Loved writing for the picture! Hope all of you like the fic as well...
"Google Maps isn't working."
Wendy stopped in her tracks and Bebe, who had been looking down at her phone, bumped into her with an 'oof'.
"What do you mean, not working?"
"Well," Bebe said, rubbing her chin, "I mean 'not working' like it's just graduated college with an English degree. Or, like it's been blacklisted by the mafia. Or, or—"
"I get it," Wendy groaned, "I get it, okay? Cut it out with the metaphors."
"They're similes." Bebe sounded offended. "Wow, you're really stressed about this, aren't you? To just mess up grammar terms like that."
"Bebe," Wendy cried, "we're lost in the forests of the Rocky Mountains, we're far from the campsite, you're getting no signal, it's—it's—Bebe," Wendy lowered her voice, "I have to go to the bathroom. Like REALLY bad."
Bebe stared at her.
"Oh my god, Wendy, just go behind a tree or something," she said, incredulous. She gestured to both sides. "We're not really at a loss for them. I won't watch, serious!" Bebe coughed. "That wasn't what you were worried about, right?"
"Jesus Christ, Bebe."
"Well, I don't know! We haven't been spending that much time together since—and it's a reasonable assumption. So what is it then, that you can't piss behind some—some spruce, or something?"
Wendy crossed her arms. The flashlight she held was directed at the ground, and lit it up well, but Bebe could hardly see her face anymore.
"Look, Wendy," she said, stomping over to a tree and slapping the trunk. "Fucking Ponderosa Pine. Look at this big-ass trunk. It's begging for your piss."
"Bebe," Wendy begged. "I—I can't do it."
"What's the big problem?"
"I'm—," Wendy whispered, "I'm scared of the dark."
Bebe's mouth fell open.
Wendy may have nodded, but Bebe couldn't see it.
Bebe stood still for a moment, astounded, before she heard Wendy frantically fumbling with her flashlight and the beam was shined in her face.
"Ow, jeez, Wends," she growled.
"Sorry. I didn't know where you were for a second."
"Okay," Bebe sighed. She rubbed her eyes before reaching into her pocket and checking the time on her phone. 4:35 AM. She had less than an hour to find the spot she'd been searching for, which she now had no idea how to find, and Wendy was losing it on her. "Look, come here."
Wendy shuffled over in the dark.
"Gimme the flashlight."
Wendy handed over the flashlight.
"Now squat on the other side of this pine."
"Bebe, I really don't want to do this," Wendy whined. "I wouldn't even feel right about peeing on this tree in broad daylight. I'll just feel so vulnerable, and besides, it seems disrespectful—"
"For god's sake, hand me your jacket, pull down your pants, and piss!"
Wendy hesitated, but shrugged off her jacket, folded it carefully, and gave it to Bebe, who tossed it to the forest floor.
"I'll shine the flashlight in the forest so you can see if there are any werewolves or whatever you're afraid of," Bebe said, only slightly patronizingly.
"You know I don't believe in that stuff," Wendy said.
"Well, I don't hear you unzipping your pants."
A moment passed before Bebe could hear the sound of Wendy's jeans being pulled off her legs. Afterwards came the silence of Wendy presumably stepping out of her panties.
Then there were the other sounds you'd expect, and Bebe couldn't help but laugh nervously.
"Oh, shut up," Wendy grumbled. "Thank god I'm prescient enough to have brought tissues."
In the next silence, of Wendy trying to make the cleanest of a grimy situation, Bebe looked up to take a deep breath of the summer night's air and gaze through the thin foliage to the stars. The view was nice, like all of her travel websites told her it would be. She squinted to make out any specific constellations she could, but her astronomy was admittedly not up to par and she couldn't see enough of the open sky to spot anything significant. Bebe was about to say as much before she felt a hand on her shoulder and yelped. Wendy screamed immediately after.
"Jesus, Bebe! I was trying to lean on you so I could pull my pants back up! Damn!"
"You scared the shit outta me!"
"Calm down," Wendy said. Her voice was shaky. "Give me the water bottle to rinse off my hands."
The bottle was passed to Wendy and back to Bebe in due time.
"Is it over?" Bebe said dramatically. "Is it all finally over?"
"Never speak of this again," Wendy said.
Well, Bebe thought, at least she's calm enough to be joking around. Better break the bad news while she still might take it like I just killed her firstborn son.
"I don't think we're gonna make it in time to see the sunrise, Wends." And it was an awful shame, too.
So the trip hadn't been going that well in the first place. Maybe she'd forgotten her mess kit and had to share Wendy's, which was already pushing it for someone who she hadn't spent time with in the last few months. And maybe it wasn't the best idea to do something like this when the last time she'd been really, seriously alone with Wendy was when there were a few lingering touches until Wendy had put her foot down. And who knows when Wendy had heard about the way Bebe had broken up with Clyde the next day, and whether she had thought anything of it. But Wendy had still agreed to a quiet night out with just the two of them in the Rocky Mountain air, and getting a little 'one-with-nature' had broken the ice. So it was all a crying shame, really.
Bebe braced herself for a verbal lashing.
"Oh, I know." Wendy's voice was nonchalant, or as nonchalant as it could get when she was still clearly on guard about the black bears or serial killers or what-have-you, and still recovering from feeling overwhelming shame. Bebe blinked.
"Wow, that's it?" she said. "I expected a talking-to, at least."
"Bebe, anytime we do something like this," Wendy said, "you know I approach it with a decent amount of skepticism."
"Something 'like this'?" Bebe snorted. "You mean peeing in the Colorado wilderness six inches away from each other?"
"Well, yeah. Sort of," Wendy said. Bebe gave a short laugh, and received a slap on the arm in exchange. "Oh, shut up. I just meant something more intimate like this."
To get a better look at each other, Bebe reached up and balanced the flashlight between the branches of the tree Wendy had previously blessed with her presence. She leaned against the trunk while Wendy stood right beside her.
"I was surprised when you agreed to it, honestly," Bebe confessed. "I thought you'd want to spend the trip alone with Stan."
Wendy fidgeted and made a face.
"Then we broke up, though."
"But still," Bebe said. Wendy looked at her with concern so genuine it made Bebe blush.
"Are you okay?"
"I've just missed you a little," Bebe admitted. So her secret was basically out, big whoop. Who gave a shit whether Wendy knew about her girl crush? Well, Bebe might've given at least one and it might not have been a 'girl crush', per se. But wasn't it best just to act like she didn't, and it was?
"Oh," Wendy said. "Thank you."
Bebe laughed sardonically.
"Oh, fuck off with that formal bullshit. You're saying you didn't miss me?"
"You know it's been a little weird," Wendy said, then paused. "I do miss you."
"I was surprised you agreed to it, 'cause even I was thinking it was too romantic," Bebe said. And then she looked away at the ground, and said under her breath, "watching the sunrise together. What a load."
Wendy cleared her throat.
"I wouldn't let just anyone stand six inches away from me while I pee, you know," she said.
Bebe groaned, but had to smile.
"It wasn't sexy," she said.
"I know," Wendy said.
"Kind of gross, honestly."
"Just about the last thing I was hoping for."
"Sort of," Wendy said slyly, "intimate, though."
"Has Stan ever heard you pee?"
"Oh, ew, Bebe."
"What?" Bebe laughed.
"Like I said, it's not romantic."
"Yeah, but it is intimate, you said."
Against her better judgment, Bebe let her heart run loose for a moment.
"So it was a special kind of thing, then." She turned and looked back at Wendy, who had been looking at her the whole time, but just now averted her gaze.
"Let's just get out of here," Wendy said. She reached up above Bebe to grab the flashlight and Bebe could smell her light perfume.
"You forget about the Google Maps shit?" Bebe said.
"I can find the way back to the path," Wendy said, and beckoned for Bebe to follow her lead. "And then either way we go, we'll reach civilization eventually." She started walking. Bebe considered not joining her, but only for a single short second.
"So are we just gonna leave it at that?" she said, once she had caught up with Wendy. "We share this special moment and we can't even chat about it? I didn't think you were that kind of girl."
"Shut up and hold my piss-covered hand."
Wendy caught Bebe's hand in her own and slipped her fingers between Bebe's. Bebe's breath caught in her throat, and in a horrible, clichÃ©d way, Bebe was unable to make any witty retorts. Wendy walked slightly ahead, a blessing for both of them. This way she couldn't see Bebe's anxious face.
"How did you know about the Ponderosa?" Wendy asked without turning around. "How did you know what kind of tree it was? I know you never give a crap about Natural Resource Conservation, even if it was your last year's elective."
"I might have bought a field guide. Just to be prepared."
Wendy squeezed Bebe's hand especially tight as she led the way out of the thin trees. These woods were healthiest when they were thin. Bebe snuck a glance at the sky and saw the stars were dimming, or being outshone, more likely.
It was calming to walk through them with the smallest hint of light peeking through the pine needles. It would take a long time to get back to camp, but by then everything would be brighter. Natural things crunched softly beneath their feet.
They hadn't seen the sunrise, but Bebe had got a good look at the stars while they were still hanging around.
And they could've looked a lot worse, honestly.
If you enjoyed this story, remember to check out the original artwork that inspired it!