A/N: Set sometime after Whitney meets own for the first time. Kirsten and Whitney see a side of their sister they didn't even know existed.
Disclaimer: I don't own Just Listen because sadly I am not Sarah Dessen.
Kirsten knocked on Whitney's door, goal in mind. The oldest Greene girl was on a short break from school, and she had chosen to come back home since her TA boyfriend was stuck on campus. Upon arrival, however, she observed interesting changes in her youngest sister. Annabel looked a lot happier than the last time she saw her, and she seemed more talkative. Kirsten was curious to what had caused this change, and so she went to ask Whitney.
Whitney opened her door, irritated. Didn't anyone realize that when she closed her door, she closed it for a reason? Her face softened as she opened it to find Kirsten standing there, her hand in her hip- the signature Kirsten pose. Truthfully, Whitney was tired of fighting everyone, especially her sisters. And so there was no annoyance in her voice when she asked, "What's up?"
"Do you know what's going on with Annabel? I mean, she just seems different somehow," Kirsten explained. Whitney nodded.
"I know what you mean. So far, I've noticed three stages: the scared little rabbit stage at the beginning of the summer, the detached stage when school started, and now this weirdly happy stage," the middle child replied. Whitney had been wondering about Annabel too. Their little sister had been acting strange lately. And then there had been that pizza boy the other night… Owen was his name, she remembered.
"Maybe we should ask Sophie," Kirsten suggested. Whitney scowled.
"Annabel and Sophie aren't really friends anymore," she clarified after seeing Kirsten's confused expression.
"Why? What happened?" Kirsten asked worriedly. She knew that girl had a bitchy side, and Kirsten would kill her if she had hurt Annabel.
Whitney shrugged. "I don't know. Annabel didn't really give me specifics. The other night, there was this pizza guy, and they were talking. She introduced me to him. When he left, I asked Annabel how she knew him. She said that he was a friend from school that she hung out with at lunch sometimes."
"But why wouldn't she be sitting with Sophie?" Kirsten pointed out.
"Exactly what I thought. So I asked her if he was a friend of Sophie's. She said no and then told me she wasn't really friends with Sophie these days. Then I asked her what happened, and she said they had a fight last spring and that it had gotten ugly," Whitney finished.
Surprisingly, Kirsten didn't speak right away. It was almost a full minute before she eagerly asked, "So who's the boy?"
"His name is Owen, I think," Whitney answered.
"I guess. He's really tall though. Good taste in music." The two sisters would've discussed this further, but at that moment the doorbell rang.
"I've got it!" Annabel's voice rang out. Her older sister raised their eyebrows. Who was she so eager to see? They quietly crept into the kitchen to spy on their little sister. Kristen peeked out into the hallway. She noticed that Annabel was wearing a blue t-shirt and a pair of worn-out jeans that brought out her eyes. She didn't have much makeup on, but then again, none of the Greene sisters really cared for makeup. They had worn enough at shoots to last a lifetime. "Hey," she greeted whoever was standing outside.
"Hey," a male voice greeted, stepping into the house. The two sisters tried to get a look at him, but they didn't want to blow their cover.
"I hope this band is as good you say they are," Annabel stated, a playful smirk on her lips. Kirsten and Whitney looked at each other. This was definitely a new side to their sister.
"What? You don't trust my judgment?" Owen mock-cried. Annabel rolled her eyes.
"You listen to Mayan chants," she dead-panned. "And techno. How much can I really trust your judgment?"
Owen shook his head. "You just don't appreciate the greatness of those two sounds. And trust me, you'll like this band. And you should probably listen to them before we go to Bendo." Kirsten and Whitney both sprung up. Their baby sister was going to a club with a guy?
Knowing arguing with Owen was pointless, Annabel suggested going into the living room to listen to the band's album. He plugged his Ipod into the speakers. "Don't worry, you can turn it up. My parents are out, and my sisters are both either napping or doing something else," Annabel reassured. Owen smiled and cranked up the music. He sat down on the couch next to Annabel. The whole house listened as Truth Squad started to play. To the Greene sisters' surprises, they all loved the band, Annabel especially. Towards the end of the third song, Annabel turned towards Owen with wide eyes. He laughed.
"I knew you would like it," he teased. Annabel rolled her eyes before leaning into Owen and closing her eyes to enjoy the image. Kirsten and Whitney smiled at the cute image before them. They too sat back and enjoyed the music. It wasn't until the last track of the CD that Annabel spoke up.
"I know this song," she whispered softly. "They used to play it at daddy-daughter dances when I was little."
Owen nodded. "Yeah, Truth Squad remade it. There's actually a cool story behind it."
"Really?" Annabel asked coyly. "And what would that be?" Kirsten felt her jaw drop. Since when was Annabel a flirt?
"Well, the band's lead singer's girlfriend is the daughter of the guy who originally wrote this song. In fact, he wrote it for her. The two met at the dealership her so-to-be stepdad owned. He said it was love at first sight while she just thought he was nuts. Eventually, Dexter won her over. They've been dating ever since, and he did the cover of this song for her," Owen explained.
Kirsten awwwed at the story while Whitney stayed silent. As much as she wanted to roll her eyes, that was a good story. Still, it felt familiar somehow, like someone she knew. Whitney shook off the feeling and continued to watch her sister.
"How do you know that?" Annabel asked curiously. That didn't seem look something you could just look up on the Internet.
"It's Rolly's cousin's band," he clarified. Annabel nodded before studying his expression. Owen, feeling like he was under scrutiny somehow, held his hand out. "Can I have this dance?"
Whitney and Kristen watched carefully as Annabel smiled softly and took his hand. Owen put his hands around his waist, and she wrapped hers around his neck. They swayed softly to the music, and Annabel put her head on his shoulder. Kristen and Whitney immediately knew what was different. Annabel was in love. It was as simple as that. Now if they could only figure out what caused the other stages…