Author's Note: I've had most of this written for a long time. A long time; it was totally supposed to be Hat Trick number 6, but I was just so put off by the pair that I couldn't ever find motivation to keep writing. Does it even count as femslash? Idk. Anywho, it's set back when Alli was a freshman and before she was a skank, blah blah blah no one cares about her. Please review folkssssss.
P.S. Looks like it's the end of Jane for these Hat Tricks. Ugh, used up on Alli. What a waste.


Ask Jane

Pairing: Jane V./Alli B.

They're nice people; they're really nice people, Sav's parents, so they ask you to stay for dinner. Well, it's Mrs. Bhandari specifically who does the asking. There's a soft knock on Sav's bedroom door, and he looks up from the notebook where he's scribbling down chords and yells, "Yeah?"

The kindly face of Sav's mom peers around the door, blinking over at the two of you sitting together on the bed before she realizes that no, there's no funny business going on here, you really are just going over some band stuff. Her face visibly softens with relief.

"Jane, would you like to stay for dinner?" she asks. And it's kind of silly, but you're a little nervous, you have been all evening because you'd never met Sav's parents before and their house is really nice and makes you feel a little self-conscious. Sav had warned you beforehand that his parents would be wary of him having a girl over because, well, they're old fashioned, so that just added to your nerves.

But you really want to make a good impression.

"Sure," you say politely, "Thanks." You grin widely, and beside you Sav slowly plasters a queasy smile to his mouth. He's wondering if this will go well.

So later on you're sitting with the Bhandari family: Mr. and Mrs. B., Sav, and Alli. You feel pretty out of place, with your nose piercing and your heavy eyeliner and your light skin. But it's not some weird unfamiliar food you're having, it's just pasta, so you're not too uncomfortable. And Sav's parents might be really conservative, but they're also really nice. They ask you a lot about school and the band, while Alli rolls her eyes at them and Sav stays pretty quiet, eating fast so this can be over with and he can drag you back upstairs.

"So," Mrs. Bhandari says mysteriously, her eyes twinkling as she passes the salad tongs to her husband, "Do you have a boyfriend, Jane?"

"Mom!" Sav exclaims, mortified. His younger sister's gaze flashes to you and she giggles; you know it's not just because this is slightly embarrassing, the way she smirks knowingly. Sav probably wouldn't have told her anything, he's too loyal even though it's no secret; the information that you're a lesbian must have simply spread to the whole school, even trickled down to the lower grades at Degrassi. It doesn't matter either way, though, as long as no one gives you shit (which they don't) and as long as no one's uptight parents find out and hate you for it.

You might have to watch your back with that second one here.

"No, Mrs. Bhandari, I don't," you answer truthfully.

Her brow creases. "But you're such a pretty girl."

"Mom!" Sav repeats at an increased volume, though there's nothing really offensive about what his mom had said at all.

"What?" She raises her hands in defense, eyebrows jumping up to her hairline. "I was just asking."

Sav just shoots her a venomous look, one that says to drop it and stop embarrassing him (really, you're pretty sure he's more embarrassed than you are). After that, the subject instantly changes to American Idol.

Once dinner is over, Sav could not have whisked you upstairs faster if there were police knocking on the door looking for you. You offer to help with the dishes, but he answers for his mother, refusing, before she can say anything and practically pushes you out of the room.

An hour later it's gotten dark, but the time has flown because you and Sav are co-writing a new song for the band and you always get really excited and into it when it comes to music. You don't want to stop, but you need a break sometime.

"Bathroom," you announce simply, rolling off the bed. Sav just looks up quickly and nods before going back to his spiral notebook.

On the way back to Sav's room you walk the upstairs hallway slowly, drinking in the décor of a house this nice. The carpet is plush and doesn't make any sound from your measured footfalls as you observe family portraits, potted plants, and (it's a good thing it's deserted up here) rooms whose doors are left open. You wouldn't want anyone to think you're snooping. That's why you avoid the rooms with closed doors; opening them and taking a look inside is just overkill, and really legitimately is prying.

You walk past a shut white-paneled door and linger at an end table, a half-smile creeping up your lips at a picture of Sav – circa second or third grade – with a bowl cut and crooked front teeth.

"Hey, Jane," comes a lowered voice from your left.

You look up, caught off guard and in the middle of chewing your lip. "Hm?"

It's Sav's sister, Alli, leaning out of the half-open door you'd just passed, which must be her bedroom. Her eyes are bright with energy over something.

"Can I talk to you for a second?"

"Yeah," you reply, still reacting a little slowly, "Sure." She motions for you to follow you into her room.

You wander in, distracted by all the pastels as Alli sits primly on the edge of her bed. The room you're standing in is possibly the girliest of any you've ever encountered; wall-to-wall posters of shirtless guys from some bands that kind of suck, and the one from that vampire movie that most straight girls are crazy over. Alli sits there, and you wonder if you're supposed to drop down next to her. Instead, you stand for a bit.

"What's up?"

"Well…" Alli trails off and looks away, uncharacteristic of her usually in-your-face attitude. Whatever it is must be hard to talk about, a secret, or both. With a jolt, the idea that she's going to ask your advice on sexuality flashes through your horrified mind. She's Sav's sister, of course, so you sort of like the kid (in an obligated sort of way), but if she's going to come out to you it will probably be more awkward than you can handle. Just because you're gay doesn't mean you've been trained in dealing with this kind of thing. You're in no way ready to be anyone's mentor.

"It's kind of embarrassing, but I figured I'd ask you," she says slowly, sitting up rigidly and fidgeting in her lap. "You're the only one I know who would… know."

"Er…" you mumble, shifting from one foot to the other. "Know what?"

"Have a seat first," Alli blurts, patting the spot next to her. Your stomach turns over; is your bandmate's little sister coming on to you? Reluctantly you cross over to the bed and lower yourself, making sure to keep a healthy amount of space between yourself and Alli.

"Listen," you begin awkwardly. "Whatever this is, don't you want to talk to your mom about-"

"No!" she protests suddenly, repulsed by even the thought. You don't blame her, though; it was a lame suggestion. Never in a thousand years would you ever go to a parent for advice on something serious.

"Right," you say grudgingly. "So what's up?"

"Okay." Alli takes a deep breath, her dark lashes fluttering dramatically. "Have you ever liked someone you really shouldn't?"

Your thoughts flash automatically to Darcy. Now that was forbidden fruit for you, the most hopeless crush you've probably ever had. "Yeah," you sigh.

"Well," Alli goes on hesitantly, toying with her hands. "That's my problem right now. And it's totally different because they're older…" With this, she looks up at you with those round brown eyes and bites her lip nervously. Your heart flies up to your throat in horror; yes, this girl is definitely about to hit on you. She's saying "they", so her crush has to be a girl, and the way she's looking at you imploringly leaves no doubt in your mind that she's going to confess her love to you. You have no idea how you're going to figure out how to shut her down easy.

"…and like," she continues, gathering steam, "I know to them I'm just like a little kid, and I don't know how I can change how they see me. But that's not all, because I've never felt like this about anyone like this…"

"Well maybe it would be a good idea to forget ab-"

"Shit, this is awkward," she blurts, ignoring your shaky interjection with a distressed toss of her hair. This is awkward? That's an understatement. Your good friend's little sister is about to profess her love for you; you don't think you can handle the impossibly difficult situation of shutting the poor kid down, but there's no way in hell you would ever be interested, even if she isn't totally ugly at all. It's just… no way. You begin to panic as Alli clasps her hands together firmly in her lap and begins to draw in a determined breath. She's about to say it. You can't handle this. Your heart, on red alert, begins to pound like crazy. You have to say something, and quick.

"Alli, you're really nice and everything, but there's no w-"

"I have a crush on Johnny DiMarco!"

She all but shouts it, and it's hard for you to separate the words from how fast she said it. You don't say anything, just trying to wrap your head around what just happened, so she plows ahead.

"I know it's totally fucked up, since he's a senior and everything, but I really like him. Sometimes I feel like he likes me too, from the couple of times we've talked, but I'm worried I'm seeing things that aren't there. I mean, what kind of senior guy would like a freshman?"

"You like… Johnny?" you say stupidly. You're not the one she's attracted to. She's not crushing on you. Relief hits you like a blast of fresh air; all that stress over nothing. There was nothing to worry about. The disastrously sticky situation was all in your imagination.

"Totally out there, isn't it?" she groans, taking your stunned disbelief as doubt that her having a shot could ever happen in a million years. "But I figured, if anyone could help me, it's you. I mean, out of people I could actually talk to. Someone who knows him really well would be ideal, but I really don't think I could walk up to Moose and ask, 'Hey, how do I get your best friend to date me?' You've at least gone to school with him for a while, all the way back to Lakehurst, and I figured you would at least have some insight." She finishes her discourse with a queasy, hopeful grin.

"Right," you agree slowly, blinking vapidly. You're still recovering. "Well… I don't see why you wouldn't have a shot. You're a girl and… he likes those. That's about all there is to it with Johnny."

Alli's brow furrows. "But what-"

"And age is just a number. I doubt it matters to him all that much." You refrain from adding on to the end 'as long as there's somewhere for him to stick his dick.' Alli probably doesn't want to hear about her slimy crush's less-than-virtuous attributes. It's not really your place to ruin him for her; he can handle that one all on his own.

Finally, Alli relaxes slightly. She offers you a weak smile, which you mirror pathetically. "Thanks Jane," she sighs, letting out all that pent-up breath she must have been holding in anxiety over her passion for the grossest guy you know. "I actually feel a lot better about this now."

You smile awkwardly and get to your feet slowly. "Sure. Anytime." And when you say anytime, you really hope Alli doesn't take you up on it. She's a nice kid and all, and it's not really anything personal, but you're no expert on any of this shit. You're way too cynical to be of much help (it was all you could do to keep from saying what you really think of Johnny DiMarco), and the whole situation was just way too awkward. Freshman drama is so not your scene.

With one last brief glance at Alli, you exit (escape) as quickly as possibly. As you shut the door behind you, you feel almost insulted that the kid likes a guy like Johnny DiMarco in lieu of you.