you’d given her a gift. The gift of knowing you more fully. You blushed slightly at the intensity of her gaze and then said, “Well… these meatballs aren’t going to cook themselves! I’m off” and Melissa shook her head and laughed as she laid back on the couch with her book.

Dinner prep was relatively quick and painless. You sang along to the record and you could faintly hear Melissa humming along as she read her book in the other room. You set the table and then served up two bowls of spaghetti and meatballs. Melissa walked in the kitchen and gently embraced you from behind. She kissed the back of your neck and then slowly untied your apron before she turned you around and pulled you into a soft kiss. “Ya know if these meatballs taste better than when I make ‘em, I’m gonna have to get rid of ya, right babe?” Melissa said. And you laughed. “Good thing you’re a much better cook than me, my little Italian meatball” you said with a mischievous grin. Melissa laughed and then smacked your ass playfully. “C’mon! Let’s eat, hon” she said as you both sat down at the table.

“You excited for the upcoming Teachers v. Students basketball fundraiser?” you asked Melissa as you both enjoyed your dinner. “Are ya jokin’? It’s gonna be a disaster! I can’t believe we all volunteered to play” Melissa replied. “Oh, I don’t know! I think we have a chance! And if you, Barb, and Jacob get tired, you three can just hop over to the the sidelines and cheer on me, Gregory, and Ava” you said enthusiastically. “Ha, ha! Good one” Melissa said with a playful eye roll. “I’m dead serious. You’d look hot in a cheerleader uniform” you said with a wink. “You’re right! I would” Melissa laughed. And you couldn’t help but let your mind wander for a minute. You and Melissa had done a lot of different things in the bedroom, but hadn’t explored role play yet. You tucked the idea in a pocket of your mind and decided to revisit it someday soon. “Speakin’ of stuff I can’t believe I volunteered for, ya wanna chaperone the 6th grade dance with me in April?” Melissa asked nonchalantly. You put down your fork and looked over at her. “Melissa Schemmenti, are you asking me to the dance?” you asked with a huge smile on your face. Melissa looked up from her plate and saw how excited you looked. “What? Like I’m the first person who ever asked ya to a dance?” she said jokingly. “You are, actually. I’ve never been to a school dance. Everyone at my school knew I was gay and… they wouldn’t sell me a ticket” you said, remembering how embarrassing it felt when you were younger. Melissa put down her own fork and looked back at you in disbelief. “Ya f*ckin’ kiddin’ me?” she asked. And you could hear the anger in her voice. “Nope! It sucked, but, I mean, what was I gonna do? Rachel said she’d talk to the principal for me, but I didn’t want to draw any more attention to myself. I had a big enough target on my back as it was” you replied. Melissa shook her head and looked back up at you. “I’m so sorry, hon. I can’t believe they did that to ya. That’s such horsesh*t” Melissa said as she reached over for your hand. You gave her hand a squeeze and then went back to your meal, trying to shrug off the painful memory. “Can I ask ya again?” Melissa asked. And you looked up at her, confused. “What do you mean?” you asked. “I mean… I didn’t know how important this was. I… wanna do it right” Melissa replied. And you couldn’t help the shy smile that spread across your face as you nodded back at her. “Y/N, would you do me the honor of comin’ to the school dance with me? There’s no one I’d rather be with” Melissa said sincerely as she stood up from the table and reached for your hand. You put your hand in hers and stood up to join her. “I’d love to” you said as you leaned in to kiss her. Melissa wrapped her arms behind your back and then started to sway gently against you as “Stand By Me” came on the record player. “We better start practicin’ then, huh?” Melissa said as she held you in her arms and the two of you moved slowly to the music.

Slow-dancing in the kitchen with Melissa to one of your favorite songs was the most magical way to wrap up the incredible weekend the two of you had together.

It had been a wonderful spring break and you had never felt more emotionally or physically connected to Melissa. You were so grateful for this time you had with her. And you were also looking forward to getting back to Abbott and all of the fun plans the two of you had for the months ahead.

Notes:

Back to Abbott! We have a basketball game to look forward to (where we will discover just how athletic the reader is and just how attracted Melissa is to her sweaty girlfriend). Plus the spring dance is just around the corner! Can’t wait for our girls to reunite with the Abbott crew!

Chapter 61: Girl, I Want to Make You Sweat

Summary:

You’re back at Abbott and everyone is excited for the big basketball game at the end of the week! 🏀

Notes:

Enjoy! 😊

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Spring break had come and gone and you were still as happy as could be as you and Melissa arrived at Abbott on Monday morning. You walked your girlfriend to her classroom and pulled her into a tight embrace and kissed her forehead. “Ya comin’ over tonight?” Melissa asked as she rested her head against your chest. “I don’t think I can tonight, babe. Gregory and I are meeting up for basketball practice after school and then Naomi and I are grabbing a drink at Tully’s” you replied, wishing you hadn’t made either of those plans and that you could spend the night with Melissa instead. “Oh, yeah? Recreatin’ your first date? How romantic” Melissa said. Her tone was somewhat playful, but it felt like there was more beneath the surface. “Mel, I can tell Naomi we can’t be friends if it makes you uncomfortable. Honestly. I would understand. But you have to tell me the truth about how it makes you feel” you said sincerely. Melissa bit her lip and considered your words for a moment before she replied. “Nah, it’s okay, hon. I’m teasin’… mostly. I guess I can’t help feelin’ a little jealous and insecure. But I trust ya. And like I said, she seems like a straightforward person. So, I’m gonna choose to trust her, too” Melissa said. “Are you sure?” you asked. “Yeah. I promise” she assured you as she leaned in and pressed a kiss against your cheek. “Have a good day, baby” you said. “You, too, hon” Melissa said with a smile.

You and Gregory met up on the playground after school and practiced dribbling, passing, and shooting in preparation for Friday’s game against the Abbott students. While the rest of your teammates were content to let the kids win, you and Gregory were way too competitive to admit defeat. You discovered after volunteering for the faculty team that both of you had played basketball in high school. Gregory admitted he wanted to play in college, but his father didn’t approve. He was good. He was really good. And even though you were a little rusty, you weren’t bad yourself. After an hour of sweating, the two of you sat down for a water break. “So, how are things with Janine?” you asked. “Things are good. I mean, it’s still hard not having her here, but we’re making it work. The district keeps her pretty busy, though. And there’s this guy, Manny… every time I see him around Janine I feel like maybe he’s into her or something… but she just says I’m being paranoid. I don’t know. Maybe I am. I just wish I could spend more time with her” Gregory replied. “Yeah, it’s really hard to be away from your person. Especially when she used to be right next door to you at school! I literally just spent my entire spring break with Melissa and I almost cancelled on you this afternoon just so I could spend more time with her tonight” you admitted. And Gregory laughed. “You two are good for each other. I mean it. Melissa’s much… softer since you came around. Feels like she’s more comfortable just being herself, y’know?” Gregory said. “She really is just a big teddy bear” you said as you laughed and thought about the woman you loved. You and Gregory called it a night and then you went back to your apartment to shower before it was time to meet Naomi at the bar.

When you walked into Tully’s, Naomi was sitting at the bar looking at her phone. You could tell she had come straight from work based on the pencil skirt and tailored blazer she was wearing. “Hey, Naomi” you said as you approached her. “Y/N! You’re here! Thank god! Come on, you have to catch up” Naomi laughed as she pulled you onto the barstool next to her. You ordered a beer and noticed that Naomi was sticking with whiskey tonight. “Rough day?” you asked. “The worst! I’m really struggling to balance working at the firm with my class schedule and today I feel like I just gave up on both. It gets to a certain point where you don’t have anything left to give, you know?” Naomi said, clearly exhausted and frustrated as she laid her head down on top of the bar. You rested your hand on her shoulder and gave her a reassuring squeeze. “Do you want to talk more about it? Or are we just here to drink your sorrows away tonight?” you asked. “Tonight, we drink” Naomi laughed as she raised her glass up in the air and tapped it against your beer bottle.

Around 9 o’clock it was clear that Naomi would not be able to drive herself home, so you ordered her a Lyft and waited outside with her until it arrived. “Thanks for waiting with me, Y/N. I’m really sorry I was such a Debbie Downer tonight. I just feel so bogged down by it all. And… really lonely, if I’m being honest” Naomi said as she tried to avoid your eyes. “Naomi, you’re a wonderful person. You’re smart, you work hard, you’re kind and beautiful. You just have to put yourself out there again. I know it’s hard. And I know it just seems like one more thing you don’t have the time or energy for. But having someone to share it all with, the good stuff and the hard things, makes a huge difference. And I promise you I’ll be here for you as a friend in the meantime. K?” you said as you pulled her in for a quick hug. “Thanks, Y/N. I appreciate it. And… you’re right. I’ll try harder to get back in the dating game soon” Naomi replied as her ride pulled up. “Be safe” you said as you closed the car door behind her. You had only had two beers and it was still early. So, you decided to text Melissa to see if she was still awake. And your heart skipped a beat when she responded and told you to come over.

Melissa was sitting in bed with her glasses on, reading her book when you crawled into bed next to her. “Hey, hon! Fun night?” she asked as she closed her book and looked over at you. “It was fun! Gregory is definitely going to be the one carrying our team on Friday. And it was nice to catch up with Naomi. I guess she’s really going through it right now between work and school. I had to send her home in a Lyft! Whiskey on a Monday. Yikes!” you said as you snuggled in closer to Melissa. She played with your hair as you laid there in her arms and there was a quiet tension in the air. “So… she didn’t, y’know… make a pass at ya or anythin’?” Melissa finally asked. You sat up and looked over at her and could see the worry in her eyes. “No, baby. I promise you. She just needs a friend. Someone to listen. Are you sure you’re okay with this?” you asked. “I… I wanna be. I wish I was. It’s not even about her really… I think I just can’t shake the fear that I’m too old for ya. That ya might be happier with someone your own age” Melissa replied. And she looked so insecure and unsure of herself. “Mel, I’m in love with you. And I know nothing I say can really take away your fear, but please believe me when I tell you that your age is actually one of my favorite things about you. I want to be with someone who knows who they are, someone confident, someone who has been through the hard things in life and come out the other side. You are so beautiful to me in every possible way, babe. All that said, I do know what it feels like to be jealous and to worry the person you want might want someone else. Remember how unhinged I was about Gary?” you said. And Melissa laughed at the memory. “Yeah, hon. You were a wreck” she said. “A total wreck! And do you remember what you told me?” you asked. Melissa thought back to that day and then remembered. “I told ya you were the only one I was lookin’ at” Melissa said with a smile. And you smiled back. “Mel, I promise you, you’re the only one I’m looking at, too. Always” you replied as you pulled her into a kiss. “I won’t see Naomi again. Not for a while, at least. Not until it feels okay for you. K?” you said as you rubbed her cheek with your hand. “K, hon. Thanks. I’ll figure this all out soon. And I’m okay if ya still wanna text her. I know she’s havin’ a hard time right now. She deserves a friend like you to listen to her” Melissa replied. You smiled back at her as she reached for the lamp and the two of you fell asleep in each other’s arms.

Friday afternoon came at last and it was time for the Teachers v. Students Basketball Fundraiser. Melissa and Barb were still in the locker room getting changed while Jacob stretched over on the sidelines and Ava showed off her game day outfit on her daily Instagram Live. Gregory seemed tense, but you weren’t sure why. Then the referee came running over to introduce himself. “What’s good, tall new teach? I’m Tariq. I’m president of the PTA and the ref for today’s game. I heard you was datin’ the mean Italian lady! Lemme know when that doesn’t work out. And lemme know if there’s anything I can do for you today. Anything at all” Tariq said with a goofy wink before he scowled at Gregory and then left to check on the student team. “What in the hell?” you muttered under your breath. “So, I see you’ve met Janine’s ex” Gregory said as he stretched his arms. And you turned to look back at him in complete shock. “What?! No way! Janine dated that clown? Wow. No wonder you’re so tense” you replied. “Me? What? Tense? I’m not tense. You’re tense!” Gregory insisted. And you laughed. Then Ava and Jacob walked over. “Where’s Barb and your lil meatball? The game is about to start” Ava said as she fixed her hair. “Yeah, we haven’t even had time to come up with a team chant yet” Jacob added nervously. “They’ll be here. They’re just getting ready” you replied. And then you heard the locker room door open. Barb walked out first in a hot pink sweatsuit. She completed the look with her signature pearls and a pair of protective goggles. And she looked ready to take on the world. Meanwhile Melissa sauntered out behind her in a pair of white sneakers, tight black athletic pants, and a form-fitting zip-up hoodie. Her hair was in a ponytail and she had on a pair of gold hoop earrings. She looked… so hot. And not at all ready for the game ahead. You smiled and shook your head. How did you ever get so lucky? Then you saw Melissa’s face as she looked over at you. Her eyebrows were raised in surprise and her mouth was slightly open. And you realized Melissa had never seen you like this before. You were usually either dressed in blazers and blouses at work or in oversized sweats at home. Today you had on your black Adidas sneakers, tight black athletic shorts, and a tight green halter neck tank top. And your hair was pulled up in a messy ponytail. You didn’t dress yourself with the intention of attracting attention. It was really more about keeping cool in the overheated gym while you played. But you could see from the look in Melissa’s eyes that she liked what she saw. She liked it a lot. You blushed as you looked back at her and then the sound of Tariq’s whistle filled the gym. “Abbott on Abbott on Abbott! It’s game time! LET’S GO!!!!” Tariq shouted.

The student team was made up of children from all different grade levels and unfortunately for your team, they were all good! Even the tiny first grader from Barb’s class last year. The students had excellent communication, impressive dribbling skills, and could shoot! This was going to be a tough game. Every time Jacob got the ball he just frantically tried to pass it away to someone else. He did it so quickly at one point that he threw the ball and hit Gregory right in the face with it. Thankfully Ava had been smart enough to duck. Meanwhile, Barb couldn’t make a basket if her life depended on it and sweet Melissa dribbled so enthusiastically once that the ball bounced up and smacked her right in the face. You ran over to see if she was okay and realized she was laughing at herself. This was a complete disaster! But everyone was having fun. Ava was maybe a little too enthusiastic as she routinely blocked the shots of the smallest players and threatened them to stay down. You and Gregory let the kids score a few points before you really started to play. But the kids were shocked and amazed when they saw you dribble down the court, pass to Gregory, and then saw him make a slam dunk! Everyone clapped and cheered for the two of you. The students scored a few more points, but then you intercepted one of their passes and made a three-point shot, tying the game just before half-time. You knew the kids would win in the end, but you wanted to make it a fun game for both sides. Your team gathered on the sidelines and Gregory laid out the game plan while everyone hydrated. Despite your strategic clothing choices, you were still sweating and you looked up and noticed that Melissa was looking at you intensely instead of listening to Gregory. You felt yourself blush again, but tried to act cool as you shot your girlfriend a playful wink. Then everyone put their hands together in the middle and shouted “Teacher’s Rule!” And then you heard the student chant, “Teacher’s Drool!” Oh, it was on now!

The students entered the next quarter ready to win! They were passing non-stop and none of the teachers could keep up with them or effectively block their passes or shots. They had you running all over the gym! At one point Gregory and Tariq got in each other’s faces and started yelling. You weren’t sure what happened, but you ran over to grab Gregory and pull him away. He was pissed! “Gregory! Focus. It’s a game. With kids. And that clown has NOTHING on you. You got the girl. Janine loves you! Now, c’mon! Let’s play” you said as you patted his back. The students continued to score regularly while the teacher team was only staying afloat because you and Gregory kept landing three-point shots. There was one minute left in the final quarter when Barb said “Give me the ball! I’m going to make this last shot and show those kids who’s boss!” You and Gregory looked at each other, concerned. But you realized the end goal was actually to let the students win, so giving Barb the ball was exactly the right move. Gregory threw the ball in to Barb and she caught it, slowly dribbled down the court, and actually made the shot! The kids and the crowd went wild as Barb strutted down the court shouting, “I am carrying this team!” To which Melissa shook her head and replied, “it was the wrong basket.” And then the final buzzer sounded. The students (and Barb) won the game 30-22 and they were so excited and proud of themselves for taking down the teachers. And you all were proud of them, too! The students made their way out of the gym to their buses and to meet their parents out in the front lobby while the teachers cleaned up the gym and discussed their weekend plans. You were collecting empty water bottles for the recycling bin when you heard Melissa come up behind you and whisper in your ear. “Meet me in the locker room in ten” she said. You looked up and watched her place the basketballs over on the rack before she slipped away into the locker room.

You made sure everyone had left the gym before you snuck back into the locker room to look for Melissa. There were a few lights on, but it was quiet and empty. “Mel, babe? Where are you?” you asked as you made your way through the aisles of lockers. “Here, hon” Melissa said as she reached over for your hand and pulled you into one of the changing stalls. Melissa locked the door behind you and pushed your body up against the wall. She started to kiss you passionately as she slid her hands up and down your sweaty arms. You were shocked at first, but quickly relaxed into her touch and moaned against her mouth. “Mmm. You look so damn good, baby. I couldn’t take my eyes off ya the whole game” Melissa said as she looked down at your arms and admired your soft muscles and the veins in your forearms. “You like this?” you asked, a little surprised. “Mmm yeah, hon. Ya look so sexy like this. I’ve been wantin’ to touch ya since I came out of the locker room” Melissa said as she kissed your chest and licked her way up to your neck. “Fuuuck, Mel. God, that feels so good. But are you sure we should do this… here?” you asked. You didn’t want to stop, but you were also worried someone might come into the locker room. Or worse… hear you! “Well, as long as you can be quiet, I think we’ll be okay” Melissa said as she bit her lip and looked up at you seductively. You nodded your head enthusiastically and then felt Melissa’s lips crash against your own. She reached down and squeezed your breasts and rubbed your nipples through the thin material of your tank top and you let your head fall back as you pressed your body closer into hers. Then her hands traveled down your body and massaged and squeezed your ass through the smooth material of your athletic shorts. Everything felt so sensual and intense and you could already feel yourself getting wet from all the heavy petting. You went to reach for Melissa’s hips when you suddenly felt her spin you around to face the wall. She reached two of her fingers up toward your mouth and slowly slid them in, letting you lick and suck on them as she continued to rub your breast and arm with her other hand. Then she slowly removed her fingers from your mouth and slid her hand down your shorts. You gasped in excitement when you felt her wet fingers mix with the wetness pooling between your legs. Melissa pressed her own center up against your ass and started to slowly grind against you as her fingers spread your wetness all around and then went to work against your cl*t. “Oh, f*ck, baby” you moaned as you pressed your hands against the wall to steady yourself. “Ya look so good, hon. I wanna make ya feel good, too. Mmm. Ya like when I f*ck ya like this, babe?” Melissa whispered in your ear as she continued to press herself against you and f*ck you from behind. “Yes, Mel. God, yes. Don’t stop! Please don’t stop” you begged. This was so f*cking hot. She had barely even started and you were already so close to finishing. Melissa continued to rub firmly against your cl*t and you could tell from the change in her breathing from behind you that she was close. “I’m… I think I’m gonna… oh! Oh! f*ck, baby” you said as you came against her hand and gripped the wall tightly to stay upright. Melissa bit gently on your exposed shoulder blade as she thrusted against you a few more times and then came against your ass, whimpering and moaning into your back as she came undone.

Melissa slowly removed her hand from your shorts and then turned you around to pull you into a passionate, breathless kiss. And when your lips parted, you looked back at your girlfriend in awe. Melissa smiled as she looked up at you and said, “ya make me feel young again.” And you fought back the tears in your eyes as you smiled back at her shyly, gently slapped her ass, and said “Let’s get outta here!”

Notes:

🏀🏀🏀
I know nothing about basketball and it probably shows. BUT I do know sweaty women are hot. So, there! 🥵

Chapter 62: Blindsided

Summary:

It seemed like a typical Monday morning in the teacher’s lounge until a distraught Jacob Hill walked in. But it would be okay! Because you had a plan! And it was all going to be fine. Well, at least it felt like it might be… until you saw that text message on Melissa’s phone…

Notes:

🫣

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

You, Melissa, and Barb sat in the teacher’s lounge on Monday morning sipping your coffee as you desperately tried to wake up and mentally prepare for the day ahead. Then Jacob walked in and looked like he’d been crying and proceeded to flop down on the couch. Melissa and Barb were both concerned and immediately looked over at you and urged you to go and check on him. You walked over and sat on the arm of the couch. “Um… hey, buddy. You okay? You look a little… sad this morning” you said. “Oh, yeah… uh. Zach and I broke up last night. It’s fine. I’m fine. It’s been a long time coming, honestly. I’m really more worried about where I’m going to live now. I said I’d move out by the end of the week, but I have no idea where to even start looking” Jacob said. He looked exhausted, upset, and hopeless. “I’m so sorry, Jacob. That must have been really hard. It always is when relationships end, even when you both know it’s time. We’re here for you, though” you said as you gently rubbed his shoulder. And then you had an idea. You had never actually turned Amy’s old room into your office. You spent so much of your time at Melissa’s place these days that you honestly hadn’t even bothered messing with the empty space your ex left behind. You looked over at Melissa with a questioning smile. She looked back and seemed to instantly know what you were thinking. You expected her to protest or try to talk you out of it. Instead, she smiled softly and nodded her head. She knew you had the space and that this was an opportunity to take care of your chosen family. A chance to show up for the people who had shown up for you. “Hey, Jacob? I… I have a spare room in my apartment. Would you… wanna move in with me?” you asked. Jacob looked up at you in disbelief. “Are you serious?” he said, worried this might be an elaborate joke at his expense. “I am! I’d be happy to have you as a roommate. The lease renews at the end of September. If you’re happy there with me, we can make it official then” you said with a smile. Jacob stood up and pulled you into one of the tightest hugs you’d ever experienced. “You are a lifesaver, Y/N! Thank you so much!” he said. “Ya really lucked out, Hill! Y/N spends most of her time at my place anyway, so ya can get into all kinds of mischief on your own” Melissa teased. “Yes, true. But, no sex in communal spaces! And when you hear me singing in the shower in the mornings, no you didn’t!” you joked. “Deal!” Jacob replied enthusiastically. So, you had a new roommate! This was not how you expected your Monday morning to go. But Abbott was full of surprises and being open to them had served you well since your very first day when you were brave enough to approach the beautiful redhead you saw from across the parking lot.

Melissa volunteered to help you move Jacob into your place after school on Wednesday. Jacob didn’t have a car and typically rode his bike to work, so you and Melissa filled your cars with his things and then lugged everything up the three flights of stairs to your apartment. Jacob made his way back down to grab a few more boxes when you noticed Melissa looking over at you. “What?” you asked. “You know what” Melissa teased. And then it hit you. You were sweaty. Again. And your girlfriend was turned on. Again. You laughed and shook your head as you slowly rolled down your sleeves to hide your arms from view and then wiped the sweat from your brow. “We can’t! I have a roommate now” you replied jokingly. “You’re comin’ back to mine tonight anyway, hon” Melissa said as she approached you slowly, ran her finger down your chest, and pulled you toward her by your shirt. “Oh, is that right?” you asked as you leaned in to kiss her. “Mhmm” Melissa laughed. Then you both heard the sound of Jacob dropping a box on the stairs and Melissa said, “I got it, hon” as she walked toward the open door of your apartment. She was almost all the way out the door when her phone buzzed loudly against the kitchen counter. “Mind checkin’ that for me, babe? It’s probably the delivery guy confused about where to drop off. Your apartment complex is so confusin’’” Melissa said as she made her way toward the stairs. You reached over for her phone and swiped the lock screen away. But it wasn’t a call from the delivery person. It was a text from someone labeled “Captain Rob” and it said, “I can’t stop thinking about you.” You clicked the lock button on Melissa’s phone and set it back down on the counter. Then Melissa walked in carrying the last of Jacob’s boxes and Jacob had the pizza that had just been delivered. “Who’s hungry?” he asked with a bright smile.

You turned on the TV and you all sat together over on the couch while you ate your pizza and watched a Real Housewives of New Jersey re-run. Apparently Melissa and Jacob were both obsessed with it and their shared interest in the show was the perfect excuse for you to sit quietly and try to figure out why the f*ck “Captain Rob” was texting your girlfriend. You remembered a Captain Robinson from the annual fire safety assembly a couple of months ago and assumed this was the same man. You also remembered that Melissa had told you he invited her out for drinks that night and she declined. So… what the hell was this? Melissa looked over and noticed you hadn’t eaten anything. “You okay, hon?” she asked. And you were so lost in your own thoughts that it took you a moment to respond. “Me? Oh… umm. Yeah, I’m actually feeling a little off. Just tired from all the lifting and stairs probably. I think I’m gonna hit the hay, actually. You guys have fun though. Night” you said as you set down your pizza and walked toward your room, closing the door behind you. You turned on your fan to block out the noise from the living room and then went to the bathroom to brush your teeth and wash your face. Your mind was racing and you felt worried, confused, and upset. All you wanted to do was tell Melissa what you saw and ask her to explain what it meant. But you didn’t want Jacob’s first night in his new home after a hard breakup to consist of you interrogating your girlfriend about a text message you saw on her phone. You laid down in your bed and placed your hand across your chest, trying to steady your breathing. A few minutes later you heard the doorknob turn and then immediately rolled onto your side and pretended to be asleep. Melissa walked over and sat down next to you on the bed. She gently rubbed your arm and whispered, “Hey, hon,” but you ignored her. She pressed the back of her hand against your forehead, checking for a fever, and then pulled away slowly. Then she leaned down and placed a soft kiss against your cheek before she walked out of your room and closed the door behind her. And even though all you wanted to do was run after her and beg her to put your mind at ease and tell you that you had nothing to worry about, you didn’t move a muscle.

When your alarm went off the next morning you turned it off immediately, texted Ava and Jacob that you were sick and not going into school today, and then curled up in your bed and cried until you fell back asleep.

You woke up a few hours later and immediately felt guilty, even though you knew you shouldn’t. It was April and this was the first time you’d missed a day of work since you started at Abbott back in August. Maybe the reason you felt guilty was because you weren’t actually sick. Just… incredibly sad. You were hesitant to look at your phone because you knew by now there would be a text from Melissa. She’d either be checking in to see how you were feeling or trying to explain the text message you saw. And frankly, you didn’t feel capable of dealing with anything right now. You got up, walked out of your bedroom, and left your phone on your nightstand with no intention of looking at it for the rest of the day. You still weren’t hungry, but knew you had to eat something. You grabbed your pathetic bag of granola from the pantry and sat down on the couch. You looked out the window and watched cars pass by on the streets below. As you sat there, you thought of all the times Amy had cheated on you and how stupid and humiliated you felt each time. You thought about how you promised you’d never allow yourself to be blindsided or hurt like that again. You distinctly remembered swearing off love and vowing to focus on your career while avoiding relationships at all costs. These were all promises you’d made before you met Melissa Schemmenti. And they were promises you willingly broke the night she kissed you for the first time out on her front porch. You tossed the granola onto the coffee table and laid down on the couch. Then you pulled a blanket up over your head and fell back asleep.

When you woke up a few hours later, Melissa was sitting on the coffee table across from you with a concerned and apologetic look on her face.

And you instantly wished you were asleep again.

Notes:

😔🥺😢

Chapter 63: Rescue My Heart

Summary:

“I can't breathe any faster.
All the air I wanna capture,
It's heavy and it hurts my head.
If you found me,
Would you save me?
If you touch me,
Would it break me?
Will I come back from this?
Come down,
Rescue my heart.
I'll drown without you.”

Rescue My Heart - Liz Longley

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

You sat up on the couch and wrapped your blanket tightly around your shoulders. It would be a soft and comforting form of armor for the conversation you were about to have with your girlfriend. You avoided making eye contact with Melissa, worried that you’d fall apart if you looked into her eyes. “Hon?” Melissa whispered, willing you to look at her. And when your eyes did finally meet hers, Melissa looked absolutely shattered. You could tell she realized how the text must have looked and how hurt you must feel. And she still hadn’t even forgiven herself for the last time she hurt you. “Y/N… what ya saw… I can explain…” Melissa said tentatively. And all you could do was stare back at her with a blank expression. “Me and him… we had a casual thing at the beginning of last summer. I mean, real casual. We hooked up a few times, but neither of us were interested in a relationship” Melissa said earnestly. “Well, it must not have been that casual of a summer if he ‘can’t stop thinking about you’ in the spring” you replied flatly. Melissa looked over at you and you could see in her eyes that she wanted to hold you. But you didn’t want to be touched right now and your body language made that very clear. “Did ya read the other texts above the one he sent last night?” she asked. “No, Melissa. Oddly enough I didn’t feel the urge to keep scrolling. That one message was more than enough, thanks” you said, offended that she thought you’d snoop. Melissa looked upset. And you could tell she was having a hard time saying what it was she wanted to say. “I didn’t mean… what I was tryin’ to say is… well, he’s messaged me a few times over the last couple of months. And each time I’ve told ‘em I’m not interested. That I’m seein’ someone else. I told ‘em to move on and that it wasn’t gonna happen. I guess maybe I wasn’t firm enough? I dunno” Melissa said as she shook her head and massaged her forehead. You studied her carefully for a moment and wanted to believe her. But the nagging voice in the back of your mind that had already convinced you that you weren’t enough for her overpowered your ability to trust her words. “Why would you be firm with him about it? You’d need to make sure you had a backup option for when you decided you were done with me, right?” you asked angrily. “What? No! Of course not. I just didn’t want to hurt his feelin’s. He’s a good man, it just wasn’t the right fit for me. I told ‘em that. I swear. I dunno why he texted last night. He was probably drinkin’. Ya gotta believe me, hon. There’s nothin’ between me and him anymore. And it was only ever sex anyway. Nothin’ that mattered. Nothin’ real. Nothin’… like this. Like what I have with you” Melissa replied as she tried to hold back tears. “You… you were so mad and upset with me for not telling you about Amy living with me. You almost broke things off between us because of it. And here you are texting the guy you spent the summer f*cking… I don’t… it’s not… this feels really sh*tty, Melissa. I feel like an idiot. And the way he looked at you after the assembly… you were glowing. And then he asked you out. And yeah I get that you said no, but are you sure part of you doesn’t want to be with him? I mean, he’s your age, he’s a firefighter, he’s a man… he’s the safer choice the same way Charlotte was. Don’t let me stand in the way of that. If you really weren’t interested and had made that clear, there’s no way he’d still be texting you months later. I just… I’m sorry, but I’m not sure I believe that part of you doesn’t want him, too” you replied. You were sad and you were hurt and you were lost in a cloud of doubt. You looked out the window again as the tears welled up in your eyes. Then Melissa got down on her knees on the floor in front of you. “Y/N! Look at me. Please look at me. I know this hurt ya. I see that and I understand that and I am so, so sorry. But there’s no way I’m gonna let ya believe that there’s anyone else I want besides you, hon. Cause it’s just not true. I should have blocked his number when he didn’t get the hint. And I should have told ya about him sooner. I’m sorry. I really am. I don’t want him or Charlotte or anybody else. I want you! Ya make me feel safe and ya make me feel loved. You’re everythin’ to me and I’m not lettin’ ya go. Not now. Not ever. Ya hear me?” Melissa pleaded passionately. And when you looked back at her you were both crying. You nodded your head slowly and pulled her up on to the couch and into your arms. You kissed each other deeply as the tears poured down your cheeks and you felt a wave of relief rush through your body. Melissa had come to you as soon as she could, she explained everything honestly, and promised you that you were the one she wanted. She assured you that your arms were the safest place she knew now. And she said she wasn’t going to let you go. Hearing that… knowing that… and believing that for the first time in your life overwhelmed you completely. You were safe, too. You could stop worrying that you weren’t worth staying for. You could finally be at peace in the love another person had for you. Melissa was your lamp-post. She was the person who taught you what it felt like to have a home. And it was time to stop being afraid of losing her. You had to live now. And love her. And trust her. And finally… trust yourself.

“Ya still comin’ to the dance with me tomorrow night, hon?” Melissa asked as your lips parted. “Yeah, babe. I am. I love you so much. And I can’t wait to dance with you” you replied.

Notes:

The Spring Dance is up next. ♥️

Chapter 64: Spend It With You

Summary:

“If we had one
day on earth,
Who would you
spend it with?
If you could
choose who you
wanted to kiss,
Who would that be?
I wanna believe,
If tomorrow was
not guaranteed,
Minutes to spare,
If I could choose,
I would spend every
minute with you.”

Spend It With You - Kodaline

Notes:

10,000 hits??? 🥹🥹🥹

Thank you all so much for reading and for the kind and encouraging comments. Writing this story makes me so happy and knowing other people enjoy it makes it feel even more special. You all are the best!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

The halls were full of excitement on Friday morning and everyone was talking about the spring dance. Students discussed their dress colors, what songs they hoped to hear, and took bets on whether or not Mr. C (aka Jacob) would embarrass himself by dancing at some point. The energy was contagious and you remembered it feeling the exact same way when you were in school. The only difference was this time, you got to be a part of it.

Melissa said she would pick you up for the dance around five o’clock. This would give the two of you enough time to go out for dinner beforehand and still arrive on time to chaperone and dance the night away! You put on your plum a-line lace chiffon knee-length dress and a pair of black heels. You kept your jewelry simple with the silver cuff bracelet Melissa gave you and a modest pair of diamond earrings that Rachel gave you for your college graduation. You wore your hair down and curly and kept your makeup light and natural. You had just finished putting on your perfume when you heard a knock at your door. And when you opened it and saw how stunning Melissa looked, you couldn’t contain your smile. Melissa had her hair curled and pulled back in a stylish updo and there was a lovely gold barrette in her hair. She wore a vintage black knee-length co*cktail dress with off-the-shoulder cap sleeves. There was a gorgeous white rose pinned to her dress and the gold necklace you gave her for Christmas was the only jewelry she had on tonight. “Wow, Mel… you look absolutely incredible, babe” you said as you leaned in to kiss her. And she smiled brightly up at you. “You look amazin’, too, hon! And ya wore my favorite color” Melissa replied with a wink. Then she pulled her hand from behind her back to reveal a beautiful white rose corsage for your wrist. “Oh my goodness! You really went all out” you said shyly as you held out your arm and Melissa gently slid it onto your wrist. “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet, hon” she said as she took your hand in hers and led you down the stairs.

When you reached the parking lot, there was a white limousine waiting for you. “Melissa? What in the…?” you started to ask. “I got a guy who owed me a favor. Figured this was the perfect time to cash in” Melissa said playfully. She opened the door to let you in and when you slid across the back seat and looked up, you saw your entire Abbott family sitting in the limousine waiting for you. “SURPRISE!” they shouted in unison. It felt like Thanksgiving all over again! Barb was there in a bright green dress with Gerald by her side in a tasteful black tux. Janine wore a silver sequined minidress and Gregory sat next to her in a tailored dark grey suit. And Jacob had on a navy blue tuxedo with a light pink bow tie. Everyone had a glass of champagne in their hands and looked so excited. Melissa sat down beside you and gently squeezed your knee as she closed the door behind her. “Whaddya say, hon? Should we bring this motley crew along with us to dinner?” Melissa asked with a big smile. “Absolutely” you exclaimed as you took Melissa’s cheeks in your hands and pulled her into a kiss. And everyone cheered.

Melissa had been in charge of selecting the dinner venue, so no one was surprised when the limo pulled up to one of her favorite Italian restaurants. Melissa was busy telling everyone what the best dishes were while you took time to catch up with Janine. “God, it’s so great to see you! We all miss you so much. How are things at the district?” you asked. “I miss you guys, too. It’s so hard being away, but I do really feel like I’m starting to make a difference. I’m working on this Librarian program that I think is going be a huge game-changer for schools across the district” Janine replied enthusiastically. “Wow! That’s so exciting. I can’t even imagine how wonderful it would be to have a librarian at Abbott! That would be so great for the students and teachers” you said. “Make sure you remember to write all that in your review once the program starts” Janine said with a smile. Once everyone had received Melissa’s guidance, you were all ready to order and enjoy a nice meal together before the dance. You enjoyed talking with your friends and seeing how happy and excited everyone looked. And you noticed throughout the meal that Melissa could hardly take her eyes off of you. She had gone to such great lengths to make this a memorable and special night for you and your friends and she looked so proud of herself for being able to bring everyone together. And after the conversation the two of you had the day before, you felt more sure than ever that this was the woman you would spend the rest of your life with. She was incredibly kind, breathtakingly beautiful, generous, hilarious, and probably the smartest person you’d ever met. Everything about Melissa Schemmenti was the best thing. And as you watched her laugh and talk to your friends, you couldn’t imagine life without her by your side.

At 6:30 the limo arrived and transported the Abbott crew to school for the dance. Melissa asked the limo driver to take a quick group photo and you couldn’t wait to print it out and frame it for your desk. You all made your way into the gym and you were shocked by how well the students had decorated for the occasion. The theme was April Showers and there were umbrellas hanging from the ceiling with blue and white lights draped across them. And there were raindrop garlands and big clusters of balloons spread throughout the gym. It looked amazing! The students slowly started to trickle in and made their way to the punch bowl, stood and chatted off to the side of the dance floor, and sat over at the tables and looked at their phones. A handful of Melissa’s and Barb’s old students approached them to give them hugs and to compliment them on their dresses. And you watched in awe as these two educators you admired so much caught up with the children they’d made such a positive impact on years ago. Meanwhile Gregory and Janine were over having their picture taken at the photo booth while Gerald guarded the punch bowl like a hawk. The only friend you hadn’t seen was Jacob. You scanned the room and saw him sitting alone at a table across the gym. You walked over and sat down next to him. “You okay?” you asked. “Yeah, I’m fine. Zach would have loved this, though. I know breaking up was the right choice for us. We weren’t happy. And we hadn’t been for a long time. It’s just… I’m not looking forward to getting back into the dating game. It’s such a nightmare, y’know?” Jacob replied. “It is. It really is. But… maybe give yourself some time to grieve the end of your relationship before you pressure yourself into dating again. You two were together for a long time. Maybe what you need right now is to figure out who you are without him. And consider what you’re looking for at this stage in your life” you said. “Yeah, maybe you’re right. In any case, I can’t thank you enough for letting me move in. We should totally host a board game night soon or Queer-karaoke” Jacob said enthusiastically. “Definitely! I’m excited to have you as a roommate. I think it’ll be good for both of us” you said as you pulled Jacob into a hug. “Mind if I cut in?” Melissa said from behind you. You turned toward the sound of her voice and nearly melted when you saw her hand reaching out for yours. “She’s all yours” Jacob said with a smile.

Melissa pulled you over to the middle of the dance floor that was completely empty. Then the lights in the gym dimmed and changed to a deep purple and you heard the dreamy intro to “Spend It With You” come through the speakers. Melissa took you in her arms and the two of you started to slowly dance along to the music. None of the students were dancing and you could feel everyone’s eyes on you and Melissa. You should have felt self-conscious or embarrassed. But all you felt was gratitude. And immense love. You were so grateful for Melissa and everything she had done to give you a chance to experience something special that the ignorance of others had deprived you of in your past. She had planned out every part of the evening. From the corsage and the limo to gathering your chosen family and picking the restaurant. She made sure everything was perfect. And now she was brave enough to dance with you in the middle of an empty dance floor while students and teachers watched you. It was one of the most magical nights of your life. She leaned in, rested her head against your shoulder, and closed her eyes. And as you slowly swayed along to the music, you noticed Barb and Gerald and then Gregory and Janine make their way onto the dance floor. And then little by little, the students started dancing, too. You placed a soft kiss against Melissa’s forehead and whispered, “Look what your love did.” Melissa opened her eyes and looked around at the full dance floor and then looked up into your eyes. “It’s all for you, hon. It always will be” she said as she rubbed her hand against your cheek.

The dance ended at 9:00 and the students shuffled out of the gym to meet their parents in the parking lot. “After party at Ruby’s?” Jacob shouted eagerly. “Let’s do it” Melissa cheered as she pulled him into a tight hug. You snagged your usual table at the bar and everyone ordered drinks and a few appetizers. Gerald, Gregory, and Jacob made their way over to the dart board while you, Melissa, Janine, and Barb stayed at the table, ordered another round of drinks, and talked about Abbott. It felt so wonderful to have the gang together again. Janine filled Melissa and Barb in on her Librarian program and Melissa told Janine all about Casey and how insufferable she was. But she did admit that Janine’s students were doing well and seemed to like her. Janine looked both happy and sad to hear it and you could tell that she missed being at Abbott more than she was able to admit to herself.

The night started to wind down around 11:00 and everyone piled into the limo and rode back to your apartment to collect their cars and call it a night. After everyone had said their goodbyes and Jacob had made his way up the stairs to your apartment, Melissa took you by the hands and asked if you wanted to stay at her place tonight. “More than anything” you replied.

Melissa held your hand as you walked up the stairs of her front porch and you felt butterflies in your stomach. It had been such a special evening. And now the two of you were finally alone. Melissa guided you back to her bedroom and gently pulled you down to sit next to her on the bed. She seemed as nervous and excited as you were. “Hon?” Melissa said as she turned to look at you. “Yes, Mel?” you replied. “The last eight months with you have been so amazin’. I know there have been ups and downs… but I have never been happier than I am with you. And all I wanna do is keep makin’ ya smile. I love you, Y/N. And I’m gonna keep on lovin’ ya for as long as you’ll have me” Melissa said as she pressed a kiss against the top of your hand. Her words melted your heart and you couldn’t keep your lips apart from hers for a second longer. You leaned over and pulled Melissa into a passionate kiss. And when you did finally slowly pull away to catch your breath, you told Melissa what you’d been thinking all night. “I love you, too, Mel. And… you’re the one I want to spend my life with. You’re the one I want to build a life with. I… want you. Always. All the time. When I’m not with you, I’m not living. You make me so happy, baby” you said. And Melissa’s eyes glistened with tears of joy as she looked back at you.

You spent the rest of the night naked and intertwined, showing and telling each other how much you loved one another over and over again in a thousand different ways.

Notes:

More to come! ♥️

Chapter 65: Be My Baby

Summary:

“I’ll make you happy, baby,
just wait and see.
For every kiss you give me,
I'll give you three.
Oh, since the day I saw you,
I have been waiting for you.
You know I will adore you 'til eternity.”

Be My Baby - The Ronettes

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

On Sunday you had plans to meet up with Natalie at a local brewery. She was a beer enthusiast herself, but mainly chose the location because of the Mexican food truck the brewery had secured for what promised to be an unseasonably warm April afternoon. You threw on a pair of black jeans and one of Melissa’s Eagles t-shirts and then rolled up the sleeves. Meanwhile Melissa was in the bathroom getting herself ready for a lunch date with Barb. “Look at us! Such social butterflies” Melissa said as she walked out of the bathroom and put on her earrings. “Meh. I’d rather be in bed with you all weekend, every weekend. Only tacos and beer could persuade me to get dressed” you replied with a laugh. “Good to know what motivates ya, hon” Melissa teased as she buttoned up her shirt. You walked over and stopped her buttoning as you leaned down and pressed a wet kiss against her cleavage. “Mmm. You sure we have to go? Couldn’t we just…” you started to say as you gently sucked on the top of Melissa’s breast. “Don’t start somethin’ ya don’t have time to finish and get me all hot and bothered, ya tease” Melissa said with a playful smile as she stepped back slightly and finished buttoning up her shirt. “Fine, fine. I’m going! But that shirt and I have some unfinished business when I get back” you said as you kissed Melissa on the cheek. “Yeah, yeah! Have fun, babe! Don’t forget to find out what kinda music your sister likes” Melissa said with a smile as she watched you leave.

You arrived at the brewery and easily spotted Natalie sitting at a picnic table in a bright yellow sundress. “Hey, Nat” you said with a wave as you walked over to the table. You still didn’t feel ready to hug her yet, but you hoped that would change over time and that eventually you’d be able to greet her with a hug the way typical siblings who hadn’t been torn apart by trauma might. “Hi, Y/N! I’m so glad you could make it. Ready for some tacos and beer?” she asked eagerly. And she looked just as excited now as she did when she got her favorite American Girl Doll for Christmas twenty years ago. “Yeah! Let’s do this” you replied with a smile.

Natalie ordered shrimp tacos and her favorite IPA while you went with chicken tacos and an amber lager. The food was delicious and the beer wasn’t bad either! The two of you enjoyed catching up on the last few weeks and soaking up the sun. “So, you said you went away for your spring break? Was that with someone special…?” Natalie asked as she sipped her beer. “Oh… um, yeah. My girlfriend. Her name is Melissa and she teaches second grade at Abbott. She’s… incredible. We’ve been together for eight months now and I’ve never been happier” you replied. And you could feel yourself blushing. “I can see that just from the look on your face! Wow! Congrats. She must be pretty special to make you smile like that” Natalie said, teasing you gently. “She is. She really is! I’ve never met anyone like her. What about you? Is there someone in your life who makes you smile like a complete dork?” you asked as you laughed. “There is! Ben. We’ve been together for two years now. He’s great! Super supportive of my career goals, loves to cook, drags me out for hikes and bike rides. He loves to get me out of my comfort zone. Ben is the Director of Development for the Philadelphia Education Fund! He was so excited when I told him you’re a teacher” Natalie replied. And you were surprised to hear that she had mentioned you to him. “Yep. There’s the dorky smile! Ok. Perfect. We’re even now” you laughed. And Natalie laughed, too. You both ordered another beer and were pleasantly surprised when a young man with a guitar started setting up on the patio. Apparently this brewery booked local artists to perform on the weekends. Which reminded you that you still didn’t know what kind of music Natalie liked. “So… Nat, I know we’ve kept things light today, but I have to ask you a pretty serious question” you said, completely straight-faced. Natalie looked a little concerned, but open. “Okay! I’m ready” she replied nervously. “What… kind of music do you like?” you asked. And you couldn’t stifle the laugh that came out of you when you saw how relieved she looked. “You asshole!” Natalie laughed. “What? It’s a big deal to me” you joked. “No, I get it! It’s a good question. I know music was always really important to you” Natalie said. And you were touched that she remembered that small detail about you from so long ago. “Hmm. Well, I listen to all kinds of stuff. But my favorite genres are probably alternative and indie. I’ve been really into Lucy Dacus and Mitski lately” Natalie said. And you were impressed. “Excellent answer! You have passed the test! And speaking of Lucy Dacus, have you heard the latest boygenius album? Because I have literally been listening to it non-stop for a year straight and I do not plan to stop anytime soon” you said passionately. Natalie laughed and the two of you spent the next hour dissecting the album and comparing your favorite lyrics. You had a fantastic time together and when it was time to head out, Natalie asked if she could give you a hug goodbye. You were surprised and unsure, but you decided it was worth a try. She pulled you in and gave you a soft squeeze. And you instantly became emotional and had to pull away. “I’m sorry. It’s… I’m just not sure… f*ck. Sorry. I may need a little more time before we try that again. God, how f*cked up am I that I can’t even hug my sister?” you said as you shook your head and avoided looking at Natalie. “You’re not f*cked up, Y/N. What they did to you… to our family… that’s f*cked up. It’s okay if you’re not ready yet. I understand. I promise” Natalie said as she smiled over at you. The two of you parted ways in the parking lot and you made your way back to Melissa’s house for the evening.

You unlocked Melissa’s front door and found her sitting on the couch writing her lesson plans with a glass of wine nearby and The Ronettes on the record player. “Hi, babe” you said as you set down your bag. “Hey, hon! How’d it go?” Melissa asked as she took off her glasses and set down her planner. “It was great. Those tacos were definitely worth leaving the house for. Oh, and I found out Nat likes the same kind of music as me. And I got to tell her about you! Apparently I smile like an idiot when I talk about you, so that’s good to know” you laughed. And Melissa smiled. “Well, what a coincidence! I was tellin’ Barb about how ya were meetin’ up with your sister today and she made a point of stoppin’ me mid-sentence to let me know that I was grinnin’ from ear to ear whenever I said your name” Melissa said. “Wow. We are truly embarrassing” you said with a laugh as you sat down next to her on the couch. “We really are” Melissa said as she smiled over at you and reached for your hand. “You working on your lesson plan for this week?” you asked. “I’m tryin’ to. It’s just… I’m a little distracted” Melissa replied. “Oh? Why’s that?” you asked innocently. “Well, it’s just… I’ve been waitin’ for my girlfriend to come home and take all my clothes off…” Melissa said with a mischievous smile. You blushed instantly and then promptly leaned over and tossed Melissa’s planner onto the coffee table and laid her back on the couch. You pushed both of her arms above her head and held them there with one hand while your other hand slowly started to unbutton her shirt. And once her shirt was fully open, you leaned down and kissed and sucked on the top of her breasts before you slid one hand behind her back and unclasped her sexy black bra. Then you let go of her arms and pulled her up toward you. Melissa quickly pulled off her shirt and bra and then started kissing your neck while you fumbled with the buttons on her pants. You stood up and slid them off her legs and then quickly pulled off your own shirt and pants and immediately felt Melissa reach for your hips and drag you back down on top of her. You slid your right thigh between her legs and straddled her left thigh. Then you leaned down and pressed your breasts up against Melissa’s. “Oh, Y/N!” Melissa said as she pulled you tighter against her body and licked and nipped at your lower lip. You loved when she teased your lips that way. You kissed her deeply and the feeling of your tongues pressing against each other made you lightheaded. “Mmm. You taste so good, baby” you said as your lips traveled from her mouth to her neck and then down to her breasts. You took one of her nipples in your mouth and flicked it with your tongue and then sucked on it as Melissa moaned above you. You felt her hips buck up against you and you returned the favor by grinding your own core against her thigh. Melissa took your cheeks in her hands and pulled your lips back up to hers and into a passionate kiss as the two of you started to grind against each other. “Oh, Mel” you whispered into her mouth as she grabbed your ass and pressed your body against her center as tightly as she could. “Yeah! Oh, yeah!” Melissa moaned as the intensity of the rhythm between you increased. You were both breathing heavily and covered in sweat and moving back and forth together in perfect unison when you finally reached your climax. “f*ck! Oh, f*ck! Yes!” you cried out as you buried your face against Melissa’s neck. Then you felt her body start to shake beneath yours as she dragged her nails down your back and screamed out your name.

You laid there on top of her as you both desperately tried to catch your breath and slowly come down from your high. Then you sat up and reached over for Melissa’s glass of wine and took a big sip. Melissa smiled as she watched you and then closed her eyes as she wiped the sweat from her forehead. “God, I love Sundays with you” she sighed with a smile. And you couldn’t help but blush. “Yeah?” you asked.

“Yeah, hon. And all the other days, too!” Melissa replied.

Notes:

Yay! Natalie’s back! ☺️

Lots of BIG stuff to come in the next few chapters. Stay tuned! ♥️

Chapter 66: Heartbeat Song

Summary:

“Until tonight I only dreamed about you.
I can't believe I ever breathed without you.
Baby you make me feel alive and brand new.”

Heartbeat Song - Kelly Clarkson

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

It was another wonderful Monday morning with your third grade students. Everyone was hard at work reading through their library books and learning more about the special animals they had each selected for their Animal Research Projects. Abigail was interested in otters, Ethan was fascinated by snakes, Lola was curious about polar bears, and Thaddeus was excited to share his knowledge about wolves. The students were focused, engaged, and learning. And the classroom was quiet, calm, and peaceful. So, naturally, the fire alarm went off. You lined up your students and made your way out to the hall. You caught Melissa’s eye as she guided her own students out of her room and she rolled her eyes dramatically, making you laugh. It was such an inconvenient time for a fire drill. That’s when Ava came sprinting down the hallway shouting “THIS AIN’T A DRILL, PEOPLE! IT’S GO TIME! MOVE, MOVE, MOVE!” You locked eyes with Melissa and she looked concerned as she took the lead and quickly ushered the students out toward the main entrance of the school. Everyone went to their designated spots and took attendance as the firetrucks pulled into the parking lot. One of the trucks made its way toward the alley next to the school. The children looked nervous, but excited as they watched the firefighters get to work. The team dragged the hose down into the alley and then turned it on. A few minutes later they emerged victorious and the students and teachers cheered for them. And while the firefighters recovered and began to pack up their gear, you looked over and saw Captain Robinson get out of his car and walk into the school with Ava.

None of the other teachers were surprised when their lunch breaks suddenly turned into mandatory fire safety meetings. Apparently the Abbott staff had been through this before. But that was before your time. You sat down toward the back of the library and tried to avoid looking at “Captain Rob.” It hadn’t even been a week since this man texted your girlfriend that he couldn’t stop thinking about her. And when you looked at him you just felt… annoyed. You knew Melissa was bisexual and that she probably had her pick of men and women before you. It’s not like the two of you were even together when they were hooking up. You weren’t jealous. You weren’t mad. You were honestly just shocked that this man had been able to pull Melissa. She was charismatic, smart, sexy, and funny. How did this older man with a white beard, a beer belly, and a bad attitude find his way into her arms? The more you thought about it, the more you wanted to be thinking about anything else. So you opened your notebook and started to doodle, fully planning to not look up again for the rest of the meeting. Then you heard the sound of Melissa’s laughter as she walked into the library with Barb by her side. You looked up and watched her as she made her way through the room. She didn’t even need to look to know where you were. It was like she just followed the invisible thread between the two of you. And you noticed that she completely ignored the Captain. No smile, no nod. She didn’t even look in his direction. Melissa sat down next to you and rested her hand on your knee as Barb sat down next to her on the opposite side. You looked at her hand on your knee and then looked up into her eyes. Melissa smiled and then leaned over to place a soft kiss against your cheek. “Whatcha workin’ on?” she asked when she saw your notebook. “Just more poems about your ass” you joked as you closed the notebook and rested your hand on top of hers. Melissa laughed and shook her head.

“Okay, people. Let’s quiet down and get this over with. I know you don’t appreciate missing out on your lunch break, but I don’t much appreciate having to make three trips to Abbott Elementary in the last three years to give basic reminders about fire safety” Captain Robinson said. “Well, I haven’t lit a candle in this building since your last visit. So, find yourself another scapegoat” Barb said adamantly. “Yeah! And we put up all kinds of signs that say ‘No Smoking,’ so the kids know it’s against the rules now” Ava said with pride. “Well, thank you for refraining from keeping open flames in the building and keeping cigarettes outta kid’s hands. Those are steps in the right direction. We’re still trying to determine the cause of today’s fire, but based on where it occurred and what we discovered, we suspect some high school students were smoking marijuana nearby and failed to fully extinguish their joint” Captain Robinson said. “So, if we didn’t start the fire, why are we the ones gettin’ lectured?” Melissa asked and the other teachers in the library echoed her sentiment. “Because Abbott is a repeat offender at this point and we have to assume the call came from inside the house until proven otherwise” Captain Robinson replied directly to Melissa. He looked tense. “Kind of seems like you can’t stop thinking about Abbott” you said before you could stop yourself. Melissa looked over at you and Captain Robinson studied you with a puzzled look on his face. “We get half an hour a day to eat our lunch, catch up, and decompress. Now, I’m sure being a firefighter is a tough job, but so is being a teacher. We put out hundreds of tiny fires all day long while we teach our students. And we’re entitled to our break. So, until you have proof that someone is this room is responsible for today’s fire, I don’t think any of us should have to sit here and listen to you belittle our school” you said as you stood up and made your way out of the library. You heard other teachers clap as you walked out and then heard the sounds of chairs shuffling as other teachers decided to leave the meeting, too.

You sat out in the sun on the front steps outside of Abbott for the last ten minutes of your lunch break. You were a little embarrassed by what you just did, but there was no taking it back now. And you worried Melissa would be upset with you. Just then you heard the door open and Melissa walked down the stairs and sat next to you. She leaned over and rested her head against your shoulder. “Feel better?” she asked. “A little…” you replied honestly. “I’m proud of ya for givin’ him a piece of your mind. He’s always been tough on Abbott. Thinks we’re some kinda circus. I think he just likes feelin’ superior” Melissa said. “Yeah, he definitely seems to enjoy admonishing a group of adults. And he wasn’t even sure about how it happened at this point! It’s ridiculous” you said indignantly. Melissa looked up and smiled at you. “Wow. You’ve come a long way from the damsel in distress I rescued from Wendy back in August. I like this fire in ya” Melissa teased as she bumped her shoulder against yours. “Yeah, well, part of me is pissed he’s seen you naked, so me speaking up wasn’t entirely altruistic” you laughed. “I get that, hon. Why do ya think I’m still torturin’ Casey any chance I get?” Melissa laughed. “True” you replied as you smiled and shook your head. Then Captain Robinson walked out the front doors and down the stairs. “Ah, the leader of the mutiny” he said as he looked over at you. You shrugged back at him and then he turned to Melissa. “Ms. Schemmenti… Ya have a minute?” he asked hopefully. “I don’t, actually. My girlfriend and I are finishing up our lunch break at the moment. Plus, I think I’ve already made myself pretty clear. More than once” she said as she reached over and took your hand. The Captain looked confused for a moment before it clicked. “Ah, I see. Hence the mutiny. Well, ladies. Enjoy your lunch. I don’t think I’ll have any reason to come back to Abbott after today” he said with a nod before he turned to walk toward the parking lot. You looked over at Melissa in awe and all you wanted to do was kiss her. “Hey, Mel?” you asked. “Yeah, hon?” she replied. “I… I’m… I am actually really, really hungry! Did you pack enough of our leftover ziti to share some with me before the bell rings?” you said as you laughed. “What am I gonna do with ya, Y/N?” Melissa laughed as she pulled you into a hug. “C’mon. Let’s eat!” she said as she took you by the hand and the two of you walked down to the teacher’s lounge.

On Wednesday morning you and Melissa arrived early because Melissa wanted to catch up with Barb and you and Jacob were in the midst of planning your first official gathering since you became roommates. Jacob was in the middle of explaining the rules to yet another obscure board game when Casey walked into the lounge and sat over on the couch alone with a big sigh. “Everything okay?” you asked. Casey looked at you and you could tell she was pretty upset. “I’ve been here a month and haven’t made a single friend! Everyone is so obsessed with Janine that they won’t even give me a chance” she said. “You not bein’ able to make friends has nothin’ to do with people missin’ Janine and everythin’ to do with the fact that you’re annoyin’” Melissa teased as she sipped her coffee. And Barb promptly elbowed her in the ribs. “Yeah, yeah. We all know why you don’t like me” Casey muttered under her breath. “What was that?” Melissa said as she stood up from the table. “Nothing, Mel! She’s just saying she wants to feel like a part of the Abbott community” you said as you tried to diffuse the tension in the room. Then you turned back to face Casey. “You know, Jacob and I became roommates recently and were planning a hang out for this Friday night. Would you want to come? You might make a friend! Oh! And Janine will be there, so you’ll finally get to see what all the fuss is about” you said enthusiastically. “Fine, fine! Just promise to keep Jessica Rabbit off my back for the night and I’ll be there” Casey said. Melissa stood up again quickly and Casey sprinted out of the lounge. Then Melissa sat back down, laughing. “She’s gettin’ braver, I’ll give her that” she said. And you rolled your eyes, laughed, and turned back to finish party planning with Jacob.

Janine and Gregory were the first ones to arrive on Friday night and you immediately pulled Janine in for a hug. “I’m so glad you could make it! I know working at the district isn’t exactly a 9-5 deal, so I appreciate you squeezing us in” you said earnestly. “Of course! I couldn’t miss it. And besides, I have to meet Casey. I’ve heard… a lot about her. Gotta make sure my kiddos are in good hands” Janine said with a nervous smile. Melissa sauntered in shortly after that with Barb right behind her, giggling incessantly. They were drunk! “You two okay?” you asked, trying to hide your smile. “Oh, yes. Of course dear! We *hiccup* we did what the kids call the pre-gaming over at Ruby’s! Gerald drove us here” Barb said, trying her best to sound casual. You looked over at Melissa and her cheeks were bright red. She reached for your hand, shouted “Be right back” to the group, and then pulled you into your bedroom. Melissa closed the door and then pushed you up against it. “Hey, hon” she said. And she looked at you like she was seeing you for the first time all over again. “Hi” you replied shyly, blushing under the intensity of her gaze. “I just had to tell ya somethin’ real quick. It’s important” Melissa said. “Yeah, babe? What is it?” you asked. “I… think you’re really hot” she said as she pressed her lips against yours. And the kiss felt just as incredible as the first time, too. “Mmm. Well, the feeling is mutual” you replied and Melissa looked up at you and smiled. “You two have fun at Ruby’s?” you teased. “We did! But Barb CANNOT hold her liquor” Melissa giggled. “Come on, you goof” you said as you took Melissa’s hand and made your way back out to the living room.

Everyone snacked and drank and enjoyed each other’s company over the next hour, but Casey never showed up. She had seemed excited about it initially, but you wondered if you mentioning that Janine would also be coming made her change her mind. You felt bad about her feeling so lonely and left out at Abbott, but you weren’t sure how else you could help her. You respected her as a teacher, but could definitely see how her personality kept others at a distance. There was nothing to be done about it now, so you decided you’d touch base with her on Monday.

Jacob suggested that everyone vote on whether they would prefer karaoke or a board game. But then Barb stood up and shouted, “where’s my microphone?” and made everyone laugh. Looked like karaoke won! Barb sang “Shackles” by Mary Mary and was absolutely amazing! Everyone clapped and cheered her on as she sang and you were so impressed by her passion and range. Jacob sang “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga and enlisted Janine as his backup dancer. And everyone was dancing by the time he was done. Gregory was drunk, but not drunk enough for karaoke, he said. He did however do a rendition of a song Barb came up with a few years ago about a turkey farmer named Hank and Melissa and Barb laughed hysterically the entire time. Next it was Melissa’s turn and she absolutely ROCKED Billy Idol’s “Dancing with Myself.” She was so animated and vibrant. And the booze made her more bold than ever! Janine went next and surprised absolutely no one when she chose to sing “Greatest Love of All” by Whitney Houston. And she totally nailed it! It was the perfect song for one of the best teachers you knew! And finally, it was your turn. Everyone in your chosen family knew how much you loved music and you could tell they were excited to see what you would sing. Would it be a musical number from your theatre days? Some sad and broody indie song? Then the song started playing and the mystery was instantly solved. “This is my heartbeat song and I'm gonna play it. Been so long I forgot how to turn it up, up, up, up all night long. Oh up, up all night long!” you sang. Janine and Jacob immediately cheered and Melissa was shocked by the unexpected choice, but promptly stood up and cheered you on. And again, everyone was signing and dancing together by the time the song was finished. It was the most fun you all had ever had together.

Gerald came by to pick up Barb and take her home and then Gregory and Janine decided to head out shortly after. You started to clean up while Melissa used the restroom and Jacob sat over on the couch, swiping eagerly on his phone. “Oh! Found one! And he’s cute! See ya tomorrow” Jacob said as he grabbed his sweater and walked out the door. “Where’d Squidward go?” Melissa asked as she walked back into the kitchen. “I think he got lucky on Grindr” you laughed. “Ya mean… we’re all alone?” Melissa asked seductively as she walked slowly toward you. “Mhmm” you replied as you turned to face her.

The two of you went to your bedroom and took full advantage of a Jacob-free apartment. But you knew full well you’d still have another noise complaint email from your landlord in the morning.

Worth it.

Notes:

🥰

I got a little too sleepy to do my usual level of editing, so sorry for any errors. I’ll fix them tomorrow. 🥱

Also, I f*cking love Kelly Clarkson and I do not care who knows it. 😂

Chapter 67: Bruises That Won’t Heal

Summary:

“No alarms and no surprises,
please (get me out of here)”

No Surprises - Radiohead

(But for the purposes of this chapter, check out Gregory Alan Isakov’s recent cover of this song. It’s truly heart-wrenching).

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

May was just around the corner and you couldn’t believe that in two months your first full year of teaching at Abbott would come to an end. It felt like just yesterday that you unpacked your car, introduced yourself to your new co-workers, and fell in love with the beautiful red haired woman you met in the parking lot. Where had the time gone?

On Monday morning you stopped by Janine’s classroom to check in on Casey. “Morning, Casey! We were bummed you couldn’t make it on Friday. Is everything okay?” you asked sincerely. Casey looked up at you from the desk and halfheartedly shrugged in your direction. “I just… I feel like no matter what I do, no one is going to like me as much as Janine. They all see me as some temp. Just a substitute. I taught for seven years at Everbrook. I was respected there. And here? I’m just a place holder. It’s disheartening. I was planning to come, honestly. But I sat in my car and just figured, what’s the point, y’know?” Casey said. “Casey, you shouldn’t compare yourself to Janine. You are two completely different people and you both have wonderful qualities. And yes, some people might view you as just a sub. But most people are really thankful that you’re here. It’s because of you that Janine’s students have the consistency they need to succeed in school. They were struggling when it was a new sub every week. And Janine was worried sick. You’re a lighthouse for them right now. And that’s no small thing” you said as you placed your hand on Casey’s shoulder. “Look, I can’t force you to socialize. But maybe just… try? Try a little harder? Brush the chip off your shoulder and show people the confident, funny, hardworking person you are. And they’ll want to know more. I promise” you said as you stood up to leave the room. “Hey, Y/N?” Casey asked. “Yeah?” you replied. “Thanks… and… I promise I’ll try” Casey said with a smile. “It’ll be worth it. Scout’s honor” you said. “Oh, and Y/N? Melissa walked by a minute ago and 100% saw your hand on my shoulder through the window on my door. So, you’re gonna wanna clear that up ASAP so I don’t get beat up on the playground after school” Casey laughed.

“Hey, babe” you said as you knocked on Melissa’s door. “Mornin’, hon” she replied happily. “Anything… you wanna talk about? Maybe something you witnessed about five minutes ago?” you asked, testing the waters. “What? You and Casey?” Melissa asked. “Yeah… I was just encouraging her to put herself out there more at Abbott and to stop comparing herself to Janine. It was nothing” you said, hoping she knew you had zero interest in Casey. “It’s not nothin’, actually. It’s part of a larger pattern I’ve been noticin’” Melissa said flatly, and you couldn’t decipher her tone. “Oh? A pattern?” you replied, confused and suddenly nervous. “Yeah. See, ya have this habit of bein’ a really good person. And an amazin’ friend. And a great listener. And a supportive shoulder to lean on when people need it the most. It happens all the time. You’ve helped Janine, Naomi, Jacob, Gregory, and Casey, just to name a few. And ya helped me. Remember when we first met and ya took me out to dinner and let me talk about Jessie and how I was worried I wouldn’t be able to help him?” Melissa asked. “I remember being so excited that you trusted me enough to tell me how you were really feeling” you said as you walked toward her. “I did trust ya. And that was after only a couple days of knowin’ ya! Ya make people feel safe. And heard. And seen. So, don’t tell me that was nothin’ back there with Casey. Because for her and for all the other people you’ve taken the time to listen to, it’s everythin’. It’s huge. You are such a good person, Y/N. And I’m so lucky you’re mine” Melissa said as her eyes glistened with tears. And you were crying, too. You tried really hard to be good to others and to care for people the best you could, whenever you could. And you never really thought much about why that felt so important. But hearing Melissa share her thoughts made you realize something. Good wasn’t something you just magically became. You knew firsthand how much it hurt to be abandoned in a moment of vulnerability. How awful it felt to go to someone you loved with your truth and to be turned away. You spent your life making sure no one who mattered to you would ever have to feel that kind of pain. And to know that someone else could see that in you and love that about you was such an incredible feeling. You pulled Melissa into a tight embrace and she gave you a gentle squeeze. “Thank you for seeing me, Mel. And for letting me show up exactly as I am. I really didn’t think I’d ever find someone like you” you said honestly as you kissed Melissa’s hair. “I think we found each other exactly when we were supposed, hon” Melissa said as she pressed a gentle kiss against your lips. And the sound of the morning bell was the only thing that could have pulled you apart.

The rest of the school day went as expected. Your students shared their Animal Research Projects and you were so proud of all their hard work. During your free period when your students were in gym class, you hung their posters up around the room. When they came back to class they were all so happy and excited to see their work on display. You and Melissa shared some leftover Chinese food for lunch and made plans with Barb to go bowling with her and Gerald on Thursday night. And while you were eating you noticed Casey come into the lounge, walk over to where Gregory and Jacob were sitting, and ask to join them. This was her trying! And you were so glad to see the joy on her face when she sat down next to them instead of her usual spot alone on the couch. After lunch you read your students a few chapters from Charlotte’s Web. “The song sparrow will return and sing, the frogs will awake, the warm wind will blow again. All these sights and sounds and smells will be yours to enjoy, Wilbur — this lovely world, these precious days…” you read as the final bell rang and your students packed up to go home. It had always been one of your favorite books and you always felt incredibly connected to your students during story time. You were so happy to be their teacher and to be at Abbott.

You walked over to your desk and started to pack your things when you heard three gentle taps on your door. And when you looked up, Melissa was standing in your doorway with a huge smile on her face. “Hey, Y/N! Ya have a visitor! I bumped into Rachel at the front desk and figured I’d walk her back and let ya show off Narnia” Melissa said with a bright smile. Rachel? You were confused. Rachel had never visited you at work, here at Abbott or at Everbrook. And she certainly wasn’t the kind of person to show up anywhere unannounced. Rachel hated surprises and made a point of never inflicting them upon anyone else. Melissa showed the woman into your classroom and you immediately felt sick to your stomach.

It wasn’t Rachel.

It was Ingrid.

“What the f*ck are you doing here?” you asked angrily. And you saw the shock and confusion on Melissa’s face. “Now, is that any way to greet your mother? I raised you better than that” Ingrid said. “I don’t have a mother. And you didn’t raise me, Rachel did” you replied. Melissa looked at Ingrid and then back at you, horrified that she had fallen for her trick and brought her right to you. You could tell she was prepared to forcefully remove her from your sight, but you weren’t ready for that just yet. You had to know why she came and what she wanted. “Mel, could you give us a minute?” you asked as you nodded your head toward the door. You knew she wanted to stay and be with you, but you also knew that this was something you needed to face on your own. Melissa looked like she wanted to protest, but she hesitantly agreed and then slowly walked out of your classroom, closing the door behind her.

“What do you want, Ingrid?” you demanded. “It’s pretty simple, really. I want you to stay out of Natalie’s life” she said as she slowly walked through your classroom and looked around. And she laughed when she saw the Safe Space sticker on your door. “And how do you even know she and I have been in contact?” you asked. “She was over for dinner the other night and left her phone in the kitchen while I was cooking. I saw a text message with your name on it and pieced things together. It wasn’t hard to find you” Ingrid said as she sat down on one of your student’s desks. “Well, for your information, Nat is the one who initiated contact. She wanted to get to know me. She wants me in her life. And she’s an adult. So, your opinion on the matter is irrelevant. You and Garrett may have been able to keep us apart when we were younger, but you don’t have that kind of power anymore. Over either of us” you said. And at this point you realized how badly you were shaking. Your voice was calm and collected and you were saying all the right things. You were strong. But inside, you felt sick and terrified and angry and upset. “Oh? Is that right? Who do you think is helping Natalie pay for her fancy veterinarian program? You really think if we threatened to stop footing the bill that she’d choose you over her career? Her future? Don’t be ridiculous” Ingrid laughed. You didn’t know Nat’s parents were helping her through school. Of course you didn’t know that. The two of you had made the decision not to talk about them at all in an effort to focus on the present and build your own bond outside of what they put you through. You felt stupid. Of course Nat wouldn’t choose you over her dreams. You didn’t even think she’d choose you over her parents at this point. But you decided to stand your ground. “Listen, you do whatever it is you think you need to do. But I’m not going to stop trying to know her. She’s my sister and being a part of her life matters to me. It matters to both of us. You stole my childhood from me and robbed me of my relationship with her. You don’t get to come and take away what we’re building together now outside of your toxic excuse for a family” you said confidently. And you could tell that last bit hit a nerve. Ingrid stood up from the desk and walked toward you. “Listen to me, Y/N. I will not allow you to poison Natalie against me with your delusional history of events. You were sick! You. Are. Sick! And you disgust me. Removing you from my home and protecting my sweet, normal child from a pervert like you was the best decision I ever made. And if you ever go near her again, you’ll regret it” she said with all the hate she could gather.

And then your courage left you.

And you felt your backbone turn to ashes.

You grabbed your bag and ran out of the classroom. You saw Melissa sitting on the bench in the hallway and heard her say something to you, but you couldn’t hear her over the sound of your heart pounding in your head. You kept running until you made it to the parking lot. You threw your bag in the car, put the keys in the ignition, and drove away.

You woke up to the metallic taste of blood in your mouth. And you were hanging upside down in your car with the locked seatbelt pressed tight against your chest. You noticed it was hard to breathe. You saw shattered glass on the pavement beneath you and heard the frantic chaos of feet running around outside your vehicle and someone’s voice shouting, “CALL 9-1-1” over and over again. The smell of gasoline was overwhelming and your fingers felt sticky and wet with blood. You tried to take a deep breath and calm yourself down, but it hurt too much. So, instead, you thought of Melissa. And her face in your mind was the last thing you saw before everything went dark.

”All these sights and sounds and smells will be yours to enjoy, Wilbur — this lovely world, these precious days…”

Notes:

😔

More soon.
Stay strong.
♥️

Chapter 68: Land Where I Land

Summary:

“My legs won't go where my head wants.
My collection of words couldn't ever be enough.
My head won't turn in your direction.
I'll land where I land when I land.
Oh, I'll land where I land.

Just get a little rest some time,
I’d care a little less if I could.
You said it ought to be just fine, swear it on your life.
It's alright, oh,
It's alright.”

Land Where I Land - Novo Amor

Notes:

***This chapter will address Y/N’s injuries following the car accident and what her recovery will look like. It’s not graphic in any way, but I just wanted to provide a warning ahead of time in case anyone reading this has been involved in an accident and may be triggered. Please tell me if I need to add additional tags or warnings. I’m still new here and want to be as respectful as possible. Thanks in advance.***

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

You stood at the end of a long aisle in a tailored dark gray suit. Jacob and Nat stood to your left and Barb and Janine were off to your right. Then you looked up and saw Melissa walking toward you in a beautiful white dress.

You knew you were dreaming.

And now you knew something else, too.

You did want to marry Melissa Schemmenti someday…

sh*t.

You slowly opened your eyes and felt immediately overwhelmed by the brightness of the room around you and the worst headache you’d ever had. You looked to your left and saw an IV in your hand. And when you looked to your right, you saw… Amy? “Wh… what? Amy? Wh… happen?” you asked, completely disoriented and worried you might be hallucinating. Amy looked up from her chair the second she heard your voice and then bolted to your side. “Oh, thank god you’re awake, Y/N” Amy said as she looked down at you. “Wh… where… I? Why… you… ?” you asked. And you were alarmed by how difficult it was for you to ask such simple questions. “You’re in the hospital. You were in a bad car accident. You… never changed your emergency contact. They called me” Amy said as she tried to slowly and calmly explain what was going on. “P… P… Port?” you struggled. You didn’t understand how she made it here all the way from Portland. Or why she was dressed in her scrubs. How long had you been unconscious? “I… never moved to Portland. I’ve been here. I still work here at the hospital…” Amy said, embarrassed to admit that the plans she made after she moved out of your place had fallen through. You closed your eyes and the darkness felt like a breath of fresh air. Your head was pounding and everything felt like too much. “Car… my… fault?” you asked next, horrified that you’d caused the accident and hurt someone else because you had been upset while you were driving. “No, Y/N. It wasn’t your fault. I promise. Some guy ran a red light and t-boned you. That’s why your car flipped” Amy said as she reached for your hand. “He… okay?” you asked. “He’s going to be fine” Amy replied. “M… Mel?” you asked as you felt warm tears begin to rush down your cheeks. “I called her, Y/N. She’s on her way right now. She’ll be here soon. Just rest. Try not to move” Amy pleaded. “Mkay” you replied as you slowly fell back asleep.

You woke up again and the first thing you saw was Melissa’s beautiful red hair. She was standing in the hallway outside your room with Amy and another nurse. They were deep in conversation and at one point you saw Amy rub Melissa’s shoulder. It looked like she was trying to comfort her. Was Melissa upset?

It must be bad.

f*ck.

You fell back asleep.

The next time you woke up, Melissa was in the chair next to your bed. She looked somewhere between sick with worry and overjoyed with relief when she saw your eyes open. “Hey, hon” she whispered through her tears. “M… Mel… Hi” you replied as best you could. “God damn, it’s good to hear your voice, Y/N” Melissa cried as she softly rubbed your hand and then leaned down to kiss it. “I am so, so sorry, Y/N. This is all my fault. She told me she was Rachel. I… I didn’t know. I never shoulda brought her to ya. This wouldn’t have happened. f*ck, I’m sorry, hon. Please forgive me” Melissa begged as she sobbed against the bed. It hurt to move, but you slowly reached your hand up and let your fingers gently rub against Melissa’s hair. “Mel… no. Love… you” you said as you tried your best to make her understand she wasn’t to blame. Ingrid knew exactly what she was doing when she came to Abbott and used Rachel’s name. It wasn’t Melissa’s fault. All you wanted to do was hold her in your arms and reassure her that she had nothing to apologize for. But you could barely move. And you could hardly speak. Melissa seemed to understand as she looked back up at you and held your hand against her heart. “I’m so glad you’re awake. The nurse told me to call right away when ya woke up. I think the doctor wants to check ya over again and talk ya through everythin’. You feel up for that, hon?” Melissa asked as she wiped her tears. You went to nod, thinking that would be easier and less painful than trying to speak… but you were wrong. You winced in pain and then laid your head back against the pillows again. Melissa paged for the nurse immediately and then stood close by until they arrived.

Amy walked in a few minutes later with a tall, older gentleman. “Hello, Y/N. I’m Doctor Burroughs. We’ve been keeping a close eye on you since the ambulance brought you to us. Do you know what happened?” he asked as he took off his glasses to clean them and studied you as you attempted to respond. “Crash…?” you replied. Amy had told you earlier that someone ran a red light and crashed into your car. And even though you couldn’t go into more detail verbally, you thought the fact that you remembered was a good sign. Maybe you weren’t hurt that badly after all. “That’s correct. You were involved in a motor vehicle accident. And you got pretty banged up. As of now, we’ve determined you have two fractured ribs, the obvious lacerations and bruising across your body, but especially on your hands, arms, and torso, and a mild traumatic brain injury. Based on the photos the police shared with us from the scene of the accident, we suspect that the force of the impact caused your head to collide with the driver’s side window, breaking it. Now, the good news is that the majority of patients with mild TBI’s recover fully within a few months. You see, the brain heals itself by rerouting neural connections and dispersing a damaged neuron’s job throughout a new network. The undamaged parts of your brain can take over the function of other areas, but there’s a bit of a learning curve, so it takes time. Does that all make sense so far?” Doctor Burroughs asked. You remembered that nodding hurt last time, but you also knew that if you tried to speak again, you wouldn’t be able to stop yourself from weeping. So, instead, you just stared up at the doctor as the tears poured down your cheeks. “I know this must all be very hard to hear and scary, too. But I assure you we are going to make sure you have all the resources you need for your recovery. Based on evaluating you right now, I can see that you’re experiencing some difficulty with your speech. And that’s very common. You’ll also likely continue to experience headaches, drowsiness, and sensitivity to light and sound. These are all common symptoms” he said. Then he turned to Melissa. “And am I to understand that you will be the one taking care of Y/N once she’s discharged?” he asked her. Melissa stood up and proudly declared, “Yeah, Doc. She’ll be stayin’ with me!” He smiled at her enthusiasm and so did Amy. “Excellent. Well, I just want to inform you both that there may be some other behavioral and emotional changes in the weeks ahead. Y/N will likely experience mood swings, anger, irritability, insomnia, and an increase in anxiety and depression. Now, again, these are all common symptoms. But unlike a headache or light sensitivity that will only impact Y/N, these other changes will be external and can cause stress for patients and caregivers. The best way to heal and get through this is to rest, stay hydrated, listen to your body, and be patient. Recovery is going to be a hard process. But lucky for you, Y/N, it looks like you have someone who will take excellent care of you” Doctor Burroughs said with a smile. You looked at Melissa and she was smiling down at you. It was obvious that hearing the rundown from the doctor had put her mind at ease a little bit. Then you looked at Amy and noticed she didn’t look as relieved. And that worried you. “We’re going to keep you overnight for observation, but I’m confident you’ll be discharged by tomorrow evening” he said. “Thanks, Doc. We appreciate it” Melissa said as she rested her hand gently on your shoulder and wiped away her tears of relief. Doctor Burroughs smiled and then turned and left the room and Amy went to follow him out. “A… Amy!” you shouted, surprising both Amy and Melissa. Amy walked slowly back into the room. “Yeah?” she asked. “T… truth?” you asked, demanding she be honest about the severity of your injury. Melissa still looked confused. “It’s… it’s like he said, Y/N. You’ll heal. I promise. But it takes time. And it can be really rough. The anger, especially. You just really have to be patient. And… y,know, get professional help if you’re having trouble managing it” Amy admitted honestly. You nodded again. And it hurt. Again. Amy smiled at Melissa and then left the room.

Melissa looked down and gave you a reassuring smile. And you thought back to the dream you had earlier. The one where you and Melissa were getting married. You felt your cheeks blush and worried that if she looked too hard at you, she’d figure it out somehow. You could never tell her about it. And thankfully, you couldn’t say much of anything at the moment anyway.

“L… love you… much” you said as you squeezed her hand.

“I love you, too, hon” she replied as she bent down and placed a soft kiss on your lips.

And then you fell asleep again.

And found yourself right back in the same dream.

Notes:

More soon ♥️

Chapter 69: Inside Out

Summary:

“Will I be able to speak
After a stiff drink?
Would it break my panic?
Would the sweat stop pouring out?

Slow and deliberate
With her words.
She'll walk through
My heart.

Those eyes light a fire
In my stomach.
Fall apart,
From the inside out.”

Inside Out - Duster

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

You woke up early the next morning and saw Melissa asleep on the recliner chair next to your bed. You weren’t sure how it was possible for someone to look worried in their sleep, but Melissa did. She really did. You wondered how much sleep she actually got last night between all the crying you heard and her checking in on you. Your mouth was dry and tasted awful and you were very thirsty. Not wanting to wake Melissa, you pressed the call button for a nurse to come help you. While you waited, you took the pamphlet on Traumatic Brain Injuries that Doctor Burroughs had left behind and leafed through it. You wanted to know more about what to expect during your recovery. You were always someone who liked to be prepared. And even though you knew a lot of the struggles ahead of you might be out of your control initially, you felt that being able to recognize what changes were a result of your injury would help you be more patient and forgiving to yourself. You noticed a few that the doctor left out: impulsivity and lack of restraint, difficulty concentrating, nausea and vomiting, mental confusion, dizziness, and fainting, just to name a few. Jesus Christ. How were you going to get through this? How was Melissa going to deal with the nightmare you might become as your brain tried to heal? You felt yourself getting upset and the tears began to stream down your cheeks just as the nurse entered the room. “Oh, honey! It’s okay. What can I help you with? Here, take this” the nurse said as she handed you a tissue. You dried your tears and then slowly raised a finger to your lips and then nodded gently in Melissa’s direction. You didn’t want the nurse to wake her. “W… water… p… pl…” you tried to say. “Of course, honey. I’ll be right back with that” the nurse whispered. And as you waited for her to return, you watched Melissa sleep and reached over to hold her hand. You would be okay. It would be okay. Because you had her.

Later that morning Melissa sat in the chair next to you and read you a few chapters from “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.” It had always been one of Melissa’s favorites and it was the next chapter book you had planned to read to your students. And it just so happened to be in the bag the police recovered from the accident. “People who have not been in Narnia sometimes think that a thing cannot be good and terrible at the same time…” she read as an older nurse entered your room with a smile. “You have some visitors” she said with a kind grin. Melissa set down the book and looked over at you with concern. “Ya feel up for it, hon?” she asked. The truth was, you didn’t. But you knew it could only be your Abbott family and that seeing them would cheer Melissa up. So, you smiled at her and nodded your head gently.

Janine, Gregory, Jacob, Barb, Ava, and Casey entered your room quietly and you could see the worried looks in their eyes as they saw the extent of your injuries. “Oh, damn, Harley Quinn!” Ava exclaimed in shock before she could stop herself. And everyone glared at her. Jacob walked over to your right side and immediately pulled Melissa into a tight embrace. Then he rested a hand on your shoulder. “I’m so glad you’re okay, Y/N! We’ve all been so worried about you. And the apartment is so quiet without your shower singing” Jacob joked. And everyone laughed. You smiled at Jacob and gave his hand a gentle squeeze. Then you looked back and saw Janine and Barb approach the left side of your bed. “Hello, dear. I’ve been praying for you. It’s so good to see your face” Barb said as she looked down at you and her eyes glistened with tears. You saw her make brief, sympathetic eye contact with Melissa and you hoped that Barb would be a strong source of support for Melissa in the months to come like she always had been in the past. “Th… thanks, Barb” you managed to say. Janine reached for your hand next. “Hey, Y/N. I wanted you to be the first to know… I’m coming back to Abbott! I’ll be back in my class next week and Casey has volunteered to take over in your room until you’re ready to come back to teaching” Janine said with a smile. And everyone looked surprised and excited by her revelation. But you couldn’t let her do this for you. She had been working so hard at the district and was right in the middle of getting her librarian program off the ground. You couldn’t let her make this sacrifice. “N… no! No, Janine. Y… can’t” you said. And you felt yourself getting frustrated for not being able to speak more clearly. “I know what you’re thinking, Y/N! But I gave my notice last week. This doesn’t have anything to do with your accident. I’d already decided I wanted to be back at Abbott. It’s just convenient timing because it means we have another great teacher available to support your students” Janine said as she turned to smile at Casey. Everyone was smiling at Casey, actually. And she blushed at the compliment. “And I’ll be right across the hall if she needs anything” Gregory added, hoping to ease your mind.

And then it hit you.

You had been so preoccupied thinking about Janine’s return and what it would mean for her career that you had forgotten about your students for a moment. You wouldn’t be able to return to teaching for at least a few weeks and it was such a crucial part of the school year. The PA State Assessments were coming up and you had to be there to prepare your students. But… you couldn’t be. It would be up to Casey. She was more than capable, of course. But this was your class. Your students. You’d spent the last eight months building strong connections with them and guiding their learning. And now, because some f*cking idiot ran a red light and clobbered you, you wouldn’t be able to help your students cross the finish line? You were livid. Your head started to ache, you felt a wave of nausea rush through your body, and you found yourself gripping the sheets of the hospital bed tightly. Melissa looked down and saw what was happening and quickly stepped into action. “Y’know what, guys? Y/N is pretty exhausted and we have to get some lunch in her so she can take her meds and then get some rest. Thanks for droppin’ by on your lunch break. So good seein’ everybody” Melissa said as she waved with one hand and softly rubbed your back with the other. Everyone seemed to understand and said their goodbyes quietly as they left the room.

And then you started to sob.

“Aw, hon. C’mere, baby. Shhh. It’s gonna be okay. It’s all gonna be okay. I promise ya. I gotcha. I know you’re upset about not bein’ able to teach. But your kiddos will understand and I’ll keep an eye on Casey for ya. Hell, I’ll even stop torturin’ her so she can focus better, yeah?” Melissa joked, trying to lighten the mood. You gripped her shirt tightly as you wept against her chest. You were upset. You were angry. And you felt like everything was out of your control. Teaching was everything to you. Your entire identity was wrapped up in the work you did as an educator. And the knowledge that you wouldn’t be able to be there for your students when they needed you most absolutely destroyed you. “M…Mel… it’s… it’s not… f… fair” you cried out. She hugged you closer and continued to rub your back as she tried to console you. “You’re right, hon. It’s not fair. It’s awful. It’s all f*ckin’ awful. But I’m gonna take care of ya now. I’m gonna help ya. We’ll do whatever it takes to get ya back to where ya were. I don’t want ya to worry about anythin’ right now. Ya gotta rest and ya gotta heal. We’re gonna get through this. Together. K?” Melissa said through her own tears. “O… okay” you said as you breathed in Melissa’s familiar scent and let the subtle aroma of lavender and vanilla calm and comfort you.

Melissa fed you chicken noodle soup for lunch and then helped you with your meds. “I’m gonna run home and grab some clothes for us so we can get changed up before you’re discharged later tonight. Please rest while I’m gone, K?” Melissa said. And you nodded. She gathered her things and left the room and you laid your head back against the pillow and tried to relax. And just as you felt yourself start to drift to sleep, you heard a gentle knock on the doorframe. You opened your eyes and a younger nurse walked in and over to your bed. “Good afternoon. You have two visitors waiting in the hall. Now, visiting hours technically ended half an hour ago, but Nurse Amy is very persuasive and got these two through to see you. Are you up for the company?” she asked. And immediately you knew that Amy and this nurse were f*cking. You made a mental note to ask her about it later. And even though you still didn’t have the energy for company, you nodded your head and gave the nurse a weak smile. She walked out toward the hall and then came back in a moment later with Rachel and Natalie behind her. Melissa must have called them and told them about the accident. “Oh, sweetheart!” Rachel cried out as she made her way to your side. “H… hi… m… mom” you said. And it was the first time you’d ever called her that. It’s what you should have called her since the day she rescued you from that horrible group home, but had never been able to. Probably because some small part of you always believed Ingrid would come back for you. But she never did. Rachel was your mother. And she deserved to know that. Her face lit up and she was overwhelmed with emotions as she leaned down to gently embrace you. And when she pulled away, you saw Nat standing toward the back of the room, still shocked by your injuries and everything that happened. “Melissa told us Ingrid came the school and pretended to be me. What did she do to you, Y/N? What did she say?” Rachel asked, furious that her old friend had done something so sneaky and low. “A… minute?” you asked Rachel as you nodded toward Natalie. And she seemed to understand. “Of course, sweetheart. I’ll go grab a coffee and let you two talk” she said as she leaned in to press a soft kiss against your bruised head.

As Rachel left the room, Natalie walked over and sat down in the chair next to you. She had tears in her eyes and still looked shocked. “Ph… phone?” you asked. Natalie looked confused for a moment, but handed you her phone. You opened the Notes app and started to type. There was no way you’d be able to explain everything with how hard it was for you to speak at the moment. So you typed it out instead. You explained that Ingrid came to see you and warned you to stay out of Nat’s life. And you told her that her parents were willing to stop helping her through school to keep the two of you apart. Natalie read the message and shook her head in disbelief. She reached over and took your hand in hers. “So, I get a loan” she said as she squeezed your hand and smiled through her tears. “They don’t get to take you away from me again. You hear me?” she said firmly. And you smiled and nodded and then leaned in and rested your head against your little sister’s shoulder. And it felt like it did all those years ago. Before anything hurt.

Melissa returned a little while later and helped you get dressed as you waited for the discharge paperwork to be completed. She was so gentle with you as she helped you into a pair of sweatpants and the Flyers t-shirt you always wore at her place. And once the shirt was pulled over your head, she gently held your cheeks in her hands and placed the softest kiss on your lips. “I’m gonna take good care of ya, hon. And I’m not goin’ anywhere, no matter what. Capisce?” Melissa said. And even though you had no way of knowing if that was true, you let yourself believe her. “L… love you” you replied as she took you by the hand and led you out to the nurse’s station. Amy walked over to meet you with a wheelchair and helped you into it. “Y…you and… n… nurse Lucy?” you asked with a hint of playfulness in your voice. Amy blushed and laughed. “How’d you know?” she asked. You smiled and shrugged. “Th… thanks, Amy” you said sincerely. “Of course” she said as she rubbed your shoulder and then smiled at your girlfriend. “You take care of her! She’s lucky to have you” Amy said to Melissa. “Nah. I’m the lucky one” Melissa replied as she began to push the wheelchair toward the front entrance.

When you got back to Melissa’s place all you wanted to do was crawl into bed and fall asleep in her arms.

And that’s exactly what you did.

Notes:

More soon! ♥️

Chapter 70: Paralyzed

Summary:

“When did I lose myself?
All the words that leave my tongue,
Feel like they came from someone else.”

Paralyzed - NF

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

The first week of your recovery was… hard.

Melissa had worked it out with Ava and the other second grade classes that each teacher would take five of her students for the week while she stayed home with you. You could tell she was sad to be away from her students just as you were, but she was more concerned with taking care of you.

On Wednesday afternoon, Melissa suggested you both take a short walk together. The discharge paperwork Doctor Burroughs gave you suggested walking as the preferred form of exercise during your early recovery period and Melissa thought the fresh air would be good for you. She held your hand as you slowly walked side-by-side and you noticed she was leading you toward the park. The park you had been actively avoiding during your weekly walks since the end of December. The park where Melissa broke your heart. That park. You didn’t have the energy or the ability to protest much and so you kept walking in silence. About five minutes later Melissa helped you sit down on the wooden bench. The weeping willow tree that had been barren in December was green and full of life now. You tried to look out at the park, but the sunlight was so bright it hurt your eyes. And you felt so angry with Melissa for bringing you here and sitting you down on this bench like nothing ever happened. How could she not remember? “H… hate this… f… f*cking bench” you shouted, surprising yourself. Melissa immediately looked over at you with concern. “The bench, hon? Are ya uncomfortable? What’s wrong?” she asked. “Y…you d… dumped me… h…here” you yelled as you closed your eyes and tried to block out the sunlight that was making your head ache. Melissa looked around briefly and then realized why you were so upset. “Aw, sh*t, hon. I’m so sorry! I wasn’t thinkin’. I just went this way cause I knew there’d be a place to sit down and take a break before we had to walk back to my place. I didn’t mean to be insensitive about that. I swear” Melissa said as she reached over and put her hand on your knee. “I… didn’t… I’m… s… sorry I y… yelled” you said as you started to cry. Your outburst shocked and horrified you. Here Melissa was taking incredible care of you and thinking ahead to what you might need during your walk and you were screaming at her. Over a f*cking bench! You were embarrassed and ashamed. “Hon, please. It’s okay. I understand. C’mere. Shhh. Lemme hold ya” Melissa said as she pulled you close and you cried in her arms. It was a quiet walk back to her house after that. Melissa made Stracciatella for dinner, helped you with your meds, and then tucked you into bed. “I’ll be back in a few minutes, hon. Just gonna give Janine a quick call and check on our kiddos” Melissa said as she leaned down to kiss your forehead. And finally it was dark and quiet and there were no wooden benches or hard memories or you being unable to control your emotions. There was just silence. And peace.

On Thursday you woke up alone in bed. You put on your bathrobe and slowly walked toward the kitchen. Melissa was making breakfast and Roy Orbison was playing on the record player. You loved this album! You sat down at the table and watched in awe as Melissa moved about the kitchen. She sang along to “I Drove All Night” as she cracked and whisked the eggs and then poured them into the pan. She hadn’t noticed you yet and you were thoroughly enjoying the show. For a brief moment, everything felt normal. And then suddenly the music seemed incredibly loud and the sound of the pan banging against the stove hurt your head and you felt completely overstimulated and a little nauseous. You stood up, walked over to the record player, and abruptly turned it off. Melissa turned to see what happened and saw you closing the lid. “Sorry, hon. Did I wake ya? Was it too loud?” she asked. “Too… too m… much” you struggled to say. Melissa looked concerned as she turned off the burner and walked over to the living room to check on you. “C’mere, hon. Sit down with me” Melissa said. You laid back against the couch and closed your eyes and felt the tears coming again. Would you ever stop crying? “How can I help, baby? Talk to me” Melissa said as she gently rubbed your thigh. “I… c…can’t even…listen to m… music… I’m s… so mad” you said as you softly rubbed the bridge of your nose. “Aw, hon. It’s only been a few days. It’ll take time. I know music is such a big part of who ya are. You’ll be singin’ and dancin’ in the kitchen with me again in no time. Ya just gotta be patient and give your brain time to heal, babe” Melissa said sweetly. You knew she was right. You leaned forward on the couch and rested your head in your hands. “I’m… pretty t… tired. I wanna… lay back d… down” you said as you slowly stood up and walked back toward Melissa’s bedroom. “Can I make ya a plate first, hon?” Melissa asked. “Not hungry” you sighed as you closed the bedroom door behind you. And as soon as your head hit the pillow, you felt peace again. There was no music or pans clanking or your girlfriend saying all the right things. There was no sound but the wind. You felt instant relief. And you fell back into a deep sleep.

On Friday after lunch you grabbed your notebook and walked out to Melissa’s front porch to try to write. You opened your notebook to the next blank page and stared down at it with your pen in your hand. Then you suddenly heard Melissa’s voice. “Ya okay, Y/N?” she asked. “Y… yeah?” you replied. Melissa looked down at you with that same worried look on her face that you were getting so used to seeing. “It’s just… you’ve been sittin’ there starin’ at that blank page for almost thirty minutes. I’ve been watchin’ ya from the livin’ room window. And I said your name a few times before ya heard me. Think maybe ya need a break, hon?” Melissa asked as she reached for your hand. “Oh… uh… y… yeah. K” you said as you closed your notebook and took her hand. “C’mere. I got an idea” she said as she pulled you close. Melissa placed your hands against her lower back and gently rested her own hands on your shoulders as she started to slowly sway back and forth. There was no music, just the quiet noises of nature around you and the occasional creaking of the wood beneath your feet. You felt calm. You felt centered. You felt safe. You leaned in and rested your head against Melissa’s shoulder as she embraced you and the two of you continued to slow dance to the sound of silence on her front porch. You were happy in her arms. And for the first time since the accident, you wanted to be awake.

On Saturday Melissa invited Janine and Casey over for coffee at your request. You were feeling a little better and you wanted to check in and see how your students were doing. You had noticed a slight improvement in your speech, too, and felt more comfortable with the idea of having guests around. You knew Melissa probably wasn’t thrilled to have Casey in her home, but she understood that it was important for you to talk to her. You loved your students so much. You just had to know how they were. It would also give her time to check in with Janine to see how her little Eagles were doing. When they arrived, Melissa invited your friends into the kitchen and poured everyone a cup of coffee. “How are you feeling, Y/N?” Janine asked eagerly. “A l…little better. Lights and s…sounds aren’t bothering me as m… much. And I’m a l… little less tired today” you said, impressed by your improvement. “That’s wonderful” Janine replied as she looked over at Melissa who was smiling at you. “Well, your students told me to tell you they miss you. And we made this for you” Casey said as she walked over to her bag and pulled out a large ‘Get Well’ poster with the painted handprints of your students plastered across the cover. It made you so happy, you cried. “Thank you, C… Casey” you said as you looked it over and wiped your tears. “Of course! And they seem ready for the assessments coming up on Thursday. We reviewed every day this week and I’m confident you prepared them well and set them up for success. Test day should be a breeze” Casey said with a bright smile. “Oh, I’ll be b… back before then” you asserted. And Casey looked concerned, as did Melissa and Janine. “The Doc said at least two weeks, hon. And even then, he said just a few short days a week to make sure ya can handle it” Melissa said as she reached over and placed her hand on yours. “Y… yeah, well, the doctor is w… wrong” you said firmly. “Y/N, it’s okay to take this time to heal. Your students are in good hands. We all just want you to feel like yourself again. There’s no rush” Janine said with a sincere smile. “It’s gonna be real hard on ya if ya go back before you’re ready, babe. Ya gotta take it one day at a time. Pace yourself, y’know?” Melissa added. “I know what I can f… f*cking handle, M… Melissa” you shouted as you stood up and pounded your fist against the table, startling your girlfriend and your company. The room was silent and the tension in the air was palpable. “I… I’m s… sorry” you said as you left the kitchen and walked back to the bedroom.

You heard Melissa show your guests out and then heard her footsteps coming toward the bedroom. She opened the door and walked over to sit down next to you on the bed. “M… Mel?” you said. She turned to look at you and you could see how exhausted she was. Exhausted, and upset. “I am so, so s… sorry, baby. That was n… not okay. And you d… didn’t deserve that. It’s like I have no control. I’m just so sorry I y… yelled and for scaring you” you said as you reached over and rubbed her cheek gently with your hand. Melissa knew you were sorry. And Melissa knew that everything that was happening was to be expected. But you could tell that she was at a loss as to how to help you manage your anger. “Ya don’t scare me, hon. I know you. I know who you are. This isn’t you. Ya just need time, is all. And I promise I’m gonna be here with ya every step of the way” Melissa said as she let her head lean into the warmth of your hand on her cheek. “B… but what if this IS who I am now? What if I don’t get b… better? What if I’m n… never the same person I was before the c… crash? That’s the person you l… love. What if I can’t g… get her back?” you said as tears rolled down your cheeks and you struggled to catch your breath. Melissa pulled you close and rubbed your back and ran her fingers through your hair as she tried to console you. “You ARE the person I love, Y/N. Nothin’s changin’ that. Ya might not ever be exactly the same, but you’ve been through somethin’ traumatic. That changes a person. And that’s okay. I love you! I love you and you don’t scare me and I need ya to hear that and believe me. Okay?” Melissa said as she kissed your forehead. You looked up into her eyes, nodded softly, and then rested your head against her shoulder again as you took a deep breath and tried to stop your head from spinning.

The soft sensation of Melissa’s fingers tracing lazy patterns across your naked back woke you on Sunday morning. And when she saw you stir, she moved in closer and pressed light kisses up your spine and across your shoulder blades. “Mmm. M… morning. That feels nice” you said as you cautiously stretched your still healing body and then turned to face her. And when Melissa saw the bruising across your bare chest, ribs, and arms, she shook her head in anger and disbelief. “I hate seein’ ya hurt, hon. Breaks my f*ckin’ heart” Melissa said with sadness in her eyes. And you desperately hoped she wasn’t still blaming herself for what Ingrid did and everything that happened afterward. “It d… does hurt. But you k… kissing me feels really, really good” you said as you pressed your sore body up against Melissa’s and pulled her lips into a passionate kiss. “Mmmm” Melissa moaned against your lips like she always did. You pulled away just slightly to catch your breath. “I l… love you, Mel. Thank you f… for taking such good care of me, baby” you said as you softly rubbed your nose against hers and pulled her back into another deep kiss. You both knew it was too soon to take things any further, but you laid naked in bed together for the rest of that morning and kissed and cuddled and gently caressed each other. It was a chance to reconnect and to find comfort in the touch and the closeness of the woman you loved. The woman who cared for you beyond measure.

If anyone could help you heal, it was the selfless, kindhearted, breathtakingly beautiful redhead lying next to you in bed. And each new kiss affirmed the same powerful promise:

“I’m here. And I’m staying.”

Notes:

Y/N is healing slowly, but surely. And Melissa is taking such good care of her girl.

More to come soon! ♥️

Chapter 71: Bruises That Won’t Heal - Melissa’s Version

Summary:

It’s a normal day at Abbott Elementary. Melissa sees her girlfriend come to the rescue of yet another friend in need and is in awe of Y/N and what a good person she is. Melissa shares her lunch with Y/N in the lounge, teaches her students about the states of matter, and is off to make copies in the front office when she runs into a woman who’s looking for Y/N. And it all goes downhill from there…

Notes:

This is Melissa’s POV for chapter 67.

Prepare for ouch.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

I got to school earlier than usual on Monday morning. Y/N stayed at her apartment on Sunday night because she had promised Jacob she’d try out one of his new board games. And there wasn’t enough liquor in the world to get me through that. Waking up alone meant it was a lot easier to get out of bed. When I woke up with Y/N next to me, it was practically impossible to resist kissing her and touching her. We had almost been late to work multiple times over the last month because we couldn’t keep our hands off each other in the mornings. And even though I hated sleeping without her these days, I was glad she and Jacob were bonding since they became roommates. And I was happy to be at Abbott with enough time to make my coffee and decompress before the day started.

I bumped into Barb in the teacher’s lounge and was beyond grateful when I saw the fresh pot of coffee waiting for me. “Mornin’, Barb! Ya still hungover from Friday night?” I joked. “Ha, ha! Very funny, Melissa! As I recall, YOU were the one shoving the tiny glasses of devil juice in my direction at Ruby’s!” Barb said firmly. “Yeah, I handed ‘em to ya, but I didn’t expect ya to do all six shots by yourself. You’re a machine” I teased as Barb smiled and shook her head. “Well, that is THE last time I will ever participate in any pre-gaming, I know that for sure” Barb laughed. “Yeah, yeah. That’s what they all say” I said with a smile. “By the way, where is Y/N this morning?” Barb asked. “Oh, she stayed at her place last night to hang out with Jacob. I’m just glad they’re gettin’ along and he’s not drivin’ her crazy yet” I replied. “Well, Melissa, she’d have to actually be at her place now and then to be bothered by him, don’t you think?” Barb asked playfully. “What’s that supposed to mean?” I asked. “It means, have you thought more about asking her to move in with you? Now, I know you don’t want to get married again. But things with Y/N seem pretty serious. Wouldn’t cohabitation be the logical next step in your relationship? Especially since she’s always there anyway?” Barb asked with genuine curiosity. She’d been married for 30 years. The nuances of queer dating and relationships that didn’t end in marriage were outside her realm of thinking. “Oh, I dunno, Barb. Is it too soon for all that? I mean, we’ve been together almost nine months, but I can just hear all the lesbian U-Haul jokes now from the peanut gallery if I asked her too soon” I admitted. “Now, Melissa, you know I have no idea what that means” Barb said completely straight-faced. And it made me laugh. If I was being honest with myself, I had thought about asking Y/N to move in with me at the end of the summer, before her lease renewed and before the new school year started up. But it was a big next step. And I didn’t want to ask too soon and scare her off. “I’m thinkin’ about it, okay? Just gotta time it right” I said. “Mhmm. Well, I think you two would have a very happy home together. And that’s all I’ll say on the matter” Barb said with an encouraging smile. “Thanks, Barb. Good to know ya approve” I said as I reached over and rubbed her shoulder before heading out to my classroom.

I made my way down the hall and was about to walk into my room when I thought I heard the sound of Y/N’s voice in Janine’s classroom. She must have been checking in on Casey since she never showed up on Friday night. I peeked in the window quickly just to make sure it was really her and saw Y/N’s hand resting on Casey’s shoulder. And maybe it should have bothered me, but it didn’t. Yeah, they’d had sex before. And yeah, I couldn’t stand Casey because of that. But I knew exactly what was going on between them in that moment. I knew that Y/N was doing what she did best: listening to a person and making them feel seen and supported. Her ability to do that for others was one of my favorite things about her. Her hand on Casey’s shoulder didn’t concern me in the least. I just hoped Casey realized how lucky she was to have someone as incredible as my girlfriend helping her through this rough patch.

I was in my room passing out morning work for my little eagles to work on once they arrived when Y/N knocked on my door. “Hey, babe” she said. “Mornin’, hon” I replied, so happy to finally see her after a night apart. “Anything… you wanna talk about? Maybe something you witnessed about five minutes ago?” Y/N asked sheepishly. “What? You and Casey?” I asked. “Yeah… I was just encouraging her to put herself out there more at Abbott and to stop comparing herself to Janine. It was nothing” she said. I could tell she was nervous and thought I might be angry, jealous, or upset about what I saw. She really had no idea how magical she was and how much I loved and respected her. Well, it was time to fix that. “It’s not nothin’, actually. It’s part of a larger pattern I’ve been noticin’” I said calmly. “Oh? A pattern?” Y/N asked. And then I told her what a good person she was and how I’d seen her help so many different people through hard times since we met, myself included. “Remember when we first met and ya took me out to dinner and let me talk about Jessie and how I was worried I wouldn’t be able to help him?” I asked her. “I remember being so excited that you trusted me enough to tell me how you were really feeling” Y/N replied. “I did trust ya. And that was after only a couple days of knowin’ ya! Ya make people feel safe. And heard. And seen. So, don’t tell me that was nothin’ back there with Casey. Because for her and for all the other people you’ve taken the time to listen to, it’s everythin’. It’s huge. You are such a good person, Y/N. And I’m so lucky you’re mine” I said as I felt the tears building in my eyes. Y/N walked over to me and pulled me close against her. “Thank you for seeing me, Mel. And for letting me show up exactly as I am. I really didn’t think I’d ever find someone like you” she said as she pressed soft kisses against my hair. “I think we found each other exactly when we were supposed, hon” I replied as I leaned in and kissed her. This was the woman I wanted to be with. I wanted to spend my life trying to be worthy of her love and her goodness. It was all so clear to me in that moment. And then the bell rang.

We all met up in the teacher’s lounge later for lunch and Y/N sat close by as we shared our leftover chicken lo mein and planned our next bowling night with Barb and Gerald. Casey came in a little later on and sat down with Gregory and Jacob. And I watched Y/N’s face the entire time. She looked so happy and relieved that Casey was finally making an effort to be part of the gang and I could tell she was proud of herself for encouraging her friend. I was pretty damn proud of her, too. Back in class, I taught my little eagles about the different states of matter and of course everyone giggled when we started talking about gas. It had been a good day!

The final bell rang and my students made their way out to the buses and to their parents for pick-up. I decided to stop by the front office to make copies of tomorrow morning’s spelling tests. I figured I had enough time to take care of this quickly before I checked in on Y/N so we could make plans for dinner. When I walked up I noticed the secretary wasn’t at her desk, but there was a woman waiting and she looked a little lost. “Can I help ya with somethin’?” I asked. “Oh, um. Yes, actually. Thank you! I’m looking for a teacher who works here, Ms. Y/N. But I’m not sure where to find her” she said. “Oh, sure! Can I get your ID quick? We normally have to scan a copy before we can give ya a visitor lanyard” I told her, still curious as to who she was and what she wanted with my girlfriend. “Oh, shoot! You know, I think I left it in the car. My name is Rachel! I’m Y/N’s godmother. I just dropped by to surprise her, really. She speaks so highly of this place and I just wanted to show my support” the woman said. And I couldn’t help but smile. This was the woman who took care of Y/N during the hardest part of her life. Rachel supported her and raised her and showed up for her when no one else would. “Ya know what? Screw the lanyard! Come with me. I’ll take ya to her. Y/N and I are… good friends. She’s gonna be so excited to see ya, I just know it” I said with a grin. And as I walked her back to Y/N’s classroom, I couldn’t wait to see the look on her face when she realized Rachel was here to see her.

I whispered for Rachel to stay in the hall for a minute and then knocked three times on Y/N’s door like I always did. And she smiled when she looked up and saw it was me. That smile always melted my heart. “Hey, Y/N! Ya have a visitor! I bumped into Rachel at the front desk and figured I’d walk her back and let ya show off Narnia” I said with a smile. Then I stepped back a little and showed Rachel into the room. “What the f*ck are you doing here?” Y/N asked angrily. And I stared back at her in complete disbelief. Y/N told me they didn’t talk all that often, but she made it seem like they still cared about each other and checked in now and then. Rachel had just helped her connect with Natalie and had been so supportive of them meeting up. Why in the world was she so mad at Rachel for showing up at Abbott? “Now, is that any way to greet your mother? I raised you better than that” the woman said. “I don’t have a mother. And you didn’t raise me, Rachel did” Y/N replied. And that’s when I finally realized what was going on. That f*cking bitch tricked me! She wasn’t Rachel, she was Y/N’s mother, Ingrid. I could see the resemblance now. I could tell Y/N was upset, but she hid it well behind the fury in her eyes. This woman had abandoned her and hurt her in the worst ways imaginable. And I had just brought her back into her life. I was preparing to step in front of my girlfriend and tell Ingrid to get the f*ck out of our school before I called security, when I heard Y/N say, “Mel, could you give us a minute?” I turned back to face her and shook my head. I didn’t want to leave her alone with this monster. Not for a second. I wanted to protect her from any more pain. I had to. This was my fault. I brought her here. I had to stay and be there for her. And I was just about to say all of this when I looked into Y/N’s eyes and saw nothing but strength and resolve staring back at me. It was like she knew how much I wanted to stay and was begging me to step aside anyway so she could face Ingrid on her own. And even though it killed me to walk away from her, I trusted that she had everything she needed to stand up to this woman and defend herself. Without me. I slowly made my way to the door and closed it behind me.

I paced back and forth in the hallway, but tried to stay away from the window on Y/N’s door. She knew I was still out in the hall, of course. But I didn’t want her to think I was hovering or that I had to be on stand-by in case she couldn’t handle this. I knew she could. I just wished she didn’t have to. I couldn’t hear their conversation as I waited, but even if I could, nothing was louder than me shaming and kicking myself for falling for Ingrid’s f*cking lie! Why didn’t I just insist she get her ID?! She would have left the school and hopefully would have stayed gone. Instead, I bent the rules and ended up hurting the person I loved. How could I be so f*cking stupid? I sat down on the bench in the hall and tried to be patient. I had to keep myself from storming into the classroom, grabbing Ingrid by her hair, and dragging her away from Y/N. Just then I heard Ingrid raise her voice and saw Y/N run out of the classroom with tears in her eyes. She looked completely devastated. And it was my god damn fault. I stood up and reached out for her, but she ran right past me and down the hall. “Y/N! Wait! I’m so sorry, hon. I didn’t know! I swear I didn’t know!” I called after her. But she kept running toward the front entrance and then through the doors. Ingrid stepped out of the room with a smug smile on her lips. And I wanted to smack that look right off her f*cking face. “Ya got some nerve, lady! Lyin’ about who you were, comin’ here and attackin’ her! Haven’t you hurt her enough? What the f*ck is wrong with you?” I said as I moved in close, ready for a fight. “This is none of your concern, Miss. And maybe if you followed proper visitor check-in protocol instead of making exceptions for your little friend, this wouldn’t have happened in the first place. I said what I came here to say and now I’m leaving. Excuse me” Ingrid said as her shoulder knocked against mine when she passed me. “Don’t ever f*cking come back here again. And don’t you dare ever speak to Y/N again, either! You’re a piece of f*cking sh*t and Y/N is the most incredible woman I’ve ever met! Shame on you for failin’ her and shame on you for thinkin’ you had any right to ever be near her again. Eat sh*t, Ingrid” I said, completely furious. She laughed and continued walking down the hall. And all I knew in that moment was that I had to be there to catch Y/N when she fell apart. I grabbed my keys and made my way out to the parking lot.

I called Y/N’s phone over and over again and left multiple voicemails begging her to call me back, but she never answered. Even though I hoped she’d driven to my place afterward, I drove to her apartment first since it was closer to school. I didn’t see her car in the lot, but I decided to run up and check anyway. I unlocked the door and let myself in and walked in on Jacob making out with some guy on the couch. “Hill, ya seen or heard from Y/N?” I asked desperately. “What? No. She hasn’t come home yet. Why? Is everything okay? You look worried” he said as he stood up and straightened his shirt. “Just call me if ya hear from her, okay? Promise?” I asked as I headed back out the door. “Promise” he replied. “Oh, and Jacob?” I asked. “Yeah?” he answered. “Remember Y/N said no sex in communal spaces” I shouted as I closed the door behind me.

From there I drove back to my place and desperately hoped I’d see her car parked in my driveway. But it wasn’t there. I called her again. And again. And again. I wasn’t sure where to look or where she might go. I didn’t know what Ingrid said to her or how she might be hurting. I didn’t know a god damn thing and felt completely f*cking useless and entirely responsible for everything that happened this afternoon. I figured it made sense to stay at my place and wait for her to show up or return my call. Maybe she just needed a little space to process everything? I just wanted to be there for her. And to apologize. And to make sure she knew I’d never let that monster come near her ever again. I wanted to hold her and make sure she understood how important she was to me and how proud I was of her and that nothing that awful woman said could ever change what an incredible woman she became. I just wanted to see her face and know she was okay.

When my phone finally rang a few hours later and I saw Y/N’s name flash across my screen, I could barely catch my breath to speak. “Hey, hon. f*ck, I’ve been so worried about ya. I’m so sorry about what happened with Ingrid. Where are ya?” I asked frantically. “Uh, hi, Melissa. This is Amy, Y/N’s ex. We met once… sort of… a few months ago” she said awkwardly. And immediately my mind went to the absolute worst possible scenario. Y/N was so upset that she left the school and drove straight to her ex’s place? For what? Comfort? Sex? What was Amy doing with Y/N’s phone? Y/N told you she was moving to Portland months ago. What the f*ck was going on? “Amy, why do you have my girlfriend’s phone?” I asked, trying to keep my temper in check until I had all the information I needed to completely lose my f*cking mind. “Melissa, there’s no easy way to say this, but Y/N was in a car accident. A bad one. Some asshole ran a red light and hit her so hard, her car flipped. She’s at the hospital where I work. They only called me because it looks like she never got around to changing her emergency contact” Amy explained as calmly as she could. And it felt like the entire world just came crashing down around me. “Is… is she… is she okay?” I sobbed. “I’m not gonna lie, Melissa, she’s pretty banged up. They’re still checking her over, but there’s a possibility that her brain was injured. Look, just get here as soon as you can and the doctor will be able to explain everything. Just hurry” Amy demanded as she disconnected the call.

I grabbed my keys and ran out of the house as fast as I could. “Hang on, hon. I’m comin’” I said to the air as I sent up a silent prayer, begging a God I wasn’t even sure I still believed in to keep the woman I loved alive.

Notes:

How do we feel about another short trip inside Melissa’s head?

Chapter 72: To Make You Feel My Love

Summary:

“When the rain is blowing in your face,
And the whole world is on your case.
I could offer you a warm embrace,
To make you feel my love.”

Make You Feel My Love - Adele

Picking up where we left off in chapter 70…

Melissa takes Y/N to her one week follow-up appointment. Y/N is hopeful that she’ll be cleared to return to Abbott while Melissa still believes her girlfriend has some healing to do…

Notes:

This is the first present day chapter told from Melissa’s POV! Let me know what you think!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

On Monday afternoon, I drove Y/N to her one week follow-up appointment at the doctor’s office. It had been a really emotional week since the crash and we were both physically and mentally exhausted. Y/N’s speech seemed to have improved and the cuts and bruises were slowly starting to heal, but there had been so many moments of anger that seemed to completely overwhelm her. She was always so embarrassed after she yelled or got mad, but I never once wanted her to feel sorry about it. Y/N had plenty to be angry about. Ingrid. The accident. Not being able to teach. She was always so calm and composed before the accident. Y/N was good with her words and perpetually level-headed. Seeing this side of her, this anger… it made her feel more human. More flawed. More real. I kept telling her she didn’t scare me, but I think the problem was that she was scaring herself. And nothing I said could take that fear away. I worried because she seemed so devastated whenever she lost control or lashed out. Each time was a reminder of the trauma her brain had endured and a deep sadness followed every outburst. All I could do was let her feel what she felt and let it out in whatever way she was able to in any given moment. I didn’t take any of it personally. Her brain was working overtime and trying to heal. There was nothing she could say or do that would have stopped me from loving her. Nothing.

We arrived at Doctor Burroughs’ office and sat in the waiting room for a few minutes. Y/N had her hand resting on my thigh and gave the occasional gentle squeeze as we sat there and waited for her appointment. She was nervous. And she still hoped there was a chance she’d be cleared to return to Abbott this week. “It’s gonna be okay, hon. He’s just gonna check ya over and see how you’re doin’. Ya got nothin’ to worry about. K?” I said as I gently rubbed the hand she had resting on my leg. She smiled at me, but still looked sick with worry. The nurse finally came back and lead us to the office and Doctor Burroughs entered the room a few minutes later along with another Doctor we hadn’t met yet. And I could tell Y/N was really feeling anxious and overwhelmed now. She wasn’t expecting this. Neither was I, actually. “Can you tell us how you’ve been feeling, Y/N?” Doctor Burroughs asked. “Better. My speech is g… getting better each day. The light and s… sound sensitivity is less intense. I still have headaches every day, but they’re n… not as severe. I th… think the biggest issue is m…managing my anger. I’ve been pretty upset and I’m having a hard time c… coping and expressing myself calmly” Y/N said as she reached over for my hand, a silent apology for all the moments when she wasn’t herself. God, I wish she would cut herself some slack. “I do definitely see an improvement in your speech. And we can prescribe a higher dosage of medication to help with your headaches if need be. As for your anger and how it is manifesting, I invited my colleague Doctor Frazier to join us to provide some insight on the different ways we can approach this symptom of your injury” Doctor Burroughs said as he gestured toward the older woman to his right. “Nice to meet you, Y/N. I’m a Neuropsychologist and my job is to assesses your cognitive impairment and performance, help you manage behaviors and learn coping strategies, and support your emotional and psychological well-being” Doctor Frazier said with a sweet smile. “Today I’m going to gather your medical history, conduct a few tests to assess your current cognitive function, and speak with your partner about any changes she’s noticed. Then I’ll write up my report and share it with Doctor Burroughs and our Vocational Counselor and come up with an ongoing treatment plan. It does sound like some therapy may be beneficial to help you manage your anger and process the trauma of the accident” Doctor Frazier said. Y/N shot a concerned glance in my direction. She wasn’t expecting to be evaluated so thoroughly.

I was sent back to the waiting room while Doctor Fraizer conducted her assessments on Y/N and I knew that there was no way she’d be cleared to return to teaching yet. Maybe therapy and another week or two of rest would make the difference though. It had to. There was barely a month and a half of school left. Y/N had to be able to return to her students. She just had to. I pulled my book out of my purse and read it while I patiently waited for Doctor Frazier to call me back. And when she finally did and Y/N and I passed each other in the waiting room, I could see that she’d been crying.

“Ms. Schemmenti, is that correct?” Doctor Frazier asked. “You can call me Melissa” I replied. “Excellent! So, Melissa, how long have you and Y/N been together?” she asked. “We’ve been together nine months” I replied proudly. “And how would you describe Y/N’s general demeanor during the span of your relationship?” she asked. I thought about it for a moment and instantly felt a grin spread across my lips. “Y/N has always been calm, gentle, friendly, easy to talk to… and kind. So incredibly kind. And good to everyone” I said with a bright smile. “She sounds lovely! I could see a lot of that in her during our one-on-one assessment. And may I ask, how has her demeanor changed since the accident?” the doctor asked. “She… well, like she said, she’s been strugglin’ with her anger. I guess… I guess she’s seemed more volatile and aggressive. But I know that’s just because of the injury. And I’m doin’ my best to let her get it all out and process things however she needs to while she heals” I said. “Thank you for sharing that with me. I’m sure Doctor Burroughs informed you that all these symptoms are very common. Most patients with mild brain injuries recover within a few weeks to months. And of course therapy can only help Y/N as she navigates her anger and PTSD” she said. “Yeah… I don’t think she’s cuttin’ herself much slack though. She came in here today thinkin’ she’d be cleared for work this week. I didn’t want her to get her hopes up, but I also didn’t want to give her a reality check and make her mad. Figured I’d let you all be the bad guys instead, apologies in advance” I laughed. I thought it was funny, but Doctor Frazier looked back at me with concern in her eyes. “And how are you holding up, Melissa? Being a caregiver can be really challenging, especially for those caring for TBI patients. Are you getting enough rest? Do you have a support system in place for yourself?” she asked me. And in that moment, I knew she could see how exhausted and worried and scared I really was beneath the jokes. The woman I loved had been through hell. And I still blamed myself for setting it all in motion. There was nothing I could do to make it better, either. “I… yeah, I’m fine. We’ve got a great group of friends checkin’ in on us and helpin’ out. I’m good. I’m great, actually. Just wanna be there for my girl and help her through this” I said, hoping I’d convinced her. “I see. Well, I’m glad to hear you have that support. But there are additional resources available for caregivers if you’re ever interested. It might help you feel less alone” Doctor Frazier said. “Thanks, Doc” I replied, hoping this would be over soon. “I just have one last question. When I spoke with Y/N earlier, she mentioned that she’s noticed an increase in her libido. Has she discussed that with you at all?” she asked. “Oh, um… no. No, she hasn’t. Is that a common symptom, too?” I asked, surprised and curious to hear that Y/N opened up to her about this, but not me. “It is, actually. While about half of people experience a reduced libido following a traumatic head injury, the other half experience an increased sex drive or don’t notice a change in their typical libido” she said matter-of-factly. “Huh. Good to know. And is it… safe for Y/N to have sex now?” I asked. “Physically? Yes. As long as it’s not too strenuous. Oral sex or mutual masturbation would probably be the safest ways to start for the time being. Mentally and emotionally? A lot of TBI patients struggle with feeling broken or undesirable. Traumatic events have a way of doing that to a person. I’d just encourage you to communicate openly about your fears and expectations and to make sure to keep the affection and romance alive in your relationship. It’ll help reassure Y/N that she is still loved and desired. And that can actually go a long way toward aiding the healing process” Doctor Frazier explained. “Wow… well, I really appreciate the info, Doc. I didn’t know she was feelin’ that way. Thanks again” I said sincerely. And with that, she stood up, shook my hand, and wished me well.

The drive home was quiet. And I could tell Y/N was disappointed by how the visit went. Doctor Frazier said she’d share her report soon and that the healthcare team would be in touch. When we pulled into my driveway I reached over and tucked a strand of hair behind Y/N’s ear. “Wanna go for a quick walk before dinner? I promise we won’t walk toward the park” I teased, gently. Y/N looked at me and laughed. “Stupid f*cking bench” she said with a smile. And while we walked she let me put my arm around her and hold her close and press soft kisses against her temple. The fresh air and the closeness helped pull her out of herself for a little bit and recover from what had truly been a difficult afternoon.

We made sandwiches for dinner that night and then decided to head to bed a little early. I brushed my teeth while Y/N washed her face and I was overwhelmed by how intimate and special something so mundane suddenly felt to me. We both made our way back to the bedroom to change out of our clothes and when I looked over and saw Y/N’s naked back, I walked across the room and leaned in close to press soft kisses up her spine. When I reached her neck, I pushed her hair to the side so I could kiss the spot just behind her ear that always made her shiver. “Mmm. What are you d… doing?” Y/N asked as she leaned back against me. “Just admirin’ the view, hon” I said as I reached for her hips and slowly turned her around. She looked surprised and excited, but also a little unsure. “So, don’t be embarrassed, but I asked the Doc when you and I could… y’know… and she had some suggestions I thought I might run by ya?” I said playfully. I didn’t want her to think I was doing this because of what she told the Doctor during her assessment. The truth was I really missed being physically intimate with my girlfriend. It had only been a week and a half, but we had always had a very active sex life. And connecting with her in that way always made me feel even more connected to her in all the other ways. It wasn’t just the sex. It was the seduction that came before. It was the cuddling that came after. It was the conversation and the laughter and falling asleep next to each other in a state of bliss. Everything about being with her that way felt magical. I missed it. I missed her. And I wanted to show her how much I wanted her. I didn’t ever want her to doubt my love or my attraction to her. “Really? What did she say?” Y/N asked eagerly. “Well, I could tell ya, but I’d rather show ya” I said with a wink as I took her by the hand and led her to the bed.

We were both topless with only our underwear remaining as we laid down next to each other on the bed. I pulled Y/N close to me and slowly licked and nipped at her lower lip as I pressed my breasts up against hers. “Mmmm” Y/N moaned softly into my lips. Then I slid my hand down her hip before I reached around and gave her ass a light slap followed by a firm squeeze. Y/N pressed her body closer to mine and then took my breast in her hand and pinched my nipple, making me whimper in pleasure. “Yeah, hon. Oh, that feels good” I said as I pulled her into a deep kiss and sucked on her tongue. Then I dragged my nails down her torso and toward her thigh, causing Y/N to gasp in excitement. We were both turned on and wet and I decided it was time to give Doctor Fraizer’s advice a try. I took Y/N’s wrist and slowly slid her hand down inside her own underwear. I cupped her hand in my own through the fabric and made her press her fingers toward her center to gather her wetness before sliding it back up slightly to rub against her cl*t. Y/N had been watching me intently the entire time, but finally closed her eyes and moaned as I guided her into touching herself. And she couldn’t wait to return the favor. Y/N grabbed my wrist firmly and shoved it down inside my black silk panties. I had moved slowly, not wanting to rush her or make her feel self-conscious. But Y/N moved quickly and assertively and had effortlessly and expertly navigated my fingers toward my center and then up against my cl*t in a matter of seconds. If this is what her increased libido looked like, then I was already on board. Our breasts were still pressed close together and the sweat started to build between us as we watched each other masturbat*. Y/N panted and moaned in ecstasy as she looked deeply into my eyes and I felt my mouth hanging open hungrily as I rubbed my cl*t and watched her f*ck herself. She leaned over and pressed a hard kiss against my lips and I knew she was close. “I want ya to make yourself cum for me, baby. You look so good” I moaned as I felt myself approaching the edge just as rapidly. “Oh, M… Mel! Mel! Oh, God. I’m almost there. Are you close?” Y/N asked through ragged breaths with her eyes shut tight. “Yeah, baby. I’m right there with you. Mmmm. Ya ready?” I said, barely able to keep the euphoria at bay. “YES! Oooooh! F… f*ck! Yessss!” she screamed out as she came hard against her own hand. And I felt the white heat inside me take over within seconds of watching her cum. “Y/N! Mmmm. Oooh, yes!” I shouted as I leaned in and gently bit Y/N’s shoulder. We laid there together and looked into each other’s eyes as we tried to steady our breathing and come back down to earth. Y/N rolled onto her back and stared up at the ceiling as she caught her breath. Then she looked back over at me and smiled. “Remind me to send Doctor Frazier a ‘Thank You’ note” she laughed as she placed one hand over her chest and used the other to wipe the sweat from her forehead.

I leaned over and kissed her on the cheek and then carefully pulled her body close to mine so we could cuddle as we cooled down. The scent of her shampoo mixed with the smell of our sex was intoxicating. I had missed this so, so much. And I could tell by the look on her face that she did, too. It had been a hard day after a really hard week. And we both knew there were more hard days to come. But here, in this moment, we didn’t have to think about anything except each other.

She fell asleep within minutes with her arm draped across my stomach and a slight smile still present on her lips.

“Sweet dreams, hon” I whispered.

Notes:

To be honest, I thought writing this chapter from Y/N’s perspective would be really hard to do. I had to be away from my students for a month when I recovered from surgery in December and then I had that scare at the end of February when I thought I had to leave my school because of my horrible director. It just felt a little too close to home for me to dig into. So, Melissa gets to tell us what happens instead this time.

But don’t worry. Y/N’s POV will be back in the next chapter.

Thanks for reading. Hope it doesn’t suck. 🤞🏻

Chapter 73: Uncomfortably Numb

Summary:

It was 3am and you couldn’t sleep. You thought back on the day before and how completely heartbroken you felt after your meeting with Dr. Frazier. But in the face of all the disappointment and hopelessness, you still found light in the arms of the woman you loved.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

You woke up at 3am and could feel Melissa’s naked body pressed against your back. And even though her warmth and closeness felt incredibly comforting, you were restless and couldn’t fall back asleep. Insomnia was a bitch. You slowly and quietly slipped out of the bed, put on your bathrobe, and then left the room. You walked into the kitchen, made yourself a cup of hot chocolate, and then sat down at the table. Your meeting with Doctor Frazier was… disheartening. All the different questions she asked and tests she administered just confirmed what you already feared, but refused to admit: you weren’t ready to return to Abbott. And that was a hard pill to swallow. Frazier was diligent, thorough, and unbelievably kind as she assessed you. She was damn good at her job and she took her work very seriously. And even though you knew that her evaluation was accurate, it didn’t make it any easier to accept the results. Frazier said it would be a few days before her final report was compiled and shared with your medical team, but she also said she wanted to be honest and transparent with you ahead of time to help you manage your disappointment. “I’m so sorry, Y/N. But unfortunately I can’t clear you to return to teaching just yet. Now, therapy is not mandatory, but as I mentioned earlier, I would highly recommend it to help you acquire the coping skills you may need to help you manage your anger and PTSD while your brain continues to heal” she said. And even though you were irrationally furious with her and wanted to scream in her face and fight this decision with everything you had in you, something… heavier than anger took hold of you. It was a level of depression you’d never experienced before in all your life. And it wasn’t like you’d had an easy go of it. So, instead of fighting and screaming and losing your f*cking sh*t, you wept. You cried harder than you ever had before. You cried harder than when your parents kicked you out or when the bullies at the group home beat the sh*t of out you. You cried harder than when Amy cheated on you over and over again and when Melissa asked for a break. You cried until there wasn’t a single tear left in your body. And Doctor Frazier let you. And when your tears were finally spent and she walked over and handed you a box of tissues, you looked up and saw tears in her eyes, too. You collected yourself and stood up to leave the room when you felt a sharp and sudden shift within you. The deep and all-consuming anger that had transformed into depression had rapidly mutated into something else… you were numb now. Completely numb. And as you passed Melissa in the waiting room, you tried like hell to avoid her eyes. You couldn’t let her know that you’d already given up hope.

You thought back to the quiet car ride home and how empty and hopeless you felt as you looked out the window. You missed your students more than you could explain. You missed the way Thaddeus always laughed and said “I am NOT a cookie, Ms. Y/N” whenever you called him a smart cookie. And you remembered his Halloween costume and how hard you both laughed when he danced around the room in his cookie ensemble. You missed how Kennedy always sat right next to your rocking chair during story time and played with your shoelaces or the hem of your pants. She always wanted to be close by. And you missed how the twins, Madison and Samantha, ran into class every morning to tell you all about soccer practice or their new baby sister or what gross vegetables their parents made them try at dinner time. You missed them so much, you couldn’t breathe. You were numb, but it was an uncomfortable numbness because the ache beneath it was so strong. Melissa pulled into the driveway and asked you to go for a walk. And when she teased you about the bench, you knew you had to snap yourself out of it, at least for now. She was trying. The least you could do was try, too. Even if you couldn’t feel a god damn thing.

Well, you couldn’t feel a thing until later that night when Melissa came up behind you and kissed your back and your neck and that special spot behind your ear. It caught you completely off guard when your body filled with warmth and love and desire. You’d noticed a significant shift in your sex drive since the accident and wanted to tell Melissa about it, but you were worried she’d think it wasn’t safe or think that it was just another symptom to monitor. Basically, you worried she’d reject you. And you were too scared of your feelings and your own inability to control them to risk putting yourself in that situation. So, you decided not to mention it to Melissa. Frazier got it out of you quick enough, but she already knew all the questions to ask and things to look for. She had an unfair advantage. What happened between you and Melissa earlier was incredible. It was intimate, passionate, and hot. And it made you feel something. Yes, you came, but that wasn’t it. You felt… connected. Seen. Loved. Desired. Held. You felt like this one thing in your life, your relationship with Melissa, was the lighthouse that would get you through this storm. It wasn’t that you’d ever doubted it, but you’d been so lost inside your own mind and pain that you’d forgotten that there was this thing, this love, that wouldn’t falter. And it brought you so much peace. And it cracked the numbness just enough to let some light in.

You sipped your hot chocolate and ran your hands across the smooth wood of the kitchen table. Then you heard Melissa’s bedroom door open and waited eagerly to see the beautiful redhead you loved turn the corner into the kitchen. Melissa walked in and let out a quiet yawn as she sat down next to you. “Ya okay, hon?” she asked as she reached over for your hand. “Yeah… just couldn’t sleep” you replied honestly. “Mmm. Yeah, me neither. I can never stay asleep when you’re not next to me. It’s why I always look so tired at work the next day on the nights you stay at your apartment” Melissa admitted with a shy laugh. “Really?” you asked. “Yeah, really” Melissa said with a smile as she leaned over and kissed your cheek. And you felt yourself blush. “Want me to make ya a grilled cheese or somethin’? I know it’s a little past midnight snack time, but 3am is way sexier anyway” Melissa said as she winked at you. “Sure, Mel. That s… sounds perfect” you replied. Melissa stood up and went to the fridge to retrieve the butter and cheese and then made her way over to the stove to get started. You watched her as you sipped your hot chocolate and then heard her start to quietly hum “Golden Slumbers” by The Beatles as she spread the butter in the pan. And before you knew what you were doing, you walked over to Melissa, turned off the burner, grabbed the collar of her bathrobe and pulled her into a passionate kiss. Melissa was surprised, but quickly allowed herself to melt into the warmth of the kiss as she moaned and sucked gently on your lower lip. You picked her up, set her down on the kitchen island, spread her legs, and pulled her robe open as quickly as you could. You leaned in and pressed hungry kisses across her neck and breasts, taking one of them in your mouth and sucking hard on the nipple as Melissa let out a guttural moan. She held your head against her body as gently as she could and softly ran her fingers through your hair. You could tell that she was worried she might hurt you. You gave both breasts a firm squeeze as you kissed your way up her neck and found her lips again. Her mouth was open and waiting for your tongue as she put her hands on your cheeks and rubbed her thumbs softly against your face. She was being so… soft. And gentle. And as much as you appreciated her care and concern, you wanted to show her that you weren’t broken. You got down on your knees and pulled her body to the edge of the counter, letting her legs hang over your shoulders. And within seconds your lips were wrapped around her cl*t as you kissed and sucked and licked her sensitive bundle of nerves. “Oooh! Y/N! Are ya sure you’re up for this, hon?” Melissa said between her moans of pleasure. “Mmm. Yeah, baby. I’m sure. I’m f… fine” you replied as you eagerly resumed your efforts and licked your way from her entrance to her cl*t as slowly as you possibly could. Normally Melissa’s hands would be buried deep in your hair and her nails would be scratching at your scalp as she rode your face. But she seemed reluctant to touch your head. Instead, she leaned back on the counter on one hand while the other hand squeezed her breast and pinched her nipple. She looked f*cking amazing and she tasted like heaven. And when she started to buck her hips against your mouth, you felt a surge of arousal shoot through your body that was so intense, you let out a loud whimper against her cl*t. “f*ck, Y/N. Mmm. Your tongue feels so good, baby. Put it inside me, please” Melissa begged. And when you slid your tongue into her core, it took her breath away. You continued to slide your tongue in and out of her puss* as you reached your hand up and rubbed your thumb against her cl*t in the same steady rhythm as your tongue. “Oh! Ooooh my f*cking god” Melissa shouted out as her legs started to shake and her org*sm rushed through her body. She came in your mouth and if you thought she tasted heavenly before, this was a whole new kind of paradise. She slowly let her body fall back against the cool marble of the kitchen island as she basked in the aftershocks of the mind-blowing org*sm you just gave her. You stood up and wiped your mouth with the back of your hand before you pulled her up and into your arms. Her legs were wrapped around your waist and her pupils were dilated as she stared at you in disbelief. You looked back at her and were overwhelmed by everything you were feeling. You weren’t numb. Not now. Melissa was the light that made it through the cracks. She was the lamppost that always guided you home.

“Kiss me” you said.

And she did. And you didn’t feel numb again for the rest of the night.

Notes:

Heads up, there will be a small time jump in the next chapter. It’ll be a week after this one when Melissa has to return to work at Abbott.

Hope you enjoyed this one. ♥️

Chapter 74: Where Dust Never Collects

Summary:

“when I say love, I mean
I wait at the door for
you to arrive; I mean
the walls of my chest
are decorated with your
pictures; I mean it’s
safe here”

Where Dust Never Collects - William Bortz

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

“Mel, your love is my solid ground. Before I met you, I thought I was broken beyond repair. Wounded to my core. But you’ve seen all my shattered pieces and never once looked away. You made me realize I wasn’t broken, just bruised. Your presence in my life has healed me in ways I’ll never be able to express. And being loved by you taught me how to love myself. I promise to spend the rest of my life doing everything I can to be worthy of you. I love you. More than anything. And I can’t wait to have you by my side, always” you said as you held Melissa’s hands and stared deeply into emerald green eyes. The white dress she wore really was breathtaking and you noticed more of the subtle details in the design each time you found yourself back in this dream.

You woke up at 3am again and quietly snuck out of the room. You made chamomile tea instead of hot chocolate this time and sat on the couch with a blanket. It had been three weeks since the crash and you still couldn’t shake that dream. And it’s not like it was cryptic or confusing in its meaning. It was just entirely f*cking inconvenient. You wanted to marry Melissa Schemmenti. The same woman who told you in no uncertain terms that she would never get married again. It’s not as if you were ready to pop the question tomorrow. It was still much too soon for that. But the problem was that you knew now that you wanted something you could never have. And that admitting what you wanted, actually saying it out loud, could cost you everything.

You heard the familiar creaking of Melissa’s bedroom door as it opened and felt terrible that you had woken her up. She couldn’t sleep without you, she’d said so herself. You wanted to tell her that she’d never have to sleep alone again. That you wanted to marry her and spend the rest of your days in her orbit and the rest of your nights holding her close and listening to the soft sound of her snoring against your chest as she slept. But you couldn’t. No matter what. “Hey, hon” Melissa said as she sat down next to you on the couch, reached over for your cup of tea, and took a small sip. “Hey, babe. I’m really s… sorry. I know you have to be up for work in a few hours” you said apologetically. And when you remembered that Melissa would return to Abbott without you today, you felt a tightness in your chest. “It’s okay, Y/N. Ya have a bad dream or somethin’? Or is it just the insomnia again?” she asked as she took another sip of your tea before she handed it back to you. “I… uh… yeah, I had a dream” you said as you avoided eye contact. “Wanna talk about it?” Melissa asked, concerned. “Oh, umm… No, n… no, I’m good. Doctor Frazier told me unusual or vivid dreams were common for brain injury patients. It’s fine” you said, hoping you’d convinced her. “Okay. If you’re sure. Wanna come back to bed with me?” she asked, hopefully. “Sure, I’ll be right behind you, babe. Just gonna finish my tea” you replied with a smile. And with that, Melissa stood up, placed a soft kiss on your forehead, and walked back down the hall to her room. You exhaled deeply and tried to wipe the dream from your mind. You took a final sip of your tea, rinsed the mug in the sink, and walked back to Melissa’s room.

Tomorrow morning she would leave you and you would be alone. And you knew the numbness would overtake you completely then.

When Melissa’s alarm went off at 6am, she promptly hit the snooze button and then pulled you close and held you tight for the next ten minutes. You didn’t want her to go. Yes, you were jealous that she’d be back at Abbott and back with her students while you still weren’t cleared to return to work. But if you were being honest, you were more upset that the person who had held your hand throughout every step of your recovery had to leave you now. You had to be responsible for yourself. And that terrified you. And when her alarm rang for a second time, you felt a dark cloud descend over your head. Melissa kissed your back and then got up to take a shower and get ready. And as much as you wanted to be a supportive girlfriend and make her coffee and a quick breakfast, you couldn’t move. You had a terrible feeling that you’d spend the rest of the day in bed, crying. Might as well get a head start! Melissa came out of the bathroom, got dressed, and put on her necklaces before she came over and sat down on the bed next to you. And when she saw the salty streams gliding down your cheeks, you could see that it broke her heart. “Aw, hon. I’m so sorry. I know this can’t be easy. But you’ve been doin’ so good lately. I just know you’re gonna be back to teachin’ soon. Then everything will be back to normal” she said as she tried to comfort you. “W… will you tell the k… kids I m… miss them?” you asked as wave of emotions crashed through you. “I promise, hon. I’ll make sure they know! It’s gonna be okay. And remember, I’m comin’ home to check on ya durin’ my lunch break, K?” Melissa said. And all you could do was nod. You sat up slowly, leaned in and placed a soft kiss against her lips, and said, “you better get going. Don’t want to be late on your first day back.” Melissa caressed your cheek gently and said, “I love ya, Y/N. And I’ll see ya soon!” She left the room and you waited until you heard the front door close behind her before you let yourself fall apart.

You woke up at 9am to a phone call from Doctor Frazier. “Hello?” you answered, hoping you didn’t sound as emotionally drained as you felt. “Good morning, Y/N. I was just following up to see if you needed help deciding on a therapist from the list I emailed you last week” Doctor Frazier said. f*ck. Right. You were supposed to look at that. “Oh… um, actually, I’m not sure I’m interested in therapy. You said it’s not m… mandatory, right?” you asked. “Right… but I do highly recommend it. How have you been feeling this past week? Any more big outbursts? Are you finding the anger easier to manage?” she asked, genuinely curious about your progress. “No outbursts. I think I’ve just been f… feeling less angry and more… I don’t know. Depressed? Numb?” you admitted. “That makes sense. I know how disappointed you are about work. And it must be hard with Melissa returning today. How have you been coping with this numbness?” Frazier asked. You thought back to the past week and the dozens of times you and Melissa had sex. You f*cked Melissa in the shower. She went down on you on the couch. You made love on the living room floor. Melissa bent you over the side of the bed and took you from behind with the strap-on. And you ate her out and made her cum so many times, you lost count. You knew it probably wasn’t the healthiest coping mechanism and that the good doctor might not approve, but it was working. “Oh… well, I’ve been going for more walks. I started j…journaling again. Melissa is teaching me how to crochet” you lied. And you were surprised how convincing it was considering you’d been out of practice. Lying had been the key to your self-preservation for the last twenty years. And even though you felt a little bad about lying to Doctor Frazier, you said what you had to to get her off your case for the day. “That’s great to hear, Y/N. Those are exactly the kinds of strategies a therapist would encourage. I’m proud of you” she exclaimed. And now you really felt like sh*t. “Thank you! Look, I’m s… sorry, but I have to let you go. I’m getting a call from my godmother” you said. Another lie. “Of course. Take care, Y/N. I’ll be in touch soon” Frazier said before she hung up. And you felt a strange combination of relief and guilt as you placed your phone back on the nightstand and curled back up into your blanket of sadness.

You woke up a few hours later to Melissa tucking your hair behind your ear. “Mel!” you said as you sat up quickly and wrapped your arms around her neck. “I missed you, too, baby” she said as she smiled against your cheek and gave you a gentle squeeze. “How’s Abbott?” you asked eagerly. “Same as always. Your kiddos miss ya like hell, but I told ‘em you’ll be back soon” Melissa said. “Th… thanks for checking in on them, Mel. I really appreciate it” you said. “Of course, hon! I was happy to do it. Have ya… have ya been in bed since I left?” Melissa asked, concerned. “I… yes. I’m just really tired. I did talk to Doctor Frazier though. Told her I w… wasn’t interested in therapy and that I haven’t been struggling with m… my anger as much. She seemed glad to hear it. Said she’d check in soon” you replied. “That’s great, babe. I’m proud of ya. I’m sure she is, too” Melissa said with a bright smile. And there was the light again, bursting through the haze of numbness you’d been swallowed by since she left this morning. “Mel…?” you asked. “Yeah, hon?” she replied. “Do you think we have time for…” “A quickie?” Melissa interrupted you enthusiastically. “Yeah” you laughed. And without saying another word, Melissa removed her blazer and started to unbutton her blouse. You lifted the t-shirt you were wearing up over your head and quickly pulled down your underwear before you stood up and unbuttoned Melissa’s slacks. “C’mere” she said as she bit her lip and pulled your naked body tight against her own. You licked your lips just as Melissa’s mouth came crashing into yours and she tasted so good. Melissa squeezed your ass and then slid her hands up your sides and toward your breasts as she slowly guided you backward to the bed. When you felt the mattress against the back of your legs, you sat down on the bed and pulled Melissa down to straddle your lap. And she immediately started grinding against your stomach, desperate to cum as quickly as possible. You placed a soft bite against her neck and then soothed it with a kiss before you reached for the lube in your nightstand. Melissa pulled you into a deep kiss and moaned seductively into your mouth as you blindly squirted the lube into your hand. You promptly slid your hand down in between your bodies and spread the lube all over her puss*. “f*ck me, baby” Melissa whispered in your ear as two of your fingers slid easily into her entrance while your thumb rubbed softly against her cl*t. “Oh! Mmmmm. Yeah, yeah. More” Melissa said as she panted. You added a third finger and increased your tempo and pressure inside her. “f*ck! Oh my god, Y/N! You’re gonna make me cum already, baby. sh*t! Right there! Oh, f*ck yes!” Melissa said as she thrusted herself against your fingers and then fell apart in your arms. You continued to pump slowly inside her and couldn’t help but smile when she continued to grind on your fingers while she caught her breath. You happened to look at the clock on your nightstand and realized Melissa only had ten minutes to get back to work. You slowly withdrew your fingers and whispered, “I think you have to go, baby.” Melissa caught your eyes and look immediately disappointed. “But I didn’t get to make you feel good yet” she pouted. “Don’t worry, Mel. You can make it up to me tonight” you teased with a wink. Melissa smiled as she reluctantly dismounted your legs and walked over to collect her clothes. “This was nice” you said as you watched her get dressed. “You’re tellin’ me! Wish we could do it again tomorrow, but you’re booked the rest of the week” Melissa said. “What do you mean I’m booked?” you asked, confused. “I mean you’ve got some special guests comin’ by this week to have lunch with ya! Tuesday is Janine and Gregory. Wednesday is Jacob and Casey. Thursday is Barb and Ava. And Friday is Nat! They all agreed. They miss ya and wanna see ya, hon. I hope you’re up for it” Melissa said as she buttoned the final button on her blouse. “Yes! Of course. I’m t… totally up for that. You really planned all that for me?” you asked as you felt the tears well up in your eyes. “I’d do anything for ya, Y/N. Anythin’ to make ya happy” Melissa said. You stood up and kissed her deeply one last time before she pulled away, said, “I gotta run,” and then sprinted down the hall and out the front door.

And her words echoed in your ears. “Anythin’ to make ya happy.”

Melissa Schemmenti was a saint.

And you didn’t deserve her.

Notes:

A week full of visits and reunions ahead. Y/N really needs this. ♥️

Chapter 75: With A Little Help From My Friends

Summary:

It’s a week full of special visits from your friends. And you’re finally starting to feel better.

Notes:

Sorry for the delay in sharing this chapter. Unlike Y/N who is on the path to better, I have felt emotionally drained and super heavy for the last few days. Wasn’t feeling very inspired to write or share anything. Whomp whomp sad trumpet sounds.

Also, here’s a Spotify playlist of all the songs referenced in this fic. A lot of them are chapter titles, some of them are songs Mel and Y/N listen to/dance to together. I update it each time there’s a new chapter. The beginning is very Sara Bareilles heavy because her music is what made we want to write this. Check it out if you want!

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/26UE57dfdDNaOFmqBEzat0?si=_zAmqPIpRFGpVkKn65sHIA&pi=u-gVXLnC0AT26B

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Janine and Gregory arrived right at noon on Tuesday. And as you watched them gather the bags of corner shop cheesesteaks from the back seat of Janine’s car, you suddenly felt incredibly nervous. You hadn’t seen most of your friends since the day after the accident. They’d reached out, of course, but looking at your phone for too long gave you a headache and you hadn’t felt comfortable with the idea of company since you blew up at Melissa in front of Janine and Casey. You were still so embarrassed and ashamed that you lost your temper like that and could still picture the look of shock on Janine’s face. But she was here now with a huge smile and you decided to focus on the present and enjoy this visit with your chosen family. “Oh my gosh, Y/N! It’s so good to see you. We’ve missed you so much at Abbott! How are you feeling?” Janine asked enthusiastically as she pulled you in for a soft hug. “It’s good to see you both, too! I’m doing a lot better. I have another appointment on F… Friday and I’m hoping they’ll clear me then” you replied with a smile. “That’s great news, Y/N” Gregory said as he handed you your sandwich and you walked inside together. You all sat down at the kitchen table and you poured a couple glasses of lemonade for your friends as everyone enjoyed their cheesesteaks. “How’s it been being b… back? I bet your students were so excited to see you! Do you miss anything about the d… district? Were they able to push your librarian program through?” you asked eagerly, realizing maybe you’d gone too long without human contact (besides Melissa). “Being back has been emotional. I can’t believe how much I missed teaching and eating in the teachers lounge and the funky way Abbott has always smelled. The kids have been great. And yeah, luckily my friend Manny took up the torch for the librarian program and they’re hoping to start it up this fall. And Abbott will be the first school to have a librarian!” Janine replied, and she was absolutely glowing. “That’s amazing, J… Janine. Congrats! I can’t wait to be back with you guys. And that God awful smell” you laughed. “It definitely hasn’t been the same without you, Y/N” Gregory said with a smile. “And how are you doing, Gregory? H… happy to have your girl back at school? Your kiddos make it through assessments okay? How’s the gardening club going with our classes?” you asked. Gregory smiled over at Janine and she blushed. “I’m good, Y/N. And it’s been really good having Janine back. You know I was a mess without her down the hall from me. And I think the assessments went well. I made a chart to make sure we achieved all the learning goals for the year ahead of time and I’m happy to say it worked. And the gardening club is still up and running… but, uh… Casey stopped bringing the kids after the first week” Gregory replied sheepishly, worried he’d upset you. “What? W… why?” you asked, genuinely confused why she’d keep them from something they enjoyed so much. “I mean, I can only guess… but I think she just wanted to take the extra time to prep them for assessments. I know she said Lola was really struggling with Math and that even Thaddeus had started to slip a little. I think she just didn’t want to let you down, y’know?” Gregory said. You were angry, but you couldn’t focus on your anger because you realized that for the first time in weeks, you were in control of your emotions. Three weeks ago you would have lost your sh*t, screamed, and pounded your fist against the table, only to then spiral into a fit of guilt, shame, and embarrassment. But now…? “Wow, really? I mean, I g… guess that makes sense. I’m bummed they’ve missed out, but it sounds like she prioritized helping the students that needed the extra review. Th… thanks for telling me, Gregory” you said, calmly. And you couldn’t believe it. Your frustration hadn’t come pouring out of you irrationally. You were in control again. And it felt incredible. You couldn’t wait to tell Melissa when she got home. Before you knew it, you had tears building up in your eyes. “Are you okay, Y/N?” Janine asked, worried the visit had been too much and overwhelmed you. “I’m great, Janine. Honestly. Thank you guys so much for c… coming. It really made my day” you said with a smile.

On Wednesday Jacob and Casey knocked on Melissa’s front door and you surprised yourself when you immediately threw yourself into Jacob’s arms and embraced him. It was so good to see him at last. You were embarrassed to admit how much you’d missed talking with him about politics, podcasts, and Lady Gaga. “Good to see you, too, buddy” Jacob said as he gave you a tight squeeze. When you parted and turned and saw Casey, you surprised yourself again when you pulled her into a hug as well. She seemed shocked and her body tensed up initially before she let herself hug you back. “Thank you so much, Casey. Thank you for t…taking care of my students” you said as you felt yourself getting emotional as you parted. “Of course, Y/N. I’m happy to help. You… gosh, you look so much better!” Casey exclaimed. “I feel so much better” you replied with a smile. And you realized that the numbness you’d been feeling before was softer now… less heavy. The cracks were getting bigger each day, letting more and more light in. You welcomed your friends into Melissa’s home and you all sat down at the coffee table in her living room and enjoyed the salads Jacob had picked up. “So, Jacob. Melissa told me you had a guy over the day of my accident. Spill!” you teased with a grin. “Oh my god! I can’t believe she told you that! But don’t worry, there has been ZERO sex in communal spaces. Scout’s honor” Jacob laughed, though you suspected he was crossing his fingers behind his back. “Yeah, sure! Tell me about him. What’s he like?” you asked. “Well, his name is Avi. He’s super cute and sweet and doesn’t find me annoying, which is huge. He actually works under Captain Robinson! We met a few weeks ago when they were there taking care of the alley fire. And… well, one thing led to another and now he’s lighting my fire” Jacob said as he blushed. Gosh, he was such a dork. And you absolutely loved him. Jacob was like the brother you never had. And not even hearing Captain Robinson’s name could distract you from how happy you were for your friend. “That’s awesome, Jacob! I c… can’t wait to meet him. We’ll all have to go on a double date soon” you suggested. “Absolutely” he said as he reached over for your hand. “And how’s it been going for you, Casey? My kiddos t… treating you okay? How did the assessments go? Do you feel more settled at Abbott now?” you asked. “Things have been great! I’ll admit I was a little nervous to jump from teaching second grade to third grade so quickly, but the kids are adapting well. Probably because they know it’s just short term and their favorite teacher will be back soon! I’m not sure whether or not settling in too much is a good idea though. I’m still wondering what they’ll do with me once you’re back” Casey replied, and you could hear the worried tone in her voice. “Casey, I p… promise you, there will always be a place for you at Abbott. You have stepped up TWICE and helped students through some ch… challenging transitions. Not to mention their state testing! There’s no way Ava would ever let you go now” you said, hoping to put her mind at ease. Casey smiled and blushed slightly. “Thanks for saying that, Y/N. It was hard to set roots when it all felt so temporary. But maybe Abbott is the place for me” Casey replied. You waved goodbye on the porch as they left and you couldn’t wipe the smile off your face. You were getting better. You could feel it in your bones. And you still had two more days of visits with your friends to look forward to.

You were sitting on the front porch bench when Ava parked her car in Melissa’s driveway on Thursday. Barbara got out of the vehicle as fast as she possibly could and then stormed up Melissa’s front porch. “You drive like you’re auditioning for one of those God forsaken Furiously Fast films, Ava Coleman!” Barb exclaimed angrily. “Well, excuse me for wanting to have as much time as possible with Y/N. Damn! Like I’m the villain here” Ava scoffed. Neither one of them had noticed you yet and part of you wanted to keep quiet. You really missed their banter while you’d been away and you were enjoying the show. “Ahem. Hi, ladies” you said with a laugh. Barb turned her head and smiled brightly when she saw you. “Y/N! It’s so wonderful to see you, dear! You’re looking well. I’m so sorry you had to witness that. But Ava nearly killed us on the drive over” Barb said as she turned and shook her head at Abbott’s unconventional leader. “Yeah, yeah, but did you die? No! What’s good, Harley Quinn? Damn, you’re lookin’ much better than the last time I saw you! That was some Grey’s Anatomy sh*t!” Ava joked as she joined Barb on the porch. You laughed and hugged both of your friends and then invited them in for lunch. Melissa had made a baked ziti the night before and you pulled it out of the oven and served your company before you joined them at the table. “How have you b… been, Barb? Gosh, it’s been so weird not seeing you. How has it been having your work wife back at s… school with you?” you asked, curious to know if she’d share anything with you about how she felt Melissa was doing. “Oh everything’s been just fine, Y/N. Gerald and I made it up to New York last weekend to visit our daughter and even got to see a Broadway show! It was magnificent. And of course I’m thrilled to have Melissa back at Abbott, but we all miss you and look forward to your return. You really made a mark your first year here, dear” Barb said sweetly. “Aw, thanks, Barb. I love it there. I c… can’t wait to be back. Can I ask… how has Melissa seemed at work? She’s been so s… supportive of me through everything. Does she seem okay?” you asked. You knew Barb’s loyalty was to Melissa and that it was a risk to ask her to divulge this information, but you had to ask. “She’s been… fine. I can see she’s tired and of course a little worried. Melissa is glad to be back with her students, but it’s easy to see she feels guilty for not being able to be here with you while you recover. But I ask her about you every day during lunch and she lights up as always. Melissa’s a tough woman. And she loves you. I have no doubt you’ll both make it through this and be even stronger for it” Barb said as she leaned over and patted you gently on the shoulder. You smiled back at her and then realized you’d been so preoccupied with your Melissa recon mission that you’d almost forgotten Ava was even there. You turned to her immediately and then realized why she was so quiet. “Wow! You really like that ziti, eh Coleman?” you teased. “Your little Italian meatball can COOK, Y/N. Jesus. This tastes the way it felt the first time I heard Beyoncé sing. I’m gonna need some of this to go, got it?” she said with a wink. “Got it!” you replied with a laugh. “If only you had this much enthusiasm about approving our paychecks” Barb said as she rolled her eyes. “Oh, come on Barb! I forgot three times! Wait… what’s today? sh*t. Four times” Ava said as she cackled and Barb shook her head in disbelief. And just like that, the show resumed and you laughed as you sat there and watched these two smart, beautiful, fierce, and hilarious women battle it out. You couldn’t remember the last time you laughed this hard. “Oh, and by the way, Y/N, Naomi says you better call her soon or she’s gonna come over here and spoon you against your will” Ava said as she laughed and slapped you playfully on your back.

There was an uneasy feeling in the pit of your stomach when you woke up on Friday morning. While you had looked forward to all the previous visits from your Abbott family, you were very nervous about reuniting with Nat. The last time you saw her she seemed adamant that she wasn’t afraid of her parents’ threats and that she’d find a way to continue pursuing her education without their support. But that was when you were battered and bruised and lying in a hospital bed. You wondered if she only said that to make you feel better in the sorry state you were in. Why would she risk her career or her relationship with her parents for you? You weren’t convinced she would. And you didn’t blame her. You just didn’t know what to expect out of this visit and were prepared for the worst.

Natalie pulled up in Melissa’s driveway and waved at you excitedly when she looked up and saw you sitting on the front porch. You waved back and tried to brace yourself for what you knew would be a difficult conversation. “Hey! Wow! Y/N you look great. How are you feeling?” Natalie asked as she pulled you into a warm embrace. Your body tensed up a little, but you did your best to hug her back. “I’m feeling p… pretty good. I still get headaches, and still get a little s… stuck sometimes when I speak, but I’m doing well” you admitted. “That’s wonderful! And you know what else is wonderful? I tracked down the food truck with those amazing tacos and that’s what I brought us for lunch! Are you hungry?” Nat asked, excited to see your reaction. “Oh, wow! Those were really good t… tacos! Thanks for picking up lunch. Do you m… mind if we eat out here on the porch? It’s such a nice day” you said. “Of course!” she replied with a smile.

The tacos were just as amazing as you remembered and the two of you kept the conversation light as you ate. Nat started to gather the trash and she looked over and realized how quiet you were. “So, I want you to know, I haven’t spoken to Ingrid or Garrett since the day of the accident. I meant what I said in the hospital. I can figure out school without their help. And I’m not letting them keep us apart. I want you in my life” she said as she placed her hand on your shoulder. She was calling them by their names instead of just referring to them as her parents. And you felt a sharp pang of guilt in your chest. Melissa hadn’t spoken to her mother since Christmas Day, because of you. And now Nat was willing to cut her parents out completely, because of you. The thought made you feel sick. You weren’t worth giving anything up for. Nat just didn’t know it yet. “Look, Nat… I th… think maybe you should take some time to consider this. They are your parents. They’ve loved you and supported you and been there. I h… haven’t. And I can’t promise I always will. I don’t think you should just toss that relationship aside for my s… sake. Because there’s a really good chance I’m only going to disappoint you in the end” you said sincerely. You loved your sister and you wanted to know her more than anything, but she hadn’t known you long enough to know what a complete mess you were. She didn’t know how painful your life had been and how you’d gotten used to being alone and keeping everyone at a distance for your own safety. You couldn’t let her give up her family for you. Nat stared back at you with tears in her eyes. “So, you’re just done with me?” she asked as she tried to keep herself from falling apart. “What? I… no… I just… I th… think. f*ck. I just think that cutting them out of your life just because Ingrid threatened me is s… silly. And I’m not asking you to do that. You deserve to have a family. We can still see each other and be part of each other’s lives. You c… can lie and tell them they’re right and keep getting their money for school” you said, trying to find a solution where Nat could have everything she needed. “You want me to lie?” she asked. “Y… yeah. Because then we can still see each other and you don’t have to give up anything else” you said. And you realized that even though lying had kept you safe most of your life, it was something your well-adjusted sister wasn’t as familiar or comfortable with. “Well, I’m not going to lie. And I’m not afraid to give something up. Because I know I’m getting something even better as a result. I’m getting my sister back. So, I get why you’re saying all this. I understand. But you’re worth a lot more than you think. You’re worth this risk” Nat said as she pulled you over into a hug. You wept against your sister’s shoulder as the weight of her words settled in your bones. You were worth knowing. You were worth choosing. You were worth loving. It’s what Melissa and your Abbott friends and now your sister had been telling you and trying to show you all along. And here in this moment, you finally believed it for the first time.

Melissa had arranged for Nat to drive you to your afternoon appointment with Doctor Frazier and she planned to pick you up on her way home from Abbott. You hugged your sister goodbye and made plans to meet up to go pick strawberries together in two weeks. You sat down in the waiting room and tried to wrap your head around what an emotional week it had been. Just then the secretary poked her head out and called you back to the office. “Good afternoon, Y/N. You’re looking well. How are you feeling?” Frazier asked. “I’m f…feeling like I owe you an apology. I lied. The last time we talked… I lied. You asked me how I was c… coping? I wasn’t. Not at all. I was trying to push the numbness away with sex. I never journaled or went for many walks or did anything other than feel sorry for myself and try to f*ck the pain away. I lied so you’d think I was better. And I’m s… sorry” you said. “Well, thank you for your apology. And for your honesty now. What made you decide to share this with me?” she asked. “Well, I had visits from my friends and family all week. I’d been isolating because I was so depressed and angry and worried I’d lose my temper again. But seeing everyone… spending that time together… it chipped away at the numbness and made me f… feel whole and loved and hopeful again. And I got mad about something, and realized I was in complete control. Having that support… that sense of family that I’ve wanted my entire life… it cracked the numbness wide open. And I feel so much b… better now” you said as you wiped the tears from your eyes. Frazier handed you a tissue and then reached for one for herself as well. “I’m so happy to hear that, Y/N. You deserve that. And I’m so glad that Melissa and the chosen family you two have created together have helped get you through this. Here’s what I think. Give me one more week. One more week where you really do the work. Write in your journal. Go for the walk. Meditate. Crochet. Whatever it is you can do that you think will help you stay centered and present and calm when Melissa and your friends aren’t around. And, NO sex. For one week! We’ll meet again next Friday and I’ll do my final assessment. And if you pass… you’re going back to Abbott! Deal?” Doctor Frazier exclaimed excitedly. “Deal” you said as you reached over to shake her hand. And you left her office with a huge smile on your face.

Melissa was leaning against her car as she waited for you out in the parking lot. “Hey, hon” she said with a smile. And you threw yourself into her arms and kissed her like you never had before. When you pulled back Melissa was smiling even bigger. “Wow!” she said as she blushed. “Mel, thank you so much for this week. You have no idea how much I needed this. H… how much it helped me. I love you more than anything. And I can’t thank you enough for everything you’ve done for me, baby” you said as you leaned back in for another kiss. “I’m happy to do it, hon. I love ya. God, I love ya so damn much! How’d the appointment go?” Melissa asked. You thought about the deal you’d made with Doctor Frazier. For one week, you had to try. You had to really put in the work toward your recovery. You had to show her you could do it on your own. That, and no sex. But if things looked good this time next week… you’d be cleared to return to teaching. Your head was spinning with excitement and hope.

“Well, babe. I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news…” you said with a laugh. And Melissa pulled you into her arms again with a smile.

Notes:

Hi!

If you’re new here or have been here since the beginning and are enjoying the story, please comment and let me know what you think. I love hearing from you all and chatting in the comments. It really energizes me to keep writing, too! Thanks for reading. And as always, more to come! ♥️

Chapter 76: Homecoming

Summary:

It’s a long one.

That’s it.

That’s the summary.

I’m a mess. 😂😭

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

It was another lazy Saturday morning in bed with Melissa and you were happy to be in her arms after missing her so much during her first week back at school. And you were still so grateful for all the effort she had put into making sure you had company while she was away. That time with your friends and Nat had made such a huge difference for your mental state. Melissa really was the best. She was spooning you and placing soft kisses across your shoulder blades when you felt her hand slide up your torso and then land on your breast. She massaged it slowly and firmly as she sucked on your neck. “Mmmm” she moaned as she gently nipped your earlobe. “So, lemme get this straight… your homework from the good doctor is to write, go for walks, meditate, and… not have sex with me?” Melissa teased as she pinched your nipple between her fingers. You couldn’t stifle the moan that escaped your lips or stop your ass from involuntarily grinding back against Melissa’s core. “Mhmm” was all you could say as your girlfriend teased you and turned you on. “Well, that’s just hateful! I think org*sms have been crucial to your recovery. I’m a natural healer” Melissa joked as she lowered her hand to your hip and guided your ass up against her. Your breath hitched when she slowly dragged her nails up your thigh and in between your legs, but you quickly placed your hand on top of hers and stopped its movement before she made her way to your throbbing center. You turned to face Melissa and tried to steady your breathing. “Baby, we can’t! Doctor Frazier says I have to figure out how to cope on my own. It’s the only way I’ll be able to go back to work. I have to figure out what’s going to help me stay balanced and manage my emotions” you said, disappointed that you couldn’t give Mel what she wanted right now, especially when everything she was doing to you felt so f*cking good. Melissa pouted for a minute before she reached over and gently slapped your ass. “Ugh! Fine! But WHEN you get cleared at your appointment on Friday, there’s gonna be one hell of a celebration in this bed, yeah?” Melissa said playfully as she planted a soft kiss on your lips. “Yes, baby! I can’t wait” you replied as you pulled her into a tight embrace. “Hey, Y/N…?” Melissa said softly. “Yeah, Mel?” you replied. “Your speech… you didn’t get stuck once this whole time, hon. That’s huge!” Melissa said with a bright smile. You hadn’t even realized it. And you welcomed the tears of joy that arrived once you did.

On Sunday afternoon, Melissa was grading at the kitchen table while you prepared a late lunch. It was quiet, but Melissa was softly humming Billy Joel’s “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant.” The two of you hadn’t listened to a record together in weeks, not since the day you had gotten so overstimulated that you had to turn the machine off. Listening to music with Melissa had been one of your favorite things to do since you first started dating and you missed how intimate and relaxing it felt to pick a record and sit and sing along with the woman you loved. You brought Melissa her lunch and set down a cold beer next to her plate. She looked up and smiled at you lovingly. “You’re the best. Thanks, hon” she said as she reached for the collar of your shirt and gently tugged you down toward her and into a tender kiss. Then you walked over to the record player, found Billy Joel’s “The Stranger: Legacy Edition” and placed it on the machine. And when Melissa heard the song she had been softly humming start playing through the speakers, she looked up at you in surprise. “It doesn’t bother ya, babe?” she asked. “No. I’ve missed listening to music with you” you said with a smile. Melissa stood up and reached for your hand. You walked over to join her in the kitchen and she pulled you into her arms to slowly dance together to the quiet intro to the song. Your head didn’t hurt. You didn’t feel overwhelmed. It was just you and Mel smiling and staring into each other’s eyes as Billy Joel sang in the background. And when the tempo of the song changed, Melissa held you in her arms and you both laughed as you tried to keep up with the frantic pace. It felt like old times. And this was just another small step that felt absolutely huge.

Melissa kissed you goodbye on Monday morning and you immediately dragged yourself out of bed and made yourself some hot chocolate. You poured it into your favorite mug and then grabbed your notebook and pen and made your way out to the front porch. The plan for today was to practice journaling. You flipped past pages and pages of poems you’d written about Melissa and you hoped you would finally be brave enough to share some of them with her someday soon. You put your pen to the paper and were pleasantly surprised when the words came pouring out. You wrote about Ingrid and how it felt in your body the moment she entered your classroom. You wrote about what you remembered from the crash and how each of your senses seemed heightened before you lost consciousness. You wrote about how disorienting it had been to see Amy after all this time and how it felt like the two of you finally had closure and could genuinely wish each other well now. You wrote about how scared Melissa looked in the hospital and how hard it was not to be able to hold her and comfort her and make her feel safe in those scary moments. You wrote about your anger and how intense the smallest moments of frustration felt while your brain was still healing and you had no control. You wrote about Melissa and how worried you were about her. She’d done so much for you over the last month and you were scared that everything was taking more of a toll on her than she was letting on. You wrote about your friends and Nat and how much they meant to you. You wrote about it all. And the act of transferring all these thoughts from your body and your mind to the pages in front of you was such a relief. You closed the journal and tucked it beneath the cushion on the bench. Journaling had turned out to be a truly cathartic experience and you were proud of yourself for taking it seriously and doing the work, just like you promised Doctor Frazier you would. And when Melissa came home later that night, you sat her down on the couch after dinner and read her one of the poems you’d written for her during your spring break together:

You know me
In a way I’ve never
Known myself.
And I know you.
I know every curve
And line of your
Fingerprints.
Because they’re
Imprinted on my heart.
Forever. Always.
And maybe those
Words are too big
Or mean too much
Or scare people
Who don’t understand.
But when I tell you,
Forever. Always.
You know what I mean.
You know that it’s true.
Because you know me.
And I know you.

Melissa looked up at you in awe and then stood up and pulled you into her arms. “That was beautiful, hon. Thank you so much for sharin’ it with me. And for writin’ it for me. No one’s ever done anythin’ like that for me. I… I love you, Y/N. C’mere” she said as she tried to wipe the tears from her eyes and pulled you into a soft, passionate kiss. You loved Melissa more than life itself. And even though you had been so nervous to share your work with her, your bravery had paid off. Because she was smiling. Because she was happy. Because she could hear in your words exactly how much she meant to you.

On Tuesday morning, you woke up before Melissa and immediately started prepping her coffee and breakfast. You had turned her alarm off so she could wake up to the feeling of you kissing her back instead of the loud and repetitive beeping she was used to. Then you quietly whispered that the shower was already on and ready for her. Melissa yawned and stretched and immediately smiled when she saw your face. “What did I ever do to deserve ya?” she asked as she reached up and caressed your cheek. You kissed her hand, helped her out of bed, and told her that her coffee and breakfast sandwich would be ready soon. You watched as Melissa backed out of her driveway and waved as she slowly drove away. The plan for today was to go for a nice long walk. You had become intimately familiar with Melissa’s neighborhood over the last nine months. The two of you walked together several times a week and always enjoyed greeting her neighbors, taking in the sounds of the cars passing by and children playing, and admiring the scenery. You’d never forget the first time you took Melissa for a walk around her neighborhood back at the beginning of the school year. That was the day you gave her your green cardigan. You hadn’t needed it for comfort or warmth since you fell in love with Melissa Schemmenti. She was like the sun. And you were never cold in her presence. It was a beautiful morning and the breeze calmed and cooled you as you slowly made your way to the park. The last two times you were here were absolutely horrible. The first time, Melissa had asked you for a break and by the end you had begged her to leave you sitting alone in the dark as you wept. The second time, you completely lost your sh*t and yelled at Melissa about the stupid f*cking bench. You had to take your power back. It was just a park. It was just a bench. You walked over and sat down on the wooden structure that had caused you such grief and gently rubbed your hands across the uneven slats. You closed your eyes and listened to the wind and felt yourself inhale deeply. You thought back to the night when Melissa was so unsure about everything and how she asked for time to sort through it all. You remembered how devastated you were and how hopeless it all felt in that moment. And when you exhaled… you thought about how you woke her up this morning and the warmth of her hand on your cheek before she got out of bed. “We got through it” you whispered quietly to yourself. You inhaled again and thought about the day a few weeks ago when you yelled at Melissa for bringing you here and how humiliated you felt after you lost your temper. And as you exhaled… you whispered, “I’m in control now.” And when you opened your eyes, you felt… peace. It had been hard to make yourself come here, but you were so glad that you did. And as you walked away and looked back, all you saw was a bench. There was no more pain or embarrassment. It was just a bench. And it always had been. You told Melissa what you had done when she got home that afternoon and she was so proud of you. And you were proud of you, too!

On Wednesday, you gave yourself the day off. You were tired from the mental energy you’d spent writing on Monday and the physical energy you’d spent walking around Melissa’s neighborhood on Tuesday morning. You stayed in your pajamas, grabbed a bag of Salt and Vinegar chips, and watched the latest season of The Real Housewives of New Jersey so you could surprise Melissa at dinner later tonight. You made Beef Stroganoff and were thrilled (as always) when Melissa complimented your culinary efforts. “You know what I’ve been wondering?” you asked as you both enjoyed your dinner. “What’s that, hon?” Melissa replied. “Who called the feds on Teresa?” you asked casually. And Melissa nearly choked on her stroganoff. “Say what now?” she asked, certain she’d misheard you. “And also… what’s the deal with Marge? She’s SO sneaky” you added with a smile. Melissa looked back at you in complete disbelief. “Hon… did you seriously watch my show today just so you could talk about it with me tonight?” she asked playfully.