Hawknell the boy I love's got another girl

After this
Cat and Heather's new apartment

Catriona would feel bad later about Rika taking second place to all the feelings Grace had brought out with one stupid conversation. It was difficult to even remember why she'd gone to Starling Pond earlier that day with all of the anger and sadness flooding her memory. Grace and Kidd, huh? Well, wasn't that just fucking peachy.

The worst part about all of this was the trip home. Trying to keep from crying on the bus. Then the next bus. Until eventually she found herself walking down new streets to a new apartment she shared with Heather. She still had boxes to unpack. Things to decorate. None of it mattered right now.

The moment she stepped over the threshold into her new place, Catriona sought refuge in the shelter of her new home. A home that Kidd hadn't destroyed for her just by existing in it. It was a new place for new memories and one she shared with her wonderful best friend. Cat made her way toward Heather's room and knocked on the door, still holding back tears.

"Heather?" Cat called out quietly on the other side of the door. "Mind if I come in?"
Heather had achieved peak bed rotting energy, dedicating the rest of her day to being curled up in bed "job hunting" on her laptop while also scrolling endlessly on her phone.

But Cat came back sooner than she'd thought she would, and so she was already closing her laptop and preparing to get up and be nosy when the knock came. And that little voice.

"Yeah, babe," She beckoned, pushing back her blanket and sitting up on her bed. What had happened to poison practice?
Catriona opened the door to Heather's room and saw her sitting up in bed. She frowned, trying to think of the best way to bring it up without crying. She felt silly for still wasting tears over Kidd Slater.

"Thanks," She said, still quieter than usual. Still on the verge of collapse.

"Um. It's just been a weird day."

To say the least.
She knew that look immediately. Something bad had happened. Heather's heart plummeted.

She scooted up against her pillows and patted the bed as she set her phone and laptop aside, urging her friend to come sit. "What happened?"
Catriona moved to slide herself up beside Heather on her bed and leaned back against the pillow. She felt stupid. That was the feeling that made its way to her brain. To her heart. Stupidity for trusting an absolute creep.

"Kidd was cheating on me. Sort of. Or he was going to." A beat. "With Grace." The tears started to streak down her face as she wiped them away with the backs of her hands.
Her gut reaction, unfortunately, was a big fat fucking CALLED IT. Not that she was going to say it out loud, but it had been her suspicion when Kidd had called it off. Because what the fuck else could it have been? That dumb, dumb motherfucker didn't know what the fuck he had. His ungrateful piece of shit ass had had the best woman he could have hoped for and-


And he was cheating with Grace.

Grace. Psychic Guru Grace. Cool, funny Grace. Friend Grace. Grace who she accidentally went on a date with Grace, and thought she was a pretty awesome and trustworthy person Grace. That Grace??

Heather's face scrunched as she tried to wrap her head around it. Her hands came to press against her bunched brows, head shaking some, "Wait. What?" Because? It just didn't fucking make sense? "He told you this?"
Catriona shook her head and replied with a single, "Nope." Then she wiped at her eyes and cleared her throat. Trying not to let it get to her. Trying not to be upset that her friend of three years would cheat with her boyfriend of about the same amount of time.

"She told me. Rika- Rika didn't show up for power practice and Grace couldn't find her. We both couldn't contact her, so we met up to wait for her to call one of us back and- and she just fucking told me."
Grace had told her. What. The. Fuck.

Rika being missing was the last thing she fucking cared about right now, sorry. Not when Grace had used their meet-up to just fucking. Drop a bomb on Cat.

"Hey, by the way, lol, I'm fucking your man."

Because Heather didn't believe for one fucking second that they were just "going to." Who admitted to almost cheating with someone's fucking boyfriend? Who admitted to it at all, honestly?! Did Grace think she'd been doing the right thing? Was it guilt, or some sick satisfaction, or-

And don't even get her started on Kidd.

"What the fuck." Heather said harshly, dropping her hands into her lap and turning to her quietly crying friend. The sight of more tears from Cat enraged her beyond any words. She shook her head, eyes wide and glassy with rage-induced tears of her own. Grace. She'd always been more of Cat's friend than Heather's, but she'd been a constant presence in her life for a while. And she'd always considered her one of the most trustworthy people there were. So this was just. A betrayal beyond comprehension. She couldn't wrap her mind around why she'd ever do something like this to Cat.

She fucking hated her. God she could fucking beat the shit out of her. Both of them. Kidd was already on her list of people she would love to personally curb stomp, but knowing this made it all the more a concrete thing. She'd fucking catch a charge with a smile on her face if she could get her hands on either of them.

"I don't even know what to say. What- What did you do? What did you say?" How had Cat not fucking strangled Grace with a vine or turned her insides to mush?!
Yeah. It was a lot. Catriona realized it also sort of pit them against Grace, which she didn't care for either. As much as she didn't want to see Grace Lee or Kidd Slater again, she liked to think it was something they could have moved past. If Grace had just said she still wanted to be Cat's friend, maybe there would have been some foundation left in the wreckage. Something to hold onto and hope for. As it stood, Grace was... maybe just another stranger. A woman who maybe she had felt closer to than Grace had felt toward Catriona. She had confided things in Grace over the years. Things she wasn't proud of or happy about and it all hurt so much more to know Grace didn't even know if they were friends.

What a fucking bummer and it was all over the piece of shit ex-boyfriend whose only good quality, Cat was starting to realize, had been his wallet. The wallet she had never bothered to truly exploit because she wasn't that kind of person.

The worst part was the dehumanizing feelings it left her with. This sense of dread and self-doubt in her gut. Was it her fault? The worst fucking thing to think, really. That was the worst part. That she allowed Kidd to affect her own self-worth, even more now that they weren't together. That he might dump her for someone else. For someone she thought was her friend. Because she told him the truth about the vampire. It was really hard not to conflate the two incidents now that she knew. It was hard not to think back on his reaction at the time. Or the fact that he had insisted that it wasn't because she hadn't told him about the vampire when he dumped her. When he said he had other priorities than she did and apparently that involved a wandering eye. What else hadn't he told her in the three years they spent knowing each other?

"I said they deserved each other." She pulled her legs up to her chest and tried not to sob. "Grace doesn't even know if we're friends anymore. I asked her. She just said she didn't know. I knew we hadn't been close in a bit but I still considered her a friend." A good friend. "Apparently, she teleported to his house while he was at mine after I told him about the, um. The vampire. She took a selfie wearing his watches that wasn't raunchy or anything. It was meant to scare him and he liked it. And things just got flirty. Or maybe they already were flirty?" It was hard to remember exactly how Grace had said it.

Cat drew a deep breath in and said the next thing quietly. "What the fuck is wrong with me?"
Deserved each other. Honestly, a better response than Heather could have ever thought up. She'd have turned to violence and yelling expletives before any of these nitty gritty details came out.

As for the question of if Grace and Cat were still friends, Heather knew the answer! Fucking no! Because no one that called themselves a friend would ever do any of the bullshit Cat was describing. Broke into Kidd's fucking house to wear his watches. Nothing raunchy!! Pinky promise! It was just an innocent exchange while you were crying and feeling awful about yourself, Cat.

God, she was going to fucking explode.

All of this, and Cat still blamed herself. Asked that same heartbreaking question that Heather had already insistently answered. Nothing was wrong with Cat. And she was fucking tired of the world making her think that.

Heather turned to her friend and looped her arms around her shoulders to hug her firmly.

"I could fucking kill them." She said, quiet but vicious.
Heather pulled her into a hug and squeezed hard enough for Cat to choke on the sob she'd been holding back for hours. Her best friend wanting to kill her ex-boyfriend and Grace was maybe the kindest thing she could have said, even though Cat truly didn't want that to actually happen. It was fucked to feel like she'd been a part of some fucked up love (sex?) triangle of Kidd's and hadn't even realized it.

Catriona tried to control her sobs, to rein it all in again but the dam was overflowing. She just had to move on. She knew she did and she'd tried, sort of, half-heartedly anyway. Then Grace of all people pulled her right back into her heartbreak, like snapping an elastic band.

"I wish I didn't know. I wish I never found out." She sobbed, holding Heather's arm over her shoulders with both hands. It was all she could muster in the moment.



This was just not fucking acceptable. Heather was not okay with any of this.

And yet what the fuck could she do? Like, genuinely, what were her options? As much as she wanted to storm out of this room and drive her car through Kidd’s stupid luxurious living room, or go hunt down Grace and pull her fucking hair out at the root…

She couldn’t. Not with Cat clinging to her, sobbing in her arms, hurting so bad. There was nothing Heather could do but hold her. But sometimes, that was the best thing to do. Justice aside, Cat needed her here right now. To cry with her, and tell her it would all be okay.

“But now the people you couldn’t trust have shown themselves” Heather mumbled after a few tearful minutes, “The truth fucking hurts now, but you won’t have to wonder anymore. The trash took itself out.” Who could have guessed it would be Grace to show herself as a fucking snake in the grass. The bitch had perfect camouflage. Who else would she fucking hurt like this?
Yeah. They had but what did it matter in the end? It wasn't like it changed anything other than make her feel terrible like she had that night. Worse, even. She sniffed though and nodded, trying to find some sense of comfort in her best friend's words. Her trust had been severely affected once more and here she sat, a crying mess in Heather's arms.

"I guess so," She sniffed and wiped at her eyes with one hand, the other still firmly wrapped around Heather's arm in front of her.

"It makes me feel like I fucked up." Cat sniffed and shook her head. "I know I didn't. At least, I don't- I don't think I did. Maybe it wasn't even the first fucking time something like that happened with him." It was so easy to go down this path. To tread dangerously into paranoia and distrust. To take every nice moment and sour it with 'what ifs'.

"Or. Or maybe I just- I just wasn't enough."
It was a line of thinking Catriona was tragically prone to. She wished there was some way she could reach inside her friend's head and remove the demon that whispered such awful things to her. There was nothing in the world she wanted more than for her friend to be able to see how amazing and deserving of love she was, and never once doubt it. That it was the people that she placed so much trust in that were to blame for their own cruelty.

"If you weren't enough for him," Heather said, reaffirming her hold on her weeping friend, "Then there is nothing in this world that can make that miserable fuck happy." Because he'd literally had the best of the best, and he'd fumbled it. All for a girl that had no fucking sense of loyalty at all. " And Grace... maybe she does fucking deserve him. She doesn't know what loyalty is. So they can go off and make each other miserable together. But in the end, it won't be your fault that they end up alone and sad and fucking friendless. They did that shit to themselves." She hoped they both died old and sad and alone. She fucking meant that.

"But you, Cat." She leaned to try and catch her friend's gaze. "That's not what will happen to you. You have people that really love you, and recognize how lucky they are to know you." PEOPLE LIKE HEATHER HELLO. "And you're going to find someone someday that sees you, and cherishes you. Even the parts of you that aren't perfect; because no one is. But if that person's right for you, and smarter than dumbass Kidd Slater, then they will see those flaws as strengths, and love you even more for them."

And if anyone else thought they could play around with Catriona's heart like that, then they'd have to deal with Heather as a consequence.
It was hard not to fall back into old habits that made even Catriona angry with her brain. She tried to listen to Heather though as she reassured her that it wasn't her fault this bullshit had happened. The blame was external. Just Kidd and Grace being stupid and cruel, even if Grace had made some attempt to bring everything to light. It still was for selfish reasons. It harmed only Catriona to tell her what she did. It was easy with Heather vocally supporting her to see their actions a little more clearly. Even if, overall, the entire thing felt awful.

Cat deserved more than what either of them had put her through and while she wasn't entirely sure she'd ever find someone like Heather described in a romantic sense, she was grateful she had her best friend. Time and time again Heather stuck up for Catriona, even against her own brain. Especially against her own brain. It made her weep a little more as she looked at her friend and took a giant breath in to calm her nerves.

She hated feeling like this. This vulnerable, hurt, feeling. Again and again. Always because she trusted too much and too freely. It was supposed to be a good thing and yet maybe more boundaries were needed to protect herself. Don't jump into things. Don't be careless. Even with matters outside her heart. It was a fucked lesson to have to learn again and again in different ways by different people. And it wasn't the lesson her best friend was trying to teach her. Cat knew that. But it was hard not to feel in some way like she was too trusting. Too vulnerable.

"Thank you." She said, uncharacteristically quiet. "I love you, mate. Thank you." She looked away again to more properly wrap her arms around Heather.
Heather hugged Cat back fiercely, glad more than ever that they'd decided to live together. They could protect each other that much better. Cat was the closest thing she'd ever had to a sister, and she was so glad she got to be there for her.

"I love you, too." She said tightly, a little muffled by ginger hair.

"It's going to be alright. Gonna take some time, but you'll be stronger because of this. Just... just guard your heart, and focus on you, and no one else can hurt you like this again." She said, still a little tearful. Ugh, okay, enough crying. She laughed a little shakily, "And if they try, I'll fucking curb stomp them."
Catriona started laughing a bit when Heather laughed, mirroring her tone accidentally. It was hard not to be moved to try do something to protect herself from further heartbreak but she didn't really know what that looked like yet. Not without closing herself off to other people completely and even Cat found she didn't want that for herself.

"Deal," She replied with another shaky laugh and squeezed Heather's shoulders.

It was good to release some of the unwanted energy somewhere. To talk it out and feel things. Even if she didn't like feeling this way. It was ultimately for the best.

Heather pecked her friend on the cheek, then sat back. "Good. Let's go get booze and candy and binge a bunch of movies." She suggested.
Catriona smiled a bit and nodded her head, still sore from it all but feeling generally a little lighter with Heather in her corner.

"Only if they're horror movies. No romcoms."
Hey, blood and guts were a perfect outlet for her rage.

"The bloodier, the better, babe." She said, then slid off the bed to tow her friend along. No more crying over Kidd fucking Slater.
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