Written after episode 1.15, 'Impossible'.

Listening

Julie knows all the right things to say. She spent weeks telling her mom variations on this theme, after all.

"He's not worth it," she says softly, stroking Danielle's hair. "You're better off without him. Guys are jerks."

She says the last part more emphatically than she ever has before. She really believes it, this time. Zach is a jerk. Totally. She doesn't trust him anymore. She hates that she ever did. Guys are jerks. They're stupid and creepy and frustrating and on a completely different planet and she doesn't get them, not one bit.

She doesn't even realise she's saying this aloud until Danielle looks at her, sympathetic through her tears, and nods. "I know what you mean."

Julie is surprised for a moment, and not just because she didn't expect to be speaking, but she didn't expect to be heard. To be listened to.

Her mom listens whenever Julie is saying anything she wants to hear. Whenever Julie is comforting her or reassuring her or whatever. That's when she listens. Any other time? Forget about it. Julie loves her mom, she does, but she also knows that her mom really needs to work on her listening skills.

Danielle listens. Julie talks about Zach – not about any deep dark secrets, because even though she likes Danielle she's still very aware that she's talking to Mrs Van De Kamp's daughter, just things like him being selfish and not understanding and not getting her at all. And Danielle listens.

And then Danielle talks about John and how inconsiderate and thoughtless he is. Julie is willing to bet her mom doesn't listen either.

Julie listens, and kisses her on the forehead, and suddenly they're talking about how guys are just so not worth it, and then they're kissing properly, on the lips, with tongues, and it should probably be weird or something, because just because you're sick of guys doesn't mean that girls are the answer, only it isn't weird, not really.

It's not even that different or strange or anything, not that Julie has much to compare to. It's a little awkward when they stop, maybe, but then Danielle smiles a little shyly and Julie hugs her and it's all okay. It's better than okay.

"I left early," Julie tries to explain to her mom when she gets home, but as usual, her mom doesn't want to hear what really happened. Julie bets she could scream that she just kissed Danielle Van De Kamp for at least five minutes, at the top of her lungs, and her mom would just keep yelling about going to Zach's stupid party when she knew she wasn't allowed.

Well, fine, let her. She has someone who's actually going to listen to her now. Julie falls asleep smiling, and the faint taste of raspberry lip gloss still on her tongue.

- end -