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6 months later...


Camila scrambles through her belongings in a hurry, tearing apart her dressers and backpack as she desperately searches for her school book. She knows she left it somewhere in here, and yet it was nowhere to be seen. She only wishes she could call it and pray to god she could follow the ringing to its location. She absolutely cannot lose it—it had been her lifeline for many assignments and for practically all of her studying.

Within the past few months, she was proud to say she'd taken some major steps in her journey to further her career. And while she is still working full-time, she still comes home and hits the books right away. And of course, in her spare time she spends time with—

"Babe!" Camila calls out, releasing a frustrated groan and collapsing in the middle of the disaster zone she had created, "Lauren! Lauren Michelle!"

"Are you middle-naming me?" Lauren appears in the doorway, startling Camila straight out of her skin, "Jesus, what the hell happened in here?"

"I can't find my book," Camila pouts, giving Lauren a sad, helpless look. Lauren releases a quiet "awe" under her breath before taking a few steps forward and crouching beside her girlfriend. She offers over her coffee, allowing Camila to take a sip. She rubs Camila's arm reassuringly, trying to calm her down before she breaks the news.

"I know where it is, baby," Lauren coos.

Camila looks up at her slowly, "You do?"

"You left it on the couch last night," Lauren says, "Remember? Dinah tried to use it as a coaster and you almost tore her head off?"

"Oh," Camila mumbles, nodding in remembrance, "Yeah... I'm gonna kill her one of these days."

"You can't do that. She's my best friend," Lauren gasps dramatically, faking a hurt expression before saying, "I get first dibs."

"I'm telling Dinah you said that," Camila giggles, leaning into Lauren's chest and closing her eyes as she listens to her heartbeat.

"How rude. Considering I just saved you from further destroying our bedroom, you should be more grateful," Lauren tsks, shaking her head and rising from her position beside Camila on the floor. Regardless of Camila's threats, Lauren offers a hand down to help her up, "C'mon. I'll clean this up later. You've got to get to class."

"Really?" Camila clings to Lauren's hand even after she's already stable on her feet, "I can clean it when I get home, babe. It's not a big deal."

"You work your ass off. Let me do this for you," Lauren leans in closer to Camila, using her powers of persuasion to convince Camila to drop the matter altogether.

For a moment it works, and Camila closes her eyes and leans into Lauren's touch. But then she backs up and snaps her eyes back open, "But... you work your ass off just as much as I do! I made the mess... I'll fix it. Right now."

"Baby," Lauren tries to stop her, but Camila is already halfway across the room, shoving clothes back where they belong, though in complete disarray. Lauren sighs and sets her mug down, coming up behind her girlfriend and wrapping her arms around her gently. She holds her back, stopping her movements, "You're going to be late. Please put the stuffed tiger down."

Camila looks down at her hands, finding that she's clinging rather aggressively to Lauren's favorite stuffed animal. Camila remembers the day she won this for Lauren at the carnival...

Carefully, she tucks it back onto the shelf and turns around in Lauren's arms. Beautiful, cozy, wonderful Lauren's arms... And suddenly, she's the most relaxed she's been all week.

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