"Oh Jesus Christ."
The words penetrated through Janis's brain-fog, wrapping around her stomach and squeezing. Oh Jesus Christ. She was going to heave. She rolled over, trying desperately to get out of bed—wait, when had she gotten in bed?
She sat up, the nausea roiling in her belly. She distinctly remembered sending Damian off, then wobbling over to the couch. The bed had seemed so far, when she was drunk. And—shit. Cady. Next to her. In her bed.
The nausea rose in her throat and she jumped up, barely making it into the bathroom before spewing into the tub—the toilet required too much aim. She knelt on the ground, resting her head on the tub edge, panting. Through the churning sensations in her body, she barely heard Cady's footsteps. Janis felt rather than saw Cady slam into her back, throwing up into the toilet behind her. The body heat between them was unbearable—Janis felt like she might melt, she could feel the beads of sweat rise on her forehead and temples.
Once again, the vice tightened on her stomach and she hunched, throwing up once more, retching and retching while her throat and sinuses burned. She tried to not smell it, to not take in the girl next to her. What had they done?
After her second bout, the nausea dissipated as if by magic—with wobbly knees she rose, balancing herself against the counter over Cady's hunched body. She didn't look in the mirror, keeping her eyes squinted against the light. Her hands shook as she grabbed her toothbrush and squeezed a dollop of toothpaste out, brushing her teeth once, then again, then again, still unable to get the revolting taste out. When Cady started retching once more, she made a quick exit, back to the warm safety of the bed.
What had they done?
Janis vaguely remembered the door opening, the cold air rushing in from outside, and a feeling of calm peacefulness—was that Damian leaving, or Cady coming? She couldn't remember. Why were they in bed? The heat from the bathroom had passed, and Janis shivered once before realizing she was naked. What. The. Fuck.
She jumped out of bed, glancing uneasily at the bathroom, where Cady's vomiting sounds had died down. No time to search for whatever she had been wearing last night—Janis grabbed the first sweatshirt and pair of boxers available in her messy closet, tripping herself in her haste to get dressed.
"Janis?" Cady called from the bathroom, her voice pitifully weak. "Can you bring me some water?"
Janis froze. Her heart pounded in her chest, a wild, run-away beat. Could she go in there? Was Cady naked too?
"Be right there," she finally called back, so quiet it was almost a whisper. She padded over to where her Brita filter sat on top of her mini-fridge microwave combo. She tried not to watch as her shaking hands poured water into one of her cups, the water rippling from her quivering. Could she even look in there? She'd have to, to bring the water. . .
Outside the door she hesitated, unable to turn the corner. Thinking quickly, she grabbed her favorite blanket from the floor where it sat in front of the tv. If Cady was naked, she'd be cold. And then Janis wouldn't have to see anything.
Janis tip-toed into the bathroom, afraid for Cady to see her, afraid to see Cady. She needn't have worried—the poor girls head was resting on the toilet seat, her eyes closed, sweat rolling down her forehead. She wasn't entirely naked—she was wearing a pair of boxers. A pair of Janis's boxers—her favorites, actually, covered in rainbow pictures of Mickey Mouse.
"Here," Janis held out the blanket and the cup simultaneously, feeling completely useless.
"Thanks," Cady whispered, opening her eyes to a bare squint to grasp the cup. She took a sip, swishing it around her mouth before spitting it into the toilet bowl. The entire bathroom smelled revolting—stomach acid and Malibu.
"Here," Janis continued to proffer the blanket, using it to block her line of sight to Cady's chest. She didn't want to see her friend like this—she didn't want to see her friend at all. Nausea clamped at Janis's stomach again but this time, it wasn't hangover related.
"Uhh, I'm kind of hot, so I don't think I need the blanket. Thanks though," Cady whispered, turning her face back to the bowl.
"Cady, uhh," Janis gulped. "You're not wearing a shirt."
Cady didn't react for a moment, as though not understanding the words. Janis could tell the nausea had returned from the pale tinge that crept into her friends features.
"Oh," Cady finally whispered, barely moving her lips. "Could I borrow a tank top? I don't want to wear. . . my costume."
"Sure," Janis murmured. The stupid costume.
She dug around in her closet until she found some cheap flimsy tank top her mom had bought her in one of her attempts to get her to dress more 'girly'. It said "B GR8" in big pink block letters on the front—in other circumstances, Janis would laugh at how fitting it was to hand it to her puking friend. Now, however, she just carried it back and placed it in Cady's hand, averting her eyes from her friend's chest.
Cady's fist closed around the shirt tensely as she lifted her head over the bowl.
"I'm gonna heave," she gasped, giving Janis a warning before the awful retching began again. Janis retreated quickly, the smell and sound threatening to push her own stomach back into revolt.
She sat on the edge of her bed for a moment, searching her mind for what to do. Nothing came to mind, and she was so tired. She and Cady could figure something out when Cady was feeling better, but until then. . . Janis retreated back to her bed, curling up under the warm blanket, trying to ignore the hint of Cady's perfume tinging her sheets. It swirled around her as she sank back into sleep.
She vaguely heard the sound of the sliding glass door to her studio opening, but the gust of icy air travelling over her face shocked Janis back to consciousness.
"Guess who brought OJ and Champagne!" Damian held up the jug of orange juice in one hand and a bottle of cheap bubbly in the other, doing a curtsy in front of the door. "I knew you would be feeling like some type of shit after last night, so I did the courtesy of bringing you the only tried and tested hangover cure—"
"Damian!" Janis cut in, sitting up and glancing at the door to the bathroom.
"It's fine," Cady's weak voice called back. "I'm pretty much done I think."
Damian looked back and forth between the bathroom door and Janis, the expression on his face changing rapidly as understanding took hold.
"You didn't. . ." he said slowly, comprehension dawning, eyes widening.
"Dam," Janis whispered. How could she even begin to tell him what had happened when she couldn't remember herself? And with Cady right there in the bathroom? She ignored the sinking feeling in her stomach, the fact that she and Cady had both been essentially naked when she woke up—they couldn't have. They wouldn't.
A flush sounded from the bathroom and Cady appeared suddenly in the doorway, hugging her shoulders.
"I think I will take that blanket now, if that's ok, Janis?" She asked.
"Go ahead." Janis never took her eyes off of Damian's. he appraised Cady momentarily—clearly wearing Janis's clothes, her make-up disastrously smeared across her face, her hair hopelessly tangled and smelling like vomit—then turned his gaze back to Janis, still asking silently: what the hell happened? Janis shook her head minutely, refusing to answer.
"So, last night," Cady sat on the couch, wrapping the blanket around her shoulders. Janis and Damian both turned to her, tense. What would she say? Did she remember? Cady's chin wobbled and she shivered once, clutching the blanket around her.
"Regina stole Aaron."
The air was still for a pregnant pause, and then Janis had to fight back the urge to simultaneously laugh and vomit. They had woken up naked in her bed, their clothes tossed god-knows-where, and of course, Cady cared only about Regina and Aaron.
Damian turned and glared at Janis once more before walking over and perching next to Cady, wrapping one arm gingerly around her.
"Aww, of course she did honey, that's what Regina does," he crooned.
"I just, I didn't see it!" Cady blubbered.
"I told you. It's like what she did to me all over again," Janis snapped.
"Ok, what she did to you wasn't that bad," Cady rolled her eyes.
"Gross-smelling-girl say what?" Damian recoiled, turning and giving Cady a dirty stare.
"I mean, the fact that she couldn't invite you to her birthday party doesn't mean she hated you or anything, just that she didn't have room. It's not the biggest deal," as Cady spoke, her shoulders rose defensively, her body adopting the mini-ticks of Regina's that she had copy-catted so much in the recent weeks.
"Is that what she told you?" Damian asked, his voice dripping with disbelief.
Janis stood there, shock holding her mouth partially open. What to even say to Cady? Regina had clearly lied to her—but Cady had believed the lie. She had believed that Janis was just overreacting, that Regina hadn't done anything wrong. The fury of it ripped at Janis, but it mixed with a strange pleasure as well—Cady hadn't actually known how awful Regina was. She had been duped.
"I mean, yeah," Cady was responding to Damian. "Is that not true?"
"Janis, if you don't tell her, I will," Damian was clenching and unclenching his fists in a very uncharacteristically masculine fashion. His cheeks were pinking with his rage.
"Dam, it's fine," Janis fought the nausea again as it threatened to re-emerge. This time it was at the shame of it, the embarrassment of what Regina had done.
"No it is not fine! Look at this! Look at what she's telling her!" Damian stood up, beginning to pace. He whipped around, facing Cady. "Regina told Janis that she couldn't go to her eighth grade birthday party because she thought she was a lesbian, and there would be girls in bathing suits there, and she couldn't trust Janis around them if she was going to have dirty, lesbian thoughts. It was the most revolting, homophobic thing I can even imagine—"
"Dam," Janis muttered quietly, cutting him off. She could feel heat rising in her face. She hated hearing the story again.
"She did?" Cady squeaked. Her face looked green again, but Janis could read her like a book. Cady had known. Maybe not about the party, but about Regina thinking Janis was gay. And she hadn't talked to Janis about it. Was that her being nice, or uncomfortable? Janis remembered the times Cady had come over to her studio drunk, the times they had made out, peach schnapps and then bandaging Cady's knee and then last night. . .
It was too much. Janis couldn't handle this, couldn't handle Cady knowing, even though she knew, even though they'd. . . she'd been on Regina's side anyways, through it, had been leaning on Janis, possibly using her? But hadn't Janis used her as well? If she couldn't remember last night. . .
Janis coughed once, swallowing the urge to throw up. She couldn't deal with this, how complicated and nasty it could become. She couldn't. The sliver of hope she'd felt earlier seized her—Cady liked pretending nothing was going on, right? Why not continue the trend?
Janis walked around the couch and forced herself to sit down dangerously close to Cady, clapping a hand on her back, forcing herself to keep it there. A saccharine smile spread across her already hot cheeks. Damian eyed her from behind Cady's head, pathetic concern owning his features.
"Now you know, Cady. Regina George is not your friend; we're your friends. And we're gonna make her pay!"
"What?" Cady asked.
"We're gonna have a revenge party," Janis explained, feigning the confidence she only wished she could feel.
"Ooh, I like the sound of this," Damian perked up. "With cake!" He sat on Cady's other side, ready to scheme.
"For this to work, you're gonna have to pretend you still like them. Can you do that?" Janis asked, forcing herself to look Cady in the eye.
"Yes!" Cady replied enthusiastically. "We vanquish Regina, and I end up with Aaron when she's gone!"
"Yes Caddy!" Damian leaned in and hugged her, yanking Janis in on the other side of them. The three musketeers, reunited.
"Caddy, you stink," Janis curled her nose as she leaned away.
"Sorry," Cady leaned back. The smell of vomit and sweat clung to her. "Can I use your shower?"
"Sure. Towels are behind the toilet."
"Thanks Janis!" Cady flounced into the bathroom, clearly excited for the plan.
Damian turned to Janis and raised an eyebrow. Why did he have to care so goddamned much?
"So how are we going to do this?" Janis blustered on, trying to scheme.
"Oh honey, don't you even try and distract me right now," Damian shot back.
"Regina has literally one accomplishment, and it's being hot," Janis blustered on. "What if we popped her implants or put Nair in her shampoo?"
"I don't think assault or breaking into her home falls under the scope of what we're trying to do here," Damian responded, falling into thought. Janis's ruse had worked, and he came up with several ideas of his own, including booby-trapping her locker.
By the time Cady emerged from the steamy bathroom, Janis and Damian were several layers deep in the planning process. Cady eyed the two of them sitting on the couch before trying to inconspicuously slide over Janis to sit next to Damian. Janis noticed her hesitation and felt her heart flutter. Cady remembered. Maybe not everything, but something.
But Janis couldn't think of that. She couldn't deal with it, with Cady being flighty and obsessed with some jock, being friends with her enemy, using her and forgetting her. She couldn't let herself feel anything like that anymore.
Coming out of her reverie, Janis realized that a lull had fallen into their conversation when Cady sat down.
"So, Caddy, we have our first order of business: taking away Regina's hotness. Issue is, we haven't come up with anything that doesn't break the law."
"I have something that might work!" Cady perked up, buying into Janis's enthusiasm.
Maybe this wouldn't be impossible. Janis could throw herself into exacting revenge on Regina for all the awful shit she'd done to her in the past. And Cady would be spending so much time with the plastics to make the scheme happen that she wouldn't have much for Janis and Damian. All the better. No time for distractions, not now.
Hello all! I am so sorry for the delay in getting this up. I have been beyond frazzled these past few weeks by my own life and adding extra teen angst to the cocktail just didn't work very well. Don't despair though! The rest of this story is on it's way.