Title: A Brief History of Shelby and Nona Kikorov
Series: Helena and Shelby
Rating: PG-13ish
Word Count: 500
Summary: Shelby isn't gay. She's just in love.
Notes: I steal things from books, television, other people's fanfiction (which somehow feels more dishonest than either of the above), and from people around me. Please forgive me.

A few days before I left for college, my mother called me into the kitchen, sat me down and said, “Whatever you do, don't come back gay. Drink. Do drugs. Have disappointing sex. But for the love of God, don't you dare come back gay.”

I thought it was stupid and I thought that anyone would have thought she'd never met me at all but saying that would only have led to another epic argument so I told her, “I don't think there's much chance of that happening.”

Not that it really mattered what I said. She already thought I was gay. I didn't have the heart to tell her the reason I wasn't interested in guys that way was that I wasn't interested in anybody that way. I really think that that might be the only thing that would have freaked her out even more than me being gay.

Sometime during sophomore year it occurred to me that while being gay and being in love with a girl weren't technically the same thing, my mother probably wouldn't see it that way, since 'don't come back gay' and 'do not have romantic interest in anyone with a vagina' are most likely one and the same in her mind.

But they aren't in mine so when, as usual, not two minutes after I walked in the door, she asked me, “So, did you come back gay?” I said, “No, but I think I'm in love with a woman.”

She looked at me long and hard and said, “Don't put your stuff down. You're not staying here. Come back when you've got a husband.”

Helena was standing by car, when I came back out. She raised a single eyebrow at the suitcase still clutched in my hand. I shook my head.

“No dice,” I told her, and tossed it in the back seat. “She's got people staying over. We're going to have to find a hotel.”

I slid into the passenger seat and she caught the door before I could close it. She leaned in close to me and said, “Shelby Kikorov. You wouldn't be lying to me, would you?”

Her eyes were wide and bright, and very, very blue. There are women who would kill for eyes like that. I'm much amiss if she could tell you what color they are without stopping to think.

“Helena de Soto,” I said to her. “Why would I do a thing like that?”

I might be in love with her, but there's not a reason in the world she should have to know about it.

Helena looked at me for a while longer, dark and thoughtful, and then she dropped her face to the ground. She ran one rough hand through her dark, shaggy hair, and laughed, low and cold and bitter. She slammed the doors – mine and hers, when she got in on the other side.

We didn't say anything for a long, long time.


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