Have you binged on all of Orange Is the New Black season three and now you’re in the throes of full-blown withdrawals because you’re not getting anymore episodes for a whole year? Don’t worry, little lambs; that’s what fan fiction is for! I’m pausing my OITNB 303 recap to bring you eight wonderfully written, gloriously romantic stories — and none of them involve Piper or Alex! You’re welcome! (There’s ten gajillion Piper/Alex fics out there. 90 percent of all OITNB fics are Piper and Alex. Don’t fret if that’s what floats your boat. You are so covered.)
How come there’s not more Flaca/Maritza fic, though? HOW COME?
Plot: This is probably my favorite falling-in-love-with-your-BFF fic ever written. It’s so good, y’all.
Length: 5,500 words
Here’s the first rule that everyone tells you: don’t fall in love with your straight best friend. The second rule is probably not to say dumbass shit around her, either, stuff like all the pussy you’ve gotten—which isn’t even that much, Jesus—because she’ll get that look on her face. You know the one. That split second, that pause, that discomfort that says she knows. Of course she knows. You used to be good at hiding what you feel. Somewhere along the way, you stopped being good at it.
And the thing about these rules is—they’re simple. Basic. First grade stuff. Don’t kiss someone who doesn’t want to fuck you or anyone like you. Don’t do that to yourself. Don’t do that to them. And yet—somehow—it’s a rule you keep breaking. Over and over again, like smashing a water glass against the wall and watching it reform itself in your hand so you can throw it over and over, the smash, clatter, whisk of the pieces pulling back into place.
There’s a magic to it, you think. And a misery, too. What a modern fucking tragedy, right?
Plot: Lorna has the flu, and Nicky starts stealing her shit.
Length: 4,500 words
t starts with a lipstick.
It’s been a while now since Lorna called things off between them, and that’s fine, Nicky can handle it. It’s not like she’s never had a dry spell before.
But they still have to live together, and nothing’s going to change the fact that they belong to the same tribe, so Nicky figures they might as well stay friendly. That’s the only reason she still hangs around Lorna’s bunk, listening to her rattle on about Christopher this and Christopher that, idly messing with Lorna’s things without really paying attention to what she’s doing.
That’s how the lipstick ends up in her pocket. Nicky doesn’t steal it on purpose or anything, because what’s she going to do with a lipstick anyway? But it ends up in her pocket all the same, and the next day when Lorna spends all of breakfast going on and on about what happened to her lipstick, Nicky just nods and doesn’t say anything.
She doesn’t mention the lipstick tucked safely at the back of her cubby in her own bunk, not because she has any use for it, but because if she admits she has it, she’s going to have to come up with a reason why.
And there’s no reason. What reason could there be? After all, it’s just a lipstick.
Plot: Taystee comes to realize that maybe sexuality is a spectrum.
Length: 700 words
“Man, what dumbass bitch stuck A Brief History of Time next to The Da Vinci Code? I hope they don’t think that Dan Brown bullshit is serious.”
Poussey laughed, leaning against the shelf as Taystee re-shelved the offending book.
“Better than the time I found One Fish, Two Fish in the marine biology section,” she grinned, “Bluefish are real, sure, but I don’t think they ever saw no fish drivin’ a car.”
“Can you imagine that shit?” Taystee mimed driving, honking an invisible horn. “Honk honk! Get out the way, guppies! Why you all swimmin’ in the road?”
Poussey joined in, imitating what she thought an angry guppy might sound like: “Get your eyes checked, you old hagfish! You’re drivin’ on the sideswim!”
Taystee raised an eyebrow. “‘Sideswim’?”
“Sorry,” Poussey smirked, “I just couldn’t kelp myself.”
Plot: A collection of three super romantic one-shots.
Length: 28,000 words
“Fuck cookies, man.”
The Valentine’s celebration rages on as Nicky stumbles past all the bodies in beige and pushes her way into the bathroom. She steadies herself with a hand against the ugly ass tile wall when she feels the sickness rise up. Nicky holds her breath and breathes a sigh as the wave of nausea passes. She’s about to return to the festivities when she hears someone really throw up and has to brace herself when it triggers a second wave.
“Boo, if that’s you literally tossing your cookies, that is clearly means of disqualification!” Nicky shouts. Her only reply is more hideous vomiting sounds. “Jesus Christ!”
Nicky blinks a couple times because she knows that voice. She’s made that voice pant out her name between “fuck” and “Oh God.”
She’s answered with a sob. Yup, that’s gotta be Lorna. Nicky takes a breath and a moment to gather herself before she stumbles over to the bathroom stalls, just to pause yet again.
“Kid,” Nicky calls out. “I’m gonna come in there, but you gotta flush first.”
The sound of the toilet immediately follows and Nicky pushes past the stall door to find Lorna crumbled on the bathroom floor, paler than usual and with tear tracks down her cheeks. Nicky’s right about to ask if she’s okay, but her stomach turns at the deep red of Lorna’s lipstick, a dead ringer for the icing on some of the cookies Nicky thoughtlessly devoured. Seriously, fuck cookies.
Plot: Nicky helps Morello right love letters to Christopher.
Length: 1,800 words
“Help me out, Nick. C’mon.”
It’s the ‘c’mon’ that gets her; it always does. Morello tips her head to the side and the word purrs out like the start of something that Nicky gets desperate to finish. So she lets the magazine drop slightly, sucking at her teeth as she thinks. “Tell him… tell him that you was out in the yard today listening to the birds.”
Morello doesn’t even wait for Nicky to finish the thought, her pen already scratching down the words. The tip of her tongue peeks out from between her teeth and the magazine drops a little bit more out of Nicky’s fingers. “And you realized that while listening to the birds that they probably sounded the same for him. So even though you wish you was there, with him, listening to the birds outside your apartment…” She trails off, tipping her head back and letting the imaginary bird song in, the imaginary apartment where her arms would wrap around Morello and they would listen to them.
Morello giggles. “Nice one, Nick. He’ll never know I didn’t hear no birds.” She shifts happily on the bunk, pleased with her letter now that Nicky’s written it. Nicky watches, pleased with the way Morello has to move when she’s happy. She raises her magazine slightly so she can keep watching the woman’s body moving against her clothes while pretending to read it, not even bothering to try and tamp down the heat in her eyes. She knows Morello won’t look up. She never does.
Plot: The best post-season two Taystee/Poussey fic I’ve read, after the thunderstorm.
Length: 4,000 words
There was only the steady tapping of rain on the windows. It was peaceful, like somebody tickling the back of your neck until you sink into a deep, blissful sleep.
For once, Taystee felt safe. She was tempted to take a nap right there but knew that a guard would soon burst in and disrupt the peace. Or a siren would sound. Or the water would rush in and threaten to tear apart this haven of books she had run to so many times.
Poussey quivered with the urge to talk. After having no one to talk to for so long, she now felt ready to explode with every thought and feeling she’d had over the past few weeks. She wanted to trace over every break and fracture in their friendship to make it heal. Mostly, she wanted to hear Taystee say it, to affirm her importance so that she could finally know it was real.
But Poussey had just gotten her friend back and she wasn’t about to fuck it up now. So, she popped back to her feet and piled her arms high with books.
“You know a CO’s gonna be in here any minute,” she broke the silence by reading Taystee’s mind. “We should get to it.”
Taystee climbed up onto her feet and joined in, grabbing volumes of Milton and Joyce first, since they were the heaviest. I ought to let them sink, she thought as she placed the books up high on a shelf. She keenly remembered wanting to stab herself in the eye with a pencil while boredly trying to slug through Paradise Lost. She just couldn’t relate. Taystee needed something with feeling.
“Milton is bullshit,” she blurted as her eyes wandered over the stacks. She picked out a paperback with a rainbowy cover and plunked it against Poussey’s arm.
“Now this is what I’m talking about,” she chimed.
Plot: A delicious, angsty one-shot.
Length: 1,800 words
You’re fighting zombies. You’ve got guns and knives, a baseball bat, rusty scissors, a brick, a pipe. You’ve got time—your eyeballs are sore against the wind, your skin is burning under the sun, your breath is hurting your throat going in and out, in and out—but you’ve got time. Time is stretching because she’s smiling at you, a shiny smile in the sun even though her skin is burning and her eyeballs are aching too. Tears are leaking onto her cheeks but they’re tears of love. And you’re both going to die, no way around it, and so she wants the fire that you want. She chooses life and you, and she steps in and her fingers touch yours. Your skin is singing and you lean in to her smile and her breath is sweet on your tongue—despite days of hunger, despite days of water that tastes like blood. She’s happy because you’re happy. And you’re together at the end of the world.
You meet in a library. You’re quiet and taking up a tiny amount of space and she bowls up and spills herself all over you. She’s not looking where she’s going, she’s striding through the world, eating up the space around her, each kick of her strong legs moving the globe underneath. She’s too beautiful for this small stunted space and you wonder what she’s doing here. She’s laughing with a friend as she helps you pick up your books (you instantly hate the friend) and she’s talking so fast and she’s clever. You know you’re just as clever and you could impress her, make her laugh so hard she’d notice you—oh yes—but instead you’re closed and put away like the books she puts in your hands. From the friend you learn her name is Taystee. Taystee, Taystee, Taystee: take a trip on my tongue from my lips to my teeth and kiss me with the kisses of your mouth. Your heart is thumping but your body is shocked silent and she smiles at you as she walks away. A smile to say—sorry I bumped into you, a smile to say hello, and a smile to say goodbye.
Plot: Squishy romantic one-shot!
Length: 2,000 words
“What are you listening to anyway?” Maritza nods toward the ancient Discman Flaca had dug up from her brother’s stuff.
“Nobody you ever heard of.” Flaca shrugs as she replaces the batteries.
“C’mon!” The other girl cajoles, going to grab it out of the other girl’s hands. Flaca flinches and Maritza pulls back. “Sorry, I forget sometimes that a lot of people in prison don’t like their space invaded.” She takes a few steps back.
Flaca smiles reassuringly, not wanting to explain that it isn’t fear, but sexual frustration. She’s holds out the Discman as a conciliatory gesture. The other girl puts the headphones on and hits play. She listens with a creased brow. The music is loud enough that Flaca can hear when it gets to the chorus. And if a double decker bus crashes into us, to die by your side is such a heavenly way to die. The look of surprise and utter confusion on Maritza’s face makes Flaca guffaw. She holds her hands out for the Discman, but the other girl holds up her hand in a ‘wait’ gesture.
When the song is over, she hands the Discman back and says, “Well, there’s actually a lot of lights that never go out around here. The two girls start giggling uncontrollably.
Be cool about spoilers, kittens!