Disclaimer: Characters aren't mine…
A/N: I haven't read very many stories from this movie, and most definitely not from this pairing, but this story practically wrote itself for me, so who was I to deny my muse.
It was a relationship neither had ever expected, much less understood. It started innocently enough, a chance meeting at the mall four years after they had last seen each other. It was as awkward between them as it had always been.
When they had first met, Juno had found it amusing how Vanessa never seemed to be comfortable in her own skin. She had always seemed jittery and nervous and afraid to say or do the wrong thing. This was a concept Juno didn't understand. She had accepted who she was, not an entirely normal person, long ago, and the thought that at sixteen she seemed to know who she was so much better than Vanessa had at thirty-three, had always left her with a small smile.
But at the age of twenty-one, more mature but no more normal, she just found it sad. Vanessa was a good woman. She deserved to be able to live without the self-doubt that always seemed to lurk around her. Juno had never figured out how a cool guy like Mark, even if he had wound up being an asshole and leaving Vanessa, would marry someone like her.
Then a four year old little boy walked up and tugged on Vanessa's pants leg and any unease that she felt seemed to vanish. Juno had wanted to laugh when Vanessa had first told her she was born to become a mother. Really, who said shit like that? But as she witnessed the conformation right before her eyes, she believed it with every fiber of her being.
She had been surprised when her breath caught in her throat. How could a child she hadn't seen in four years and who she had never really felt any connection to have an effect on her? She noticed that he had her eyes and Bleecker's nose, but other than that she couldn't really tell anything. She also noticed the love that radiated from the mother and son and found herself fighting back tears.
Juno made a hasty retreat after that, throwing out some bullshit story about meeting friends. She had almost ran through the parking lot to her car. After driving as far away from the mall as possible, she found herself pulling over on the side of the road and crying, much as she had so many years ago when Mark had told her he was leaving Vanessa.
Once she had arrived home, Brenda gave her a strange look and told her someone named Vanessa had called to check on her and had left a number. By the look Brenda gave her, Juno thought she knew exactly who Vanessa was, but neither chose to acknowledge it.
Two days later, Juno finally called Vanessa back. She invited Juno over for coffee and it took her swearing to Juno that Joshua was at day-care before Juno agreed. Coffee was an awkward affair and conversation was scarce. Joshua was never even brought up. They made plans to meet up at a coffee shop in the mall later that week anyways. Vanessa tentatively brought Joshua up this time and was relieved to see Juno not react so obviously this time, but did not push her luck by doing it again.
Over the next few weeks, they saw more and more of each other. Vanessa made a point to bring up the topic of Joshua each time they saw each other, but never pushed the issue. After nearly a month, Vanessa called Juno and asked if she wanted to meet them at the park. She immediately declined, but Vanessa assured her that he would be playing and would barely pay either of them any attention whatsoever. And Juno was relieved to see that she was right.
She still wasn't exactly sure how she felt about Joshua. During the entire pregnancy, she had never felt a connection with him, had always thought of him as Vanessa and Mark's. But the intensity she felt at wanting to get to know him now, not exactly as her son, but as someone who had once inhibited her body for nine months, scared her. Juno continued to meet them at the park over the next two weeks. She had been pleased to see Joshua not take an interest in her, but seeming to be okay with her presence at least.
Then Vanessa invited her over for dinner. She had shied away, afraid of having to spend time with Joshua with no other buffers besides Vanessa around. But Vanessa was adamant in her attending. Juno had actually found herself having fun as she watched Vanessa and Joshua's interactions as they made dinner together. It was obvious that Vanessa was an amazing mother and Joshua was really a great kid. After dinner, Juno found herself being pulled into a video game debate with Joshua much as she had been with Mark over guitars so many years ago.
As she went to leave that night, Vanessa walked her to the door and seemed to study her before leaning in and placing a kiss on her cheek. Juno smiled, thinking nothing of it before leaving.
Juno began spending more and more time with both Vanessa and Joshua. She joined them in most of their activities whether it was dinner at home, playing in the park, shopping, or going to movies. The kisses on the cheek became more and more frequent and began edging towards something more as they seemed to stop being so far back on her cheek and were usually more on the corner of her lips, but still she said nothing, would only smile.
Juno witnessed as Vanessa seemed to become more at ease with her, and Juno believed she was actually starting to get to see the real Vanessa. And this Vanessa she found to be very appealing. One night as Vanessa was leaning in to place the goodnight kiss on her cheek/mouth, Juno turned her head so the kiss landed fully on her lips. It was Vanessa this time that turned from the door with a smile on her face.
The relationship escalated quickly from there. Both seemed to jump into it without any thoughts to the fact that they were both women, that Vanessa was nearly twenty years Juno's senior, and both in a sense were Joshua's mom. Without either of them seeming to realize it, they were completely and irrevocably in love. Juno became closer and closer to Joshua, but was happy to be left as "mommy's friend".
Juno began spending practically all of her time with Vanessa and Joshua, and found herself even staying over-night sometimes. She became closer and closer to Joshua and came to love the boy, not as someone who had once lived inside her, but as a cute, energetic, adventurous little boy, and as Vanessa's son.
Their relationship was smooth sailing the entire summer, until the issue of school became obvious. Vanessa began snipping frequently at Juno, and Juno seemed to be spending less and less time with them.
The final straw had come when Juno was chastising Joshua for something as she had come to do without hesitation. For some reason, it had made Vanessa furious. "You are not his mother," she had yelled at Juno. Juno's mouth dropped open in shock. She then walked out the door, not bothering to respond or look back.
Two days later, which seemed to be their limit of not speaking to each other since the very beginning of the summer, Vanessa had called and apologized. Dinner that night was another awkward affair, interactions with Joshua the only reprieve for either of them.
After dinner they sat down and talked. Vanessa began voicing all of her fears, fears that should have been plaguing her from the very beginning rather than a month into it. Vanessa also voiced the fact that she didn't see how they could make it work with Juno's return to college. How she didn't believe Juno would want to stay in the relationship once she returned to life with people her own age rather than an older woman and a four year old boy.
Juno tried to assuage her fears, but Vanessa didn't seem to believe her. Vanessa told her she couldn't handle having to wait for Juno to realize this and that they should stop seeing each other.
The night before Juno was to leave to head back to school, Vanessa was sitting at the dining room table, drinking a glass of wine. She was shook out of her thoughts by a knock on the door. She opened the door to find no one there. As she turned to go back inside, she noticed a take-out menu lying on the ground. With a smile on her face and tears in her eyes, she bent down to pick it up and turned it over.
If you're still in, I'm still in.