then i turned on the tv - overnights (2024)


Amazon Orders YA Drama “The Wilds” from Sarah Streicher to Series

By Joe Otterson

Amazon is continuing to expand its YA slate with a series order for the drama “The Wilds.”

Read more

Dot’s the one to break the news, of all people. She comes home from work that fateful afternoon with a few new grease stains on her cargo pants, like always; Leah can tell without looking that she’s toeing off her old brown work boots and setting them right by the door, like always. Next she’ll go to the fridge for a glass of iced tea, like always, and settle onto the couch to watch Jeopardy reruns, like always.

“I’ve got news,” Dot says instead - very much not like always, and Leah sits bolt upright from the sofa at the break in their usual pattern. “I don’t think you’ll like it.”

“Well,” Leah says dryly, “at least you’re giving it the hard sell.”

She takes a moment to study Dot over the back of the couch, noting details: Dot’s summer freckles, the empty green Monster can in her hip pocket. Her messy flyaways are crammed into a faded blue Joe’s Bait & Tackle Shop baseball cap. Whole and healthy, alive and well between the four cream-colored walls of their Los Angeles walk-up, and Leah can let herself breathe a little better.

Reminder: they’re back in the real world, not on the island. Reminder: bad news is different now, I got yelled at by my boss or the coffee shop’s out of vanilla syrup again instead of Martha’s too feverish to move or Rachel’s lost a hand.

Dot’s mouth is moving, saying something; Leah realizes, belatedly, that she’s been too far away to hear it. She rolls her head once around her shoulders, shaking out the memories, and signals for Dot to repeat the sentence.

“That stupid show about us,” Dot says. Her voice is patient, holding even, but Leah senses a darker undertone. Knows, too, that it’s not aimed at her. “The one we heard about, like, six months ago? Yeah, so it’s premiering this weekend.”

Leah stares. “No. No f*cking way.”

“f*cking way,” Dot says grimly. “On Amazon Prime, too. We’re gonna be The Boys for people who watch way too much Survivor.”

“You watch way too much Survivor,” Leah points out. “Used to, anyway.”

Dot scoffs. “Yeah, well, it lost its appeal once I had to actually live it.”

“A show,” Leah repeats, a little numb now. The realization’s sinking in, a stone falling slowly to the bottom of the pond. “About us.”

“Yep.” Dot sits down next to her, heavily enough that Leah knows she’s upset but doesn’t want to admit it. “First episode drops this weekend. I overheard people talking about it when I was at work today.”

Leah laughs, wry, and nudges her knee against Dot’s. “Little did they know.”

“They should be thankful they didn’t,” Dot grunts. “No lawyer in the world could’ve freed me from the charges I would’ve caught if any of them recognized me. Speaking of, do you think we can sue?”

The front door flies open, and Fatin comes crashing in with an iced latte in hand. Triple shot, Leah knows, with vanilla and soy milk and one raw sugar. Just horrible.

“You won’t f*cking believe this,” Fatin says, kicking her shoes off carelessly. She goes to walk away, to leave them where they fall, but then she glances at Leah and takes an extra second to line them up neatly with the others. “Amazon Prime is making a show. About us.”

“You’re late to the party,” Leah says, and moves over to make room as Fatin vaults over the back of the couch and drops down into a sitting position. “Dot already told me.”

“Oh, come on,” Fatin complains. She holds out her latte, a habit that’s unconscious by now, and Leah takes a sip. “Dorothy, you can’t be stealing my thunder like that.”

“My bad,” Dot shrugs. “The next time some f*ckass production company decides to, like, immortalize our trauma as a serialized TV drama, I’ll let you tell Leah about it instead of me.”

“Thank you,” Fatin says, and stretches out to rest her feet on the coffee table. Her head tips to one side until she finds Leah’s shoulder, rests there casually; the familiar weight is an anchor, grounding, and Leah settles into it. “So - it’s obvious what we have to do, right?”

“Sue,” Dot and Leah suggest in unison, and Fatin gives them a disappointed look. Says: “Uh, no.”

“I’m going to hate whatever you say next,” Leah sighs, resigned. “I already know it.”

“But you love me,” Fatin says. She smiles in that certain way she does, the one that makes Leah’s heart walk around her chest in search of a window. “Besides, our apartment is the only one with enough space to host it.”

“Um,” Dot says, eyeing Fatin suspiciously. “Host what?”

“The watch party, of course,” Fatin says, like this should be totally obvious. She leans further back into the couch, slings one arm loosely behind Leah’s shoulders like that’ll be an effective distraction from what she’s saying. Maybe it is, just a little, but that’s irrelevant. “Anyway, who’s making dinner tonight? Dibs not it.”


Film Updates


Sarah Streicher’s ‘The Wilds’ is set to premiere on Amazon Prime this Saturday at 9 PM EST. It is described as a gritty, female-centric survival drama based on the true story of the all-girls survivor group known as the “Unsinkables.” The pilot episode will be an hour long.

— alison


okay this looks kind of fire

— amy


An hour??? What happened to thirty minute TV episodes? Some of us have ADHD you know

— dr pepper is a woman


jesus christ you people cant do anything



female centric just sounds like code for lesbian

silly goose


and i’ll watch dot.jpg


The thing is, Leah thinks to herself once she’s got a minute’s quiet to turn everything over in her head. The thing is, they’re doing okay now.

They’re all together in LA, for one - there’s her and Dot and Fatin in their fourth floor walk-up, and Martha and Toni a couple blocks away with Shelby in a one-bedroom studio right across the hall. Nora’s off at UC Berkeley, but she’ll have a bed in Rachel’s spare room when she comes home for the summer a week or two later. They’re all together and they’re staying that way, even if it’s codependent as f*ck.

Leah’s taking classes at UCLA, a couple a semester so she doesn’t get overwhelmed. She’s got a job, too: copy assistant at the little independent newspaper based halfway across town, the LA Bugle, where she gets lattes and proofreads articles and occasionally even gets to write something of her own. Not glamorous, exactly, but it pays decently for what it is - and after the burning wreck of it all, the car accident and the ash-grey remnants of The Nature of Her , she’s not eager to step into the publishing industry just yet.

So there - she’s doing alright, and so is everyone else. They work their jobs and live their lives, and only sometimes break down beneath the burden of the past. She’s got a standing therapy appointment on Thursdays and three types of medication. She’s got Dot, who even on the worst days is steadier than the bedrock of earth; they’ve become experts at holding each other up, two trees leaned together in the quiet woods.

And then she’s got Fatin - infuriating, intoxicating, indispensable Fatin. The girl who went from the stone in Leah’s shoe to the axis of her earth, both the sun and the world it shines down upon. She smiles, and it opens every door in Leah’s universe; Leah doesn’t know how to live without her, anymore. Doesn’t want to try, either.

The thing is, they’re doing okay. Two years out from the rescue, and Leah’s relearned civility for the most part. She can work a job, go grocery shopping, take the metro across town. Can have a conversation with someone new, usually, and keep her head from coming too far off her shoulders.

This TV show? This idiotic attempt to capture the uncapturable, to make sense of something that could never be understood by anyone but the eight of them? That’s a train running off the rails, on a track perpendicular to doing okay. That’s the threat of excavating shallow graves, turning over cold bones with a shovel made from trashy drama scripting.

But the show’s coming whether she likes it or not, and now Fatin wants everyone to watch it together - and Leah learned a lot of survival skills on the island, but saying no to Fatin Jadmani wasn’t one of them. Sometimes she thinks that the only real knowledge she gained there was the curve of Fatin’s smile, and the exact shape of the things she would do to see it grace her mouth one more time.


no sinkers just drinkers


okay everyone be at our place by 8:45 tn. no deadbeats no stragglers


I can’t make it


yeah me either


you literally live here

both of you


Ok and?


what’s your point


Sounds good! Toni and I will be there


ew stop acting married in the group chat


i hope u all know she’s making me go


and f*ck u rachel


Should I bring any snacks? I’m coming from work


nah we’ve already got leah here ;)





nora reid



fatin shut up

martha please bring chips and guac if you can


nice try babe we all know you’d die w/o me

ok see you all tn. except you nora we’ll see you next weekend for ep 2


Is it too late for me to move out






Saturday night finds the seven of them gathered in apartment 4F, spread out between the two mismatched couches and the floor. The Wilds is premiering in seven minutes, and they’re all seated; Leah, even though it’s her own apartment, feels a strong urge to walk right out the door.

“This is stupid,” Toni says, for the fifth time since she arrived. She’s curled up with Shelby on one of the couches, and Leah notes that she’s not too busy complaining to have one hand stuck in the front pocket of Shelby’s lounge shorts.

“Agree,” Rachel says, and wraps Dot’s favorite afghan blanket a little tighter around her shoulders. “Stupid might actually be too generous a word.”

“It could be fun,” Martha offers, optimistic. She’s taken the leather armchair in the corner, her two dogs dozing happily at her feet. Chili and Pepper, Leah remembers - two small blue heeler mixes, sisters from different litters, who’d refused to be separated at the rescue shelter. Fiercely codependent, just like their owners.

“It’s for the culture,” Fatin insists. “Do it for the bit, you know?”

“I don’t know, actually,” Leah deadpans. Then: “Move over, you’re on my half of the couch.”

Fatin just grins and pushes further into Leah’s space, until their legs are tangled up from the knees onward. Leah catches Fatin’s lower shin in one hand, holds her loosely in the circle of her fingers; the skin there is warm and smooth, and Leah strokes her thumb absentmindedly against the surface. Notices, with some amusem*nt, that Fatin’s wearing the socks that Rachel got her for Christmas last year: bright pink and crew length, a cashmere-cotton blend. One says MOTHER, the other says f*ckER.

“That tickles,” Fatin huffs quietly, but she doesn’t pull away from the touch. Leah just hums in response, comforted by the familiarity she finds here. Her lifeline, preserved in the brown-gold amber of Fatin’s irises.

“It’s starting,” Dot says flatly, from where she’s slouched into her worn-out purple beanbag chair. “Quick, someone shoot me in the head.”

“Shh,” Fatin says, waving a hand for silence. “Leah, hit the light.”

Leah does - she pulls the chain on the standing lamp, lets the living room dip into darkness. On the TV screen, handwritten letters are blurring together until they form two words: The Wilds.

“That’s kind of a boring ass title,” Toni remarks. She sounds more observational than angry this time, which Leah puts down to the fact that she’s now resting her head in Shelby’s lap. “Like, really? You couldn’t be a little more creative?”

“It’s not, like, inaccurate,” Martha points out fairly. “The island was definitely wild.”

Toni shrugs one shoulder, although the effect is somewhat lost against Shelby’s upper thigh. Point conceded, for now, and the room is quiet once again as the title screen dissolves and the episode begins.

And then Leah’s looking at - her own face, or its long-lost sister at least. The girl on the screen is frighteningly similar to Leah’s own mirror: light brown hair, stubborn line of her jaw, eyes a startling blue only a shade or two cloudier than Leah’s own. Through a flatscreen, darkly. Leah feels her stomach twist, unsettled, and wander towards free fall.

“Lord,” Shelby mutters, slightly unnerved. “Castin’ director hit that one right on the head.”

Dot reaches for the popcorn, even though it’s not yet oversalted in the way she likes best. “Can say that again. This feels like some Twilight Zone kinda sh*t.”

“She’s kinda hot,” Fatin says. There’s a smirk resting at her mouth, lighthearted, but her hand finds Leah’s ankle and holds her there carefully. She finds Leah’s sinking gaze, pulls it up again; catches blue with brown, almost black in the absence of proper lighting. Says: “Hey,” almost a whisper, and Leah knows it’s not for anyone else.

“Hey,” Leah answers. Her voice sounds distant in her own ears, more rasp than anything.

“We don’t really have to watch this if you don’t want to,” Fatin offers. “It’s not too late. I can shut it down right now.”

Leah nods, grateful. Breathes in, out. Fatin’s watching her still, with the kind of focus she gives to few things and even fewer people - and when Leah searches the depths, she finds herself alright for now.

“I’m good,” she says. Reaches down to tap on Fatin’s wrist with two fingers, once and then twice; it’s one of many little signals in their collection, part of the half-spoken language that exists only between the two of them. This one is I’m okay and I promise, all in one.

Fatin links her index finger around Leah’s, a response without words, and the loop closes. As she turns back to the TV screen, Leah sees her jaw clench a little tighter.



Back at camp, Leah takes a waterlogged shirt from one of the few salvaged suitcases, hangs it on a branch to dry. She pauses for a reflective beat, surveying the girls around her:


It didn’t happen consciously, but I was finally starting to notice the others. My eyes were opening.

Angle on NORA AND DOT, standing in the distance. They’re waist-deep in the ocean, trawling for valuable plane debris.


I was awakening to who they were.

On FATIN, sleeping fitfully, twitching with PTSD dreams.


Because that’s what happens when the veil of obsession is lifted.

On JEANETTE, high on a rock. Staring at the water, brooding.


The world you had whittled down to one begins to repopulate.


There’s a moment of silence at the end of the episode, a long stretch of seconds where nobody talks and the credits roll slowly down the screen. No one really knows what to say, but it doesn’t last for long; never has, never will.

“That was some bullsh*t,” Fatin says. First on the scene, unsurprising. “That should’ve been Leah’s episode, but nearly half the damn story line was about that stupid f*cking pedophile. Lame as f*ck.”

“Well,” Toni says unhelpfully, “she was, like, unhealthily obsessed with him when we first got to the island. Sorry, Leah, but it’s true.”

“It is true,” Leah admits, reluctant. The actor who’d been picked for Jeff only sort of looked like the source material - they’d made him taller than he really was, for one - but the sight had still made her stomach turn. Show-Leah had been so naive, so sickeningly besotted. Another reflection, one that’s all too gut-wrenchingly familiar; a splinter she’d long since forgotten, lodged beneath her skin.

Fatin lets out a hmph, irritation living large in the undertone. Her body’s tense, taut lines running through her limbs, and there’s a crease between her eyebrows that Leah wants to reach out and soothe with the flat of her thumb. Wants to, but doesn’t.

“Easy there,” she murmurs instead, and Fatin’s shoulders lower slightly with the words. “It’s okay.”

The set of Fatin’s mouth says she’s still unhappy, but she lets it slide until the others have headed home and it’s just the three of them in the apartment again. Dot heaves herself out of the old beanbag chair and starts bringing used water glasses to the kitchen; Leah stays where she is, planted on the sofa at Fatin’s side.

“I’m still mad,” Fatin says. Her fingers are restless, worrying at a dime-sized hole in the grey sweats she’s wearing. They’re Leah’s pants, a thrift store find with a little bluebird embroidered below the left pocket, but they end up in Fatin’s drawer more often than not. Fatin swears she has no idea how it happens, and Leah pretends to believe her.

“I know,” Leah assures her now, and she does. In the aftermath of the island, Fatin had been the hardest fallout; she’d all but shattered, pieces of her trailing along in the wake of their unexpected rescue. Leah had watched her put herself back together again, slow and painstaking. Had helped, too, in the ways she could: held her, fed her, slept by her side. Kept her, a lifetime guarantee with no chance of return.

“So f*cking stupid,” Fatin mutters. “Like, we actually went through that sh*t. We lived the nightmare, and they’re f*cking - they’re packaging it up and selling it like the Sunday Times.”

“I know,” Leah repeats, soft-voiced. Her hand finds Fatin’s, laces their fingers together. “We can call off the weekly watch party, you know. I don’t think anyone will mind.”

Fatin scoffs, but her thumb is gentle as it rubs against Leah’s knuckles. “f*ck no, we’re not calling it off,” she says. “I’m watching every single episode, so I know exactly what to sue for when we take this sh*t to court.”

Her jaw is set in anger, the line of it hard with determination, which is an unfairly attractive look on her. Leah tries not to stare too hard, but it’s as hopeless as holding the moon.

“At least there’s one good thing about this dumb show,” Fatin adds. Her tone is lighter now, the pitch of amusem*nt. “The actor they picked to play you is, like, insanely hot.”

There’s a flash of something low in Leah’s stomach, red-hued and braided with envy; she frowns, bothered in a way she can’t quite explain. There’s definitely no sulkiness in her voice, not even a little bit, when she says: “Eh, she’s not that great.”

“Well, she’s a low three compared to the real thing,” Fatin agrees easily, knocking her shoulder against Leah’s. “But I’ll take what I can get.”



“The Wilds” Is Exactly What Women Need Right Now - Especially the Gay Ones

By Lanie Dykes

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past two years, you’ve at least heard of the Unsinkables: the group of eight teenage girls who were kidnapped into a bio-essentialist mad science experiment and stranded on a remote island for 67 days before they were finally rescued. Now, their story is being immortalized in Amazon Prime’s TV drama “The Wilds.”

“The Wilds” is Amazon Prime’s most recent attempt at appealing to the YA audience while also trying its hand at the true crime genre. After the first episode, however, the show seems to have found a different audience: the lesbians.

Why lesbians, you might ask? To begin with, all of the main characters in the show are female - a rare phenomenon in popular media, and one that greatly appeals to a demographic uninterested in men.

Another contributing factor may be the hom*oerotic undertones of the narrative, which have already been noted by multiple viewers despite the fact that only the pilot episode has aired so far.

The Twitter community especially has hopped on this particular bandwagon, with posts like “I can’t believe how f*cking gay this wilds show is” from Twitter user @beersforqueers and “just watched the wilds ep 1. shelby and toni are so gonna end up f*cking lmao” from Twitter user @faithbuffys garnering over a thousand likes each.

While we don’t yet know if these claims of hom*osexual subtext will end up bearing fruit (LOL), we do know that the female-centric nature of “The Wilds” has made it an immediate hit with gay women everywhere. Episode 2 will be airing next Saturday at 9PM, and you can bet your ass that our entire staff will be seated. Until then, #ShoniFTW.

Lanie Dykes is a staff writer at Autostraddle. Yes, that’s really her name. Not like, really really, because she’s a made up journalist writing a made up article in a made up story about a made up show, but that’s her name. Happy pride month, etc.


Nora gets back from Berkeley the following Friday, and the eight of them go out for a celebratory meal - they hit up the old-fashioned diner near Shelby and Toni’s apartment, taking over the corner booth like they always do. It’s narrow enough that they have to sit down single file; Fatin slides in second to last, leaving the edge seat for Leah.

Everyone orders breakfast, even though it’s nearly nine at night, because it’s their tradition and the diner exists in its own separate sphere of reality. When Leah’s order comes, a shortstack with butter and choice of breakfast meat, she piles five strips of bacon onto Fatin’s plate without a word. Intricate rituals, and all that.

“So, college girl,” Dot says, pouring herself another mug of bottom-tier black coffee. “Tell us how you’ve been.”

Nora lowers her head, pokes bashfully at her oatmeal with a cheap metal diner spoon. “Do you really want to hear about me?”

“Yes,” Rachel says, firm, and looks around the table like she’s daring them to disagree. No one does. They’ve made peace with the past, after long talks and longer therapy sessions; Nora’s been forgiven for everything, in almost every way that counts. If Leah still gets anxious around her sometimes, if she makes sure to never be around her in a less than crowded room, that’s something she’ll keep to herself.

“Of course we want to hear about you,” Shelby adds encouragingly. She slides the maple syrup pitcher closer to Nora, gives her a small nod. “Go on.”

Nora smiles, a subtle gesture, and then starts talking about - something. Astrophysics, or maybe just normal ones. Leah’s trying to pay attention, she really is, but her thoughts are wandering around the diner instead. They walk aimlessly around the blue vinyl booths, peer out the windows at the orange-lit street. Not unhappy, exactly, but restless.

A familiar hand finds her thigh beneath the table, and the threads of Leah’s consciousness pull tight again. Fatin’s there, giving her the corner of a smile that’s never stretched far enough to reach anyone else. Her finger traces something against Leah’s straight-cut jeans, two parallel lines and two more perpendicular ones.

“Really,” Leah asks quietly, down low enough that it won’t interrupt Nora’s story about the ominously named library incident. “You’re never going to win, you know.”

“That’s what you think,” Fatin says. She taps Leah’s thigh again, waiting, and Leah relents without a struggle; follows Fatin’s index finger, traces a neat X with the tip of her own.

“You’re such a cheater,” Fatin sighs. “Taking the middle spot every time. No wonder I never win.”

“You shouldn’t always let me go first, then.”

“Babe, please. I have manners, unlike some people.”

Leah just shakes her head, fond, and lets Fatin circle an O in the spot next to her X. It’s a ridiculous game, like so many of the ones they play: almost impossible to win, or even keep track of after a turn or two. But winning isn’t the point here, and the light trail of Fatin’s fingers on the denim of her jeans is, as always, a cool balm to the bite of her overactive thoughts. They pass the time this way, half-playing and half-listening to their friends’ conversation, until the meal is over and the diner’s closing.

Nora catches her as they’re leaving, drops to the back of the group where Leah’s walking at a meandering speed. Says: “Hey,” a hint of shyness to it, and Leah takes a covert deep breath.

“Hey,” Leah says back, glancing sidelong at Nora. College looks good on her, she’ll admit - Nora’s standing taller, looking less haunted. She’s grown a little since the last time she was home, and there’s a new silver stud glinting small on the left side of her nose.

“Fatin said that you, uh, you guys want to sue the network,” Nora says. Her hands are busy in front of her as they walk, fingers twisting together. “The one that’s making the show about us.”

“She does,” Leah clarifies. “I mean, I’m not necessarily against it. I don’t know that it’ll be easy, though.”

Nora nods, and her curls bounce with the movement. She’s still pretty, despite the betrayal; Leah notes this with only a trace of resentment. “I was just going to say - you should start taking notes during the episodes. On, like, everything they get wrong. Anything that could hold up in court. You’re good at field notes.”

It’s not backhanded, really - more side-handed than anything, a compliment that sits parallel to the weight of the history it carries. Leah eyes Nora carefully, analyzing, but there’s no bitterness there. The murky waters between them have settled, running almost clear by now, and Leah can let something go for once in her life.

So she says, “Okay, I will,” and then reaches out one arm to pull Nora towards her. It’s a brief, awkward sideways hug, but it’s definitely a hug. “Thanks, Nora. I’m - glad you’re back.”

If Nora hears the pause or catches the switch, back in place of home, she doesn’t let on. She just pats Leah’s arm in return. They’re both horribly awkward, but they’re trying.

“Thank you,” Nora says quietly. “I am, too.”


grocery list:



oat milk

Normal milk

peach yerba mate


catastrophe surprise - serves me (+ 2, or 7, or however many people happen to be in the vicinity)


my brain

one single thought

combine both ingredients. watch it explode! best served warm

Lee no offense but this recipe looks like sh*t. And why did you write it on the bottom of the shopping list

agreed. i’m not eating your brain babe there’s way better parts of you i could eat

Fatin stop being gay on supersized post-it note and go buy the stupid groceries

fine dorothy. but just so you know, hate is not the way. love is love bitch

I’m seriously going to move out one day


Leah’s better prepared for the second episode watch party, which means that she went down to the stationary store and bought a new notebook just for the occasion. She also puts a couple stacks of books in front of the houseplants that sit in the corners of the living room, to keep Martha’s dogs from chewing on the parlor palms again.

“You do realize we’re watching TV, right,” Dot teases when she sees the notebook sitting on the coffee table. It’s a slim black Moleskine, five by seven; Leah’s already obsessed with the look. “Not, like, studying for the LSAT.”

“Ah, let her live,” Fatin says, breezing into the room with three glasses of water balanced in hand. “The whole nerdy librarian thing is hot. Plus, we need to gather evidence or whatever before we sue the living sh*t out of Amazon Prime.”

She sets the glasses on the table, pushes the one with a slice of lemon towards Leah. The front door swings open loudly and Toni comes barging through, followed by Shelby and Martha and Rachel. Nora’s the last one in, carrying a large paper bag that she puts carefully by the coffee table.

“Shoes off in the house,” Leah reminds them automatically, and tries not to care that Toni’s battered high top Vans get dumped unceremoniously in front of the closet door. There’s an urge scratching at her to go and straighten them out, but she resists it.

“We lived in the middle of f*cking nowhere for two months,” Rachel says, flopping down in a chair. “We were, like, sh*tting in holes in the ground.”

“Yeah, and that’s more of a reason to take your shoes off now that we have a house,” Dot points out. “Civility, or whatever. What’s in the bag?”

“Tequila,” Rachel says, producing a handle of Jose Cuervo from the bag in question. “And vodka, and some Coronas, and - a f*cking gigantic Smirnoff Ice lemonade, for some reason.”

She holds it up to the light, like she’s trying to discern if it’s real. Toni snatches it from her with astonishing speed, those old basketball reflexes never too far gone. “Hands off, bitch,” she says, territorial. “That’s for Marty.”

“Oh, so we’re getting f*cked up tonight,” Fatin says, looking deeply pleased. “Should’ve said so in the group chat earlier. Did you buy any Prosecco?”

“There’s a bottle in the fridge,” Dot informs her. She’s fiddling with the remote now, navigating the ridiculous maze of streaming platforms until she finds the one she wants. “I hid it behind the asparagus.”

“That’s low, Dorothy,” Fatin says in wounded tones. “Real low.”

She brings the champagne bottle back to the living room along with a package of Oreos, coming over to their usual couch. Leah reaches out vaguely in her general direction as she sits down, and Fatin places two Oreos in her palm with a wink.

“Perfect,” Leah murmurs, eyes flicking over the curve of Fatin’s profile. She meant it more as a thought than a spoken word, but Fatin catches it anyway.

“Thanks, babe,” Fatin says, and stretches out to rest her feet in Leah’s lap. “I try.”

The minute rolls over to nine pm, and Dot kills the lights as the Amazon Prime logo appears on the screen of their bargain shelf Best Buy TV. Leah rests her notebook on Fatin’s shins, opens it to the first page. Writes: The Wilds, 1x02 - Notes at the top.

“Hey,” Fatin says, leaning forward to tug at the hem of Leah’s shirt. It’s one that Leah rescued from the post-island graphic tee purge: a simple white t-shirt that says yours in warm red cursive, right over the wearer’s heart. “Isn’t this mine?”

“Shush,” Leah says, and nods towards the TV. “Pay attention.”

Fatin eyes her knowingly, but settles back into the arm of the couch. Leah turns her attention to the screen, pen in hand. As show-Fatin walks into the frame, Leah scribbles an absentminded heart in the margin of her notebook.




ok so who else thinks shelby and toni will end up together

— jas



— eliza



— misandrist sari



— callie


y’all tripping lmao it’s leah and fatin who are gonna be f*cking onscreen in the finale

— annie


you think so? leah seems pretty obsessed with her pedo boyfriend so far

— priya


no no there’s a vision trust



i feel like you guys are forgetting that the show’s based on real events. weren’t the real toni and shelby together when the eight went on good morning america or whatever that one time after the rescue

— callie


that was never confirmed

— jas


they were holding hands on live tv i feel like that’s kind of confirmation

— priya


well so were fatin and leah. look


fast forward to 3:03

— callie


how interesting…

— priya


so leatin endgame?

— callie


leatin endgame.


They’re all varying degrees of drunk by the end of the episode, the result of playing a few too many rounds of Pass The Handle. Leah’s only tipsy, still lucid enough to take down notes on the important things; Fatin’s had enough to be a little looser than normal, her smile sitting lazy at the edge of her mouth. Her socked feet push gently Leah’s thigh every few minutes, as if assuring herself that she’s still there.

Down on the floor, Dot’s halfway to hammered - she has one hand around the mostly empty bottle of tequila, guarding it diligently. Her head’s tipped back against the sofa, looking young in a way that aches somewhere within Leah’s chest.

“Here,” Leah says, putting down the pen and gesturing for Dot to hand over the liquor. “Let me see that for a sec.”

Dot holds the bottle closer, shakes her head. “Nuh uh. My trauma dump episode, my tequila.”

“She’s got a point,” Rachel says. “When these f*ck ass producers get around to butchering my storyline, I want an IV of strawberry daiquiri put in my arm.”

“You get it,” Dot says laconically. She turns her face into the crook of Leah’s elbow, her breaths holding steady there. “They did a decent job on mine, honestly. I can tell, cause of how it f*cking hurts.”

One of Martha’s dogs wanders over - it’s Chili, the one with less spots - and rests her head on Dot’s leg. Dot lets out a brief chuckle, petting her gently behind the ears, and then takes another sip of tequila.

“I think he’d appreciate this,” she says, brave in the blue-light wash of the TV screen. “Be pissed that the producers didn’t ask permission, maybe, but he’d think it’s funny. We watched so many seasons of Survivor together, right. Now I’ve got my very own episode.”

Fatin and Leah move at the same time, perfect tandem as they reach for Dot and sandwich her into a hug. Their arms overlap, curling around Dot’s back to hold her close, and Leah thinks: this, here. This is the triangular cornerstone of her world, a foundation built with unbreakable bones.

“Don’t go all soft on me, guys,” Dot says, but it comes out a little watery. “So…same time next week?”

“Same time next week,” Leah assures her, and flicks a questioning gaze over the top of her head. Fatin returns it, just as sure, and places a hand on Dot’s shoulder as she deftly works the tequila bottle free from her grasp.

“We’ll be here,” she confirms. “I mean, where else does anyone have to be?”

“The gym,” Rachel mutters.

“The shelter,” Martha suggests.

“The court with night floodlights over by the beach,” Toni says, wistful.

“Nowhere, then,” Fatin says, and puts enough weight behind it to flatten any protest. She curls her hand around Dot’s, comforting, but her eyes are still on Leah as she says: “Nowhere more important than here.”


Leah Rilke requested Dot Campbell

June 1


pay me i’m gay

Dot Campbell declined Leah Rilke

June 1


I’m not giving you twenty dollars just because it’s the first day of pride month

Leah Rilke requested Dot Campbell

June 1


okay so you hate bisexuals?

Dot Campbell declined Leah Rilke

June 1


I’m literally an ally I wear cargo pants

Leah Rilke requested Dot Campbell

June 1


exactly. my culture is not your costume

Dot Campbell paid Leah Rilke

June 1


Jesus christ okay fine. Buy some more milk on the way home though, Toni came over earlier and drank the rest of ours.

Leah Rilke requested Toni Shalifoe


stop stealing our milk or i’m confiscating your spare key. happy pride month


A day after the third episode of The Wilds goes live, Leah and Fatin visit the flea market over on Silverlake. Daiquiri-drunk Rachel dropped a tray of glasses during their watch party the night before, and Leah wants to find some decent replacements; Dot’s collection of Garfield coffee mugs is all well and good, but there’s something just not right about using them to drink plain water.

Fatin makes a few halfhearted noises about the earliness of the hour, how it’s literally nine in the morning, Leah, I should still be sleeping, but she abruptly stops complaining when Leah puts an iced coffee in her hand - just says, “f*ck, I love you,” and downs her drink in two swallows before going to get dressed. Leah watches her go, warm with the echo of her words.

By now Fatin’s fully awake, finished with her coffee and content to stroll along at Leah’s side as they drift through the market. Leah takes a minute to look over at her, admiring: sharp line of her jaw and the short dark waves of her hair, brown eyes glinting almost gold when the sunlight falls just right. Crazy, really, how Leah’s best friend is the prettiest girl in the whole entire world.

“I can feel you staring,” Fatin says. Her hand moves to the small of Leah’s back, guiding her around a stack of milk crates in front of a woodwork stall. “Take a picture, it’ll last longer.”

Leah hums in response, unbothered by the callout, although her ears feel a little hot at the edges. Her phone’s in the back pocket of her jeans, along with a few folded dollars and an old library receipt; she works it free carefully, opens the camera app. Fatin appears in the frame, radiant in the wash of early summer splendor, and Leah smiles to herself as she snaps the picture.

“Oh, hey,” Fatin says, and nods to a small wooden cart behind a row of artisan jewelry tents. “Lemonade stand. Let’s go.”

“We just had coffee,” Leah points out, but she follows along without protest. As established previously, she’s bad at saying no to Fatin Jadmani.

“Two strawberry lemonades, please,” Fatin says to the vendor, smiling pleasantly. “And could you put an extra slice of lemon in one of them?”

The teenage boy standing at the register nods dumbly, starstruck and staring. He almost shuts his hand in the cash register when he goes to count out Fatin’s change; well, Leah can’t really blame him. She gives him a cold stare anyway, one hard line drawn between them, and smiles inwardly as he flinches away.

“Here,” Fatin says, turning away from the stand, She holds one of the cups out to Leah, the one with extra lemon. “Don’t look at me like that, I could tell you wanted one.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Leah says, and takes the cup from her with a fond look. “You know me better than I know myself, et cetera.”

Fatin winks, slipping her straw seductively between her lips, and Leah’s brain promptly blue screens. “Don’t you forget it,” she says, which - what were they talking about again?

“I won’t,” Leah gets out, trying not to stare at the gorgeous curve of Fatin’s mouth. “Forget. Yeah. Definitely not.”

“I know you won’t,” Fatin says, softer now. Her hand finds Leah’s hip, pulls her closer as a cart full of vintage Carhartt goes wheeling past. “With your big, sexy brain? You’d never.”

“Holy sh*t, are you those girls from The Wilds?”

Leah turns, thrown; between sexy brain and those girls from The Wilds, her mind’s turning several loops in a complex kind of inverted roller coaster ride. Three young girls are standing there next to them, all oversized shirts and long denim shorts. There’s something in their wide-eyed pre-teen gazes that verges on adoration, and Leah seriously has no idea what’s going on right now.

“Uh,” Leah says eloquently. “Sorry, what?”

“The Wilds,” one of the girls says excitedly. “You know, that new survival show? You guys are, like, totally giving Fatin and Leah.”

Leah glances in bewilderment at Fatin, who’s got a hard cast to her expression now. She shifts forward subtly, bodying a shield between Leah and the girls, as she says: “Yeah, well, that’s us. None of that Amazon Prime sh*t, though. We’re the real deal.”

“Oh,” another one of the girls says, looking mildly let down now. “So you’re not the ones from the show?”

“Nope,” Leah drawls. “Sorry to disappoint.”

“That’s okay,” says the third girl, who’s wearing a comically large Lana del Rey shirt. She’s looking at Fatin with starry eyes, and her face is flushed when she adds: “You’re, like, totally just as good as meeting Sarah and Sophia.”

“Not really,” the first girl mumbles, and then yelps as the third girl elbows her hard in the ribs. “Anyway, thanks for, uh, stopping. Bye.”

The three of them skip away in the direction of the organic soap stall; Fatin squints after them, bemused. “What the f*ck was that?”

“Beats me,” Leah says with a shrug. “You just became a gay awakening for the one in the Lana shirt, though.”

Fatin laughs. “Pretty sure she was already awakened, babe. I saw those knee length jorts.”

“Okay, fair,” Leah concedes. “But if she wasn’t, then you definitely did it for her.”

“Oh, I’m sure,” Fatin says easily. “If only I could do it for you, instead.”

There’s a teasing glint in her eye, her quiet laugh slanting in the morning sun, and the sight is so disarmingly pretty that Leah blurts out, “Who says you don’t?”

Fatin’s expression shifts, film-reel flashes cutting from surprise to self-satisfaction to something else entirely. Leah knows she has to defuse this right here at the wire, so she does - she looks away, fixes her gaze on a display of vintage kitchenware. Says, almost too quickly: “Those blue plates are perfect,” and hurries over in that direction before she can start any more fires she’s not yet ready to put out.




thought i saw sophia ali and sarah pidgeon today but it turned out to be the actual fatin and leah from the unsinkables lol. a little disappointed but that was still cool ig



that just goes to show how insane the wilds casting is. like i looked up the real unsinkables and p much all of their actors could be stunt doubles

— ash


RIGHT LIKE ITS CRAZY!!! deanna brigidi thank you for your service



isn’t that kind of like a fascinating commentary on how our society inherently values the sensationalized representation of something rather than the thing itself

days gone without hating: 0


no the f*ck it’s not! this is gay twitter we clown in this motherf*cker take your critically thinking ass back to succession tumblr

— mindy


now that i think about it we’ve never seen leah rilke and sarah pidgeon in the same room

— dot campbell nation


conspiracy theory: they’re actually the same person and one of them is just a fake persona created for the drama of it all



Oh right, because it’s so easy to fake being stranded on a desert island for over two months while hiding your rising career as an actor…or vice versa? Get a grip

olivia cooke’s loveslave


it’s called a joke god damn. stay out of women’s business ALAN

— women want fish me fear me


WAKE UP PEOPLE! everything we know is a lie. there’s no reality for us, only fiction. we’re trapped in this meta narrative for the duration of the lives we don’t even have. the fourth wall is breaking and we are its casualties guys please wake up before they come get me oh god oh f*ck it’s too late help help h



…whatever that means

— shannon


ignore her she drinks


Leah gets called into work on Saturday evening for a simple task and ends up being kept another four hours to deal with some all too typical mess involving broken printers and poorly written copy, which means the new episode of The Wilds has already started by the time she finally gets back to the apartment. She takes her shoes off and shuts the front door as quietly as possible before stepping over Rachel to get to the couch.

“Ow,” Rachel complains, and fine, maybe Leah stepped into her more than over her. There was an attempt, at least.

“Sorry,” Leah mutters, perching on the very end of the sofa. That’s all she can manage, since the lithe shape of Fatin’s body is draped across the rest of it.

“Oh, hey,” Fatin greets her softly, making no move to shift over. “Did you, like, want to sit here or something?”

“Idiot,” Leah says, and pushes lightly at Fatin’s knees. “Let me in.”

“Sorry,” Fatin replies with a grin. “This seat’s reserved, actually.”

Leah raises an eyebrow. “Yeah? What name is it under?”

“Hm, let me check. It’s kind of hard to read, but I think it says tall drink of water with gorgeous blue eyes. Must’ve been some kind of mix-up during the reservation, cause now I’ve got you here instead.”

“Flirt on your own time,” Dot says wearily from the armchair. “Some of us are trying to watch TV.”

“I’m not,” Toni and Rachel answer in unison, and then smirk at each other.

Leah gives Dot the corner of an apologetic smile. Taps on Fatin’s shin twice, make room, and waits; Fatin starts moving, finally, but she doesn’t retreat to her usual half of the couch. She just rolls forward a little, until the space is divided vertically rather than horizontally.

“You’re insufferable,” Leah sighs, resigned, and lowers herself down until she’s lying behind Fatin. Their bodies curl together like commas, and Leah’s hand finds the dip of Fatin’s waist like a sixth sense.

“You stay suffering me, though,” Fatin answers - and there’s the truth, no slanted telling necessary. Leah drops her face into the curve of Fatin’s neck, breathes in the familiar jasmine scent of her conditioner. Fatin seems to shiver a little beneath the touch, a quick spell of restlessness shimmering through her body, but then she settles again and Leah turns her attention to the TV screen.

Mid-frame, there’s a conflict brewing: show-Leah is arguing with show-Fatin, yanking her down the beach. Show-Fatin falls back, clutches at her leg - there’s red on her hands, when she pulls them away. Leah’s not the one who’s injured, and neither is her fictional shadow, but she still can’t keep herself from wincing.

“Don’t ever put your hands on me again,” show-Fatin says.

Show-Leah stares at her, challenging. “Or what?”

Show-Fatin reaches out and pulls her hands roughly down the angry lines of show-Leah’s face, smearing crimson tracks of blood in her wake. Their eyes meet, twin flames counter-striking, and there’s something electrifying between them - Leah feels it right through the screen, right through the roots of history. Her heartbeat is loud in her ears, drowning out the stereo sound; her body goes numb by degrees, collapsing inwards. The only thing she’s aware of is Fatin, the tense lines of their bodies pressed together.

“God damn,” Toni whistles quietly from across the room. “That was kinda gay.”

Fatin exhales, a long breath let go beneath the curve of Leah’s arm. Her voice is light, teasing, but there’s something a little bit missing as she says: “Bitch please, that’s nothing. Leah and I have way more chemistry than that.”

Rachel coughs indiscreetly in a way that sounds like hom*osexual. Toni’s laughing, but Leah’s misplaced the punchline somewhere; she nudges Fatin gently, wanting her attention. There’s a thread of anxiety twisting around, binding her hands as she asks quietly: “You okay?”

“Yeah, yeah,” Fatin says. Her gaze drifts briefly to one side, not quite meeting Leah’s, but she comes back smiling. “All good, babe.”


The Wilds 1x04 - Notes

I missed the first part of this one because I had to stay late at work. f*ck you, copy editor Steve. Post-episode observations as follows:

The casting is still alarmingly accurate. Upsettingly, even. I don’t know where they found these actors, but sometimes I feel like I’m looking in one of those funhouse mirrors. Weird sensation, and one that helps me remember to take my meds.

We did NOT fight over a bag of Takis. That would just be stupid. It was Zapp’s sweet creole onion. I mean, come on. We have some dignity.

Our shelters look a lot better on the show than they did in real life. I remember Shelby’s attempt at seaweed curtains. They were hideous.

Somehow they got the whole blood smearing incident pretty much accurate. Not sure how that happened, but Toni did mention it on GMA that one time. Maybe the producers dug it up? (NB search up interview later)

Fatin was being a little weird after the episode ended and I don’t know why but I need things to be okay between us because I think I’d actually die without her

We found Fatin pretty soon after she left the tent, so that’s inaccurate too. The cliffhanger ending makes sense for dramatic purposes, though. I’m still ready to sue but I’ll admit that this is decent television. Sort of. Sometimes.


“I’m going out for dinner,” Fatin says casually the next evening, right before the time when they’d usually start deciding on their meal of the night. Adds, offhand: “Might be a late one, don’t wait up,” and Leah feels something like an avalanche occurring in the general vicinity of her stomach.

“Really,” she says, light, trying to beat back the landslide crush of wrongness that’s flooding her body. “Who’s your victim this time?”

“Bitch,” Fatin says, but there’s no heat to it. “I don’t know, some guy in that photography seminar I’m taking. He asked me out earlier today and I said yes.”

“Huh,” Leah says. Her hands wander around the table, fidgeting with things: a pen, a fork, one of the stray twist-ties that Fatin always forgets to put back on the bread bag. “I mean, free dinner is free dinner, right?”

Fatin shrugs one shoulder, noncommittal. She’s a whirlwind of motion around the stationary shape of Leah’s seat at the kitchen counter. In and out of the bedroom, the bathroom, back into the kitchen, switching outfits and smoothing red gloss over her lips. The correct routine, for the incorrect reasons, and somewhere in the middle: “Yeah, free dinner - and I dunno. I might go back to his place afterwards, maybe.”

“Oh,” Leah says, distant. “Okay. Cool.”

It’s not cool, she thinks as Fatin collects her purse and disappears out the door with only a quick hug goodbye, dropped one-armed and gentle against the slant of Leah’s collarbones. It’s not cool, not at all. It’s global warming, that’s what it is. Temperatures are rising, and the earth is f*cked beyond belief.

She’s normal about it, though. She’s so, so normal. She sits normally in the living room and watches TV normally until Dot gets home and starts making penne vodka, and then she eats dinner normally, the two of them sitting there at a table made for three. She normally dodges Dot’s questions, sidestepping the subtle concern she finds there, and normally takes herself to bed at nine thirty just to try and stop the thoughts from rolling. Normal, normal, normal.

And it shouldn’t feel like this, she thinks as she stares up at the dark wasteland of the ceiling. It’s not like Fatin hasn’t gone on dates since the island; it’s not like these are uncharted waters. Leah’s played witness to a half dozen flings, spent nights alone in the apartment when Dot’s kept late at work. It was fine before, as fine as it could be. Leah didn’t care, or told herself that at least, and waited for each episode to end with the fretful fear of an unrenewed network series.

Now, though - well, now is a different story. Different page, different book even, and Leah’s sickened by the narrative unraveling here.

Is the guy handsome, she wonders. Does Fatin like him, are they out at dinner, are they back at his apartment by now. Is Fatin giving him that smile, the one that sits careless at the corner of her mouth when she smiles all soft-eyed and happy. Does she look at him? Does she like what she sees? Does she - is she - will she—

The waves come crashing over Leah’s head, pull her down to deeper trenches. There’s orange light spilling through the window, pooling liquid across the floor, but she’s swimming beneath blues: airless, underwater.

It doesn’t make sense for her to feel this way, she tries to tell herself. It doesn’t make sense at all; there’s no rhyme or reason, no logic to this color blue. This isn’t her hill to die on, or even climb.

Leah knows herself though, despite a mirror that feels like a stranger more often than now. She knows this too: when she feels something, she feels it to her bones. Each emotion sits heavy here, holding in her body until it decides to be done with her. There’s no stopping the ocean, after all, no turning tides before their time. That’s the sound of the sea rushing over her, salt-damp breeze and coastal air. Water everywhere; the taste of drowning, and the waves are the hours—

The next thing she knows is the quiet rattle of the doorknob, the creak of a hinge that’s gone greaseless for a little too long, and Fatin’s silhouette slipping through the darkness, closing out the night behind her. Leah’s instantly awake again, all her limbs gone loose with the familiar scent of jasmine that floods the room.

“Hey,” she says, a sleep-heavy rasp, and sees Fatin flinch with the sound. “You’re home?”

“Yeah,” Fatin breathes out. “Sorry, I didn’t want to wake you up. I just - wanted to see you.”

She’s in front of Leah’s wardrobe now, her shadow a dim arc of motion against the wall. Leah can’t see well enough for detail, but she knows the beats: Fatin’s dress sliding off, hitting the floor. Her hands dipping into Leah’s dresser drawers, coming out with a shirt and shorts that she’ll later swear was never stolen.

“How was the date,” Leah asks, and drags her eyes away from the movement of Fatin pulling a t-shirt over her head. It’s all a blur in the dark, but it still knocks the breath out of her in a way that’s near unbearable.

“Eh,” Fatin says, stepping into her shorts - Leah’s shorts - and sitting on the edge of the bed. There’s a brief moment where she kicks off her socks, and then she’s working her way upwards to rest at Leah’s side. “Let me in.”

Leah rolls her eyes, even though Fatin can’t really see it happening, and lifts up one side of the blanket. Fatin slides underneath without hesitation, curling into Leah until they’re more one person than two; Leah closes her eyes, sinks into it, and exhales fully for the first time all night.

“It was boring,” Fatin says, once they’re settled. She’s got her face tucked in the curve of Leah’s neck, one arm draped over her stomach. “I went back to his place after dinner, but I couldn’t - I didn’t want to do anything with him, so I left again.”

“Good,” Leah says softly. Her hand finds the back of Fatin’s shirt, fingers twisting possessive through the wash-worn fabric. “I’m glad you didn’t stay there.” Then, because she’s still sleep-drunk and it’s late enough at night that the truth is only one more star in the sky: “I just wanted you to come home to me.”

Fatin’s next inhale is slow, and her breath is warm against Leah’s skin. “Yeah,” she says, a quiet sigh of an answer. “Me too.”




okay so i took a few days to process this fully but the wilds ep 4 is gay right. like that’s hom*osexual activity

— soph



— millie


more like absofruitly

— 365 party girl


fatin wiping her own blood on leah’s face was insane…decorum is OUT dyketivity is IN

— rain


sorry but are you allowed to reclaim that slur? /gen

— 365 party girl


i’m not reclaiming it. i’m using it as a slur

— jess


as is your right!

— char


speaking of dyketivity. there’s just something about the inherent hom*oeroticism of women covered in blood

— chloe


u simply can’t have a scene like that w two characters unless they’re gonna end up together it can’t be legal



y’all are dead delusional lmao they’d never let two lesbian ships be canon on the same show and shoni is already locked in



nonbelievers look away…when the leatin prophecy is fulfilled Then You Will See



let it go omfg getting queerbaited by amazon prime is like losing at chess to a dog

— sarah pidgeon reply guy


well i’m about to start barking then cause



facts like idgaf how much fatin talks about dick she clearly wants to f*ck leah so bad it makes her look stupid

— cold brew whor*



— McKenna • Nashville night 1


I love the show but you guys need to stop forcing sexualities on these characters. Not everyone is gay

— i heart milfs


yeah well your mom sure as hell was when i f*cked her last night

— jade


oh bestie you spilled. end her!


It’s not until the week after The Wilds episode five airs that Leah starts to realize: something’s happening here. It’s weird, almost unbelievably so, but it’s happening nonetheless.

Until now, she’d seen The Wilds as a strange little distraction of the unwelcome kind. The type of thing that warps your life in a corner or two, maybe, but doesn’t extend to the walls or foundation. They’ll watch these episodes and then they’ll sue, and then they’ll let it go and move along.

That’s how she saw things - how she wants to continue seeing them - but there’s been an undeniable shift in structures. The world’s tilting, spinning loose from its axis. There are so many tectonic plates in the air, and she’s standing on a fault-line tightrope, waiting for that missing shoe to drop.

There’s all these metaphors for a state of greater change, and then there’s Leah: caught in the middle, hamstrung by this new discovery. Here, she wants to say to the world as she looks around. How did we ever get here?

Here being: Leah Rilke and Fatin Jadmani, or at least their fictional counterparts, are being underlined with incredibly blatant hom*osexual subtext. Here being: Leah Rilke, the real one, has no idea what to do with this.

Literally - no idea. She never went looking for this, but it found her anyway, like it hunted her down through miles of forest territory armed with a weapon sharpened on a grindstone called time to f*ck your life up.

It starts with a simple Vice article, which Leah comes across accidentally while trying to figure out a recipe for dinner. It doesn’t end there, though. The article leads to a tweet, which leads to Twitter, which leads to a half dozen The Wilds fan accounts who all seem to be steadfast advocates for show-Leah and show-Fatin becoming a canon couple.

The rabbit hole goes deeper, twists and turns through smaller corners of the internet. Leah hunches over the kitchen table and scrolls onwards, any thoughts of homemade chicken marsala a long-gone flash in the pan.

“This is insane,” she says to herself as she scrolls, half-hysterical by now. “I mean, what the f*ck.”

Fan accounts, video edits, thousand-word posts about why Leah and Fatin belong together - it just goes on and on. Leah stares at her phone screen until the battery runs down to nothing, and then stares at her reflection in the black surface of the screen. Her own blue eyes blink back at her, bewildered.

None of this should make any sense, but the voices in Leah’s head have nothing to say about it. No run, no hide, no this is wrong, everything about this is wrong. Everything is still and quiet, so quiet that Leah swears she can hear the slow beat of Fatin’s heart from halfway across the city.

And fine, she concedes now, maybe there’s something to all of this. Maybe there’s just a little something to it, because why else would she be waxing elaborately hom*osexual poetics about her best friend.

But no, f*ck that - it’s because they’re best friends, she reasons. She and Fatin are the center of each other’s worlds, sure, but in a purely platonic way. God forbid women be close friends, you know?

Except, says one little voice who’s decided to speak up for the first time in a long while, you’re not purely platonic, are you? There was that night on the island, and that other night in the bunker, and that one time on Toni’s twentieth birthday when you were both six shots deep and spinning around under the mid-spring sky…

A memory, in flash: Leah pushing, Fatin stumbling. The live-wire sting of rage. The TV screen, and the canvas of reality; two versions, same ending. Blood on Fatin’s hands, blood on Leah’s face.

Leah raises one hand to her mouth, bites at the corner of her thumb. There’s a picture coming together here, scattered moments splicing into a full reel of film. The Amazon Prime logo appears front and center, no fadeaway in sight.

Okay, she thinks. So maybe show-Leah and show-Fatin are a little bit gay for each other. She’s not dumb enough to deny that; she’s double majoring in English and film now, and she can read into hom*osexual subtext as well as any other artsy loner with a long-standing secret Tumblr account. In real life, though—

It’s nothing, she tells herself. It’s nothing.

Nobody listens - and god, why would they. Leah’s never been one to trust easily, and that doesn’t change just because it’s her own mind doing the talking. If anything, it changes for the worse.

“Alright,” Leah says out loud, and gets up to find her phone charger. “Second line of defense, then.”



okay i’m mildly stoned right now so bear with me here but leatin the wilds is just so good because it’s. it’s like. What if you waited your entire life for something real to happen to you. what if you stood on the sidelines and watched the world pass you by and by and by until you couldn’t stand it anymore and started chasing things you didn’t even truly want, just to say you once held them in your hands. what if you chased so hard you fell in love, or its appearance anyway, and let yourself become so utterly wrecked by it that you would rather drown mouth-open in the ocean than let go of the last remaining splinter in your possession.

what if you did all that and went on that plane ride and crashed on that island and right there, right then, a girl shaped like the hometown you might never see again was bold enough to look you in the eye and tell you that your story was only ever that: a story. it was never real and it was never good. and what if you fought her with teeth and claws, kicking and screaming, because you were too scared to let the truth come even close to you - and then, and this is the killing blow, she runs away after your argument and you refuse to rest until you find her. and once she comes back safe, you burn that last reminder of him. because here, now, after everything, you’d rather reach for something new. someone new. someone with her eyes. what if all that happened and it was only five episodes into the season

#like i don’t see how they CAN’T be canon

#it just wouldn’t make sense

#leah straight up burning the book the second after fatin came back to camp

#like it never meant anything to her in the end

#thats gay! that is gay

richiejerkmeoffvich reblogged this post


#the leatin agenda grows stronger every day

homedepotmurderweapon reblogged this post

#leah and fatin


incorrectthewilds reblogged this post

#leatin <3

mecabitchell reblogged this post


#its true. it’s so f*cking true

landunderwave reblogged this post

#im always saying this

#something so deeply intricate about these rituals

quinnfabgay reblogged this post

#plus they’d f*ck nasty

#imagine the sex

nakedinmanhattan reblogged this post

#all i’m saying is

#amazon prime is f*cking stupid if they don’t let fatin and leah kiss on screen

#like i genuinely don’t see the point of the show if that doesn’t happen

#just cancel it at that point

ultravio1ence replied to this post

wait do people actually ship leah and fatin? for real?

lucytara replied to ultravio1ence

yes? like a resounding yes? what rock have you been living under because i’m jealous


“Hey, Rach,” Leah says, apprehensive, on the day before episode six of The Wilds is set to air. It’s just the two of them sitting in the park with their coffees, sun-flooded and sprawled out in the grass. “Weird question, but are Fatin and I, like…kind of gay for each other?”

Rachel turns slowly to look at her, one eyebrow raised in question. “What?”

“Don’t be a dick, you heard me the first time,” Leah says, and takes a sip of her iced latte to delay the awful task of restating the question. “Are we kind of, sort of, you know…gay? For each other? A lot of people seem to think we are, so…”

“Holy sh*t, you’re serious,” Rachel says. Her eyebrow isn’t getting any less raised; if anything, it’s rising higher. Anatomically improbable, but that’s just a regular Thursday for Rachel. “Holy sh*t.”

“Hey,” Leah says, a little waspish. She’s feeling caught out for a reason she can’t even quite name, and the tips of her ears are flushed warm with the line of questioning. “Can you please just - come on, I need to know.”

“Uh, yeah,” Rachel says immediately. “Dude. You’re so f*cking gay for each other that I used to think I’d become gay too, just from close proximity or whatever.”

Leah raises an eyebrow of her own now, pushes down on the slow-sink feeling in the gulf of her stomach. “Really?”

“Really,” Rachel confirms. She gestures with her flesh hand, warming to the subject now; her prosthetic hand holds her iced espresso steady, with the kind of simple dexterity that she’s perfected in the past two years. “You guys are gay as f*ck. You’re gayer than a pride parade float where every single person on it is just Toni.”

“Harsh,” Leah mutters, twisting one hand into the grass at her side. “And also, like, I don’t think anything could be gayer than that.”

Rachel tilts her head to the side, considering, and then nods. “Fine, okay. You guys are just barely one millimeter less gay than the Toni pride parade.”

“That measurement doesn’t even make sense,” Leah tells her, with zero expectation that she’ll care. “Just out of curiosity, though. What makes you think it’s like that with me and Fatin?”

“Jesus, I don’t know,” Rachel says, philosophical. “Why is the sky f*cking blue?”

Leah hums, thoughtful. “Are they f*cking already? I thought they were still in the talking stage.”

“Smart ass,” Rachel says, rolling her eyes. “Look, you and Fatin are just one of those things. The sun rises, the earth spins, Toni’s a bitch, you and Fatin pine over each other like insane little gay people and never make a move. It’s the circle of life.”

“Hakuna f*cking matata,” Leah sighs. “You really think it’s there, then? The subtext?”

“Not subtext,” Rachel corrects . “Regular old text. The kind that spells out I’m gayly in love with my gay best friend and she’s gayly in love with me too in eighty point font. That kind of text.”

“Fatin’s bi,” Leah reminds her, and steers pointedly clear of the other pitfalls in that sentence. She’s done falling into those, after everything on the island.

“Yeah, she’s bi,” Rachel scoffs. “Bi herself.”

Leah takes a second to reflect upon the fact that this particular joke works a lot better when you can’t actually see the spelling differential written out right in front of you, but decides it doesn’t matter. There’s a narrative to maintain here, and being pedantic about wordplay isn’t a relevant story arc.

“Besides,” Rachel adds. “You guys just work, alright. You’ve got that weird, crazy mindf*ck mind-meld thing going on, like, all day every day. Remember last game night when you guys were charades partners and guessed every f*cking clue within seven seconds?”

“Martha always makes the answers too easy,” Leah answers, automatic, and then frowns. “Wait. Game night?”

“And diner night,” Rachel says, draining the last of her espresso. “And bowling night. And random hang, let’s all go to the coffee shop around the corner night.” She crumples her coffee cup before tossing it into the nearest trash can, a no-look basket that Toni would’ve envied. “Okay, so that last one’s not really a night, but you get my point. You guys are connected in ways that probably f*ck up the space-time continuum sh*t that Nora’s always trying to tell me about.”

“But,” Leah says slowly. Her thoughts are twisting, branching, splitting into half-grown leaves. The sunlight feels too heavy on her shoulders. “That’s - game night is real life.”

“Congrats, your meds are working today,” Rachel says, not unkindly. “Game night’s real life. Fatin’s been in love with you since like, day ten back on the island. What’s your point?”

“I was talking about the show,” Leah whispers. She holds her latte tight between both palms, feeling very small and young all of a sudden. “The Wilds. Like, the versions of me and Fatin that are on the show.”

Rachel blinks at her, mouth open and eyes startled-wide. She says, “Oh.”

“Fatin,” Leah says, and stops short. Her chest is tight, breaths pulled taut like ropes from ship to shore. “Is she…Do you really think she—”

Rachel’s the one to sigh now, looking up at the sky with a slant to her expression that says she’s not nearly prepared to deal with this. Her prosthetic taps her knee, sleek metal fingers flexing. Restless, the same way she must have once been before her biggest dive meets.

“Okay,” she says finally. “Look. The thing is—”



okay so like




where do i even begin


try the dictionary entry for “gay”

they should be there



well like. you’re not Wrong


it’s actually insane how intricate the rituals are

the subtext is subtexting!


tell me about it


literally what the f*ck is the point of their storyline if they aren’t being set up as a canon couple

the inherent hom*oeroticism of two girls fighting to the point of bloodshed



fatin roughly rubbing her own blood onto leah’s face. has there ever been a more sexually charged non-sex scene

and then “he’s probably f*cking head over heels” like you are? gay ass


shhh wait the head over heels part happens in the next episode they haven’t watched that one yet

respect the timeline


right right my bad

it’s hard to keep track of the meta layers here


you’re right though

and then s2 with the f*cking whatever the f*ck that was. ben f*cking folds in the ocean saying “the voices you love i think they carry more than others” and leah waking up when she hears fatin’s scream? what the f*ck was that


okay well now who’s messing with the timeline

but yeah. “ditto bitch different her same sort of idea” okay so you’re in love. cool cool got it




also it’s so funny how you’re going meta via an already arguably meta form of media (fic) by writing a show within a show and it’s like. the Same show too.

fictionalizing the fictional etc

it’s like picture in picture for little gay people on the internet


these fourth walls were made for breaking!

sh*t i have to go clock in. catch you on the flip


look at you go

same old hom*osexual thoughts but at least you’re thinking them on company time


Leah goes to Dot next, waylays her on a Thursday evening as she’s hunting through the fridge for dinner ingredients. Fatin’s still out for the night, at one of her late classes; Leah knows she won’t be home for another hour, but can’t help glancing at the door every other minute.

“Yo,” Dot says, once she backs out of the fridge and sees Leah standing there. “Fried rice tonight?”

“As long as you don’t put ginger in it this time.” Leah bites at her nail, catches herself doing it, lowers her hand purposefully back to the table. “Do you have a second?”

“Sure,” Dot says, agreeable, as she takes a glass container of leftover rice down from the top shelf. “Ginger’s healthy, you should let me add it. If you’re about to tell me the bathroom faucet’s leaking again, just leave it for now. I can fix it once I get the right wrench from work.”

“Not the faucet,” Leah says. She shifts her weight to one foot, then the other. “I, uh - have a question about Fatin.”

“Huh,” Dot says, and reaches for the vegetable oil. “Can’t you just text her?”

“Not a question for Fatin,” Leah clarifies. Their kitchen is dimly lit, just two failing overhead lamps that flicker with gold-faded light, but she suddenly feels blinded. “A question about her. Her, and also…me.”

Dot sets the rice aside now, looks at Leah with the full weight of her attention. She’s steady, as usual, but there’s a slightly crooked cast to her expression - one that reads like a neon warning sign to those who know her best.

“Are you sure you want to go there,” Dot says, careful. It’s not a question, even if it should be.

“f*ck off,” Leah says. It’s a snap, almost, and the heat of her fingertips burning with impatience. “Don’t do this sh*t with me, Dot. Please. Rach said something yesterday, something about us, and I just. I need an answer.”

Dot shrugs one shoulder, that effortless economy of nonchalance. Usually the movement would be enough to brush off questions like water, but Leah’s never been one to let the tides dictate her life. She stands steadfast in the middle of the kitchen, staring Dot down in the manner of someone waiting in high-beam headlights.

“Lee,” Dot says finally. “You already know, don’t you.”

Leah bites her lip, looks out the window now. The sun’s sinking low against the horizon, coming up in streaks of golden light across the faces of buildings. Somewhere down the street, a group of friends is laughing.

“I don’t,” she says, and it feels like the truth. “I don’t know anything.”

Dot sighs, a sound split two ways - one half pulling in each direction, and Leah can follow the threads perfectly. One for her, one for Fatin.

“You’re one of my best friends,” Dot says, soft. “Like, one of the best friends I’ve ever had in my f*cking life. One of the best people I’ve ever met, period.”

“You too,” Leah says, a reply as easy as breathing. This, at least, is familiar. “You’re that, for me. All of it.”

“But,” Dot continues, and removes the cap from the olive oil with one swift spin of her hand; pours it in a pan, slides it on the stove to heat. “Fatin is my best friend.”

Full stop, end of the road - there’s a sting to the statement, but Leah knows it’s not really about her. It hurts a little anyway.

“I know,” she says, and tries for a mature tone as she repeats: “I know that.”

“It’s not a competition,” Dot tells her, reading her mind like the page of a well-thumbed book in that way she does. “I love you both an equal amount. I’m just saying - I won’t speak for Fatin, alright. This is between you and her.”

There’s no admonishment in her voice, only gentle care. Leah’s loved here, so deeply that it almost hurts.

“Okay,” Leah says quietly. “Me and her.”

Dot tips her a wink. Says, “There you go,” and holds out a knife. “Want to cut peppers for me?”

“Yeah,” Leah says, accepting the blade. “Don’t go throwing ginger in the pan when I’m not looking, I swear to god.”

“It’s good for you,” Dot counters. “Healthy, even.”

Leah doesn’t bother replying - just starts chopping a yellow bell pepper, content to watch the slices pile up on their old wooden cutting board. Outside, the light is changing from sunset gold to streetlight orange. Dot’s here with her, and Fatin’s coming home soon; everything in her world is right, or it will be soon. She’ll make it right, soon enough.

Dot slides behind her to get at the stove, and there’s the hot-iron snap and crackle of food added to oil. Aromatics fill the air: the earth-sharp scent of garlic, and a spicy-sweet hint of something else.

“You put ginger in, didn’t you,” Leah sighs. Already knows she’s right, without even turning around.

“Guilty as charged,” Dot says with a laugh. “Love you, Lee.”

“You’re the worst,” Leah says, and leans backwards to knock their shoulders together as Dot passes her on the way to the kitchen sink. “I love you too.”




just watched the wilds 1x05 and LOL. wdym leah spent the whole day desperately searching for fatin. wdym she burned that book the second after they got back to camp and talked things out



wdym they haven’t kissed in 4k hd yet

— slender james





genuine q why doesn’t anyone ever talk about shoni on this website when they’re clearly the ship that’s actually going to be canon

— amber bain agenda


well what fun would that be

— bridgitte


look i love shoni too but they just don’t have the juice

— carley


what juice? squirt?

— bridgitte


…i meant metaphorical juice but sure that too

— grackle


do you guys ever think before you type. like ever



no <3


Leah wants to talk to Fatin, she does, but there’s so much standing in the way of that. Work and homework and the most recent weekend’s watch party, and the lingering sense of live-wire anxiety that’s living in the back of her head, so it’s nearly four days before she gets the chance to rope some courage to her bones and reach for what she needs.

She waits until Tuesday: a sun-bright start and the long stretch of the boardwalk, blue-green waves of the ocean rolling out past infinity. Fatin’s with her, just the two of them and a sky full of conversation as they wander along the beach; it’s one of their rituals, a free space morning for both of them and the quiet call of the water. Fatin always complains about the earliness, but she always goes along with it in the end.

(Back when they first were rescued, Leah swore she’d never step foot near the ocean again. The smell of the sea was unbearable; every wave was a reminder of what she’d lost in the wilderness. Salt air was like blood in her mouth, and the sound of water against the shore was enough to send her spiraling.

Now, two years later, she walks barefoot in the sand with Fatin at her side and feels only the barest trace of trauma trailing at her heels. It’s all but eclipsed by the present moment, the here and now of Fatin’s long strides and lazy smile to her left.)

It’s a quiet morning, mostly empty besides a handful of dog walkers and a few surfers moving out past the break; Leah spares them only a glance before turning her head. She’s got a better view to see.

Fatin’s walking between her and the water, a little sleep-soft around the edges but still sharp and clear-eyed. She’s wearing a white linen vest, light and summery, with a matching pair of shorts that used to live in Leah’s wardrobe; her hair is down and loose, weightless in the gentle sea breeze. There’s a glint of gold at her neck, a suggestion of the tiny tree-shaped pendant that Leah bought her for her nineteenth birthday. Since that day, it hasn’t come off a single time.

Leah’s eyes catch on the necklace and can’t move away. She’s struck dumb by it suddenly, blind and breathless by the weight of what she finds here. Memories filter through, history winding backwards in a long red-thread spiral: the island, the bunker, the warmth of Fatin’s body, a shallow pool beneath a waterfall. Fatin’s hands on her face, red blood, grey walls, foreheads pressed together, I’ll get us out of here. I swear I’ll get us out. A helicopter ride, a house that no longer seemed like home, an apartment empty save for sunlight, fresh start, new city. Years and years, and Fatin right there with her the whole way through.

It’s her, Leah realizes. It’s always been her.

The knowledge is a punch to the gut, a hand closed warm around her heart; lands hard like a lightning strike, stretches upwards like a tree that’s grown for centuries. She looks at Fatin and sees her, all of her, as the world keeps on turning. It’s the same way she’s looked at her since they were sixteen years old. Nothing has changed.

Nothing has changed, and everything has. There’s the same beat in Leah’s heart, the same bitten-down corners of her nails. The same clouds in her head, ribbons of thought unspooling messily in every direction - and then there’s Fatin, constant as she’s always been. A face that Leah knows better than her own, washed in a strange and beautiful new light.

Leah looks at her now, and can’t look away. Sees her, and never wants to see anyone else.

You, she wants to say. I can’t see past you anymore. Maybe I never could. You’re the center of my gravity, every star in my sky; you keep me here on the ground when no one else can. I’d kill for you, die for you, grow old with you in a cottage made of sunlight. I hope we’re together for the rest of our lives. I hope we’re never anywhere else.

Instead she says: “So you like, uh - you like me or something?” and immediately wants to run headfirst into the ocean, like she’s seventeen and suicidal all over again.

Fatin glances over, a small crease of confusion between her eyebrows. “Uh, yeah. I love you, idiot.”

“No, like,” Leah says, and makes a vague hand gesture that hopefully conveys the apparently you have feelings for me and I really hope that’s true because I’m pretty sure I’m in love with you of it all. “You like me.”

Fatin’s expression shifts in an instant, splits open like a fault line before shuttering closed in a way that Leah’s rarely seen before. She stops walking, stands motionless and tense-bodied in the sand, and asks, flat: “What did they say to you.”

“Nothing, really,” Leah says, all her nerves sparking like frayed wires. She feels electric, lit up from within. “I mean, Dot didn’t say anything. Rachel just said—”

“I’ll kill her,” Fatin mutters. “I swear to god I’ll kill her.”

“Fatin,” Leah says, and reaches out to catch Fatin’s wrists; holds her there, waits for her to look up. “This isn’t about her. It’s just us, okay? It’s just us.”

Fatin looks caught, cornered, but the brown of her eyes is still her own. There’s something softer than anger in her expression, almost pleading, as she bravely meets Leah’s gaze; underneath Leah’s fingers, her pulse kicks up to double time.

“Just us,” Fatin echoes, achingly soft, and Leah nods. Says: “Just us, baby.”

Fatin’s next exhale pushes hot through both of them; Leah feels it in her own throat, her own chest. There’s that crease between Fatin’s eyes again, fear and confusion, and Leah reaches up to smooth it away with her thumb.

“I can’t,” Fatin says quietly. She’s still there, unmoving in the gentle circles of Leah’s grip, but there’s a tremor running through her body, an earthquake. Splitting continents, pushing them together again. “I can’t lose you.”

“You would never,” Leah vows, and tips forward to lean her forehead against Fatin’s. “You won’t.”

“No,” Fatin says, and then: “Things don’t have to change. We can be the same way we’ve always been.”

“Okay,” Leah says. Her heart is high in her throat, static: rising, not jumping. “And if we’re not?”

“If we’re not,” Fatin says slowly, “I need you to be all in. I - I love you too much for anything else.”

“All in,” Leah repeats, wonderstruck. The sun spills over them, brighter than ever before; Fatin’s eyes turn from brown to gold in the light, an undying love caught there in the amber, and Leah has to laugh suddenly at the inevitability of it all. They’re the only two people on earth right now, and she’s exactly where she should be.

“Leah,” Fatin says, careful and laced with subtle fear, “please.” It’s a touch on the loveline, brings Leah back to the moment - she moves her hands upward, cradles Fatin’s face gently between her palms. Fatin’s eyes flutter shut and then open again, her expression colored with hope.

“Fatin,” Leah says, holding the echo of the name in her mouth like a prayer. “I love you too.”

Fatin stares. “You do?”

“I do,” Leah says. “It’s, like…the truest thing I’ve ever done, I think.” She pauses, taking in the gorgeous curve of Fatin’s mouth, and adds: “No, I know.”

“You and your stupidly romantic way with words,” Fatin says with a smile, looking thoroughly charmed. “I’m going to kiss the absolute f*ck out of you, just you wait.”

“Well,” Leah says, “not if I do it first,” and leans in close. She lingers there a second, her lips just barely touching Fatin’s, and then tilts forward to kiss her properly.

Fatin responds instantly, her tongue sliding along the seam of Leah’s mouth and licking in; her hands find Leah’s hips, pull her closer as their bodies align. It’s a kiss like a sun flare, a wildfire. Like a force of nature, unstoppable, and Leah thinks, lightheaded and euphoric: I would have survived a hundred plane crashes to get to this moment.

“Ugh,” Fatin says when they finally break apart, touch-flushed and beaming. She’s faking a pout, but her smile keeps breaking through; Leah’s sure her own expression looks the same, all joyous reverence. “You beat me to it.”

Leah hums in response and wraps her arms around Fatin’s waist, holding her tight as a bone-deep sense of contentment settles into her body. “That’s okay,” she says softly, pressing a kiss to the top of Fatin’s head. “You’ve been waiting long enough already.”


Leah Rilke paid Fatin Jadmani



Fatin Jadmani paid Leah Rilke


babe don’t pay me back wtf

Leah Rilke paid Fatin Jadmani


it was my turn to pay

Fatin Jadmani paid Leah Rilke


it was literally our first date

Leah Rilke paid Fatin Jadmani


yeah well maybe i wanted to pay for you! ever think of that

Fatin Jadmani paid Leah Rilke


then you should’ve grabbed the check faster. you snooze you lose

Leah Rilke paid Fatin Jadmani


it’s not my fault you swooped in and paid while i was in the bathroom. that’s CHEATING

Fatin Jadmani paid Leah Rilke


and i’d do it again

Leah Rilke paid Fatin Jadmani


you’re actually the most annoying person on earth why do i put up with you

Fatin Jadmani paid Leah Rilke



Leah Rilke paid Fatin Jadmani



Fatin Jadmani paid Leah Rilke


you love me

Leah Rilke paid Fatin Jadmani


yes i do


“When did you know?” Leah asks a couple nights later. They’re spread out lazily between the sheets, skin to skin and cooling in the breeze from the open window; Fatin’s mouth is red and kiss-bitten, and Leah’s pleasantly sore between the hips.

Fatin blinks at her in a slow, fond motion. “Know what?”

“That you loved me,” Leah says, and places a quick kiss on Fatin’s bare shoulder. “That you love me now.”

“Hm - when you pushed me to the ground on day four, probably. I get off on pretty girls making me bleed.”

“Shut up, I’m serious.”

“So am I,” Fatin says with a wink. “Like, was I really pissed off in that moment? Absolutely, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t get me a little hot.”

Leah sighs, accepting her fate - she’d be lying, really, if she didn’t know exactly what Fatin was talking about. Having someone else’s blood smeared onto her face wasn’t really her choice of foreplay, but it still had crossed her mind once or twice or half a dozen times when she was getting herself off later that week.

“Oh,” Fatin says smugly, reading from the stretch of quiet between them, and Leah realizes too late that she hasn’t replied. “Guess I’m not the only one who was into that, huh?”

“Shut up,” Leah huffs, biting lightly at the curve of Fatin’s neck. “Go back to telling me about your big gay moment of realization.”

Now Fatin’s the one to take a beat; the mood shifts, carries somewhere more serious. Her hand finds the small of Leah’s back, fingers tracing patterns there as she gathers her thoughts.

“The campfire,” Fatin says finally, on a soft exhale. “When you and Rachel sang that song.”

The memory comes to Leah in an instant: soft night, firelight, music in the air and the makeshift set of pipes in her hand. She remembers catching Fatin’s face briefly between her palms, singing home is wherever I’m with you ; remembers the way Fatin looked up at her, tender and tinted with affection.

She’d thought, then, that it had been a trick of the dark. She’d been wrong.

“Fatin,” Leah says, her voice breaking a little between the two syllables. “That long ago?”

Fatin ducks her head, turns her face away from Leah’s gaze. Replies, a stifled answer against the line of Leah’s collarbone: “Yeah.”

Leah’s chest hurts suddenly with the sincerity of that one word, a second-hand heartbreak in retrograde. She palms the side of Fatin’s jaw, turns her gently back until they’re face to face, plants a kiss at the corner of her mouth - adds another between her eyes, another on her forehead. Fatin hums, a contented sound, and strokes a thumb softly across the arch of Leah’s spine.

“I’m sorry,” Leah murmurs, apologetic, and aches quietly for the time they’ve lost. “I didn’t know.”

“You really didn’t,” Fatin says, a wry smile pulling at the side of her mouth. “For the smartest person in the world, you sure can be dumb sometimes. I bet you thought we were just, like, really close friends or something.”


“Oh my god, you did.”

“We were best friends,” Leah protests, feeling her face run warm. Embarrassment or adoration, she can’t tell which. “We still are.”

“I mean, yeah,” Fatin says, and nudges her mouth against one of the hickeys she left along the column of Leah’s throat; Leah inhales sharply with the touch, reminded of Fatin’s fingers curling deep inside her. “But now we’re best friends who can f*ck whenever we want.”

“Careful with the romantic speeches,” Leah laughs. “I might not be able to control myself around you.”

“Oh, sweetheart,” Fatin answers. Her smile turns wicked, but there’s a softer slant to the very edge. “I f*cking hope you can’t.”


no sinkers just drinkers


so i can’t believe i have to say this but

if we’re nice enough to host game night DO NOT go sneaking into the snacks closet to make out. it’s a f*cking mess today and all my oreos are on the floor

i hate you bitches. you know who you are


Rachel I can assure you that it wasn’t us

I’d never be rude enough to do that in someone else’s home


You and Toni did that at our apartment last week


that doesn’t count marty ur family


That’s worse actually

You see how that’s worse right


yea i realized after i sent it


i’m not talking to you shelby


who tf are u talking to then

r u hearing voices in your head that’s supposed to be leah’s gig


f*ck you

fatin <3

eat sh*t and die shalifoe


no u


Can we please stay on track here

If it wasn’t Toni and I in the pantry then who was it

nora reid

I believe Rachel is indirectly calling out Fatin and Leah


wtf they’re not gay

i mean they r but they’re not together

are they

fatin <3

wouldn’t you like to know bitch


i hate u

dot ur unlucky enough to live w them. are they dating finally


Don’t look at me man

My lips are sealed

If only my ears were too

fatin <3

sorry dorothy

i’m just too good i guess


yes we’re dating

fatin baby please shut up

fatin <3









dot i see you typing away over there

i will throw a chunk of watermelon at your head right now don’t test me


Can you pass me a couple pieces actually

My ankle still hurts from work





fatin <3

babe can you bring some to my room i don’t want to get up


you got it

do you want one slice or two

fatin <3


thank you sweetheart


I hate it here

Martha can I come live with you and the dogs instead


“This is gross,” Toni says, more observational than upset. She’s holding a fry in one hand, using it as a pointer for emphasis; Leah flinches, involuntary, as it goes sailing an inch past her nose. “We were never this bad.”

“You were worse,” Leah informs her, and wraps an arm tighter around the slope of Fatin’s waist. “You are worse. None of us have forgotten the infamous Fourth of July incident from last summer.”

Across the table, Shelby chokes on a sip of wine; she’s turning a delicate pink now, and Leah knows it’s not from the alcohol. Her voice is slower, slipping into southern tones as she says: “Now, we don’t have to go there.”

Leah grins, satisfied, and settles back in her seat. They’re at the little brunch bar near the twins’ apartment for a day-after episode debrief - the location was Dot’s request, because she’d said she needed more than a couple beers to get her through the fifth wheel experience. The place is overpriced, but Leah’s not complaining. They’ve got a nice spot outside, partly shaded by a palm tree, and she’s getting her meal for free.

“I don’t think they’re as bad as you and Shelby,” Rachel says to Toni, pointedly, and the two of them start bickering while Nora watches in resignation. Leah hums to herself, happy to let her attention wander in and out like a bad radio signal as she steals occasional sips from Fatin’s mimosa and Dot’s blueberry IPA.

There’s the kick of an old engine starting up somewhere, tearing down the street behind them. Leah turns to look; it’s a sea green sixties Mustang in what looks like mint condition, sun glinting bright off the chrome of the fender. It’s the kind of car that would look gorgeous with Fatin in the driver’s seat, and Leah pictures it for a moment: the two of them speeding along, her sitting shotgun. Fatin steering with one hand on the wheel, sunglasses on and hair whipping in the wind.

“Baby,” Fatin says quietly, and Leah blinks away the fantasy to find something even better in its place. Fatin’s smiling easily, a private little thing meant only for Leah as she rests a hand on Leah’s knee. “Still here?”

“Hi,” Leah says, and can’t help but smile in return. “Present and accounted for.”

“Thank god,” Fatin sighs, theatrical. “I’d hate to lose you now, after everything we’ve been through.”

“This Gotta Go My Own Way remix is weak sauce, Jadmani,” Toni comments, and then ducks to avoid the fry that Fatin throws at her head. “Yo, chill, it was a joke.”

“I’ll show you a joke,” Fatin says, using her right hand to fish a piece of ice from her water glass. Her left hand stays planted on Leah’s knee, her thumb stroking the skin there in a smooth rhythm even as she whips the ice cube across the table to smack Toni square between the eyes.

Toni yelps, lets out a “Hey, no fair,” and the argument devolves into a flurry of insults and ice missiles. Leah sighs fondly, places her hand on top of Fatin’s free one, laces their fingers together; the soft glance that Fatin gives her in response earns her an ice cube to the ear, courtesy of Toni.

“You’re really happy, aren’t you,” Dot says in a low voice, nudging Leah’s shoulder as another round of fries and curses go flying through the air next to them.

“Yeah,” Leah replies, and catches Dot’s eye - sees the warmth there, the caring pride, and taps their knees together just once in a sign of acknowledgment. “I am.”




Okay I’ve been watching the wilds show and the actresses are baddies fr but I don’t get why me and the boys aren’t there like it’s been six episodes so far and we got nothing. We were on the island too #thewilds #justicefortheboys

— abby


literally who the f*ck are you



I’m Kirin O’Conner lol look me up I’m one of the unsinkables boys

— ag


right…there were some dudes there too when all this happened in real life. just remembered

— kate bishop’s boomerang arrow


they’re irrelevant tho



Bruh wtf

— joyce


answer quickly: why do you want male characters to take up space on one of the first and only mainstream tv shows to have an almost entirely female cast? are you a misogynist?

— Kirin


Dude no on my momma I never stole sh*t in my life I’m just tryna get my five minutes of famousness



Kirin you’re thinking of kleptomaniacs, misogynists are the ones who hate women

— Kirin


Oh. For the record I LOVE WOMEN



sashay away kirin. ur deadass dating a guy rn

— Kirin


Ok what’s that got to do w it

— Josh



— Kirin


Aw J don’t make that face u know I love u




— nora ephron’s #1 hater


okay wait i didn’t realize the island boys were gay too. maybe i’m a tiny bit interested now

— abby


not interested enough to want them in the show for real tho right

— nora ephron’s #1 hater


oh absolutely not. if they ever made it on screen i guarantee the whole thing would get canceled

— mina


let’s hope amazon prime is never dumb enough to self sabotage like that

— ag


now there’s a tweet that absolutely definitely one hundred percent won’t age like milk

— overnights


back to our regularly scheduled programming!


“I wonder what Gretchen would think of the show,” Martha muses that Saturday night while they’re waiting for episode seven to start. “Like, how they portrayed her and stuff.”

Toni scoffs, tosses a piece of popcorn into the air and tries to catch it in her mouth; she misses badly, and it bounces off Shelby’s cheek. “Don’t waste your brainpower on that bitch, Marty. She doesn’t deserve it.”

“I bet she’d love it,” Dot says, taking a sip from her beer. “All the power suits and sh*t they’re having her wear, plus the whole misunderstood feminist angle they kinda had going? She’d be in heaven.”

“As if,” Fatin says with a roll of her eyes. “That bitch is never landing anywhere but the deepest pits of hell.”

“Facts,” Rachel adds. “I still can’t believe she escaped the lawsuit.”

Fatin shrugs and leans further back against Leah’s body, nestled between her legs; Leah feels the angry set of her shoulders, tight with the remembrance of anger, and brushes a thumb over them until they settle a little.

“At least she’s in prison,” Nora offers, quiet, with a subtle edge of guilt to her tone. “She deserves much worse than that, but…at least she’s there.”

“That doesn’t count,” Toni argues. “Prison is different for rich people. Remember The Wolf of Wall Street? Leo Dicaprio goes to jail but he can still like, play tennis and wear designer clothes whenever he wants.”

“That’s just a movie, babe,” Shelby says patiently. “I’m sure real life is a little different.”

“Don’t say that around Leah,” Fatin laughs, tilting her head to rest lazily against Leah’s chest. “She’s about to say some pretentious indie sh*t like, art imitates life, Shelby.”

“I was not,” Leah huffs, even though she’d had the words already crowding at the top of her tongue. “But like, it does.”

“All I’m saying is, it’s batsh*t f*cking insane how she managed to dodge the lawsuit and settle for life in richie rich-f*ck prison,” Rachel grumbles. “Who the f*ck allowed that?”

“The American judicial system,” Nora says helpfully.

Leah sighs and starts carding her fingers absentmindedly through Fatin’s hair, her thoughts drifting to white walls and high-security prisons. She wonders if Gretchen’s suffering right now, failed by the stacks of money she undoubtedly hid away somewhere.

Leah hopes she is.

“You’re hot when you’re thinking murder-y revenge thoughts,” Fatin murmurs, turning far enough around to whisper into Leah’s ear. “Like, really hot.”

Leah hums, more amused than vengeful now, and drops a kiss to the side of Fatin’s head. “How’d you know what I was thinking?”

Fatin taps the side of her nose. “Please. I always know what you’re thinking.”

“What? No, you don’t.”

“Yes, I do.”

“Prove it,” Leah says, dropping her hands to Fatin’s hips and holding her there. “What am I thinking about now, right this second?”

“How incredibly hot and sexy and talented and modest your girlfriend is and how lucky you are to have her,” Fatin answers at once. “Duh.”

“You forgot intolerable in that list of adjectives,” Leah laughs quietly, “but close enough.”

“Hmph,” Fatin says. “Fine, what are you really thinking about?”

“How I love you,” Leah says, soft-voiced, the last few words before the lights go down and the episode begins. “That’s all.”



Edged by the Subtext, Don’t Let Me Finish

When it comes to popular media, queercoded pairings are often much more satisfying than explicit hom*osexual relationships. Why?

Author: seafruits

I know, I know - both the title of this article and the subject material it’s proposing sound a little insane at first glance, but hear me out. I have an argument and everything, alright? Okay, good. Let’s rock.

So: like most other red-blooded lesbians aged 12-30 on the North American continent, I’ve been seated for every episode of The Wilds since it started streaming back in May. I adore this show for many reasons - the characterization, the non-linear structure, the female-centric narrative - but I find myself captivated by the glaring hom*osexual subtext more than anything else.

Although there’s arguably a small current of hom*oflexible tension running between every single one of the girls except Rachel and Nora (obviously the exception, as they’re sisters), the two main ships that have emerged are Shoni and Leatin. These ships are crucial to my thesis here, and I’m about to explain why.

Shoni, the pairing of Shelby Goodkind and Toni Shalifoe, is understandably popular as a relationship. Their contentious dynamic makes for good television and even better tension - Shelby is a repressed and fearful embodiment of Catholic guilt, while Toni is an outspoken, openly gay go-getter who wants nothing to do with the good ol’ southern blonde who’s been not so quietly hom*ophobic.

The “picture-perfect straight rich blonde who’s actually a closeted lesbian” is a classic archetype for a reason - think Regina George, Heather Chandler, Leighton Murray - and it certainly lends a familiar thrill to the Shoni storyline. I’ll be one of many people to say that the Shoni payoff in The Wilds 1x07 was satisfying as f*ck. I am not immune to a repressed lesbian arc, etc.

However, for me, Shoni pales in comparison to another popular pairing on the show: Leatin, or the relationship between Leah Rilke and Fatin Jadmani. While Leatin has a smaller fan base due to its speculative nature, the fans that do exist - myself included - are steadfastly devoted to the belief that Leah and Fatin belong together.

This avid support of Leatin as a romantic pairing may seem odd, given that Leah’s storyline thus far has been strictly heterosexual and her contentious relationship with Fatin has been a rollercoaster of emotions to say the least, but therein lies the contradiction. It’s exactly because their relationship is so nebulous, so compelling and yet so plausibly deniable, that they’ve gained such popularity as a ship.

Simply put, hom*osexual subtext is almost always better than canon queerness. It’s a strange and maybe unfortunate phenomenon, but it’s a phenomenon nevertheless. How else could one explain the popularity of ships like Leatin, like Supercorp, like Faberry, like Faith and Buffy? Obviously we all love a good canon lesbian couple, but there’s an intoxicating element of uncertainty to the non-canon ones that just can’t be beat. It’s something about the not knowing, the reading between lines, the wait, but what if?… that you can touch fleetingly but never hold in the palm of your hand. If the very first woman on earth could reach for something that wasn’t yet hers, then so can we. I mean sure, she was reaching for an apple and I’m reaching for two fictional girls who never quite resolve their sexual and romantic tension, but same idea.

The key to this, I think, is the sheer possibility of it all. There’s a world of potential within these fanon pairings, a thousand different doors that stand wide open and will probably never be closed - and there’s the magic of it, right there in the fine print. That infinite maybe, and a love story that never has to end.

Posted 2 min ago

starflowers liked this post

starflowers commented: Wow, yes. All of this. I’ll come back to write a better response when I’m not partly insane from sleep deprivation, but I’m going to be thinking about this for the next week or two.

seafruits replied to starflowers: Thank you for the support! My inbox is always open if you want to discuss this more in depth. Or like, talk about literally anything lol. I’ve read a bunch of your essays and I think you might honestly be my writing soulmate or something dumb like that.

starflowers replied to seafruits: Wow, I’m honored! Thank you sm for your support, I love hearing from fellow writers. Clown to clown connection, etc. Also, check your inbox :-)


The second time Leah’s stopped in public by random fans of The Wilds, she’s arguing with Toni in the dairy aisle. They’ve been sent out to do the snack shopping for game night, because Dot’s issued a blanket ban on couples grocery runs - so now Leah’s at the Von’s near the park, standing by the ice cream cooler and trying to convince Toni that oat-based vanilla bean will be better than cow-milk French vanilla.

“Dude,” Leah says, for the third time in as many minutes. “The milk doesn’t matter. Vanilla bean is just better than French vanilla. It’s a fact of life.”

Toni shakes her head. “Does it look like I give a f*ck? I don’t care if it’s unicorn flavored with chocolate sprinkles, I’m not eating your gay ass oat ice cream.”

“That sentence was gayer than the ice cream,” Leah points out, “and dairy alternatives are better for the environment.” She’s sure they could simply buy one carton of each and move along with their shopping, but she’s just as sure that she’s not about to lose this argument. Not to Toni, anyway; it’s the principle of the thing.

Toni opens her mouth to argue more, then cuts herself off abruptly as a little girl with long brown braids steps up next to them and opens the door of the ice cream freezer. The girl’s wearing a pair of those light-up kids sneakers, incongruous against the wooden floorboards, and she studies the rows of ice cream cartons like she’s going to be tested on them later.

“Jesus f*ck,” Toni mutters. “Could she be any slower?”

“Okay, chill,” Leah says, because the girl is a literal child, and also because there’s something in the set of her stance and the wandering restlessness of her gaze that reminds Leah of herself. She understands exactly what it’s like to be that way: stubborn, calculating, wanting to come up with the right answer or stay down forever.

The girl finally chooses a huge carton of black raspberry chocolate chip and carefully closes the freezer door before beginning to walk away. She turns her head as she passes them, a casual glance, and then whips back around. There’s a violent take in there, at least double and maybe triple; Leah’s neck kind of hurts just from witnessing it.

“Hi,” the girl says as she pivots to a stop, staring up at them with huge full-moon eyes. “Are you guys from The Wilds?”

“Sort of,” Leah says, at the same time as Toni says, “f*cking no,” and they glare at each other. “Like - no, not really. It’s hard to explain.”

“It’s not that hard to explain,” Toni clarifies. “We’re the actual girls from the actual island, not the jack-*ffs pretending to be us on Amazon f*cking Prime.”

Leah lowers her head into her hands. The girl doesn’t seem bothered, though; just solemnly blinks at them, undeterred. She says: “You swear a lot.”

“I know,” Toni says, looking a tiny bit sheepish now. “Shelby keeps telling me I should do it less, but—”

“Shelby?” the girl asks, blinking again. “Is she your girlfriend?”

Toni softens visibly at that, a gentle shift in her demeanor. “Yeah. Yeah, she’s my girlfriend.”

“Wow,” the girl breathes out, staring at Toni like she’s the first woman on the moon. “I love you guys. I mean, you on the show, but - you too, I guess.” The ice cream carton in her hands is going soft, but she doesn’t seem to care as she barrels on. “I thought you and Shelby were so totally goals this whole season, even when you guys were, like, fighting all the time - and uh, and you’re especially my favorite out of all the girls. You actually helped me, like, come out to my mom. Not like, you you, but…your story on the show. So you, kind of. Yeah. So, um…”

She runs out of words at this point, or maybe courage, and stalls there; scuffs her toes against the wooden floor, which makes her sneakers light up pink and orange. Toni looks over at Leah with a what the hell is happening kind of face, but her expression is kind - kind for Toni, anyway - when she looks down at the kid again.

“That’s awesome,” Toni says gently. “I’m glad you could tell her.”

“Me too,” the girl says with a wide grin. Leah notes, with some amusem*nt, that there’s a sizeable chip in her left front tooth. “Okay, my ice cream is melting, so I have to go. But it was great to meet you okay thanks bye!”

She skips away in her light-up sneakers, braids flying out behind her. Leah and Toni watch her go and then exchange a glance that’s bemused but ultimately a little fond.

“That was f*cking weird,” Toni says, without any real bite to it.

Leah shrugs. “That happened to me and Fatin the other day, too. I guess The Wilds is like, actually important to some people.”

“Yeah, people who are idiots,” Toni mumbles. “Let’s finish the shopping, I’m getting hungry.”

“Look at you being nice to children, though,” Leah teases, once they add a tub of oat milk vanilla bean and a tub of normal milk French vanilla to the cart and start wheeling towards the cereal aisle. “Sort of nice, anyway. You’re a changed woman.”

“Blame Shelby,” Toni says, the corner of her mouth pulling upwards. “We all do crazy sh*t for love.”

Leah reaches for her phone, taps the screen awake. There’s a text from Fatin waiting at the top of her notifications: can you buy me some superfood protein bars the ones w blue wrappers. i know they’re expensive i’ll pay you back. love you baby

“Yeah,,” Leah says with a smile of her own now as she starts to tap out a response. “We sure f*cking do.”


fatin <3

hi baby

guess what


i’m at work

fatin <3

i know

and i miss you more w every passing second

anyway guess what




fatin <3

no way you literally typed out the word sigh

and you call ME the dramatic one


oh my god

just tell me



there’s people writing stuff about us

like you and me


on tumblr? yeah i’ve seen some posts

fatin <3

oh of course you’ve been looking on tumblr

but no i’m talking like full on fan fiction

i found a whole bunch this morning


jesus christ

are you serious

fatin <3

as a heart attack babe

there’s one that’s like

i’m a famous movie star and we meet on tinder but you think i’m a catfish

here click this link


what the hell

that’s ridiculous

fatin <3

ok let’s not pretend you wouldn’t do something like that

your suspicious ass would def think i was a catfish


okay yeah maybe


fatin <3

there’s also one where we’re in high school and you push me down the stairs

again absolutely something you’d do


f*ck you

fatin <3

you can when you get home ;)


shut up

i’m still processing the fanfic

who would even write this kind of sh*t

fatin <3

idk but im kind of into it tbh

like wow we’re gay for each other in every universe


well yes

sh*t my boss is calling me

love you see you soon

fatin <3

okay baby love you too

don’t push anyone down the stairs


i take it back i hate you and i’m breaking up with you


The days speed up as they walk deeper into summer, flying past like scenery through the open window. Episodes eight and nine of The Wilds go live, the coffee shop around the corner raises their latte prices by a dollar, Rachel gets too drunk at karaoke night and breaks the backing vocals machine.

Leah processes all of this, but remembers very little; the temperature is rising, and she wakes up every morning to Fatin in her bed. Everything else is just an object in the rearview.

“You ever think we might be a little codependent?” Fatin asks one day. They’re out on one of the long green UCLA quads, resting in the break between Leah’s two summer classes; two iced teas are sweating in the grass beside them, one with an extra slice of lemon.

“Hm,” Leah says, pretending to consider, then rolls over onto her stomach and drapes her arm across Fatin’s lower back. “No.”

Fatin laughs, a sound brighter than the sun in the sky. She’s in tight black Nike gym shorts and one of Leah’s loose white button downs, sunglasses perched on her head, hair tied up and effortlessly casual in the Los Angeles heat. Leah looks at her, and feels the entire earth inside her heartbeat.

And yeah, Leah would do anything for her: break every law, cross every line. Would follow her to the ends of the earth, no chart or compass, nothing but the north star of Fatin’s smile to guide her. Can’t fall asleep at night anymore unless they’re side by side, curled tightly into each other, a two-headed soul gazing up at the night sky. Maybe that’s codependency, but Leah doesn’t care. She’s forgotten how to spell the word love without writing Fatin’s name in its place; call it what you want, but that’s something too good to let go.

“Yeah,” Fatin says, as if she’s heard every one of Leah’s thoughts - as if they were written on the wind, scrawled across the sky for the world to see. “Me too.”

Leah dips her head to nudge against Fatin’s shoulder, reveling in the familiar scent of her jasmine conditioner. They stay like that for a long moment, content in their silence as they watch a guy in a UCLA athletics department throw a soft frisbee across the quad for his dog. That’s what Leah’s watching, anyway; she feels Fatin’s gaze on the side of her head, holding care without weight.

“What do you think we’d be like?” Leah asks quietly, gesturing at the sprawl of people across the lawn. Among them are girls sunbathing in bikini tops, smokers sitting in a circle, a girl with a mullet playing guitar by the steps. One small cluster of frat-looking guys is playing an apathetic game of spikeball in the shade. There’s a ripple of laughter from a group of friends nearby, and Leah just thinks: that could’ve been us. We could’ve been anything, anyone, if not for the past . “If we’d never been on the island, I mean.”

It’s a rare question these days, one that’s gathered dust on high forgotten shelves. They used to play this game endlessly in the first few months after the rescue, the endless conditional. What if until infinity, rinse and repeat, until they learned enough to stop tearing at an open wound. But Leah asks now, pulling Fatin closer under the early July sun, and there’s no bitterness in her tone.

“I don’t know,” Fatin says, tilting her head until the sun steps out of her sight line. “But I don’t care, either.”

Leah hums and turns towards her, questioning. Fatin smiles at her, and the floodwaters roll back; in another place, another time, the plane lands softly on the surface of the ocean without even a ripple.

“The island was hell, but it gave me you,” Fatin explains softly. “I wouldn’t trade that for anything. I’d do it all over again if I had to, if it meant I could keep you.”

“I would too,” Leah says, blinking in the bright light. She’d brave those woods, fight that quicksand, run mouth-open into that starving ocean just to keep Fatin’s heart beating. “Although, you know. I wouldn’t have minded developing a relationship with you in, like, the normal way and not the life-altering my traumatic way.”

“Pfft,” Fatin says, fond, as she takes her sunglasses off her head and slides them carefully onto Leah’s face instead. “What fun would that be?”


The Wilds


the end of an era…for now. tune in for #thewilds season 1 finale at 9pm et tonight. streaming only on amazon prime.

— erana james simp


and i’ll watch.

— ana


i think we’ll ALL watch

— julia


a win for feminism

— boob ross


okay but if there’s no leatin scissor scene i don’t want it


There’s a stretched-tight feeling in the room, an atmospheric shift as the eight of them take their places for the final episode of The Wilds. They’re still talking, but the words weigh heavier; they’re still drinking, but the liquor goes down a little rougher.

Rachel commandeers the second couch, pulling Nora over to sit with her. No one says a word. Toni and Shelby move to the floor, heads bent close and legs over laps. Fatin’s behind Leah tonight, holding her tight in the cradle of her hips, and Leah lets out a slow exhale as their fingers lace together.

The credits roll, opening instead of closing for the season finale; the title screen blinks briefly into existence, fades out again, and the episode begins.

It’s a long one, the longest of the season. Sixty-three minutes, all of them running hot with emotion - and Nora there, at the center of everything. The cornerstone and the chisel that dismantles it, both things at once.

The plot winds on, unravels like a conspiracy. Leah’s body feels like a tightrope; her nails dig into her own palms, trace white-flushed crescent moons into the skin. When she glances over at Rachel and Nora, a stealthy flick of the eyes, there’s a tear trailing slowly down Nora’s face.

The shark attack comes, like they knew it would, but it’s still a sharp inhale held in eight sets of lungs. Rachel raises her prosthetic hand, flexes it with involuntary movement, and Leah stretches out her own hand to touch Rachel’s arm gently.

“I’m fine,” Rachel mumbles, but she doesn’t pull away. “Just watch.”

And then Leah’s seeing herself again: watching herself walk down that corridor, find that room of horrors. She watches herself watch the big screen, picture in twisted picture - remembers exactly how it felt, caught in the pale wash of discovery. It hits like a branch to the face, like a brick to the shin.

“That bitch,” she mutters to herself, quietly incensed at the memory of Gretchen f*cking Klein and the worst Hunger Games reboot ever She’s not the only one; Fatin’s arms are a little tighter around her now, and Leah can hear the tense catch in her breath. She strokes her thumb over the back of Fatin’s hand, slow and soothing, until she hears a smoother exhale.

The episode ends then, right there on the edge of the cliff. The screen goes black, the music cuts out, and they’re left with reality or its remains. Leah’s suddenly tired, right down to her bones; the only thing keeping her on earth is Fatin’s body against hers, an anchor to the unpredictable sea.

She looks around the room, gauges the aftermath: the tear tracks on Nora’s face, the clench of Dot’s jaw. Rachel’s expression, turned to stone.

“Well,” Toni says finally. “That was fun.”

Rachel scoffs. “Tell that to my missing hand.”

“You’ve had a new one for like, three years,” Toni says dismissively. “Your victim card’s expired.”

“Way to make fun of the disabled girl, you - you ableist.”

“You’re like, the most capable person in this room,” Dot counters. “If anything, it should be ableist for you to call yourself disabled.”

“That’s not how it works, idiot.”

“You’re the idiot, you f*cking—”

“Guys,” Nora says, barely more than a whisper, and everyone turns to look at her. “I’m sorry.”

Leah’s eyes canvas her, cataloguing details: there’s the downturn of her mouth, the salt-shine glimmering at the corners of her eyes. Her shoulders are caving inwards, weighed down by the past, and Leah can’t help but feel the echo of guilt landing in her own stomach.

“Don’t you dare f*cking apologize,” Rachel says fiercely, and the sentiment rolls loud around the room. They’ve walked these roads before, chased these demons from the shadows - it’s been a long journey, but they’re here now.

“It’s not your fault,” Leah says, rising from the couch; Fatin’s hand finds her thigh, trails briefly along the skin before pulling away to let her move towards Nora. “She manipulated you, okay? She manipulated all of us. It’s her fault, no one else’s.”

Nora finds her eyes, holds contact in a show of bravery. Leah meets her there, standing firm and pillared, and lets the very last shred of doubt dissolve into nothing.

“It’s not your fault,” she repeats, and gathers Nora into a hug. It’s stiff at first, uncertain, until Nora lets herself go slack; sinks into it, lets herself breathe, and then there’s someone holding Leah too, Dot’s arms wrapping strong around her. The others pile on, one after another, until the eight of them are whole again. Until the eight of them are home.



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“Okay,” Fatin says, once they’re all gathered at Toni and Martha’s apartment. Chili’s somewhere beneath the table, sniffing for crumbs and stepping on everyone’s feet, while Pepper’s off somewhere in the corner chewing loudly on a vintage black and purple Air Jordan 3. Rachel hasn’t noticed yet, and Leah refuses to be the one to tell her. “Council of war, let’s go.”

“That feels vaguely like cultural appropriation,” Toni says, “but I’m not sure. Marty?”

“It’s fine,” Martha says with a fond roll of her eyes. “We didn’t invent wars, Toni. That was white people.”

“Alright, facts.”

“Okay,” Fatin repeats, rapping her knuckles hard against the table. “Let’s focus for a second.”

“That’s rich coming from you,” Rachel mutters. “Last time we had a family meeting, you spent the entire time staring at Leah’s mouth.”

“Hey,” Leah says mildly, fighting back the heat that flushes through the tips of her ears. “I have a nice mouth, to be fair.”

Fatin smirks. “You sure do.”

“Y’all,” Shelby says, exasperated. “I swear, there’s one single brain cell between this whole group. Everyone pull it together and pay attention.”

That works, for some reason - the room quiets down, turns its focus inward. Chili wanders over to the open window, lies down beneath it, and Leah watches him curl up in the last patch of evening sunlight before letting her eyes drift to where Shelby’s now holding court at the head of the table. Underneath the table, her hand slips almost subconsciously into Fatin’s.

“To recap,” Shelby says, “now that The Wilds is done streaming, every major news outlet wants a piece of us. The question is, what do we want to do about it?”

“Sue,” Toni says, at the same time as Rachel says, “Kill them,” and Dot says, “Ignore.”

“Thank you, Dottie, for providin’ the only reasonable idea there,” Shelby mutters. “Anyone else?”

“I guess we could go on the shows,” Martha says, sounding less than thrilled at her own suggestion. Leah feels Fatin flinch subtly, a quick movement of aversion, and squeezes her hand carefully.

“No shows,” Leah says, casting a definitive vote as Fatin’s next breath falls easy. “I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t want any more eyes on me.”

“Me either,” Nora says quietly. “Rach?”

“f*ck no,” Rachel scoffs. “It’s a pass from me. What am I gonna do, answer a million more questions about my hand? I haven’t forgotten the stupid joke that Seth Myers made about it when we went on his f*ckass show back then.”

“That was low of him,” Leah agrees, schooling her face into seriousness; Fatin’s mouth quirks with amusem*nt next to her, anticipating the joke. “Underhanded, even.”

“Oh, f*ck you.”

“Okay,” Shelby says impatiently, “so no media appearances. That’s unanimous, then.”

Nods around the room, a united front. Leah pictures surveillance: a circular prison, a billboard topped with ominous glasses. She imagines drawing a cloth over it all, hiding the view. You can’t see us anymore, she thinks. You never will again.

“I still want to have, like, some kind of voice, though,” someone says. It’s Toni, surprisingly, looking self-conscious but determined as she continues: “About the show, I mean. Like - it’s dumb, but it’s important to some people. We should at least put it out there, you know? How we feel about it, or whatever.”

Surprise lands lightly, spreads throughout the space. Leah watches Toni carefully, sees the flash of pink and orange lights with a twist of black raspberry purple. Knows exactly where she’s coming from, and maybe that’s why she does it, even though it’s not what she’d ever choose herself.

“I agree,” Leah says. Her thumbnail itches, waiting to be bitten, but she keeps her free hand planted firmly on the table. “It’s our story. Let’s tell it our way.”

“So we need a way to explain sixty-three days worth of batsh*t insanity,” Rachel concludes, “in a way that reaches the general public but doesn’t use any big media companies and doesn’t show our faces? How the f*ck do we do that?”

“Well,” Fatin says slowly. She’s got a spark in her eye, that amber-dark gleam of mischief that makes Leah’s smitten heart turn inside out. “I always did want to start my own podcast.”




#thewilds show was p good but they missed the most important stuff. lucky for you f*ckers we’ve got you covered. drop some questions below and maybe you’ll get an answer soon

— marin


wait is this the real fatin. like the one who was actually on the island

— elise


holy f*cking sh*t it is

— nina


real fatin jadmani what are you up to…

— kenzie


oh my god we’re going to get the real story oh my goddddd

— fatin


lmao ur username? wow that’s crazy i love dot campbell too

— kenzie



— ina


are you or are you not dating leah rilke speak into the mic

— shea


are you or are you not single speak into the mic

— jules


please be single i want you so bad im going to kms

— fatin


well don’t do that

— jules


fml i didn’t think you’d actually reply to this


“You shouldn’t reply to random people on Twitter,” Leah says later that night, half scolding and half amused. They’re in Fatin’s room, lying together in light just low enough to see by. “Especially not the ones who want to f*ck you.”

Fatin raises her head from the dip of Leah’s shoulder, smiling crookedly. “Easy there, sweetheart. You sound a little jealous.”

“Shut up, I’m not jealous,” Leah says, carding her hand gently through Fatin’s hair. “I’m just saying, like, they could be psychopaths.”

“You grew up talking to anonymous Tumblr users,” Fatin laughs, “and you turned out fine. Haven’t been murdered yet, as far as I can tell.”

“Oh my god, enough about my Tumblr. I’m never telling you anything ever again.”


“I’m not.”

“Sure,” Fatin says, dropping a kiss to Leah’s jawline. “I so totally believe you, baby. Let’s go back to how you’re jealous of my Twitter fans.”

“I’m not jealous,” Leah repeats. Her fingers twist through Fatin’s hair, pull a little harder than necessary, and Fatin’s next breath is a stutter-step exhale. “Why would I be? You’re already mine.”

“Yours,” Fatin says - a promise, but one that leaves the door open to something else as well. A challenge, if Leah’s in the mood.

She is. Oh, she is. There’s the opening shot, and Leah returns fire; rolls them over until she’s on top and Fatin’s pinned down at the wrists, staring up at her with a hungry kind of reverence. Leah’s heartbeat thunders loud in her ears, storms gathering on the horizon.

“No one else gets to touch you like this,” Leah says in a rasp, working one hand between them to trail her fingertips down the smooth skin of Fatin’s stomach. “Say it.”

“No one else,” Fatin agrees, hips arching upwards from the mattress. “Only you, baby. f*ck, you’re hot.”

“I know,” Leah says, low, and licks hot at the shell of Fatin’s ear now just to hear the way she gasps in response. “Thanks, though.”

“You’re a co*cky little sh*t, you know that,” Fatin huffs, although it slides into a moan as Leah slips two fingers beneath the band of her shorts. “Leah, f*ck.”

Leah laughs into Fatin’s neck, fingers moving lower now: tracing, teasing. “No co*cks involved, actually, but I can get the strap if you want.”

“You’re such an idiot,” Fatin says, sounding deeply sexually frustrated, but there’s fondness pouring through the cracks. “I’m so f*cking in love with you.”

“I’m in love with you too,” Leah tells her, words almost too softer for the circ*mstance that surrounds them. She’s said them so many times, so many ways - heard them, too, but it never quite ceases to amaze her. It’s a quiet miracle, an ever-expanding universe: she loves Fatin, and Fatin loves her too. Fatin loves her back.

“Sincerity is so f*cking hot on you,” Fatin says, breathless; she shifts around on the bed, impatient and wanting, and Leah nearly swallows her own tongue as her fingertips slide suddenly through the wet heat between Fatin’s thighs. “Please f*ck me.”

“I am,” Leah assures her, thumbing at her cl*t as she pushes in two fingers deep. Fatin arches all the way off the bed, cursing around little whines of pleasure - her hands find Leah’s hips, hold hard. There’ll be bruises come morning, and the thought is a lightning strike to Leah’s c*nt. “I’ve got you, baby.”

“f*ck yeah, you do,” Fatin says, panting now, “god, Leah, please,” and Leah gives her exactly what she wants - f*cks her fast and dirty and tender, swallows her moans into an open-mouthed kiss. Fatin comes hard around her fingers, pulls her so close she can barely remember how to breathe, and all Leah can think is: I do. The golden thread of their conversation lingering on; I do, and for one star-stretched second, Leah swears she sees the shape of their entire future in those two little words.


[Audio Transcript File: Unsunk Podcast, Episode One]


SG: Hi everyone, and welcome to our brand new podcast. I’m Shelby Goodkind, and you’re listening to the first episode of Unsunk. Before we get to answering some of y’all’s questions, I’ll let my co-hosts introduce themselves.

MB: Hi, I’m Martha Blackburn.

NR: I’m Nora Reid.

DC: Dot Campbell.

FJ: Fatin Jadmani in the house, and who the f*ck approved this boring ass podcast name? I thought we were going with No Sinkers, Just Drinkers.

LR: That’s our group chat name.

FJ: I know, babe. That’s the whole point.

SG: Leah, you’re supposed to introduce yourself when you speak. Fatin, we tried to keep the title age appropriate.

LR: Right, okay. I’m Leah Rilke. Hi, or whatever.

FJ: Literally nothing in this podcast is going to be age appropriate.

SG: Well, if y’all had actually read my notes beforehand…

TS: Toni Shalifoe here. I love boobs.

LR: Gay.

DC: Gay.

RR: I’m Rachel Reid, and…gay.

FJ: Way to keep us PG, Shelb. You’re killing it.

SG: Lord give me strength.


RR: Would I say the show is accurate? In some ways, yeah. In other ways, absolutely f*cking not.

MB: What would you say was the most unrealistic part?

RR: Uh…for starters, they cast an actually good looking actress for Toni.


TS: Bitch. I’m gonna kick your ass for that.

RR: What are you gonna do, shortstack? Kick me in the kneecap?

SG: [clears throat] Moving on…


MB: Here’s a question from someone named “wellbutrinwhor*.” They want to know which one of us we would’ve killed and eaten if we had no other choice.

SG: Good lord, what kind of question—

RR: Leah.

TS: Leah.

LR: Guys, what the f*ck?

FJ: I mean, it depends what kind of eating we’re talking here.

TS: Jesus f*ck, can you stop being gay for one single second?

DC: Hate crime alert.

NR: When both parties are gay, I think that’s just called crime.

MB: I could never eat any of you. That goat was bad enough.

DC: Eh. I’d eat someone’s ear, maybe, but that’s as far as I’d go.

RR: Ew, why an ear? That’s foul.

LR: Guys…

FJ: Yes, beloved?

LR: Not to sound crazy, but I swear to god I just heard some girl speaking to me from like, beyond the abyss.

FJ: Ooh, clairvoyance? That’s hot.

DC: Did you take your meds today, Lee?

LR: Yes. Shh, I’m still listening.


LR: Who the f*ck is Jackie Taylor?


DC: Okay, next question. Twitter user “gaygayhom*osexual” asked: “Okay, weird question but did you guys jerk it while you were on the island? Just wondering cause I never could’ve gone two months without that lmao”

FJ: [laughs] Talk about asking the right questions.

SG: Dottie, I swear.

DC: You told me to pick the next question! This is just what came up.

NR: Most of us did, I’m pretty sure. I remember that poll we took, and over half of us voted yes.

LR: [laughs] Not Fatin, though. Quick, someone ask her why.

FJ: f*ck you.

LR: Maybe later, if you ask nicely.

RR: [groans] Get a room, you two.

DC: Preferably one that’s not right next to mine.

LR: Dot, is this you telling us we should move out?

DC: It’s me telling you the walls are only so thin and you’re really bad at keeping quiet.

LR: Me? Fatin’s the one saying stuff like—

[loud scuffling noises in the background]

SG: Sorry about that, everyone! Alright, let’s keep right on going.

NR: Shelby, I think we’re going to have to raise our podcast rating to “mature audiences.”


RR: Leah, Fatin, here’s yet another question about whether or not you guys are dating.

FJ: On the show or in real life?

RR: Both? I dunno, man.

LR: I mean - we should be, but the Amazon Prime execs are too cowardly to resolve our insane sexual tension, so we’ll never get to be more than hom*oerotic subtext that’s subtly but undeniably more compelling than the actual canon lesbian couple.

FJ: That might be too meta for this podcast, sweetheart.

LR: Right, sorry. Let me go get some tape to fix what’s left of the fourth wall.


SG: Well, that’s a wrap for now. Thanks for listening, and tune in next week for the second episode!

TS: Wait, we have to do this again?

FJ: Absolutely we do. Can’t disappoint our fans, Toni.

TS: We answered like, a hundred f*cking questions today! Isn’t that enough?

NR: The average podcast has ten installments per production window, so we should do at least four to six more episodes to fall within the mean.

TS: f*ck my entire stupid life.

FJ: Dibs on being moderator next time.

SG, RR, TS: No.


Their podcast tops the charts that week, which Fatin takes as a sign to throw a party at apartment 4F. Shelby brings streamers, Martha brings cake and balloons, and Rachel brings far too much alcohol; by nine pm, the whole place is draped in cheap pink decorations and everyone’s a little drunker than intended.

No one cares, though. They’re all where they’re supposed to be, and none of them ever have to leave. That’s the beauty of it, the way they’ve built a home from eight lives intertwined: when they’re together, there’s nowhere on earth they’d rather be.

Fatin cracks open a bottle of Prosecco, and Toni pours a round of shots - Dot pours a second, Nora pours a third. Leah drinks two glasses of champagne and ignores the hard liquor, lets herself be carried along instead by light and laughter and the curve of Fatin’s smile.

“Good idea,” Rachel tells her very seriously, elbowing her harder than she probably meant to. “Don’t drink on your meds.”

“I’m having champagne,” Leah points out, one hand pressed to her sore ribs. “And you just took three shots on Lexapro, you hypocrite.”

“It’s a low dose,” Rachel says dismissively. “Doesn’t count.”

“Yeah, Rach. That’s definitely how it works.”

“Whatever,” Rachel says, and pulls Leah into a crushing sideways hug. “Love you, loser. Want to go whip Toni’s ass at pong?”

“Absolutely,” Leah says with a grin, letting herself be pulled over to the living room table. “Love you too, dumbass.”

They win the first game, and the second one after that. The party winds up, settles down; the aux changes hands twice, three times, to pop punk to old school hip hop. Leah eventually pulls the host card eventually, switches the track to a slower melody as Fatin opens the windows and the night floods in to blanket them in calmer breaths.

Leah looks around, takes stock: Dot’s by the bookshelf, sharing a slice of cake with Nora. Martha’s in the armchair, dozing against Rachel’s shoulder. Toni and Shelby are curled up on the sofa, so loudly in love that Leah’s surprised the whole room isn’t deafened.

And then there’s Fatin, standing by the open window of the kitchen with a soft little smile at the edge of her mouth, and Leah forgets how to see anyone else. She’s across the room in half a heartbeat, slinging her arms around Fatin’s waist to catch her in a loose embrace.

“Hi, baby,” Fatin says with a grin. “Enjoying the party?”

“I am,” Leah says. “I bet I’m the only one without a hangover tomorrow.”

“Probably,” Fatin concedes easily, and tilts forward to kiss the spot between Leah’s eyes. They sway there together for a moment, caught up in each other’s limbs and held in the warm light of the kitchen, and Leah thinks that maybe this is the only ocean she’s ever truly known: the shelter of Fatin’s arms, and the safety of their friends only a few short steps away.

“I almost can’t believe it, sometimes,” she confesses quietly. “That we’re here. That we made it out, after everything.”

“Me either,” Fatin says, low-voiced. Her right hand finds the small of Leah’s back, traces a heart at the center. “But here we are.”

“Here we are,” Leah agrees. “And it doesn’t even matter, in the end. Island or no island, I would’ve found you anywhere.”

“Hm,” Fatin says. “Maybe you would’ve. I mean, you did let me borrow a tampon that one time.” She smirks, a quick little curl of her mouth. “Sorry. Let me have a tampon.”

“I mean it, though,” Leah says around a laugh. “I could find you in the rain, in the dark, at the end of the f*cking world. I’m never losing you, Fatin. It’s you for the rest of my life.”

“Leah,” Fatin says, salt-bright at the corners of her eyes, and leans in to kiss her properly before dipping away again. “Stop saying romantic sh*t like that before I propose to you right here and now.”

“Do it,” Leah tells her, only half joking. “I’d say yes.”

“I know you would,” Fatin says with a smile, and presses a hand to her chest. “God, I love you. I swear - you’ll live forever in me, or something lame like that. I feel you, you know? I feel you, right here.”

Leah places her hand next to Fatin’s, listens carefully to the touch of her heartbeat: steady, mooring. Alive, and so in love, and Leah’s never been more at peace as she says: “I know. I feel you, too.”




hello wilds nation. thanks for all the support these last couple months. the unsunk podcast finale drops tmr so get your questions in tonight. you know the drill

— priya


are you and leah still dating please that’s literally all i want to know

— leah


no we’re not

— free karen read






— miriam





leah baby that’s a terrible way to announce our engagement

— leah


i thought it was funny

— fatin


you’re such a f*cking loser. i can’t wait to marry you

— fatin


now come back to bed

— leah


on my way sweetheart

— priya



— callie



— sammi



— maia


omg congrats to them but don’t they live with one of the other girls rn? i hope they get a new place lmao i’ve been that third wheel and it sucks so bad

— dot


anyone who knows a good moving company please dm me. serious inquiries only



andddd there she is

— fatin


love you dorothy <3333



can u guys stop tweeting at each other and come over already shelby won’t let us start game night w out u

— fatin


okay okay we’re coming

— fatin


@leahvesofgrass i love you

— leah


i love you too



god i can’t wait to move out

then i turned on the tv - overnights (2024)
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