Saving Savannah Ch. 04byMTL17©
Savannah had always loved cheerleading practice. She could remember Dan asking her if she found the monotony of doing the same routines over and over again boring but the truth was that she had never felt more alive or felt more comfortable in her own skin than when practising her routines with her squad.
Practice makes perfect was a common saying in the Monroe household, and while Savannah like to think she wasn't quite the perfectionist her mother was she definitely believe that continuous hard work and perseverance paid off. But it was more than that because as all of her routines involve putting her own health and the health of others on the line Savannah was able to completely clear her head and just concentrate on the moment. That had been heavenly for Savannah who's mind had been cluttered with inappropriate thoughts for as long as she could remember.
Of course Savannah hadn't been stupid enough to go looking for an alternative dangerous activity to take her mind off things. She would never risk her cheerleading career like that. However recently she had found another way to chase off her inner demons, and although it basically meant she was giving into them it had Savannah redefining her understanding of happiness.
In between each routine Savannah would glance over at the cause of her happiness.
Just the sight of her, or even the thought of her name, caused Savannah's heart to flutter and her body to tingle. To a lesser extent that had always been the case, but now there was less of the overwhelming guilt and self-hatred which had been eating away at Savannah's soul. However now Savannah had a whole new list of fears to go along with the old ones, which she could thankfully block out during practice but once it was over Savannah new those feelings would come back. That was why she pushed her squad longer and harder than ever before under the pretence of practising for Regionals, if they could even get there, but that was a whole other issue.
Putting that and everything else aside Savannah continued to concentrate on the practice until Alice finally wined, "Ok, that's it, I'm hitting the showers."
"Alice..." Savannah snapped, pushing down her feelings of frustration, which in all fairness were not the fault of Alice, and as calmly as possible said in a rather pleading tone, "Please stay. I know we're all tired, but please just one more-"
"That's what you said the last two times." Alice interrupted, "And while I don't mind a workout I know at least one of us has a date to be getting too."
Despite her best efforts a look of terror briefly crossed Savannah's face. Because sure, the more she replayed it in her head the more it sounded like Alice was boasting that she had a date and Savannah didn't, and that was probably how everyone except maybe Marti heard it, but for a brief moment it sounded like Alice was telling everyone that Savannah had a date with Marti to get too. Mostly this was because Savannah knew Alice's part in what was going on with her and Marti, but still.
"You have been running us pretty hard today." Lewis spoke up in agreement, simply because it was the truth.
"And we could probably all user break." Marti said, quickly adding, "Besides, I kind of wanted to talk to you about something important. If you're still feeling wired afterwards we could run laps or something."
Doing her best to ignore the smirk on Alice's face Savannah murmured, "Yeah... I, I guess you guys are right. Let's call it a day. Great job guys!"
Savannah was briefly happy that she sounded more like herself with her last comment, then as her fellow cheerleaders left in the direction of the showers Alice called out, "Have fun with her Marti."
That comment had Marti and Savannah both simultaneously blushing and fuming with anger but they both hid it best they could, Marti slowly leading the way into their coach's office and then gently closing the door behind them.
"So, what's up?" Savannah asked nervously.
"You tell me." Marti said, stepping closer so she was kind of, sort of in Savannah's personal space but not quite touching her, "You seem a little... stressed."
"Oh." Savannah murmured, before trying to dismiss it, "It's nothing."
"It doesn't seem like nothing." Marti murmured, moving ever so slightly closer as she lowered her voice to add, "Is it, you know, about tonight? Because if it is I totally get it, you don't have to say anything, but just... I know it sounds crap, but just try and relax, ok? Don't let it get to you. And if it's too much we can put it off to the weekend if you want."
"No, I want to get it over with." Savannah said, quickly realising that wasn't exactly romantic or even very nice considering they were discussing what could be their final date, which of course was the problem, but for now Savannah just concentrated on backtracking, "I mean, it's not that I'm not looking forward to it, I just-"
"I know. It's driving me crazy too. This whole thing is." Marti smiled softly.
Savannah returned a soft smile and then after a pause asked, "Ok... I... should we, you know, go shower?"
"Let's give it another minute. Wait for everyone to leave." Marti said, trying and failing to keep a wicked grin off her face.
"Why?" Savannah asked.
"Well... it's just hard for me, you know? Being in there and not checking you out." Marti said softly, pretty much whispering that last part and the next part into Savannah's ear, "Or touch you."
Particularly her final comment came off a lot dirtier than Marti had intended it too, but it had the desired effect of making Savannah blush and eye the door nervously.
"Marti." Savannah said in a warning tone.
"Sorry, it's just... being around you." Marti murmured softly, "And... I get it. You were putting off the end of practice because you didn't want to hit the showers any more than I did. When, you know."
Savannah did know and she was grateful beyond words that not only was Marti experiencing the same thing but she was helping her deal with it. Of course this was a quick fix, but one way or another it would gradually get easier to be in a room full of naked girls again, especially after today. Or at least as easy as it ever would be for them. And as for Savannah's inner demons, well... that was a whole other story.
"So..." Marti said, moving slightly back, "Let's just hang out here for a bit, ok?"
"Ok." Savannah murmured, before adding with a soft smile, "Thank you."
"No big." Marti shrugged, fighting the urge to kiss or gently touch Savannah in some comforting gesture.
The two cheerleaders exchanged a soft smile, then after a awkward pause Savannah asked, "So... any hints about tonight?"
Marti smiled, "You'll just have to wait and see."
There was more silence, both girls reflecting on the significance of tonight... their final date. Or at least the final date of this one week trial run Marti had convinced Savannah to try. Whether it was truly their final date was up to Savannah. Marti had made her feelings very clear. The blonde knew what she wanted and seemed determined to get it. The brunette envied that focus, that clarity.
Not that Marti was being pushy. If anything the blonde had been the perfect 'gentleman' under the circumstances, finding the right balance of checking Savannah was a ok at all times without being too repetitive/irritating, and doing the little thing so very right.
Over the past week Marti hadn't exactly reinvented the wheel as far as dating was concerned, but all the clichés had worked like a charm on Savannah. Picnics, restaurant meals, movies both on the big screen and the little one now in their room had been great. Amazing even. Although by far Savannah's favourites just involved hanging out in their room together, sometimes talking about everything and nothing, sometimes Marti just holding Savannah in her arms as they lay in a comfortable silence.
Of course all their dates ended in amazing sex, and whenever they were alone with each other, like now for example, the temptation to give in to those desires was almost overwhelming, no matter how risky it was. Hell, for a few moments Marti and Savannah would just settle for a kiss, but then they heard the sound of their fellow cheerleaders exiting the showers.
"Ok, you better go first. Otherwise... you know." Marti said, wiggling her eyebrows in a way which made Savannah predictably blush.
When the brunette opened the door Marti became very grateful she hadn't elaborated on what she might do to Savannah if they were left alone in the showers as there was another brunette approaching them with a beaming smile.
"Savannah, Marti." Alice beamed in an incredibly unwelcoming smile, "Did you enjoy your little... talk?"
Briefly Savannah looked back nervously at Marti, the blonde giving her a comforting look before murmuring, "Ignore her. See you later."
"Bye." Savannah mumbled, heading off in the direction of the showers.
As Savannah left Marti scowled at Alice and asked, "What do you want?"
"Closure." Alice shrugged before elaborating, "See, if there's one thing I can't stand its not getting resolution to something. That's why I don't start watching a TV show until at least its second season. There's nothing worse than a TV show which ends on a cliffhanger."
Marti glared at the other cheerleader. Part of her wanted to tell Alice to 'shove it', but some of the other Hellcats were still hanging around, some even half watching them to see if they would start yelling at each other, so Marti didn't really want to antagonise the brunette. Besides, as much as she used to admit it, she kind of owed Alice for helping her realise the truth about herself and Savannah... who probably wouldn't react well to Alice asking questions.
So Marti begrudgingly asked softly, "What do I have to do for you not to bother Savannah about this?"
Alice smiled, "Just give me some closure."
Gritting her teeth and not looking the other girl in the eye Marti softly mumbled, "You were right."
"About what?" Alice pushed.
"Me... and what I really want." Marti admitted.
"Duh, I knew that. Tell me something I don't know." Alice said, "Like are you and-"
"It's complicated." Marti interrupted, her phone beeping to let her know she had a text as she added, "You promised to leave Savannah alone and I'll tell you all about it tomorrow. Until then just back off, ok?"
These words immediately had Alice's blood boiling, but before she could lash out Marti looked at her message with this intriguing little expression on her face, prompting Alice to compromise, "Tell you what, I'll back off if you tell me who just texted you."
Marti looked up at her and stared at Alice for a few moments, then murmured, "Dan."
"Savannah's Dan? As in her boyfriend and your best friend?" Alice rhetorically asked excitedly, "Oooooh, what did he say?"
"That wasn't part of the deal... and he's her ex-boyfriend." Marti said, her eyes shifting to the showers before looking back at Alice, "I've got to go. Tell Savannah... actually you know what, I'll tell her myself. You stay away from her or else."
With that Marti quickly ran into the showers to grab her stuff and apologise to Savannah before rushing off to meet her best friend.
Marti hadn't seen or heard from Dan for an entire week. The last time they'd gone that long without talking was when they had sex, and just like then Marti was worried she had lost her best friend. Really the only friend she'd had for most of her life. The only person who stuck by her through everything. And she had stolen his girlfriend.
Sure, they technically hadn't been together but he had only just broken up with Savannah, probably because of something Alice had said to him, when Marti fucked her and then literally begged her roomie to be hers. That totally violated the bro code, or something.
Of course Marti had no idea if he knew that or not, who knows what Alice could have been telling him while he was ignoring her calls and texts. Although truthfully this was a conversation which definitely needed to be face to face. Marti owed Dan at least that. Not that she had any idea what she was going to say to him, even though it was one of the few things she had been obsessing over this week other than Savannah.
When Marti finally saw him he looked good, considering. Upset, but that was understandable. They just needed to talk this out, let him vent his frustrations at her for a little while then she would explain that she was in love with Savannah and hopefully Dan would slowly come to understand, respect and eventually be ok with it. Or as ok as he ever would be. Then things can go back to normal between them. More or less.
"Hey Dan." Marti said, sitting down next to him on the bench. There was an awkward silence between them she joked, "Sooooo... you don't call, you don't write..."
"Do you remember this place?" Dan asked bitterly.
"Well, duh. It's the campus grounds." Marti grinned, then when that didn't say anything further answered more seriously, "Where we saw Savannah for the first time."
"Mm." Dan grunted softly, before adding in a mocking tone, "So... was it love at first sight?"
The tone of the words hurt more than the words themselves, but Marti had expected something like this. She'd been hoping he might take it a little better, but he sort of had a right to be like this.
"No." Marti answered truthfully.
"But you wanted to fuck her." Dan said coldly, like it was a statement, not a question.
As it wasn't true Marti answered it as a question, "No. When I first saw her I thought she was some air head football groupie, but I couldn't have been more wrong. She's smart, and caring, and... good. Amazing. And I know it's not what you want to hear, but I love her. I've loved her ever since our first real meeting because we argued and I got to see how passionate she was, how determined, and strong inside, and when it was over... it was like I could see inside her soul and I knew, I just knew I felt something for her. I had no idea what it was at the time, and I buried it because it scared the shit out of me, but it kept coming back and getting stronger and stronger, and eventually I couldn't just bury it anymore. I couldn't just pretend it wasn't there. I'd fallen for her. The first time we met I fell for her, and it just got to the point where I... I couldn't pretend I wasn't in love with her anymore."
Marti knew she was babbling, knew she was crying like a little girly girl, two things she absolutely hated to do but she couldn't help it. She was pouring her heart and soul out, and it hurt, but in a weird way it also felt really good to finally tell someone other than Savannah how she felt, even if Marti was pretty sure Dan was about to bite her head off for it.
She was right, "So what? You were always a dyke but just didn't know it?"
Marti resented Dan using that term but forgave him for it under the circumstances, eventually answering in a soft voice, "Yes."
"I don't believe you." Dan said flatly, "I've known you my entire life. I've never even seen you look at another girl."
"Then you weren't watching hard enough." Marti shot back, softening her words as she added, "I mean I, I looked. And I thought about, you know, that kind of stuff, but I always dismissed it. Always made excuses. Always told myself I was straight because it never even really occurred to me I wasn't. Which I know sounds like crap, but that's how fucked up I was."
There was a long silence, then Marti let out a humourless little laugh.
"You know, it's funny. Alice gave me this whole speech about how I needed to save Savannah, but I don't think it even occurred to me until right now just how much she saved me. Savannah I mean. Without her, who knows what I'd be doing. She... she dragged me kicking and screaming out of the closet just as much as I dragged her. More even." Marti murmured, quickly getting by the look on Dan's face that her confession wasn't helping matters, "But I need you to know something. I don't know what Alice told you but absolutely nothing happened between me and Savannah until after you guys broke up. And I know I still suck as a friend for hooking up with her, but let's face it I would have sucked no matter when it happened. And trust me on this, you guys were all wrong for each other. I mean, I thought you were good for each other, but apparently I'm kind of an idiot when it comes to these things. Or at least I have been. And... God Dan, I'm just so sorry. I know you love Savannah-"
"I don't care about Savannah!" Dan snapped, completely taking Marti by surprise.
"But then-" Marti barely got out before Dan grabbed the side of her head with both hands and pulled her roughly forwards and crushed his lips onto hers.
Marti immediately tried to push Dan away but he pulled her back to him, so she punched him in the gut. There was no malice behind it, but a lot more force than those times they had been joking around.
He immediately let go of her and Marti jumped up, "DAN! What the hell are you doing?"
"I love you Marti." Dan quickly replied, ignoring the pain as he stood up to look Marti in the eye.
"What?" Marti mumbled in disbelief.
"I love you." Dan repeated, "When I'm around you all I can think about is being with you. Of holding you. Of kissing you. And all the other dumb aspects of love. I know I should have said this sooner, but I... just wasn't ready. I wasn't ready when we had sex, or when Alice threatened to tell you how I really felt if I didn't break up with Savannah, but I'm ready now and I'm all in. Just, just give me a chance to show you we belong together."
Dan took a step forward and Marti took a step back. Then they just stared at each other for a few seconds.
Marti couldn't believe it. Dan was in love with her! And had been for a while... and she was now pretty sure she'd always been gay, and that Savannah had been gay, so... that meant she had to be the dumbest girl in the entire history of the world.
Seriously, how the hell did she get into college when she was completely oblivious to everything important going on around her?
Of course there would be plenty of time for Marti to bang her stupid head against a wall later. For now she had to let her best friend down in the most gentle way possible, both for his sake and the sake of their friendship.
"Dan... I'm sorry. I love you as a friend, but I've never felt that way about you." Marti said softly but firmly, trying to make herself clear before softening the blow, "I mean, we're great as friends. We've always-"
"Had great chemistry? Always clicked? Being able to talk to each other about everything? I know." Dan interrupted, "That's why we're meant to be. You and me M, we make sense. Not you with someone you've just met, and not me with some self-righteous cheerleader with a laundry list of mental issues. You and me, we're meant to be, and all that cheesy crap we hate."
The dig at Savannah had Marti's rage flaring up, but under the circumstances she let it go and said softly but clearly, "Dan, I'm sorry for how this went down, but I'm with Savannah."
"Oh really?" Dan questioned bitterly, taking a step forward as Marti moved backwards, "So what, you came out of the closet? Told your Mom you're a rug muncher now? And Savannah's Mom and the rest of your little squad all know you're fucking each other?"
Again Marti let the words go, although it was more of a struggle this time, "Not yet, but-"
"Oh please." Dan scoffed, taking another step forward as again Marti moved backwards, "You're butch, sure, but you're no muff diver. And as for Savannah, who knows, but there's no way in hell she'd ever be openly gay. It would destroy her. You know that. In fact if you really loved her you wouldn't let Alice put ideas in her head and let her ruin her life. Maybe that way her parents might talk to her again someday."