Category: Mean Girls
Pairing: Karen Smith/Janis Ian
Length: <1k words
Janis gave Karen a bewildered look, she opened her mouth to respond, closed it again and shook her head in confusion. “I’m sorry, run that by me one more time.”
“It’s my breasts,” Karen responded in a tone that told Janis she really should understand. It was very simple. “They’ve always been slightly psychic.”
Janis nodded. Cady had explained Karen’s “fifth sense” to her. At the time, she had wondered why Cady hadn’t explained to Karen the effect that cold air had on nipples (or, for that matter, that one was born with five senses), but she was beginning to get it now. There was a sweetness to Karen’s naivety, an openness to her excitement about being special. Instead of the cutting remark she thought she would have used, she said, “Like with the weather.”
“Exactly.” Karen seemed pleased that Janis had made the connection.
“And this has what to do with me?”
“Well, I think that they’re telling me something else now. Not just the weather.”
“Which is?” Janis prodded.
“Well, I think they’re telling me that I like you.”
Janis paused to mull this over. She knew that Karen meant more than “like” because Karen seemed to like everyone. With the Plastics disbanded and nobody telling her who she could and could not talk to and who was and was not cool, Karen seemed to embrace every clique, sub-clique and non-clique in the school. Sometimes it was met with resentment, sometimes amusement and always with bafflement. Karen even liked people who flat-out hated her, a trait that put her in the running for most popular girl in school. It was a good thing Karen had no aspirations to rule otherwise Janis might fear a Plastics Revisited outbreak.
“Why do you think this?” Janis asked, to buy more time.
“Well, they’re always pointing at you.”
Janis snorted in amusement but managed to turn it into a cough quite quickly. “Karen, is it cold when this happens?” she asked, fighting hard to control her tone.
“Yeah!” Karen’s smile lit up her face. “That’s how I know. It’s so cold, then I see you and I’m all warm.”
“Karen, I think you should think about this before deciding you like me,” Janis said. “And certainly bear in mind that I’m not into girls, no matter what Regina said.”
Karen paused and thought about it. “Well, sometimes Regina was right.” Karen glanced up at Janis, her blue eyes wide and hopeful. “She said Cady was mean, and she was, wasn’t she?”
“Yes, she was.” Janis sighed. “But Regina also said you were a whore, that’s not true.”
“You told Kevin you were Lebanese.” Karen said. “At the Spring Fling, I overheard you.”
“What does that have to do with anything?”
Karen gave her a big smile, her tone knowledgeable. “I’ve watched Ellen.”
“You lost me.”
“Can we just make out and see if we like it?”
Janis gave Karen an incredulous look. Did this tactic really work on guys? Then it occurred to Janis that Karen probably didn’t have to try to convince guys. When you were Plastic (disbanded or otherwise) guys liked you. All Karen had to do was smile sweetly and the guys would come running.
Janis thought hard of a way to get out of this, and slowly it dawned on her that the only way to get out of making out with Karen would be to make out with Karen. Karen was under the happy delusion that her breasts were telling her she was gay, when really all they were doing was announcing the temperature had dropped. The quickest way to convince her that she (and her breasts) were wrong would be to kiss her. Karen would be disappointed, and mosey away to ponder what had just happened, leaving Janis free for the rest of her afternoon.
“Ok then, come here.”
Karen frowned. “That’s not very romantic.”
“Neither was your proposition.”
“I didn’t ask you to marry me, just to make out.”
Janis considered correcting Karen, but decided it would be quicker if Karen was left feeling that Janis was the one who misunderstood. And kinder. Nobody really liked pointing it out to Karen when she made comments or asked questions that weren’t particularly bright. It would be like kicking a dog. Unlike Gretchen, Karen’s stupidity wasn’t malicious, just simple with a desire to be liked by everyone. Had the Plastics not adopted her, she probably would have been liked by everyone.
She leant towards Karen, wondering how on earth she was supposed to kiss a girl with such a big smile on her face. Karen’s lips were soft and tasted of girly lip gloss, not slightly rough like Kevin’s. Karen’s hands on her face were gentle and almost shy. When Janis put her arms around Karen, her hair was long and smooth as it brushed against the backs of her hands. The kiss was almost exact opposite any kiss she had shared with Kevin, but neither were bad kisses. Just different.
It was Karen who pulled away first, a dreamy smile on her face, her eyes half closed. “Much better than Seth Mosakowski,” she decided.