Fandom: The OC
Pairings: Summer/Marissa, Summer/Seth, Summer/Taylor
Word Count: 1482
Summary: Once, at one of those beachfront parties at Holly’s place back during freshman year, Summer and Marissa kissed on a dare.
Once, at one of those beachfront parties at Holly’s place back during freshman year, Summer and Marissa kissed on a dare.
Summer doesn’t remember much of it. Marissa’s mouth was soft and wet, tasted like tequila with that citrus tang of the lemon wedge she was sucking on. Summer’s tongue curled behind Marissa’s front teeth and one of her hands cupped the back of her best friend’s head, keeping her still while they kissed. There was leering and cheers from the boys gathered. Luke yelled something about it totally turning him on. Afterwards, Marissa giggled and reached for a shot of Captain Morgan, throwing an arm around Summer’s shoulders.
It’s one of those things that stays with you, Summer finds. Kissing your best friend. She’s thought about it so many times. When Ryan came and Marissa had those problems with Luke; when Marissa confessed that she had been seeing Alex. At other times too -- sunning at the beach, running around South Coast Plaza, mixing margaritas in the Cooper-Nichol kitchen. Summer remembers, remembers, remembers.
After the car crash, Summer wonders if Marissa ever thought about it. That kiss. And it makes her unsettled. She doesn’t even know if Marissa remembered it the next morning. She’ll never know.
It’s almost the end of her yearlong contract with GEORGE. The weather is warm in Boston and Summer can feel the sunlight against her hair when she’s talking to a group of gathered Emerson students in the Common. Seth is supposed to be coming, but he calls last minute and says that he’s missed the Peter Pan for today, but he’ll be sure to take the next one up the next morning. Sure thing. His words are cut off by the sound of laughter and Summer hangs up before he says goodbye because obviously he’s busy.
She’s so close to Providence, she could just hop in a cab and tell them to go.
At the end of her presentation she’s taking her applause behind her podium and thinks she sees Taylor at the very edge of the crowd. It’s a trick of the light, Summer thinks, and disappears behind the makeshift stage.
“Bonjour, Mademoiselle Summer!” Taylor shrieks before throwing her arms around Summer’s neck. She looks a little tanner, bangs still cut away to the side, one of those cloth polka-dotted headbands in her hair. She looks like home and Summer hugs her tight.
“Taylor, what are you doing here?” Summer asks, still holding onto her.
Taylor giggles and her breath tickles Summer’s ear. “I’m on break, obviously! And I was wondering what you were doing this summer so I went and checked the GEORGE website and voila! It said you were going to be in Boston and I have to go through Boston so I can take the train to New York -- it was serendipity. C’est magnifique, no? I have reservations at the Copley Plaza courtesy of my mother too so we can par-tay tonight, girl!”
Summer lets go and takes a step back. It feels good to see Taylor. “I’m leaving tomorrow.”
“Yeah, but not tonight,” Taylor points out. “I want to walk around Boston. The glorious bloodshed of our ancestors, those patriots that bravely stood and fought for our freedom -- it’s so romantic. I wonder if they sell Minuteman uniforms. I could get one for Ryan -- ” She cuts herself off and shivers.
“Ew,” Summer says before she can stop it. “Um. Let me go talk to the team, okay? Don’t go anywhere.”
Brett gives her a hug when she gets to the edge of the Common, where their bus is being loaded. All the sound equipment and projector screens. He congratulates her on a job well done and jokes that they’ll put Al Gore out of business soon. Summer watches clips from An Inconvenient Truth every night before falling asleep and everyone makes fun of her for it, but she knows that, for example, Vicky has this bad habit of littering while they’re on the road, and Pat has a picture of Al Gore on his laptop. They’re practically family now.
“Wanna come grab a beer with us?” Wyatt asks, throwing her a wink. She’s told him she has a boyfriend. He hasn’t listened. “I’ll buy. Come on, Sum.”
“My friend from home is here. I’m going to hang out with her tonight. What time are we leaving tomorrow?”
“Like, nine-thirty?” Brett shrugs. “Just be on time.”
Taylor lets out this pitched scream of excitement when Summer gets back. Summer’s ears ring for an hour afterward. But as they leave Victoria’s Secret arm-in-arm, each clutching a pink shopping bag with new lingerie, she knows it’s absolutely worth it.
Summer finds it endearing that Taylor has no alcohol tolerance. They’re curled up at the head of the massive bed in Taylor’s room at the hotel, watching How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days on TBS. Summer feels like she hasn’t watched television in months, which she hasn’t, except during New Year’s to see the ball drop. Taylor’s head is resting on Summer’s shoulder, cheeks stained red, a glass of Pinot Noir in one hand. They have vastly different ideas about partying. Summer puts her Smirnoff Ice on the nightstand.
“You’re drunk,” she says to Taylor and laughs. Summer’s drunk too. She had a strawberry daiquiri with dinner and a martini at the hotel bar afterwards. There may or may not have been a shot or two of Kahlua as well.
“Can I taste yours?” Taylor asks muzzily, lifting her head and pointing to the Smirnoff.
Summer hands it to her and watches as Taylor takes a sip, smacking her lips as she swallows.
“It’s yummy,” Taylor grins, giving the bottle back. “Like lemonade.”
“A little bit,” Summer agrees and they both start to giggle.
Onscreen Kate Hudson is harassing Matthew McConaughey with what looks like a houseplant. Taylor pillows her cheek against Summer’s collarbone again, releasing a sigh as they lie there together.
“I kissed Marissa once,” Summer says suddenly. “At one of Holly Fischer’s parties in high school.”
Taylor sits up and shakes her bangs out of her eyes. “So?”
“So?” Summer echoes incredulously.
“Summer, exploring your sexuality as a teenager is a normal part of adolescence. I found myself attracted to many beautiful women when I was younger. It was a very erotic awakening. The French are all about erotic awakenings, you know,” Taylor expounds, swirling her wineglass around in emphasis.
Summer slides her thumb around the rim of her bottle of Smirnoff. “I don’t think it was that.”
“What was it?” Taylor leans in, wide-eyed, curious.
“I don’t know,” Summer says in a soft voice. “I’ve just been thinking about it.”
“Huh,” Taylor says.
The room goes all quiet. Summer finds herself wondering what Seth is doing. Some really dorky thing having to do with comic books and whiny music probably. She’s been listening to Death Cab lately on her iPod, and it makes her irrationally worried that she’s getting all emo.
Taylor props her head up on one arm and uses her free hand to tug Summer closer to her until they’re so close Summer can taste the sour wine on Taylor’s breath. Their noses bump at first, but it’s okay, and Taylor’s mouth opens underneath Summer’s lips. She isn’t the same as Marissa, not at all, smelling like lavender bodywash and something muskier and darker than how Marissa always smelled -- coconut oil and fruity perfume. They kiss again, Taylor moving them so they’re both lying on their sides, hands on each other’s faces. It could almost be Summer kissing Seth or Ryan kissing Taylor, but it’s not. It’s different.
“You taste like lemonade,” Taylor whispers, lips moving from mouth to ear.
Summer closes her eyes. “A little bit.”
The tour bus pulls away at exactly nine-thirty AM, at which point Summer is resting in the back with her head against the window. Her hangover is throbbing in her head and she’s nibbling on a packet of saltines. Vicky leans across the aisle and presses two Advil and a bottle of fizzling Alka-Seltzer into Summer’s hand.
She imagines Taylor waking up, white sheets tangled between her breasts and legs because that’s how Summer left her, searching guiltily across the floor for her shoes. She imagines Taylor cleaning up the empty bottles scattered across the floor and opening up the window because the room smells like stale alcohol.
Summer imagines the next time they see each other, back home in the OC, and not saying a word because that’s how it works, she knows now. It’s easier if you don’t remember even if you do.
She tilts her head back and tries to go to sleep. Brett’s muttering to himself in the seat behind her. It sounds like it’s raining outside. It could be raining outside.
It could be anything.