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Greenhouses Are Ill-Advised (One Prompt, Ten Authors) (F/F)


MaiMai

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*waves* Hey! I am literally squishing my contribution for the one prompt, ten authors stories in right on the deadline it's actually a few minutes past midnight in the UK but shh 

The prompt we were all using for this was the following:

Location:Vineyard

Occupation: Doctor

Cause of sneezing: Allergies

Random word: Fog

I've written shamelessly self-indulgent f/f fluff with a bit of a fantasy spin, so if that's your thing, look no further! If not, turn away now. :P

A little background on these characters: Lola is part werewolf, in the sense that she has the werewolf gene (runs in her family) but it's reticent, so whilst she has were characteristics, she can never actually transform. Aimee is a demi-god hailing from the mountains. In the modern day, Lola works as a radio presenter, and Aimee works in IT; they're both immortal and kind of from an alternate universe which exists many centuries behind the present day. The whole immortal thing is pretty well known in this present day universe, though, and mortals and immortals co-exist pretty happily. Extremely brief but hopefully that gives some context!

(Additionally, slight warnings for both swearing and a bit of mess in this one).

 

Greenhouses are Ill-Advised

Winter sun had the same coolness as water lapped from the bathroom tap at three am, an exhilarating bite which made her limbs ache to stretch and run. Lola could feel it, taste it, as she trailed behind Aimee. She felt, too, the damp grass bow damply beneath her feet, even through the thick soles of her boots. The full moon, perhaps, was closer than she had thought, amplifying every touch and breeze. When Aimee came to a halt and her hand brushed against Lola’s sleeve, she felt it like a fizzle of static just barely touching her skin.

“Do you recognise it?” Aimee asked her. The grass didn’t seem to flatten beneath her feet, but stubbornly sprung up and curled round the tops of her boots. Matching, same style, but chocolate brown. “I spent so long finding it!”

Obediently, Lola cast her eyes about the scene that stretched around them. Row upon row of creeping vines, their heavy fruit absent in the early winter in which they stood. A few straggling visitors exploring out of season. A small dog, grey and floppy-eared, bounding in and out of several thick-trunked trees. She frowned and pulled her hair, a curious shade of faded rose, away from her eyes.

“I gotta be honest with you, ‘Mee. I don’t recognise a damn thing.”

Aimee’s expression fell for a moment, but she cast her hands about them once again at the landscape. Vines, trees, faded hills in the distance. Mountains, perhaps. “Don’t be silly! Of course you do!”

When her wild hand-gestures bore no fruit, Aimee stumbled through the grass to Lola, dew collecting on the toes of her boots. She pulled her close and pressed a kiss to her lips.

“Not that this isn’t romantic as hell,” Lola mumbled, “But I still don’t have a fucking clue why we’re here.”

Aimee huffed a sigh, a few wisps of steam curling from her mouth. “You really don’t remember? You are truly-ah. Truly forgetful.” She faltered on finding her scarf, a deep scarlet wool, caught on one of Lola’s jacket buttons. (Lola, in fact, had knitted it for her. She was prohibited from ever revealing this to any acquaintances, though, as Lola had a notion that an earnest hobby like knitting and her leather-jacket wearing self didn’t quite fit together.)

“This,” Aimee continued, her scarf liberated, “This is where we met!”

“You mean-the forest used to be here? You’re kidding.”

“Not in the slightest. I researched it,” Aimee grinned.

“Of course; you and your wonderous tech skills. You are such a damn nerd.” Lola laughed, but stole a kiss to her cheek and cast her eyes around the landscape a second time. She tried to search out something familiar, an oddly-shaped tree or meticulously-placed rock which would catch at her memory. An arcane amount of years and several alternate universes, however, stood between the bygone forest and the neatened, pruned vineyard that faced them in pre-winter sulkiness.

“I know it doesn’t look much like it did.” Aimee must have been watching her, tracking the confusion in her eyes. “But we might be able to find something we recognise.” She was unfolding, of all things, an ungainly map which she had somehow crammed into a pocket.

“Nerd,” Lola told her again, her words warm and muffled into the side of Aimee’s neck. She had moved to catch sight of the map over her shoulder, but the lines and notations were all gibberish to her. “Give me ancient languages any damn day. I don’t understand a thing on that.”

“I don’t think werewolves have a history of being proficient at map-reading, sweetie.”

“But demi-gods do?”

Aimee shushed her with a roll of her eyes, tucking the map back into the pocket from whence it came. Its disappearance was equally as inexplicable to Lola as its appearance had been.

“Come on,” she said simply, a cryptic smile on her lips.

Again, Lola found herself trailing a few steps behind, following Aimee’s bright bob of perfect, straight dark hair. They wound through rows of vines, the tips of leaves brushing their coats. Lola emerged one hand to brush against their green edges. They felt as though they were shivering, beneath their thin film of rainwater and dew.

“At least they didn’t roll out some hideous fuckin’ road over this place,” she commented. The same fate had befallen several of their favourite spaces, of those they could find again. She was fairly certain that the spot of the village she had grown up in had been replaced by an obnoxiously enormous supermarket. Aimee had had to persuade her out of setting up an extremely loud protest in front of doors with her guitar, arguing that no one would appreciate it or know what she was protesting about.

“Yes. A little of the forest is still here,” Aimee replied, and her tone lightened as she added, “Just around this corner-”

She broke off. Whatever it had been that she had been leading Lola towards, the latter was fairly certain that it wasn’t what they were stood before, which was a remarkably glittering yet lonely-looking greenhouse.

“I guess they replaced that too, huh?” Lola said gently.

“I suppose that they did,” Aimee replied, voice flattened.

“Was this…?”

“It was where we first kissed. The pond.”

“Ah,” Lola murmured. She had been anticipating the answer; with all the fickleness of irony, her eyes had traced the shapes in the trees and the tread in the path, and something about the bite of the breeze had told her distantly where they were. “Fuckin’ mortals.” She took Aimee by the hand, and led her toward the rickety door of the greenhouse.

“Where are you-”

“Inside. We kissed here for the first time, right? So I’ll be damned if we don’t kiss here again for the first time this century. Even if it has to be in a greenhouse.”

“I’m not even convinced we’re allowed in here,” Aimee pointed out. A smile threatened on her lips, but she scanned the glass exterior. The greenhouse seemed a distant object, windows fogged with condensation and the blur of flower petals like watercolours. Lola followed her gaze.

“A little trespassing never hurt anyone, honey.”

“I don’t think that’s true-” Aimee began, but Lola noted the lack of resistance to her grasp as they approached the door. It cracked open with ease.

“Y’know, if they really didn’t want anyone in here, they would learn to lock the damn thing.”

With that, the door shut behind them with a soft thmp which was immediately muffled and died in the thick air. Everything was flourishing greens and flowers. For a moment, neither of them could do anything except look, and take slow breaths of heady scent of earth and sweetness. Lola wandered over to the nearest flowerbed, full of brilliantly blue flora.

Nigella, I think this is called,” Lola said, touching her fingers to their petals. “Pretty certain the common name is love-in-the-fog. Or love-in-the-mist, or…something like that.”

“And you call me the nerd.” Aimee’s fingers encircled Lola’s upper arm, eyes peering round her shoulder. “I think it’s the second one. Mist sounds more romantic than fog.

“Hmm,” was Lola’s softly simple reply, softer than the following two breaths she drew in sharply, making Aimee glance up. “hh’tsCHUHH!” Her hand had been drawn, reflexively, to her face and away from the flower.

“Bless. Flowers too much for you?”

The light-hearted jab was easy to laugh off, but Lola rubbed at her nose intermittently as they wandered further, arms never fully relaxed. Though singular, the initial, seemingly solitary sneeze had left her with the cloying sensation of needing to repeat the action.

“You wouldn’t happen to know what this one is?” Aimee was asking her, just, of all times, as she was on the verge of giving into a second sneeze.

“Uh-” she sniffed, hard, trying her utmost to pull her fraying composure together. “-‘fraid I can’t-snf-tell you about that one-…one.” The first enunciation of the last word was breathy and partially swallowed, forcing her to repeat it.

“Lo, I think the flowers are too much for you.”

“No, I’m-waitfuckgonna-hh’etsHCHUH!-hhh…hng-hh’eshCHUH!

Bless. Are you-I think you might be allergic, to something in here.”

Lola straightened, Aimee’s hand on her back. She hadn’t the heart to shrug it off, but she was certainly inclined to argue. “I’m not allergic to anything. Can’t be a-…aller-hh’eSHUU!-oh, fuck, my eyes.

“Uh-huh. Textbook allergies I’m afraid,” said Aimee, brows drawn down in sympathy as she watched Lola scrub at her eyes. “I think we should get back outside.”

“N-No, we-snf-we haven’t kissed yehhh-yet. huh’ehtCHUH!

She looked up at Aimee, bleary eyes and running nose and an absurd determination in the line of her jaw. Aimee had to choke a laugh.

“As much as I love you, I would prefer to kiss you when there’s not so much snot on your face.” Even as she was speaking, though, she leant in to peck Lola on the lips, dark hair soft and spidery against her cheeks. “Bleh. Happy now?” For all her supposed disgust, her smile had something of a glow.

“I suppose-hh’etSHUU!-it’ll have to…ughfuck-huh’EHSHUU!-ep’TSCHUU!-hghhh, Aimee…” She was pawing at her scarf now, fingers catching in the blood-red of the wool. Her other hand was curled against her eyes in a faux-protective gesture.

“We’ll get you out of here. Come on.”

Outside the greenhouse was a kind of chilly that Aimee felt she had forgotten in the short time they were wrapped in its green and brown depths. Lola gave a sharp cough on feeling the cold air again and lapsed into another sneeze. By this time, her motions to wipe her nose on her sleeve were becoming rather desperate.

“You’re going to hate me, but I took the tissues out of my pocket to fit in the map.”

“Well fuck,” was the response, followed by a muffled sneeze. “My eyes burn,” Lola complained stuffily. A touch of a growl rumbled in her throat.

“They’ll get better soon,” Aimee soothed, “Try not to rub them so much.”

“Easy for you to say,” Lola muttered darkly, and sank to sit on the worn stone steps outside the door.

Joining her, Aimee murmured, “If nothing else, this is another thing to check off the list.”

“What?”

“You know, that article I was reading the other day. ’Top Twenty Mortal Experiences For The Immortal’, Dr Edmund PhD, or whatever his name is. The one Tyler suggested.”

“Oh, blegh. Tha-snf-That.”

“Shush, you. Just because you take pride in being some stone-cold immortal-”

“-I think you’ll find I’m very…huh’etSCHUH!-fuck. Very warm, actually. Snf. What number even was it?”

“Number twelve, I think,” Aimee replied, “Thirteen was getting lost in a modern supermarket.” She giggled from behind her fingers, “I’d say we had that one down from the first week.”

“Deities above, protect us from the labyrinth that is the fucking Tesco down the road,” Lola replied, eyes raised dramatically to the heavens. The effect was rather more dramatic than it should reasonably have been, owing to the film of tears still clinging to her lashes. “To this day, I can’t go in the damn frozen section without p-panicking-“ She paused, abruptly, expression resolving itself into one of fuzzy desperation. “hh’TSCHUH!-god, when is this going to stop?

“It can’t go on forever,” responded Aimee sweetly, to which Lola snuffled, and glowered, and sneezed again into her sleeve.

“This jacket is gonna be fucking ruined,” she lamented, even as one corner of her mouth, barely visible behind the leather, twitched into a smile. “Still. This was…is…sweet. Cute. You’re sweet.”

Aimee was blushing, scuffing at the damp grass with the edges of her boots. “Shh, you.”

“I mean it. Sweet anniversary idea,” Lola persisted, went to drop the sleeve from her face, but paused. “I was intending to kiss you, but I think it’d better wait until we find some damn tissues.”

“Here,” Aimee administered a kiss to her forehead. A gathering afternoon mist was making the ends of Lola’s hair curl; a few delicate ringlets brushed Aimee’s cheek as she leant in. “Compromise. Let’s never venture into a greenhouse again.”

“Mhhm,” Lola agreed stuffily. “Greenhouses are ill-advised.”

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3 hours ago, MaiMai said:

“I think we should get back outside.”

“N-No, we-snf-we haven’t kissed yehhh-yet. huh’ehtCHUH!

She looked up at Aimee, bleary eyes and running nose and an absurd determination in the line of her jaw. Aimee had to choke a laugh.

“As much as I love you, I would prefer to kiss you when there’s not so much snot on your face.” Even as she was speaking, though, she leant in to peck Lola on the lips, dark hair soft and spidery against her cheeks. “Bleh. Happy now?” For all her supposed disgust, her smile had something of a glow.

“I suppose-hh’etSHUU!-it’ll have to…ughfuck-huh’EHSHUU!-ep’TSCHUU!-hghhh, Aimee…” She was pawing at her scarf now, fingers catching in the blood-red of the wool. Her other hand was curled against her eyes in a faux-protective gesture.

“We’ll get you out of here. Come on.”

I have to highlight this part before I get to the rest because it was sooooo decadent and such a perfect balance between sexy and sweet! 

And then the desperation at the end.....yes please!

~~~

3 hours ago, MaiMai said:

“At least they didn’t roll out some hideous fuckin’ road over this place,” she commented. The same fate had befallen several of their favourite spaces, of those they could find again. She was fairly certain that the spot of the village she had grown up in had been replaced by an obnoxiously enormous supermarket. Aimee had had to persuade her out of setting up an extremely loud protest in front of doors with her guitar, arguing that no one would appreciate it or know what she was protesting about.

 The mental image of this was too funny hahahahahahahha and I enjoyed seeing how the immortals acclimated (and didn’t acclimate) to modern times. 

~~~

Wonderful world building, published author-level writing (I’m jelly), delicious spellings and timing for the sneezes, and the fluff!!  

~~~

Thank you for joining OPTA! 

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I loved reading this, thanks for sharing it!!! I would advise green houses personally lol

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Omg, you already had me hooked w the (part-)WW and demigod pairing but like, this piece is so frickin' CUTE. Aimee getting her scarf caught (and then the aside that it was Lola who knitted it for her in the first place~!), Aimee w the "I researched it!" (I love her so much???), Lola's determination to make the most of the visit even when the place has changed with time... there's definitely a sort of nostalgia to revisiting somewhere you know well and finding it's almost unrecognizable (though I suppose it's not too uncommon for immortals), but they really make the best of it here ❤️

On 1/1/2020 at 4:11 PM, MaiMai said:

“Uh-” she sniffed, hard, trying her utmost to pull her fraying composure together. “-‘fraid I can’t-snf-tell you about that one-…one.” The first enunciation of the last word was breathy and partially swallowed, forcing her to repeat it.

I really like how Lola is trying so hard to stay composed (she seems like the type of person to usually have everything well-managed, seeing how hard she tries to speak normally through the fit, but it's clearly getting more and more difficult for her to reign in control; you write that out so well)!

Also I love that her werewolfian nature shows just a little more (with her pawing at her scarf and her voice sounding a bit more like a growl), it's just super precious...!!

On 1/1/2020 at 4:11 PM, MaiMai said:

“You’re going to hate me, but I took the tissues out of my pocket to fit in the map.”

This is so cute (and really clever, haha).

On 1/1/2020 at 4:11 PM, MaiMai said:

“You know, that article I was reading the other day. ’Top Twenty Mortal Experiences For The Immortal’, Dr Edmund PhD, or whatever his name is. The one Tyler suggested.”

Oh, blegh. Tha-snf-That.”

“Shush, you. Just because you take pride in being some stone-cold immortal-”

“-I think you’ll find I’m very…huh’etSCHUH!-fuck. Very warm, actually. Snf. What number even was it?”

“Number twelve, I think,” Aimee replied, “Thirteen was getting lost in a modern supermarket.” She giggled from behind her fingers, “I’d say we had that one down from the first week.”

I can definitely imagine this as a book in this universe; getting lost in a supermarket is such a specific listing! (I love that they both know the list by heart, more or less, and that they've actually experienced the supermarket one), there's a lot to wonder about. Your writing style is stunning ^^

Edited by monochrome
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@Reader I'm really glad you enjoyed it! Thank you so much for the sweet comments :blush: Thank you for organising OPTA! I really enjoyed writing for it, it's such a cool thing to do!!

@Sneezingnonstop Glad you enjoyed! :happysmiley:

@monochrome Ahh thank you so much!! Lola and Aimee are two of my most beloved sweethearts to write about! I'm happy that you enjoyed reading about them as much as I like writing them ❤️

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I'm really thrilled by how everyone wrote so different stories with the exact same prompts! 😊

On 1/2/2020 at 1:11 AM, MaiMai said:

“N-No, we-snf-we haven’t kissed yehhh-yet. huh’ehtCHUH!

She looked up at Aimee, bleary eyes and running nose and an absurd determination in the line of her jaw. Aimee had to choke a laugh.

“As much as I love you, I would prefer to kiss you when there’s not so much snot on your face.” Even as she was speaking, though, she leant in to peck Lola on the lips, dark hair soft and spidery against her cheeks. “Bleh. Happy now?” For all her supposed disgust, her smile had something of a glow.

“I suppose-hh’etSHUU!-it’ll have to…ughfuck-huh’EHSHUU!-ep’TSCHUU!-hghhh, Aimee…” She was pawing at her scarf now, fingers catching in the blood-red of the wool. Her other hand was curled against her eyes in a faux-protective gesture.

I love the way she just totally comes undone in this part! 😍 This is a very well-written fic, fantastic job!! 

 

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