Hugs and kisses to Laura for beta work!
Title: One Thing I'm Missing (It's in Your Eyes)
Character/Pairing: Julie, Matt/Julie
Summary: Julie’s musings on her feelings for Matt. Season one-ish.
Disclaimer: Don't own, don't sue.
One Thing I'm Missing (It's in Your Eyes)
Everything about him feels like home to her. Little, stupid things he does or says or even just is that make her heart clench in an almost sad, painful way. Like the tiny swirl his hair grows on the left side of his forehead, only visible when it’s cut real short. Or how he changes the channel from ESPN to One Tree Hill when she comes over to watch TV. Or the smell of him on her clothes that lingers long after he's hugged her. Long after he's gone.
He makes her feel like that, all warm and mushy and girlish inside, with the smallest things. Julie knows – she is Tami Taylor's daughter after all - that it's ridiculous to be this crazy about a boy. But she can't help it. Not with the way she gets all dizzy when she's around Matt, as if her stomach has turned into a bubbling can of soda, ready to overspill at a moment’s notice.
This feeling, it makes her act like a complete fool. And then things happen, like when she tackles him in the school parking lot in the mornings, in front of everybody, just because she's so happy to see him. Or how she watches him in English and then her thoughts stray from Emily Dickinson to running a finger through the short fuzz of hair in his neck, right in the middle of class.
There's a part of her brain looking on, telling her she's turned into a love struck idiot, but then Matt pulls her close in the hallway and oh. There goes that thought.
All this tentativeness of him, it's driving her crazy. Like, why isn't he pushing her at least a little? Why isn't he trying to find out where Julie Taylor draws the line? Even Lois thinks they should have covered some bases by now. She's pretty sure he must be thinking about it – she does, like all the time – but if he is, and he must be, he doesn't do anything about it. It's kinda cute. But it's also kinda nerve-wracking.
She thinks she wants to have sex with him. Partly because she knows he's probably the most understanding guy she will find to lose her virginity to. And she's simply curious to crack his shell and move past the understanding part of Matt, into unknown territory.
But then there's also that feeling she gets with him sometimes, when he's kissing her long and thorough, or when he's bending over and his shirt stretches over his back. A feeling of something clenching inside her, low in her belly, painful and delicious and she finds herself excited at the prospect of going further.
Turns out when she acts on that feeling, initiates and tries to take, she’s not quite ready after all. But somehow he senses it even before she admits it to herself and he understands. And that kinda makes her want to have sex with him. For real. They end up doing other stuff (at 15 there's always foot wrestling and at least 3 bases to explore) so it's okay. Chapter not closed, only momentarily abandoned.
One of the things she likes most about him (and she knows that's kinda lame) is his sweetness. Like that lopsided smile he thinks makes him look like a doofus - he couldn't be more wrong cause it's the most beautiful thing when he's happy, like, ever. She tried to tell him once, but apparently boys don't like to be called cute.
And then there's the way he carefully puts his worn out shoes (they look like he's hiked with them all across Texas) on her parents' welcome mat, making her mom’s carpet remains spotless. She wants to kiss him for that. Or the fact that he won't touch her in her parents' house, out of some weird respect or fear or whatever. He's all not here Julie…but thank god he will do it in Landry's car on a regular basis.
He makes her feel like home on long, lazy afternoons spent lying on his bed, on top of the rumpled covers and sheets that have been washed just a few times too often, almost see through now. Delicate. She loves the times they don't talk all that much, just mindless stupid stuff, words flowing like bubbles in the air, forgotten as soon as they've been spoken. Times when the moments seem to draw out and fall into each other - everything's languid and liquid and Julie feels slow and syrupy in his hands. When his kisses aren't demanding and his touch is sure and slow and savoury. The warm smell of his skin hangs on the blankets and the pillows and around her. In her hair when she leaves.
She loves the little details and cracks in his life, where the sadness and the real Matt seep through, like tiny specks of stars. Loves that he lets her see them. Maybe that's why home also hides in miniscule, ordinary details. Like the chipped layer of white paint on the ancient looking stove in his kitchen, where he makes hot chocolate for her and his grandma, makes her feel belong. Or the way his shoulders bunch underneath his shirt - that triangle in his back formed by shoulder blades and planes of muscle, a hollow to bury her face in, to feel the beat and pulse of life underneath blue soft-washed cotton.
Maybe that's why home's more places now than it used to be, Julie thinks, more than her father's kind eyes or her mother's comforting scent. Why home is also the melancholy and love of that little shotgun house where they spend balmy evenings sitting on Matt's porch. Arms slung around their knees, her nose buried in his sweater while they watch orange and purple skies fading into dark. When they sit there and wait for the night to draw in around them and their shoulders bump in some kind of code to say the things unsaid. Sometimes home is quiet like that.
And it's in moments like these that Julie thinks she knows why people leave their families to make new ones. Shed their skin and grow into something new and beautiful. She thinks she loves Matt because he would let her grow like that, into his life, in a heartbeat. He already kinda does.
Home is three little words now (They somehow count infinitely more when they're said by someone else than her mom or her dad). And though Julie's not a sappy fool – actually she's quite the opposite – she thinks that no amount of bad art, soppy songs or cheesy movies could ever cheapen those words for her now. Not with the way Matt says them. Not with the look in his eyes when he does (she hopes, wonders if it feels the same for him. Squeezes his hand and says them back and means them).
She brings him over for dinner and stares down her dad defiantly – like some weird father-daughter dare game – while she pulls Matt down in the seat next to her, away from his inquisitive glare. She does it again when she grabs Matt’s hand after dessert, ready to go another round. But she doesn't really need to, Matt and her father having settled into a grouchy kind of respect and well-hidden affection (Her dad has long since realized that there are worse guys out there than Matt Saracen). Julie rolls her eyes at the ridiculous maleness of it all but in truth, she's glad.
As for her mom, she’s determined to like him anyway. Maybe that's all due to Matt – in fact, Julie's pretty sure it is – but maybe it's also because she knows everything in her being is screaming out how much she loves him.
Some people, Julie thinks, grow up together. Matt and her, they grow into each other.