Pairing: Ava / Ashlee
Spoilers: None. Set a few months in the future. Assumes Blis and Otalia are both together.
Summary: Ashlee and Ava find that their mothers have beaten them to it.
A/N: This is a one-shot and in no way related to the longer Avalee fic which will be appearing here soon. The idea of Clarissa’s powerpoint was first conceived in this fic by wonkots42
“So does this make us sisters now?” Clarissa Marler beamed up at Ashlee, who managed a weak smile in response.
“Yeah, I guess it does.” She tried hard to feign enthusiasm for the little girl’s benefit, although her mind was still reeling with the news which their mothers had imparted a few hours before. Blake and Doris were dating and had been so for several weeks. When Clarissa’s first reaction had been to want to tell Emma, Ashlee had been only too glad to accompany her from the house, in desperate need of some space to think. The fact that Ava had been in town and spending the day with her little sister had been an added bonus. The two mommies club was complete, and about to descend on Company for some much needed refreshment.
“Cool.” Clarissa bounced up and down excitedly. “I need a new sister now Dinah’s gone.”
Ashlee rolled her eyes at Ava over the young girl’s head. She’d forgotten about Dinah’s connection to Clarissa. Springfield really was one big interconnected web. She briefly wondered how her former boss would feel to know that she was apparently so easily replaceable.
“Big sisters are the best,” Emma stated enthusiastically, hugging Ava and fixing her with big puppy-dog eyes, refusing to look away until the tall brunette sighed grudgingly and fished around in her purse.
“And little sisters are so transparent,” she muttered, slipping Emma a couple of bills and inclining her head towards the counter. “Go on, get yourselves milkshakes. Small ones mind,” she called after them as they ran off. “Chocolate for me. And something for Ashlee if she wants.”
The blonde shook her head as they settled into the booth. Ava watched her carefully for a moment, then patted her comfortingly on the arm. “It took me a while to get used to it too,” she murmured, pausing as Ashlee smiled gratefully. “Besides, it could be worse.”
Ashlee raised her eyebrows. “Oh yeah?”
Ava nodded vigorously, lowering her voice. “You could have ended up with Rafe and the spawn of Frank Cooper as your step-siblings.”
Ashlee snorted. There had been a time when she’d quite liked Rafe, but recently the bile and vitriol had become too much and she’d been avoiding him wherever possible. Which wasn’t exactly hard with him hundreds of miles away on army training camp. Still, considering the options, perhaps Clarissa Marler wasn’t so bad after all. She smiled at Ava conceding her point. “You’re right. I just need a little time to get used to this two mommies thing, that’s all.”
“Wanna borrow my presentation?” Emma asked, carefully placing a drink in front of her sister, before sliding on to the seat next to Ashlee, who fought to keep a straight face as next to her, Ava dissolved into noisy laughter.
“You know what sweetie, I think I’m good,” the blonde replied tactfully, then backtracked hastily as Emma’s face fell. “But I’d love to see it sometime.”
“I’ve got a better idea,” Ava muttered in her ear as the two young girls fell into excited chatter about the various advantages of having two mommies, with Emma offering to help Clarissa with a powerpoint presentation of her own. “What are you doing tonight?”
Ashlee’s eyes widened as she opened the door to her small apartment a few hours later, to take in Ava, standing in the doorway, a six pack of beers in her hand.
“I won’t tell if you don’t,” the brunette whispered conspiratorially, as Ashlee grinned and stood back to let her in.
“Daisy around?” Ava asked, glancing around the small kitchen, as the blonde took the drinks from her hand and placed four in the fridge, opening the other two and handing one back.
Ashlee shook her head. “James’s,” she answered simply.
“Great.” Ava followed the blonde into the living room and took a seat on the sofa, folding her arms in front of her and eyeing her friend expectantly. “Then we can get straight to the point and you can tell me what all this is really about.”
Ashlee raised her eyebrows, taking a long gulp of her drink.
“Come on,” Ava pressed, unrelenting. “We may not have been on speaking terms for long, but I know you Ashlee, and sulking really isn’t your style.” She paused, then continued when the only response from the blonde was a vaguely offended glare. “Besides, you like Blake, I know you do. I’ve seen you working together.”
“Blake’s alright,” Ashlee admitted grudgingly.
“Exactly.” Ava looked triumphant. “So why do you have such a problem with her dating your mother?”
“Blake’s not the problem,” the blonde almost growled.
“So...” Ava held her hands out in front of her, prompting her friend to continue.
“So...” Ashlee was suddenly glad of the alcohol in her hand and she took another long gulp, wrapping her hands around the bottle. “So I spend the best part of a year worrying about how to tell my mother something... something big... terrified that she’d disown me, like she did when I was in juvie... that she’ll hate me for it...” Ashlee trailed off, while Ava fought to keep a straight face.
“And you’re mad that she got there first,” the brunette finished for her, as Ashlee’s mouth dropped open. “You’re mad because now, when you come out, it’s going to look like you’re copying Doris.”
The blonde stared at her in stunned disbelief. “How...?”
Ava’s eyes filled with amusement. “Am I right?”
“Why else do you think I haven’t dated since Coop?” Ashlee muttered, attempting to cover up her sudden insecurity with defiance.
Ava grinned. “Perhaps the same reason I chose to move to San Francisco, of all places...?”
Ashlee’s jaw hit the ground as she waved a vaguely accusatory finger at her friend. “You?”
“Yes, me,” Ava confirmed quietly, her voice suddenly serious, both women feeling the atmosphere in the room shift as the taller woman set down her - now empty - beer bottle and moved a little closer to the blonde on the sofa.
“Does Olivia know?”
Ava shook her head. “She beat me to it too.”
Ashlee giggled nervously. “This is so weird,” she murmured, her voice suddenly breathy, as, on the cushion between them, Ava’s fingers grazed her own.
The brunette eyed her earnestly. “Would it be weird if I kissed you?” she asked, her own voice becoming gravelly as the other woman met her gaze, nodding in response, but moving closer nonetheless.
“Weird can be good,” Ashlee whispered almost inaudibly, a split second before Ava’s lips met her own. “Weird can be good.”
“So how do you think we should tell them?” Ashlee queried, several minutes later, leaning back into the couch, still breathless and trembling from the kiss.
Ava moved her slender fingers from Ashlee’s hand to her arm, causing goose pimples to form on the other woman’s skin, grinning wickedly as she contemplated her suggestion. “Perhaps we should give your ‘little sister’ a hand with that powerpoint after all.”