Contains spoilers for up to episode 2.14. Written for the Femslash06 ficathon.
You grew up watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. For a while, when you were eleven or twelve, you stopped because there was this whole witch thing going on that made your face heat up even though you didn't really get why, except you know now that it had to do with someone you could relate to – at least in the getting-computers way, not in the witchy way – being into girls all of a sudden.
It's sort of like how you feel now, watching Marlena and Kylie walk down the halls holding hands. You can't be nonchalant about it, which – if the discussion on the Pirate's S.H.I.P. forum is anything to go by – is a clear indication that you are not comfortable with your own sexuality. Either that or you're a raging homophobe, which in itself is a sign of the former, apparently.
You didn't even plan to get involved in the forum. It just happened. You solve these problems for people. Everyone knows to go to you with these things, in the same way that people know to seek out Veronica when they need a mystery solved. You sorted out the problem and then you stayed involved, curious and lurking. You keep an eye on it as an administrator but every so often it occurs to you to sign up with another username so you can join in the discussions. There's no worry of Veronica connecting the dots now – her energy's directed elsewhere, there's always another crusade for her.
But you're not even sure you belong there, along with the people that can announce that they're gay online, even if they're not out at school. Gay is a label that doesn't feel quite right. You can't be like Kylie, blonde and beautiful and announcing confidently to the world that you're a lesbian. You're not poised enough for that. You're not sure enough for that.
Because you do like boys, even though you know Cassidy is a safe choice, the kind of boy who won't push you, who won't question you too much. He has other concerns that are more important than getting you into bed.
You know this.
You also know that when Veronica Mars comes to see you and knows about the forum and says she's curious, your mind goes to all sorts of places.
Places like the wall behind you, the kind of wall you could push someone against and kiss and be grateful that you're wearing strawberry lip gloss today. Veronica has the sort of lips that deserve glossed-up lips against them, the sort of lips that you've seen pressed tightly together when angry or worried and separating for smiles or favour-begging when appropriate, but never felt against yours. Chapped lips wouldn't do.
You think about that moment of uncertainty and potential a lot. You think about curiosity, that thing that makes you spend most of your free time in front of a computer and propels Veronica into figuring things out. It's a thirst for knowledge, a need to discover new things.
You've never kissed a girl. You know Veronica has. You have your sources and you know not to entirely dismiss the gossip. You know girls do things when alcohol is involved, things that don't mean anything, but you've also seen the way Veronica's knuckles whiten for just a moment whenever anyone mentions Lilly Kane, and you can't help but wonder.
Maybe this is why you're curious about her in particular, why you think it would be her that you would kiss, if you had to choose. Maybe it has nothing to do with an actual attraction to her.
Most kids experience curiosity at some stage. This is perfectly normal and usually doesn't mean anything. That's what the books say. You know this. You read them. They're so busy trying to reassure kids that it's so normal to have a crush on someone of the same sex and that you can still be straight that there's no room for dealing with what happens if they keep having crushes on members of the same sex. If they do end up being gay. It's not even a possibility in these books. The gay kids have to go and seek out other books, special gay books.
You are grateful for online bookstores. Some days it's hard enough to walk into school with your head held high, let alone walk to the Gay and Lesbian shelves, and that has nothing to do with being maybe not-straight and everything to do with being a teenage girl who will never be as beautiful and perfect as the cheerleaders, who will never fit in the way that they do, who is going to leave high school without having ever had one of those memorable cheesy high school experiences.
You don't want these things. You decided a while ago that you didn't, but somewhere in your mind you know that it's easier to pretend that it's entirely your choice to be a quirky outsider. Dye your hair and hang out in the computer lab a lot and have hopeless crushes on people who will never know and count down the days until you can leave for college.
And think about Veronica Mars and her lips.
You know you're not the first person to be intrigued by her. Everyone's a little bit fascinated – unless you're projecting, you think, and decide you really need to stop reading those books.
Curiosity is a normal and healthy part of adolescence. Curiosity also killed the cat. Curiosity can drive you insane.
You wonder what she'd do if you kissed her. There is a part of you that believes she'd kiss you back.
You test your hypothesis on a Friday morning in the girls' bathroom. You're there and she's there and there's no one else around and you're both supposed to be in class and you're wearing lip gloss and you could let this opportunity slide by you but cutting class to make out with someone would definitely count as a memorable high school experience and – and she kisses you back.
Right now you're not curious about girls in general, about how to define your sexuality, about what label you'll pick. You want to know what happens next. What the rest is like.
The thing about curiosity is that it's never really satisfied. There's always something else to know.
You take a breath, pause, look at her.
She wants to know too.
- end -