Disclaimer: Nothing is mine. This idea came from some reflection on season three, and the precise moment Danielle realized she was pregnant with Benjamin. The show's timeline can get a bit, um…skewered. They're getting really bad about in later seasons, but they weren't quite as bad with it in earlier seasons, though they did have their moments. I think she probably figured it out around the same episode where Gloria Hodge was defeated, and that she and Austin might have continued seeing each other even after breaking up with Julie. Anyway, onto the oneshot!
The egg timer sat on the marble bathroom counter, right next to the small stick. Round, plastic, said to display results within thirty minutes, with five left to go—a stick Danielle Van De Kamp had hoped to never have to deal with in her teen years.
As she leaned her aching back (yet another obvious sign) against the walls, she remembered an incident from a few years ago, back when her mother had discovered her intentions to sleep with John Rowland. She still remembered her response when she was asked why she had a condom:
"Because I want to have sex and I don't want to get pregnant."
She would've laughed at the irony now if she wasn't fighting an inner panic.
Danielle had long ago realized she had made the right decision in forfeiting her position in the abstinence club to another girl in her class, for she could be accused of a number of things. Hypocrisy was not one of them.
She had heard stories of girls her age, younger even, getting pregnant because they got the condom on wrong, or didn't even bother using one, girls whose boyfriends would leave them, girls who would drop out of high school and be stuck as a single mother working part-time at some low-paying restaurant with no future. She had told herself that even if she caved in to her hormonal urges that it would never happen to her. She would be careful. She would use a condom.
And she and Austin had used a condom, every time.
And yet here she was, with only five minutes to go on that dreaded egg timer.
Not long after she lost her virginity, Danielle had considered going on the pill. If she had someone she needed to go to, she knew she could've gone to Edie Britt, judging from what she had heard about her. And yet, she never did. She didn't know why—she knew her mother would be too clueless to know what birth control pills looked like, never mind what they were. She just thought she was invisible, that as long as she continued to use condoms no matter whom she had sex with, or how many times, that she was untouchable.
Danielle remembered overhearing Julie's mother having some sort of disagreement with Edie over Julie going on the pill as she and Austin got dressed after being busted. Julie, who only planned on sleeping with one guy in her entire teenage years, had known better to go on the pill. She was probably still on it even after the break-up, just in case she found someone else.
Danielle looked at the timer. Three minutes. She looked back on the night she had blackmailed Austin into continuing to sleep with her. Love had nothing to do with it; he was hot, she was desperate, end of story. She wished now she had controlled herself, had told herself she didn't need to sleep with him so often. She now regretted ever blackmailing him into continuing the affair even after he had broken up with Julie—he had tried ending it, but she had told him, "Now we can be together. Don't you see? You're not her girlfriend anymore. We don't have to sneak around. Now come on...let's use your room."
She vaguely remembered a time where she felt something go wrong—something like a tear or stretching—but she had dismissed it. His skin felt hot against hers, his kisses so smooth and tasty on her lips, his hot breath against her neck…it was too perfect to stop for even a second.
Only a few days ago, she had been out at the Scavo pizzeria with friends. She remembered being given the night off by Gloria—what a kind old lady, so willing to give her a night off, whatever happened to her? Well, in any case, towards the end of the night one of her friends had come back from the bathroom and taken her aside to tell her she had her period and had left her tampons at home and asked if she could borrow one of Danielle's.
It was then that Danielle had realized it. She was almost one week later for her period.
At the time, she had told her friend she had forgotten hers at home, too, but the rest of the night, that one thought did not leave her mind, not even when she went home, or when she went to bed. She had been up until three obsessing over this one fact, trying to come up with an explanation for it, anything other than that one.
She began to feel sick the next morning, but she ignored it, telling herself she just ate something bad at the pizzeria—the pizza had smelt funny, after all. Still, she found an old medical text book her father had kept around, and looked up the symptoms. Her heart sank as she realized each of them—morning sickness, tenderness of the breasts, sensitivity to smells, a delayed period—matched her all too perfectly.
But if there was anything Danielle had taken after her mother, it was her tendency to put on a smile and pretend absolutely nothing was wrong, when on the inside she was breaking like a crystal glass fallen to the floor. She had smiled for the next few days as Bree and Orson had gotten ready for their honeymoon. She had smiled as she went to the mall with her friends. And she had smiled as she went to the drug store early that morning to purchase a pregnancy test.
As much as Danielle held low regard for her mother's teachings, there were few, though seldom, she held to her heart, including the ones picked up from church visits. She tried imaging herself walking into one of those clinics, but drew only a blank canvas. And yet, if she couldn't do that, than what could she do? She couldn't be a mother. She still wanted to go to college, and have something of a career. But even if she were to give it up for adoption, it would still require her to have to tell her mother.
Picturing the look on her mother's face upon telling her she was pregnant had once been a source of humour for Danielle during her moments of defiance.
But now, it was no laughing matter.