punch_kicker15: (Willow rainhat)
[personal profile] punch_kicker15
Title: Leap Before You Look
Author: punch_kicker15
Rating: PG
Characters/Relationships: Jenny Calendar/Nikki Wood
Summary: Months after jumping into a portal to save the world, Nikki's still adjusting to her new life with Jenny in San Francisco.
Word count: 724
Notes: Written for femslash_minis, for kwritten, who wanted the pairing, tarot card, dirty dishes, and secret language/codes. Apologies that this is so late! Also, I really need to find some Jenny icons and some Nikki icons.

Nikki dropped her shopping bag and fumbled for her keys. It had been an exhausting morning, due to a combination of pregnancy fatigue and an overly helpful stranger who insisted on carrying her groceries to the apartment building. In her New York, that could have been a prelude for a mugging or worse, but in this San Francisco, it was just a dude being polite. The politeness was weird. But wasn’t nearly as weird as this universe’s New York, with streets she didn’t know, and all of her friends and family vanished without a trace.

She shoved the milk into the fridge, and glanced at the sink. Jenny had refused to yield in their dishwashing game of chicken. The stack of dirty dishes was piled high, and might topple over at any second. Nikki grabbed the one clean dish from the counter, smeared some peanut butter on crackers, and sat down at the kitchen table.

Across the room, Jenny sat on the futon that doubled as their bed. A girl with dark red hair sat next to her. Something about the girl’s wide brown eyes reminded Nikki of her Cousin Nora’s pet rabbit.

The girl said, “So the problem is, I’d really like to go to Oxford, but he can’t get a visa to go to England, and it would mess up his touring schedule to visit every couple of months, and I don’t know if he’ll want to wait until I finish undergrad, and then there’s grad school to consider--”

“The cards are foretelling heartbreak for both you if you stay,” Jenny interrupted. “The relationship won’t survive if you stay.”

The girl’s face crumpled. “And if I go? Will we make it work if I go?”

Jenny flipped over another card. “That’s harder for me to see. You may or may not. All I can see for sure is that it will be a disaster for you both if you stay.”

The girl sighed. “Thanks. I guess I have a lot to think about.” She trudged out of the apartment, with a look of melodramatic turmoil on her face. Nikki had to suppress a laugh. Adulthood was no picnic, but she didn’t miss adolescence. It was so exhausting when every decision seemed to be life or death.

Jenny joined her at the table and swiped a cracker.

Nikki grinned at her. “Good thing she doesn’t have my bullshit detector. Were you even reading the cards?”

“I did. They weren’t quite as definitive as I made them sound--”

Nikki laughed. “You are such a Loretta.”

“No, I’m not! I’m just giving her a nudge.” Jenny frowned. “God, that’s a total Loretta thing to say. It’s just, her boyfriend’s nice enough, but the band is all he has going on. If she gives up Oxford, in a couple of years, she’ll resent it. And him. So I’m trying to keep her from going all Marybeth. She’s got a lot of potential.”

Nikki said, “You think, with a nudge, she has Maya potential?”

Jenny shrugged. “Stranger things have happened.”

It occurred to Nikki that a year ago, this conversation would have been gibberish to her. It was a language built through months of watching Wildcat Springs with Jenny, following the endless manipulations of town gossip Loretta Bailey-Sommers, the misfortunes of good girl / martyr Marybeth Collins, and the dazzling adventures of Maya Lee, the bisexual genius CEO whose motto was, “I want it all, plus a little more.” Soap operas were definitely a lot more entertaining in this universe.

Jenny shuffled the cards. “Want me to do a reading, Brooklyn?”

Nikki considered this for a moment. She hadn’t known the future when she jumped in the portal seven months ago. She hadn’t known she was pregnant. She hadn’t known she’d survive the jump, but lose everyone she’d known and loved. Would she have hesitated if she’d known those things ahead of time? Would she have failed to save her home universe? Would she have missed out on life this universe with Jenny? Missed out on this crummy little studio apartment, the weird nicknames, the magic spells and divinations of varying reliability, and the hours spent cuddled on the couch, laughing at the terrible acting on Wildcat Springs?

She scooted her chair closer, wrapped her arm around Jenny’s waist, and kissed her softly. “Nah,” she murmured. “I’m good.”
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