Title: "Common Fourteen"
Author: pari106
Code: "The Ice Storm" (movie), starring Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver, with
Christina Ricci as "Wendy Hood" and Elijah Wood as "Mikey Carver"; Wendy/Mikey
Rating: R. For sexual situations involving underage individuals/ hints at other disturbing
Disclaimer: Nothing is mine but this story.
Archive: if you ask.
Feedback?: please.
E-mail: pari106@hotmail.com
Warning: (see rating).
Summary: Secrets aren't secrets if you talk about them.
Author's Note: You don't necessarily have to have watched this movie to get what's
going on here. But it'd probably help.
Looking for more "Ice Storm" fic? There's some at
http://members.fortunecity.com/bitchwill/decay.html .


Wendy is fourteen years old.

Fourteen-year-olds do not have sex. Common Knowledge. Common knowledge to
everyone but Wendy.

Wendy doesn't care. Doesn't care about what's common. Her parents are common and
normal. Adjusted. And so fucked up beneath it all that sometimes Wendy thinks she just
might say something about it. Some day. Maybe.

But Wendy doesn't say anything. Because fourteen-year-olds aren't supposed to know
about their parents' affairs, and if Wendy's parents knew that she did, what then? Her
dad would just deny it. Her mom would have just one more reason to cry into her coffee
cup every morning.

Wendy has a brother. He could say something, but he doesn't. Wendy thinks it's
because he finds all their little dramas amusing, but really Wendy's brother just thinks
they're sad. Sad but natural. People, Wendy's brother thinks, are naturally self-
destructive. And who is he to stand in the way of nature? Who are any of them?

Wendy's brother's name is Paul, but she calls him Charles. Which is okay, because he
calls her Charles, too. It's their own, personal little joke. Their own private little secret.
And Wendy loves secrets.

Mikey is a secret.

Probably not the best kept of Wendy's life, but – really – she hasn't been alive that long.
And in the way of secrets, Mikey is pretty big. A pretty big secret. Mikey's little brother,
Sandy, is a secret, too, but Mikey doesn't know that.

Wendy doesn't know what their secret has to offer Mikey, besides the obvious. Sex. He
doesn't care about secrets. Doesn't care about much, really, besides Sandy. And
geometry, but not math. And the plight of national integrity, at the hands of Tricky Dick.
And Mikey's own personal molecular theory, which isn't so much a theory as a non-
theory, if that makes sense. Wendy asked Mikey about that once, and told him he was
going to fail Natural Science if he didn't get things right.

"Don't you know what a molecule really is?" she asked.

Of course Mikey knows. Mikey knows everything he's supposed to know, and some
things he shouldn't. But he just said "Everyone knows that." and Wendy didn't ask
again. She lets Mikey have his own secrets.

And he does. Have secrets, that is. Wendy thinks he must. Someone like Mikey has to
either have too many secrets or is incredibly insane. And Wendy doesn't like crazy
people, so Mikey must be incredibly secretive. Wendy doesn't know any of Mikey's
secrets, although he knows all but one of hers – all two – but she guesses it has something
to do with Mikey's mother. And Wendy's father. And how Mikey is always *almost*
not polite whenever Mr. Hood comes to visit. And how the pretty blue eyes staring back
at her, whenever Wendy stares at Mikey, seem *almost* familiar. And not because
Wendy Hood has known Michael Carver her entire life.

Sometimes Wendy thinks that's why Mikey keeps her around so much. Because of his
mother and her father. But Wendy has always looked for conspiracy theories,
everywhere. Waiting for the next big blow to national integrity. Or just plain old,
tarnished Hood integrity. And, mostly, Wendy thinks Mikey likes her for the same
reason she likes him. Pretty eyes. That are almost too familiar, but not. Curious hands
and a warm body. And a nice, big secret.

Wendy's secret is currently unbuttoning her pants.

She just watches. And waits. Watches his eyes. They really are *very* pretty eyes. His
face is nice, too, framed by auburn hair. Sometimes Wendy thinks Mikey's face is too
nice. His eyes are too pretty, and he doesn't shake *enough* when he does this not to
have done it before. Wendy wonders if she'd really made the story up – the one she told
her friends, to throw them off, about Mikey doing this with another girl, too. After all, he
is his mother's son.

And that's why Wendy visits Sandy sometimes, when Mikey isn't around. She's her
father's daughter. But she's also Elaina Hood's child – poor, long-suffering Elaina – and
she doesn't like the thought of Mikey with someone else. Doesn't like that she doesn't
like it. And hangs out with Sandy because, face it, he's just a kid. A nice, normal
*common* kid. And he makes Wendy feel like a common fourteen-year-old again.

Wendy's secret is unbuttoning her shirt.

Mikey's hands aren't soft, but Wendy likes that, and they don't linger long, but Wendy
likes that, too. Despite the face that Wendy is the one who always asks for this –
blowjobs in the men's room, quickies when Mikey's parents aren't home, they're never
home – actually doing "this" is scary. And more often than not it hurts. Mikey doesn't
mean to hurt her. And if she ever said anything, Wendy knows he would stop. Mikey
has his secrets, but he isn't mean. He's good to her; he's good. Wendy's father tells the
Carvers that Mikey is "a good kid"; not for Wendy, but a good kid. In secret, Wendy's
father says there's something "wrong" with "that boy", he's "too smart for his own
good", and he's "nothing but trouble". And when Mikey smiles it's honest. But this
doesn't scare Mikey the way it does Wendy. Nothing scares Mikey. Pain doesn't scare
Mikey. Nothing about Mikey is common. He's never been common, or normal or – let's
be honest – adjusted, and Mikey likes it that way. So Wendy doesn't say anything. She
pretends she's more like Mikey than she is, and pretends that her pain is like another
secret. She needs one because she doesn't have nearly enough to keep up with her
parents or her pseudo-boyfriend or even her somewhat boring older brother.

Wendy's secret is currently…


Nothing more than that. Just 'oh.' Eyes go a little wide, short fingers clutch at nearby
shoulders. But other than that… Just 'oh.'

Mikey's lips, previously on Wendy's neck, lift just long enough to speak.

"Are you alright?"

No endearments. They don't use those. Just the out Mikey always gives that Wendy
never takes, and Wendy nods.


More little sounds. Pants, gasps. Non-sounds, mixing with Mikey's actual sounds,
which aren't loud or frequent, but seem that way next to Wendy's little 'oh' repeated in a
whisper, over and over again.


The one word that isn't an 'oh' or part of an out ever said between them when there isn't
anything else between them. And Wendy always replies with "Michael…" Because she
doesn't know what else to say, and his full name sounds so much more mature, so much
more him, and then it's over.

And Mikey lays with her.

He always lays with her, for just a little while, although she's never asked him to. It's the
one thing she's ever needed that Mikey's ever just sensed about Wendy so he doesn't
mind. They lay there, skin slick with sweat and breathing heavy. Mikey is heavy. He's
warm, too warm, but Wendy likes that. She likes simply laying with Mikey like this,
when it's over; hot and trapped beneath Mikey's weight and listening to him breath.
She'd like to go to sleep. She doesn't think Mikey has ever slept with someone else in
his bed besides Sandy, on those nights when they were little, too little, and both their
parents left them alone in the night, during a storm. All alone, Sandy, who's afraid of
storms and the dark, and Mikey, who isn't afraid of anything but something hurting

Wendy likes laying like this with Mikey so much that she could never leave. Mikey
makes her feel safe like this. Normal and adjusted – if even adjusted in a totally twisted
fucking way – and…private. Kept. Like a secret.

But eventually Wendy has to leave and they both know it. So Mikey pulls away. And
Wendy isn't too warm anymore and Mikey isn't too heavy and Wendy isn't safe any
longer. And they don't talk about it. Ever. Mikey never talks about it and Wendy never
brings it up. It just happens.

Because secrets aren't secrets if you talk about them.

Common knowledge.