TITLE: The University
|~ Part Six ~|~ Part Seven ~|~ Part Eight ~|
AUTHOR: Jos Mous
DISCLAIMER: I own none of these characters, I’m not making any profit out of this, blahblahblah.
RATING: R for implied sex so rate it whichever way you want to.
NOTE: Strangely enough, this fic has reached the fluffy romantic stuff way sooner than any of my other fics. Probably because 'The Vacation' had a few time constraints so that I had to rush things a little. Ah well, it turned out fairly OK in the end. Please enjoy this part and don't get your hopes up too high because of the rating.
There is something about showers that baths could never have. Baths are to lie in, to relax and soak. Baths are comforting bringers of calm. Showers are not. Showers send wave after wave of hot water against your skin. When taking a shower your skin is constantly being bombarded by thousands of drops of water. Showers are meant to burn away filth.
And Sam really needed a shower right now. Her rather short conversation with Melissa had left a bad taste in her mouth. A feeling of being dirty. As if loving a girl was a bad thing.
As if loving Ruto was a bad thing.
Sam angrily turned up the heat. She wasn't going to think something like that. Not even for one tiny fraction of a second.
Sam let the heat of the water dance on her skin for as long as she could bear. To let the fire burn away everything that should not be there.
After five minutes of ignoring all the alarming cries of her body, Sam turned the heat down again and let herself cool off again.
The shower door opened.
Sam smiled. "Hi."
Ruto didn't respond. Instead she stepped into the shower, next to Sam, embraced the girl and kissed her. Sam hugged Ruto as well as the kiss prolonged in minutes and grew in passion. Still not saying anything, Ruto pushed Sam back against the wall and kissed her again. Then she kissed the line of her jaw, her neck, her shoulders, her breasts, then paused at the nipples. Sam looked down as the blue-haired girl covered her entire body in kisses. The brunette brought up one hand and softly stroked Ruto's hair. Ruto looked up, a mischievous smile visible in her eyes. The girl moved lower again towards the stomach, the belly button, then…
Sam opened her eyes. She was sitting, with the shower still pouring out water over her. She noticed her right hand was somewhere between her legs. Sam quickly scrambled to her feet, turned off the shower and got out, feeling a whole lot better than she did before she had entered the shower.
Sam left the bathroom and felt an instinctive urge to jump back in it when she suddenly found herself staring into two red eyes.
"Impa." Sam managed to say. "Hi."
"Hello." The albino responded. "Enjoyed your shower?"
"That's really none of your business." Sam said, feeling a blush creeping up her face.
"Probably not." Impa admitted. "But my room is right next to the bathroom, you know. Next time, keep it down."
Now Sam was seriously blushing. "I wasn't that loud." She muttered.
"Girl, you're a screamer. Or at least, a very heavy moaner."
"Could we not talk about this now?" Sam asked, glancing nervously down the hallway. In part so that she could make sure that nobody was listening in, and in part so that she didn't have to look at the girl in front of her.
"Fine. Just on last thing."
"What? And don't expect me to answer if I don't like the question."
"Was it Ruto?"
Sam hesitated. She didn't want to lie. Not about her. But considering Melissa's reaction…
<<Ah, screw Melissa.>>
"Yeah." She said.
"Good. Wouldn't want to see you cheating on her."
"What!?" Sam yelled, her blush quickly turning from one of embarrassment into one of anger. "I'd never do that to her!"
"How should I know?" Impa asked. "I don't know you. I know Ruto, though. I don't want to see her get hurt."
"Well, me neither. So that's good."
Impa nodded. "That's what I said. Well, I wish you two a lot of happiness. You certainly seem to make her happy."
Sam smiled. "Thanks. I… I really appreciate it."
Impa nodded again, then walked away.
Sam watched the girl go. <<Damn.>> She thought. <<Why don't more people react like that?>>
Since the weekend had just past, the chore list had rotated again so Sam was spared of Majora's cooking. Aviel turned out to be a very able cook, even though the girl did seem to be very fond of spicy food. The conversation around the table was again in Dutch, effectively making Sam feel a little left out. There were a few more glances in their general direction as Ruto enclosed Sam's hand in her own and smiled at her. Sam didn't notice those glances of course, since she always had a hard time noticing the rest of the world whenever a certain girl looked at her.
The world came back with a bang, however, when all of the sudden Mikau spoke up. In English.
"OK you two, quit looking at each other like a pair of puppies and answer me this: are the two of you a couple or not?"
Nabooru laughed. "The answer is already concealed in the question, Mikau."
"I still like to hear it."
Sam looked at Ruto. Ruto looked at Sam. The unspoken question between them was not 'Are we going to tell them all here and now?', but 'Shall I tell them or shall you?'
Ruto spoke up first. "Yes we are." She said simply.
"Good for you then." Said Mikau. "Guess that makes it three lesbians then."
"Yes, please, by all means, start labelling again." Nabooru said. "Did it never even enter your head that those two could simply be in love and don't give a damn about gender?"
"Nope." Mikau said with a grin. "Lesbians are much more fun in my mind."
Nabooru groaned. "You're impossible."
"Well, I'll tell you this: I've had crushes on guys before." Sam said. "So you can label me bisexual if you want. But I've never loved any of them the way I love her."
"And I had never been able to love anyone until I met you." Ruto added, directing her comment at Sam and ignoring everybody else around the table.
"Aww, don't they look cute together?" Mikau said.
Nabooru firmly swatted him on the arm.
"Well, our big coming-out."
"It went well."
"Do I detect doubt in your voice?"
"Not everyone will react so well."
Ruto turned around in Sam's arms to look at her. The light outside was fading and soon it would be completely dark, but Sam could still clearly see her eyes.
"But who cares about them, anyway?" Ruto asked.
"I don't." Sam said, stroking Ruto's hair.
There was a silence as the girls looked at each other, lost in their own thoughts about the other.
"I fantasised about you today." Sam said.
"You what?" Ruto asked, laughing lightly.
"I was in the shower, thinking about you like always, when all of the sudden…"
"Was I any good?"
"How could you not be?" Sam answered. "But that wasn't really my point."
"What was your point then?"
"Well… every time I'm alone I start thinking about you, about how it would feel, what it would be like to make love to you. But when you're with me all those thoughts sort of disappear, you know? Like simply holding you in my arms like this is more than enough."
"I know what you mean. I think I feel the same."
"But why is that?"
"I don't know. Does it bother you?"
"No. It feels pretty good even."
"Then don't worry about it." Ruto gently pressed her lips against Sam's. "Love you."
"Love you too."
The chair Sam was sitting on was small, red, hard and uncomfortable. The walls around her were cold and white. The reception desk over at the other end of the room was large and made of wood. The large windows showed that it was raining outside. Sam looked over to a small table were a few old magazines were lying. She briefly considered leafing through one, just to alleviate her boredom a little, but decided against it. She probably wouldn't be doing anything more than looking at pictures.
The door to the waiting room opened and a tall man was blown inside. He shook the rain out of his hair and coat, then plopped down next to Sam.
"Hello." He said with a thick accent.
"Hi." Sam greeted politely.
"I saw you in class yesterday. Samantha McSomething-or-the-other, right?"
"McPherson. And yeah, that's me. And you are?"
"Marcus. So... you're an American."
"I'm from Denmark myself."
"Pretty bad weather, huh?"
"Yeah. Where I come from, the sun always shines."
"Must be nice."
"Where do you stay?" Marcus asked.
"Trying to keep the conversation alive, are you? I live in this house in... err... Parklaan or something. I'm not good with Dutch names."
Marcus silently repeated the name for himself. "There are no... dorm buildings? Is that the word?"
"Yeah, that's the word."
"Dorm buildings. They're not there. For foreigners, I mean."
"I... err. I know someone here and I'm sharing a room with her."
Marcus nodded. "I live in a building at the Heerenstraat myself. It's full of foreigners. You'll like it. Nobody understands each other."
This time, Sam nodded. Then she looked up at the clock.
"Shouldn't they be here by now?" She muttered. "Complaining about trains that are just five minutes late, but showing up ten minutes late for work."
As if summoned by Sam's words, a door behind the reception desk opened and a large, unfriendly looking woman stepped into the waiting room.
Sam stood up from her chair and walked over to the woman.
"Kan ik je helpen?" The woman asked, her voice sounding rather bored.
"Uhm... hi." Sam started. "Do you speak English?"
"A little." The woman answered, and Sam realised the truth of that statement.
"Are there any Dutch courses I can follow?" Sam asked.
"You should apply sooner." The woman said, frowning disapprovingly.
"So that's a 'no' then?"
"We often have cases like you. We can fit you somewhere. Name?"
A little bit of rain can be nice. Large, cool drops of water can be a refreshing chance of pace. But a thousands of raindrops beating down on you are just really, very annoying. Sam ran through the rain, hoping that she wouldn't be soaked before she reached home again, but knowing that she was already completely soaked. When the door of the building where Sam lived finally clicked shut behind her, Sam sighed a breath of relief. It was then that she realised that literally everything she was wearing was wet. She was, in fact, so wet that Sam doubted that she would ever be able to get dry again.
Sam walked down the hallway, making wet sploshing noises as she did so.
The first thing Sam did when she reached her room was to take off her coat. She then proceeded by taking off her shirt, her shoes and her socks. She was about to take off her pants as well when she realised she might not be alone in the room.
She was right.
Ruto was sitting on the couch, looking at her with a smile firmly planted on her face.
"Got wet?" She asked.
"I'm soaked." Sam said. "So could you please look some other way as I change clothes?"
Ruto grinned. "I sort of like what I'm seeing, but if you insist."
Ruto got up from the couch and walked over to the window, to study how it looked like outside. Sam walked over the closet, shedding the last items of clothing as she did so. She opened the closet and found, much to her dismay, an enormous absence of towels.
"We're out of towels." Sam said.
"You used up the last one yesterday, when you took a shower." Ruto answered, not turning away from the window.
"It's only Tuesday, and already we're out of towels. We need more towels."
"Maybe on our next visit to my parents we'll take a few extra back with us. How does that sound?"
"Tempting, but it doesn't solve my immediate problem."
"I'll go see if I can borrow a towel somewhere." Ruto said, walking away from the window, towards the door and trying to ignore Sam as best she could. "Don't go anywhere."
"Honey, I'm naked, wet and miserable. I have no intentions of leaving this room."
It was not until Sam heard the door click shut that she was dared to move again. She walked back to the door, gathered the clothes she had dropped there, then dropped them again in front of the closet. She then choose some fresh, dry clothes to wear, but didn't put them on yet. She wondered if she should at least put on a pair of panties and a bra, but, considering the fact that she would have to change her undergarments again after she had dried herself, it seemed fairly futile. But there had to be _something_ that she could put on while she waited for Ruto to return? Sam looked over at the sorry heap of wet clothes and shivered. She wasn't going to put those on in a hurry.
Sam sighed, turned around and froze. In front of her, at the other end of the room, was a large window. And the curtains were still open. Anyone who happened to pass by would be able to see her. Then again, she was pretty far away from the window so people might have difficulty making her out, but still.
Sam ran over to the wall opposite of the door and, staying as close to the wall as she could, slowly approached the window. She quickly closed one curtain, then the other.
Then she heard the door opening.
Sam spun around. There was Ruto, standing frozen in the doorway, doorknob in one hand, towel in the other. Sam quickly put her arms to work in covering up the more private parts of her body. Ruto blinked a couple of times, then recovered somewhat.
"Here's. here's your towel." She said. Ruto dropped it on the floor, turned around and quickly left the room again.
A few minutes later, Sam was dry, clothed and still embarrassed. She was sitting on the couch, waiting for Ruto to return.
She didn't have to wait long before the door opened. This time, Ruto had her eyes firmly shut tight and a cup in each hand. She looked quite adorable. Then again, Ruto ALWAYS looked adorable.
"Are you decent?"
"Yeah, I'm decent."
Ruto opened her eyes, smiled and headed for the couch as well. She sat down next to Sam and handed her a cup.
"I made some tea." Ruto said. "I thought you'd like it, considering you were wet and cold mere moments ago."
<<Not to mention naked.>> Sam thought.
"Thanks." She said.
"I didn't put anything in it." Ruto said. "No milk or sugar or anything. But I could get some if you'd like."
"It's fine." Sam answered. "Thanks."
"OK." Ruto said. "Great."
The two girls sipped their tea for a while, the air between them filled with unspoken thoughts.
"I'm sorry for walking in on you like that." Ruto said, nervously fidgeting her cup.
"It's OK. I probably should've expected it."
"I should've knocked."
"Ruto this is your room. You can walk in here anytime you like. Even if I happen to be naked and dripping wet."
The two girls stared at each other. Then they started laughing.
"That just sounded so wrong." Sam said.
"Tell me about it."
"But I still mean it."
The girls drank their tea in silence, only occasionally looking at each other.
"You're very beautiful." Ruto confessed quietly after a while, looking firmly at the ground.
"So are you." Sam answered.
Ruto shook her head. "No, I'm not. You are beautiful and pure and unscathed, whereas I."
Sam put her cup on the small table. "Ruto, look at me." She asked.
The girl looked up. The vulnerability in her eyes made Sam's heart melt. The brunette put her hand gently on Ruto's cheek. The girl smiled, closing her eyes.
"You're beautiful." Sam said. "I know you are."
"You don't understand, Sam." Ruto said, her eyes still closed, her voice sad. "You've never seen me, otherwise you would understand."
"Then show it to me, whatever it is."
Ruto swallowed uncomfortably, then nodded. Slowly, reluctantly, the girl stood up. She then, just as slowly, just as reluctantly, started to take off her shirt, followed by her bra.
Sam's eyes registered that Ruto's body was covered with scars, so many, in fact, that they formed an entire network all over her body and had reduced the girl's left breast to a barely recognisable lump of flesh. Her brains, on the other hand, told her something entirely different.
"You're beautiful." Sam said breathlessly.
"How can you say that?" Ruto asked. "Look at me."
"I am looking at you." Sam said. "And all I can see is this beautiful girl I've fallen in love with."
Ruto was about to object, but Sam just stood up as well and embraced the girl. Ruto buried her face in Sam's chest and started crying.
"You're beautiful." Sam said again, softly stroking Ruto's hair. "And nothing you say or show me is going to change that. And anybody who claims otherwise simply doesn't know how to look."
Ruto's sobs started becoming hysterical and during those agonisingly long minutes, Sam could do nothing but stroke the girl's hair and whisper soothing words into her ears.
NOTE: This part, like all the other parts, is written from Sam’s point of view. As we all know, Sam is no master of the Dutch language, so some (if not all) of you will have to suffer stumbling across untranslated sentences. Rest assured, however, that when Sam’s study of the language starts to pick up, more and more people around her start speaking English.
Another day of colleges had ended and Sam found herself waiting in the main hall of the university building, looking out. She was considering going out now and getting wet, or waiting for the rain to clear, which could be a very long time, during the which the rain could (and probably would) intensify first.
The brunette looked around the hall and saw that several other students had also decided to wait for the rain to clear up and were now taking up all the chairs.
Sam stared at the pouring rain for a moment, then turned around and headed for the library.
Sam had been working in the library for some time, hearing that the sound of rain beating down onto the roof had increased steadily in volume. She was studying a book that could have been renamed 'Ducth for Dummies'. Sam felt that the university staff had to be commended for their speedy work. She had applied for a basic Dutch course only yesterday and already she could start tomorrow and had a few basic books delivered to her this morning. She had briefly wondered how much this was going to cost. Still, with her study grant, governmental subsidies and a monthly allowance from her parents, she didn’t really need to worry.
Sam didn’t look up from her book, because she knew who was standing in front of her right now.
There was a hesitating silence. “Can we talk?”
Sam still didn’t look up, or even acknowledged the other’s presence.
“Look, I’m sorry, OK? It was rude of me and I apologise.”
Sam looked up. The expression on Melissa’s face looked genuine.
“Alright.” Sam said, her voice not completely hostile. “What do you want to talk about?”
Melissa sat down at the table, smiling. “Look, I’m sorry about the other day. I guess I just didn’t expect a fellow American to be gay and I freaked.”
One of Sam’s eyebrow crawled towards her hairline. “Did you now?” She said.
“OK, I admit, we got off to a bad start, but I want to make it up to you.” Melissa said. “I want to help you.”
Sam very decidedly did not like the sound of those words. “Help me with what, exactly?”
“Look, I know that you think it’s what you really want, but trust me, it’s not. I know. I’ve been there.”
Sam smiled. It was completely without humour, though there was a sort of sarcastic glee in there. “Don’t worry, I’m not on drugs.”
“Drugs? No, no, I’m not talking about that. Of course not.”
“Really? Then what are you talking about?” Anyone who knew Sam would also know that now would very much be the right time to be someplace else.
Melissa, on the other hand, did not know Sam. “Your homosexuality, of course. I can help you get over it.”
“Oh yes.” She said. She then opened her bag and rummaged inside.
<<Oh God, she even got pamphlets.>> Sam thought.
Melissa fished a few papers that looked decidedly like pamphlets out of her bag and handed them over to Sam. Sam cast a brief look at them, repressing the urge to vomit.
“Straight is great.” Sam muttered. “Catchy.”
“It is, isn’t it?” Melissa said cheerfully. “You should read it. It’ll open your eyes.”
“Oh, no doubt.” Sam said. “Is this why you came here?”
“This…” Sam said, waving one of the pamphlets. “Bullying gay people back into the closet. Is that why you came to this country?”
“Like I said, I wanted to get out of Alaska.” Melissa said. “But, I must admit I also wanted to help your kind and this country seems to be the place where you find them the most.”
<<’Your kind’?>> Sam thought. <<Even terms like 'fag' or 'dyke' are less offensive than that.>>
“And why would you think that?”
“Well… it’s practically _legal_ here. They can get _officially_ married here. Not just a… a living contract or something, but real _marriage_.” The girl made it sound like it was the biggest horror in the world.
It probably was too.
To her, that is.
“Feeling a bit envious, are we?” Sam asked casually. “They have what you can’t, so you want to take it away from them?”
“Never mind.” Sam said. “I’ll read your pamphlets, don’t worry.” Then, a thought occurred to her. She smiled, genuinely this time. “You got these in Dutch too?”
“Of course.” Melissa said cheerfully. She reached down her bag and fished out a few more pamphlets. She smiled again as she handed them over to Sam. “Isn’t this exciting? The first step on the road to recovery.” She announced.
Sam smiled back. <<My recovery or yours?>>
“Straight is great… The Good Of Heterosexuality… Homosexuality: Sickness Or Mental Disorder?… How did you get all this crap!?”
Sam shrugged. “Classmate.”
“American?” Ruto gambled.
“How’d you guess?” Sam grumbled.
“You’re famous for self-righteous crap like that.”
“Don’t you mean ‘we’?”
Ruto smiled. “Not any more. When mom managed to get her Dutch nationality, I got it too.”
Ruto carelessly tossed the offending pieces of paper onto the table, then snuggled up closer to Sam.
“So who gave them to you?”
“Oh, just some closeted, self-loathing homophobe.” Sam sighed. “Can we not talk about this?”
“Then what do you want to talk about?”
“How about we don’t talk about anything and just start kissing?”
Ruto smiled. “Sounds like a plan to me.”
Dinner was, again, hot and spicy and should not be attempted to eat without a glass of water within reaching distance. Sam very carefully chewed on some… whatever it was… and tried to follow the conversation at the table. She couldn’t, but she tried all the same.
When the conversation went silent for a moment, Sam decided it was time for her to broach a subject.
“Aviel?” She asked.
Aviel looked a little confused when she found Sam talking to her. Sam didn’t really talk to her very much. Mainly because her English was about as good as Sam’s Dutch.
“What do you make of this?” Sam asked, handing one of the Dutch pamphlets over to the girl.
Aviel probably didn’t understand the question, but the symbol of being handed something to you is universal, so Aviel took the paper and read it.
She started laughing.
“Jezus, wat een onzin!” She exclaimed happily.
“Laat mij eens zien?” Mikau asked.
Aviel handed him the paper. After a few moments, he too was laughing.
“What’s so funny?” Sam asked Ruto in a whisper.
“Do you have to ask that?” Mikau asked, recovering slowly. “This is… this is just…” Laughter took over once again, rendering him speechless.
“Boy? Girl?” Aviel asked.
Sam looked at her. Seeing the confusion on her face, Aviel motioned in the direction of the pamphlet Mikau was still holding and repeated her question.
“Oh, a girl gave it to me.” Sam said.
Aviel smiled, understanding the key word in that answer. “When…” She snapped her fingers once, then twice. “Kom op, wat is het Engelse woord voor ‘ontmoeten’?”
“Meet.” Everyone around the table chorused.
Aviel nodded. “When meet I her?”
There was a moment of stunned silence.
“Wat?” Aviel asked, annoyed.
“You can meet her tomorrow, if you’re interested.” Sam said.
Aviel waited patiently until Darunia had translated this for her.
“Yes.” She said, with a smile. “I am interested.”
Sam smiled back. <<Poor Melissa.>> She thought.TBC
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