A/N: Perry's been through so much, but I couldn't help but write a sappy pining oneshot where she realizes her feelings for LaF (and they're oblivious)
"Perry's dealing with that the best she can."
Lola Perry was in love with her best friend. Her best friend, who was nonbinary, and whose name was LaFontaine; not Susan. After almost losing LaFontaine to the Ancient-Vampire-Fish-Worshipping-Cult that was being run out of their university, Perry decided that she needed to make sure that LaFontaine knew how much she supported them. Perry hadn't realized how much LaFontaine meant to them until she had almost lost them- and she realized that the feelings she'd only recently managed to confront had been there for a long time.
Perry had tried her best to push aside her desire to be close to LaFontaine; how she wanted to make them smile, and how whenever they were around they made her day automatically better. Perry remembered how in middle school she'd stopped handing out valentines because she didn't know what to write on LaFontaine's card, and how in high school they'd danced together at homecoming and she had to hide in the bathroom for fifteen minutes afterwards to compose herself. Looking back, she had to admit that she'd had feelings for LaFontaine for a long time- but she'd convinced herself that it was for the best if she just ignored them. She was too uptight, too "normal," too neurotic for LaFontaine. They deserved someone so much better than her, at least that was what the little voice at the back of her head told her.
Granted, Perry didn't expect LaFontaine's someone to turn out to be a re-animated dead consciousness that lived on a flash drive LaFontaine had stolen from the campus library. J.P., which was apparently his name, was all that LaFontaine talked about nowadays. They spent almost all of their free time chatting with J.P. through their laptop, and seemed completely engrossed with him and his tales about being kept in the campus library database for hundreds of years.
Perry was growing to hate LaFontaine's digital librarian boyfriend, but she'd never tell them why. After all, LaFontaine and she were just friends. Nothing else. She couldn't even begin to imagine a world without LaFontaine in it, and her driving motion behind keeping her feelings to herself was that she was terrified of LaFontaine not feeling the same.
"Hey Per, I'm going to head down to the computer lab and test J.P.'s hacking capabilities. I'll be back before midnight."
"That's fine, have fun!" Perry chirped, tightening her grip on the feather duster that she was using to clean the cobwebs out of the central heating duct. She turned away from the door, waiting for LaFontaine to leave until she let her chirpy and uptight demeanor fall. She placed the feather duster down on her bed, sitting beside it and dropping her head into her hands.
She sat like that for a while, her unruly mane of auburn hair doing a good job of obscuring the pained expression that slowly spread across her face as she sank into the mattress of her bed. The rational part of her brain told her that she was being unreasonable; that LaFontaine and she were and had been friends for so long that it was perfectly reasonable to mistake friendly feelings for something more- but her heart (which she had tried to silence for too long) told her that all she needed was time.
And time was what Lola Perry took. Time to choke back the tears in the bathroom mirror so when LaFontaine came back they wouldn't ask her what was wrong. Time to gradually stop herself from badgering LaFontaine about all the time they spent with J.P., which admittedly would take some self-control and a lot of distracted baking.
When LaFontaine finally came back from the computer lab, they found Perry curled up with her feather duster, asleep against the bedpost of their bed. Around two dozen brownies were arranged on a plate that was sitting atop Perry's textbooks, and the entire room smelled like Lysol cleaning spray.
A smile spreading across their face, LaF quietly took off their jacket and tiptoed over to where Perry sat sleeping. Bending down, they crouched next to her, holding their breath for fear of waking her. Her mane of curly auburn hair fell across her face just right, framing her sleeping face. LaFontaine couldn't help but notice how peaceful and non-anxious she appeared when she was sleeping. Not wanting to disturb her, they took their black bomber jacket and gently draped it over her. She stirred, but not enough to wake herself.
Carefully getting to their feet, LaFontaine crossed the floor and sat on the edge of Perry's bed; sliding off their shoes before laying down and pulling Perry's blankets around themself.
At around two in the morning, Perry opened her eyes. Her left leg was asleep, and her neck was sore from leaning against the wooden bedpost. She blinked, eyes adjusting to the darkness of the dorm room. LaFontaine's jacket slid to the floor, and after picking it up Lola Perry smiled. Surely LaF wouldn't mind her keeping the jacket just for one night? Pulling LaFontaine's comforter to the floor, Perry shifted her legs and curled up on the floor, pulling LaF's comforter around her and burying her face in her best friend's jacket.