A little library romance at Prufrock Prep... Femslash, Violet/Isadora.
Behind the Biographies
Behind the biographies, two girls giggled. The library at Prufrock Prep was silent; very few students enjoyed books like the Baudelaires and the Quagmires. Where they loved to sit surrounded by all the words and information, other students balked and asked why there was no room devoted so to television. But that suited the two girls behind the biographies just fine. They liked the solitude, liked being alone, and liked the company of just each other.
Beyond the bookshelves, where the librarian could not see, where the students rarely ventured, Isadora and Violet would talk quietly, as one must in a library. Sometimes Isadora snuck a piece of fruit from her bowl for Violet, hiding it in her sweater so the librarian would not see. They sat there in the quiet solitude, complaining about their siblings, admitting how much they loved them anyway, comparing horror stories about their teachers, sharing recollections of their unfortunate lives, even gossiping about their classmates. They were loath to indulge the last activity, as all sensible girls are, but since they swore each other to secrecy, they gave in to the urge. Someone needed to talk badly about Carmelita Spats. It was a wicked pleasure, to twist the evil things she said about them to reflect back on her. They knew it was wrong, that in a way it made them no better than Carmelita, but they consoled their consciences by vowing to never let these awful things they whispered to ever be known by anyone else. Maybe in their hearts they were no better than that awful girl, but there was no reason to truly sink to Carmelita's level.
Behind the biographies, Violet and Isadora recommended their favorite books to each other. Isadora loved how Shakespeare would signal the end of a scene with couplets and Violet, though she was never much interested in drama or poetry, read along with her anyway, smiling when Isadora would point out the loveliest, most poetic lines. Othello, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Isadora brought them all to the place where they would sit, the place they thought of as 'theirs,' between a book about Julius Caesar and Cleopatra and a long, boring biography of Ivan Lachrymose. Isadora read the lines aloud as a perfect actor, dissecting the meaning, pointing out the importance of the position of each word, proclaiming the bard a master. Violet didn't really like listening to the plays themselves, but she loved listening to Isadora's content sigh when she came to a particularly poetic line. She loved the dramatic inflections Isadora managed to pull off even as she was whispering. She loved the way Isadora would study each page after she read it, looking for interesting literary devices to copy down into her notebook. Isadora made all of those tragedies, both real and written, more interesting than morbid, more of a curiosity than a fact. And Violet was grateful for it.
Beyond the bookshelves, Violet would doodle diagrams for her inventions into Isadora's notebook, since there was no guarantee the crabs or fungus would leave her plans unscathed. More often than not, Isadora had no idea what the inventions were for, or what they were, or how they were useful, but she loved the way Violet's forehead would crease so seriously, or the way she tapped her pencil against the table when she had to think about things a little more. Isadora thought Violet was naturally quite pretty, but when she pulled her hair back into her ribbon, to keep her hair from falling into her eyes and distracting her, she looked very elegant. Pulling back the frame her hair provided allowed one to see her face more clearly. Her chin curved very smoothly. Violet was pale, but not in a sickly way. Her eyes were a little too large for her face, and her nose a little too small, but it was easily overlooked. And when Violet's design was perfected, when she discovered the mechanism that would give her the best results, when she figured out the key to making her little dream a reality, she would smile in a way that lit her eyes up like the horizon at dawn. That was when Isadora thought she ceased to be pretty: she was beautiful in those moments.
Behind the biographies, when the librarian was in the back, organizing the books that needed to be put back on the shelves, when Klaus was busy reading a book at a table and Duncan was writing a report on his latest research topic and Sunny was happily looking at the pictures in Shark Teeth and Walrus Tusks, Violet and Isadora would look each other in the eyes and giggle. Isadora would take Violet's hand and lead her to a copy of Romeo and Juliet, and open to the balcony scene. In a giggly whisper, she would read the dialogue to Violet, waiting for Violet to blush slightly. It never failed. Even if it was just a light pinkish tint, Violet blushed. She would get to the ending couplet, and smile, and sigh about the sheer loveliness of it all. How romantic it all was, this secret. She was grateful that the Baudelaires and the Quagmires were not the Montagues and the Capulets, but at the same time, it was fun to have something that was just for her and Violet. She loved Duncan, and she liked Sunny and Klaus, but so much of her life had to be shared with them already. Her secret hideaway, her secrets with Violet were a refuge, a sanctuary.
But beyond the bookshelves, beyond the biographies, beyond the library, and beyond Prufrock Prep, in her cell with Duncan, in Count Olaf's house, Isadora would open her notebook and look at Violet's diagrams and smile sadly. She would trace every drawing lovingly, remembering Violet's studious frown as she made each careful pencil stroke. She would look at her notebook, as long as she could bear, until it became too painful, and then she would slam it shut. And she would remember that lovely couplet at the end of the balcony scene. She would recite it to herself: "Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow/That I shall say good-bye 'til it be morrow."
And suddenly, it was not so lovely and romantic anymore.