WARNING: femmeslash. Girl on girl action. Lesbians. Whatever you want to call it, if you're a homophobe… GO AWAY! Unless of course, you want to add to my ever-growing bonfire of flames. ^_^ *laughs evilly as someone mumbles "pyro" from the corner* With pride!

The door opened slowly and a look of shock came over her face. "Oh, hi."

I laughed. "Oh, hi? That's all you can say to me? Your best friend you haven't seen in three years?" She nodded wordlessly and opened the door wider. I brushed past her, my body catching her shoulder a bit – so what if it wasn't a total accident?

Alicia smiled at me and asked "When did you get back in town?"

"A couple days ago. I didn't know if you'd want to see me…" I trailed off at this, not sure if I should bring up the subject, but realizing too late I already had.

Alicia turned away and looked into the kitchen, where I could see her mom slumped over a cup of coffee. I strode over to greet the woman who used to be my second mother. "Hey, Mary Ann!" I exclaim excitedly.

The platinum-blonde woman looks up with a start. I grin. Ever the morning person, Mary Ann was. I watch as her face breaks into an ecstatic grin. "Joy!" she squeals and flings her arms around me. "Oh my God you've grown up! And you look so mature! What did you do to your hair?" She babbles happily away as Alicia stands in the background, rolling her eyes. I smile at my friend as I talk with her mom.

"Do you want to know the whole chronology of what I did to my hair, or just what it is currently? Because I don't even remember myself." We laugh. For your information, my hair is currently bright red (and I mean bright) with my natural curls showing through. Sometimes I straighten it, but this morning I remembered how much Alicia had adored my curls so I left them.

Mary Ann and I chatted animatedly for a few minutes – "catching up" as she called it – but then she looked over at Alicia still standing in the doorway and stopped. "Well, I'm sure you and Alicia have a lot to talk about, so I'll let you go. But how long are you back for?"

"I transferred to the University here, so I'm looking around for an apartment, actually." Mary Ann squealed.

"Oh, well, make sure it's not too far away from us!" She sighed. "I missed you so much, and your mother…" She sniffled. "Bless her soul; she was the best woman I've ever met."

I nodded and smiled, then turned away and grimaced to Alicia, who smiled weakly back. Let's just say my mother and I didn't always agree about – certain things. Alicia led me through the living room again, towards her room, but I stopped when I saw the wall. "Alicia…" I breathed. "Did you draw those?" There were three art pieces on the wall: an oil pastel garden landscape, a pencil sketch of the city streets, and another oil pastel of two little girls chattering animatedly over a tea party.

Alicia came to stand beside me. "Yes, I drew them. I'm doing a double major of art and English literature." This surprised me. Alicia never was overly ambitious – though she did love both art and English, so I guess it shouldn't have.

"You're going to have your hands full with that," I commented, still mesmerized by the tea party. The two little girls looked eerily familiar – that's when it hit me. It was one of Alicia's memories. A memory of me.

I tore my eyes away and smiled sadly at my high school best friend. What had happened…?

No, I knew very well what had happened. And from the looks of things, Alicia was remembering what had happened, as well. Her forehead was drawn, her pretty green eyes looked far away, and she looked incredibly small and lost. That scared me. Alicia was never lost. Before I knew what I was doing, I was hugging her. At first she went stiff, but then relaxed against me until we were both clinging to each other. No words needed to be spoken. It was okay. We had forgiven each other, finally.

I felt Alicia grin, then giggle, and then I started giggling too. We both were laughing our asses off and gasping for breath within ten seconds. Alicia caught her breath first, and I saw her grin evilly before she pounced on me. "Noooooo!" I gasped as she tackled and started tickling me. I squealed and squirmed and tried to get away but Alicia is a lot stronger than she looks, and I get pretty helpless when I'm being tickled (that's just between you and me, ok?). I managed to escape by grabbing her wrists and rolling sideways, out of her reach. I let go quickly and ran through the living room and kitchen until I reached the den, where I jumped over the back of the couch and hid behind it, waiting to ambush her. The lights were off, and my black-clad body had the perfect camouflage.

Or so I thought. In three years, I had forgotten that Alicia's room had two doors: one off the hallway and one off the den. I heard a slight creak behind me, and turned just as Alicia swooped down on me. "AAAAAIIIIIII!!" she gave an almighty war-cry, and flattened me.

I lay silent in mock-defeat for a couple seconds, then reached my hands up to spin her off me – she saw it coming and pinned my arms by my sides. In the dim light from the hallway, I could see her face floating above me with a very, very smug grin on it. "Mwahahaha," she laughed darkly and evilly. I smothered a giggle and tried to go along with the game. "I've got you, my pretty, and your little dog too…" she cackled, then trailed off. Saying in a normal voice, "Ok, well, maybe you don't have a dog, but I've got you, still!"

I nodded gravely, then said in the small, scared princess voice, "Oh, Evil Wicked Witch, what are you going to do with me? I've always been a good girl, done my chores and homework without complaint –" she snorted at this – "well, mostly," I amended. "But please, oh please Miss Wicked Witch, I just want to go home to my family!"

She tilted her head, 'considering' this, then sighed theatrically. "Your innocent goodness has melted the ice around my heart! It's grown three sizes this day!"

"Um, I think that's The Grinch, Alicia," I commented.

"Oh. Right. Well, whatever. Onward!" she said triumphantly. I noticed a truly disturbing gleam in her eyes this time, and I suddenly realized that she had been sitting on top of me quite comfortably for the past three minutes. I was made aware of her warm weight on my stomach, the way her hands still lightly gripped my wrists against my sides, her eyes locking with mine…

No no no no NO! My mind screamed at me as her face hovered over mine. What about last time? You don't want to have to go through that again… But quite clearly my body was not listening to a thing my mind was saying to me. Neither, it appeared, was Alicia's. Her mouth descended slowly towards mine, our eyes still locked until I closed mine and arched up towards her.

The first touch was electric, just as it had been three years ago. Our lips molded together and moved with each other. We knew each other so well it didn't matter we hadn't seen each other in three years. Didn't matter that last time we saw each other she was screaming at me and I ran away with tears pouring down my face. Didn't matter that her mom was in the next room… I stopped thinking as her tongue brushed against my lips, and I let my own tongue out to play. I tried to lift my hands to her face, to draw her closer, but her grip tightened on them and she grinned against my mouth. "Naughty, naughty…" she whispered, then delved her tongue into my mouth, running it along my teeth until I whimpered when she pulled suddenly away. I opened my eyes and looked up at her, dazed.

Alicia was breathing heavily and when I met her gaze I saw pure desire in them. To say I was surprised was a bit of an understatement. "As I recall," I commented between shallow breaths, "last time this occurred you didn't like it nearly as much."

She rolled her eyes. "I liked it just as much; I just wasn't as willing to admit it. I've changed quite a bit since you left, Joy."

I snickered. "A bit?"

"Ok, a lot." She grinned. "But you can't deny you like it."

"I would never do that."

"Good." She leaned down to me again, but I stopped her. "Um, isn't your mom right over there?" I asked, jerking my head towards the kitchen.

"No. Didn't you hear her leave? She said she was going to the grocery store and to run a few errands, and that we could help ourselves to whatever we wanted…" she trailed off suggestively with the last comment.

"Oh and I'm sure that's what she meant, too," I commented dryly.

Alicia tilted her head thoughtfully. "Well, no, she actually said we could help ourselves to whatever we wanted from the kitchen. But you were in the kitchen."

"So were you."

"Wow. Imagine that."

I giggled as she leaned down again to kiss me. This time she let go of my left arm so she could trail her hand through my hair. "You know I always loved your hair," she whispered against my lips.

"Mmm…why do you think…I wore it curly…and down…today…" I pointed out between kisses.

"You evil girl. You planned on seducing me," she said without much vice in her voice. In answer I slipped my thigh between her legs and used my free hand to run over her back and up her spine. She shivered and moaned. "Maybe we should…move this somewhere more…comfortable," she gasped.

She dragged me up from the floor and led me towards her door. I ran my hand over her ass and she jumped a bit. "Joy!" she exclaimed, pretending to be scandalized. I just grinned as I pulled her flush against me and stuck my tongue out at her…albeit, in her mouth. But it was in the way. It was!

We stumbled awkwardly into her room and she shut the door behind her, then broke away from me. "Hold on," she said.

"Ok," I grinned, and grabbed her again.

"Oh, haha. I meant, wait a second. Do you know what you're doing? What we're getting ourselves into?"

I sighed. Uh-oh. Doubts time. "Alicia, I've been out as a lesbian for five years. You know that. You think that that entire time I spent pining over you? You should know better than that. When I left, I tried to get you out of my mind, because I thought you didn't feel the same way I did, and I didn't want to torture myself. I had quite a few girlfriends in Oregon. I'm not going to lie to you. But I will tell you that I never did stop thinking about you." I looked into her eyes. "No matter how hard I tried, I never did get you out of my mind. That was actually a reason a couple of my girlfriends broke up with me. Because they knew I wasn't all theirs. I belonged to someone else, no matter how much I tried to hide the collar."

By now we were sitting on her bed and our wild desire had subsided somewhat. I could see her trying to process this.

"What about you?" I ventured. She didn't seem too deterred by the fact that I was a girl.

"Oh, I've known since a couple months before you left. But, when you kissed me…I was still in somewhat of a denial stage and I didn't like that I liked the way you were making me feel."

I smiled somewhat bitterly, remembering that day.

I was sobbing by the time I got to Alicia's house. She opened the door, took one look at me, and engulfed me in her arms. "I don't want to leave!" I managed to say between sobs. She led me to her room and we sat down, my face buried in her shoulder. She made comforting little noises and rubbed my back as I cried.

"Ever since Mom died, Dad can't stand being around here. He says it's for his job, but I know he really just doesn't want to live here anymore.  We're moving in two weeks…" I started hiccupping as my tears slowly stopped. Alicia handed me a couple Kleenexes, and I used them and crumpled them into the trash. Breathing deeply, I managed to stop hiccupping and stared at my feet. "What am I going to do in Oregon? I don't want to fucking move there."

Alicia was still rubbing my back. It felt nice. "Well, it's only for one year. Then you can come back and go to the University here, with me." I smiled. "See? A smile!"

I rolled my eyes. "You are so corny, 'Licia."

"And that's why you love me, darling," she shot back.

I looked up. "Yeah…." Our eyes met, and before I knew what I was doing, my lips were on hers and my hands were on her face. "I'm going to miss you so much…" I mumbled, not realizing she'd gone stiff.

When she didn't respond to my comment, I pulled away. I touched my lips, suddenly noticing what I'd done. I'd never done that before. I was always careful to respect Alicia. I glanced at her face, nervous to know what I'd see there.

Horror. Terror. Anger.

Uh-oh.

"WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT FOR!?!" she screamed, standing up violently.

I was taken aback. I mean, yeah, I shouldn't have done it, but…it was just a little kiss. Not like I raped her or something. "Woah, Alicia, I'm really sorry. I'm just…really emotional right now; I didn't know what I was doing." My eyes were wide at the look on her face. I had never seen Alicia that upset. No, upset is an understatement. She was livid.

"Here I am, trying to be a good friend and comfort you and say it's going to be ok, and all you can do is make unwanted advances on me?" She sounded slightly hysterical.

"Alicia, it was just a kiss…" I hadn't really recuperated from crying to begin with, and my voice became wobbly.

"Yeah, maybe for a dyke like you," she said scathingly. "For normal people, that was disgusting and gross and…ugh!" she shrieked.

"Oh, so the truth comes out now, does it? You never accepted me. You were just faking it! Behind my back, you were probably the one starting all those rumors about me and Laura!" I was crying freely now. "I can't believe you! I thought you were my best friend, but now I know the real truth, I guess…" I ran out of the room with tears streaming down my face, I called a choked good-bye to Mary Ann, and drove home as well as I could when I couldn't see.

Two weeks later, we moved away.

"…Joy?" I jerked back to the present. Alicia's hand was on my thigh, and she was looking at me with concern. "You ok? You really spaced out there."

"Yeah, sorry. Just…remembering…" I sighed.

"Look, you know I never meant any of that shit I said that day, right?" Alicia looked heartbroken at remembering it. "If I could, I would have taken it all back. I was just-" she sighed. "I was scared. Like I said, I was still in denial. Now I know how much I truly do love you."

I laughed. "I love you too." She grinned and captured my lips in the sweetest kiss I've ever had, and I fell back on her bed, happy.

"Mmm…love you," Alicia murmured as she ran her hands over my stomach afterwards. My fingers were absently braiding little pieces of her hair and I sighed, pressing a chaste kiss on her throat. There would be a couple hickeys there tomorrow, I thought to myself, grinning.