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(Fic) How Willow Discovered Online Porn

25th June 2009 (10:39)
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It is a truth universally acknowledged that a teenage girl, in possession of parents, must on occasion be utterly embarrassed by them. Willow's parents, however, take the embarrassment to a whole new level.

This fic was inspired by a conversation with lavastar (based on an original idea by snowpuppies), on whether Willow has porn on her laptop. I was sure there was a story there to be written, I started jotting down a few ideas... and then this scenario popped into my head pretty much complete.

Characters: Ira, Sheila and Willow Rosenberg.
Rating: 12 (despite the title, there's no actual porn in the story. The subject is mentioned, though.)
Warning: discussion of teenage sexuality.
Wordcount: 1,032

 


How Willow Discovered Online Porn

Ira Rosenberg put down his knife and fork carefully on his plate and turned to the small pile of letters he'd stacked beside him on the table. Most of this morning's post seemed to be circulars, but there was one letter with the University stamp and addressed to his wife, which he passed to her graciously. That left one; a bill by the looks of it.

Slitting the envelope open neatly, he withdrew the stiff paper inside and unfolded it. The logo at the top was from the telephone company, he noted; then his eyes slid down to the total written boldly at the bottom. He blinked in amazement.

"Oy, this can't be right. It's almost double the last bill!"

"Let me see, dear." Sheila held out her hand for the  bill, and frowned in concentration. "It's the extra line we just had installed for Willow's computer. Look, the rentals are the same... it's just the usage costs that are so high."

They both looked down the table to where their only daughter sat engrossed in the book she was reading. Ira had long since despaired of ever separating her from her library; she seemed symbiotically bonded to the books she carried everywhere. He was sure that if paper were waterproof she would read in the shower. Eventually Sheila had insisted, in the face of stubborn resistance and some tears, that Willow should at least stop reading while she ate; but the moment the meal was over, her nose would be straight back between the pages. If she was listening to her parents now, she gave no sign of it.

"What on earth has she been doing?"

"Going online, I imagine, dear. That's why we gave her the system, after all. We agreed it would be useful for her homework."

"Homework? Nobody does this amount of homework. If you ask me, she's been - what's the word - 'surfing' the Internet looking for pornography. Probably downloading plenty of it too, looking at this bill! Disgusting."

Willow definitely heard that, if the way her face suddenly turned a hot, burning red was anything to go by.

"Ira Rosenberg, how dare you say that!"

Willow did glance up then, in pleased relief that her mother was defending her. Except...

"It's not disgusting at all! You should be proud that your daughter is learning to accept and understand her body! You know full well that masturbation is a perfectly normal activity for a girl of her age. Would you rather she expressed her sexuality by going out and having sex with boys and getting pregnant and diseased, rather than sitting perfectly safely in her computer chair in her own bedroom and masturbating?" Now she looked directly at her daughter, who was starting to fear that the book she was trying desperately to hide behind would catch fire from the heat radiating from her face. "You're a good girl, Willow."

"Uh, thanks Mom."

Willow wondered sickly whether she could somehow use the power of her brain to crack the Earth open and sink into it, down and out of sight. She was obviously mortified by her mother using the... the 'M' word in front of her - that she even knew... and, and in her computer chair rather than, um, in bed under the covers? Eww. That was so flagrant and open and exposed... (A secret part of Willow flared up suddenly at that thought, but she hastily shoved the feeling back down far into her subconscious.) But there was something even worse to contemplate: which was the horrifying, shameful realisation that her parents both assumed she'd been looking at porn in the Internet.. and she hadn't.

Honestly, the idea had never even crossed her mind.

And she was so ashamed of that, because it made her look stupid and young, and Mom was going on about how she was so clever for learning about her body and all that stuff, and Willow obviously wasn't clever otherwise she'd have thought of it herself, and she felt tears prickling the corners of her eyes; and she couldn't explain, she couldn't, because Mom and Dad would be disappointed in her and she didn't want to hurt them, so she'd have to lie and pretend that yes, that's what she'd been doing, and...

"Now, Willow. I hope that whatever sites you've been looking at are woman-friendly and sex-positive? There's some quite unwholesome material out there; one of my graduate students researched it for her thesis... perhaps I should give you a copy? And I think maybe I should have a look at what you've been downloading myself..."

"No!!" Willow's rejection was so frantic she even dropped her precious book on the floor. "No, I mean, honest, Mom, you don't need to. I'm very friendly to women, uh, I mean I'm positively sexed, uh... I mean, I mean what you said. I wouldn't even want to look at anything disgusting 'cause... 'cause it would disgust me. Obviously." She forced herself into her biggest, beaming you-can-trust-me smile. "I'll be very careful. And I really would like to see that thesis?"

Sheila looked at her daughter consideringly, then nodded and turned to her husband. He in turn fixed Willow with a scowl, and said, "I can't have you running up the telephone bill at all hours of the day and night. You'll be allowed one hour per day, no more, understand?" Willow pouted, and he reluctantly added, "Three hours on Sundays or public holidays." Then without a further word he picked up his copy of the newspaper and turned to the Foreign News section. The matter, in his eyes, was settled.

"Willow, your father and I are trusting you by treating you as an adult. Please don't let us down."

"No, Mom. Thanks, Mom." She bent down to pick up her book. "Please may I be excused?"

At her mother's nod she clutched the book and fled out of the room, thundering up the stairs to the sanctuary of her bedroom.

It was only when she got there that she realised what her parents might be assuming she was going to do there... and she almost went back downstairs again.

But only almost.


 

Comments

Posted by: Two legs good, four legs okay (nothorse)
Posted at: 25th June 2009 10:23 (UTC)

*breaks down in helpless laughter*

I love Sheila here. Mortifying your offspring is the sacred duty of any parent.

And I refuse to comment on similar dialogues in this household. Especially about cost. Because we have flat-rate broadband. And the teenage girl knew all the good sites already :)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 25th June 2009 11:41 (UTC)

This fic is set in the time before flat-rate broadband was invented. Willow is on dial-up. :-)

Thanks!

Posted by: Two legs good, four legs okay (nothorse)
Posted at: 25th June 2009 11:50 (UTC)

Willow is on dial-up. :-)

I gathered as much.

I was just lucky that the flat-rate was invented before the teenager's relevant age :)

Posted by: The Mezzanine (deird1)
Posted at: 25th June 2009 11:03 (UTC)

*collapses in laughter*

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 25th June 2009 11:43 (UTC)

Yay! :-)

The bit about teenage Willow being irreversibly bonded to a book at all times may have been inspired by some of the things you've written recently about yourself. :-) (Although pretty much about me at that age too).

Posted by: Emmie (angearia)
Posted at: 26th June 2009 18:13 (UTC)

Oh, so you too then? I've now progressed to interchanging a book for a laptop now and then so it's nice to see I'm evolving.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 26th June 2009 20:49 (UTC)

These days I'm lazy, I just leave lots of open books scattered around the house in strategic positions and pick up whichever is nearest when I sit down. :-)

Posted by: fix me, motherfucker! i'm standing right here. (immortality)
Posted at: 25th June 2009 11:31 (UTC)
magic ↔ the dark inside of me.

Ahaha, oh, wow, this fic was great. :D

Posted by: darkestboy (darkestboy)
Posted at: 25th June 2009 11:41 (UTC)

That was embarrassing. Poor Willow.

Great story as well.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 25th June 2009 11:44 (UTC)

Thanks! :-)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 25th June 2009 11:43 (UTC)

Glad you enjoyed it as much as I did writing it. :-)

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 25th June 2009 13:16 (UTC)

Heeeee! Now there's a parental situation I think most people can relate to on some level... even if most parents aren't this, um, encouraging about it.

I'm very friendly to women

Yes, we know, Willow. :-)

So I'm guessing all that time online was actually spent on Doogie Howser fanfic?

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 25th June 2009 15:05 (UTC)

The 'friendly to women' line was foreshadowing! :-)

I can honestly see Willow spending a month browsing perfectly legitimate sites in complete fascination at all the things she was learning. (Mind you, I've got to think what the Net was like back in those days... no Google, no Wikipedia; there'd be Usenet and mailing lists and even BBSs still.)

Some time after this conversation - once she got over her embarrassment - she did indeed go in search of porn. When she discovered most of it was restricted to over-18s, she taught herself hacking skills in order to break in... and found most of it rather disappointing, and the thrill of cracking an encrypted and locked system was actually what turned her on more. And since she couldn't find any porn online that she liked, she started writing her own.

I know nothing about Doogie Howser beyond the Wikipedia page, but when I read "child genius, passed his SATS with a perfect score and became a doctor at 14, spends his time balancing using his skills to help people and living a normal teenage life" - yeah, I can see why Willow would identify with him.

I think her first efforts at porn would be romantic het with him as the POV character, and adult Willow would look back at how much care she lavished on describing his female partners compared to describing him and smile wryly.

Posted by: Two legs good, four legs okay (nothorse)
Posted at: 25th June 2009 15:33 (UTC)

When she discovered most of it was restricted to over-18s, she taught herself hacking skills in order to break in...

Actually, at that time, porn on the internet wasn't restricted. The alt.sex.* hierarchy was totally open. Willow might have had to hack into UC Sunnydale to get a decent UUCP feed, but otherwise...

Posted by: mikeda (mikeda)
Posted at: 25th June 2009 14:50 (UTC)

somehow use the power of her brain to crack the Earth open

She just needs to wait a few years...

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 25th June 2009 15:06 (UTC)

Exactly! :-)

(Although by then, she'll be less easily embarrassed.)

Posted by: Lily (lavastar)
Posted at: 25th June 2009 23:47 (UTC)

That's totally what I thought! :P

Posted by: The One Who Isn't Chosen (gabrielleabelle)
Posted at: 25th June 2009 18:02 (UTC)
willow lighter

*giggles uncontrollably*

This is my canon now. I believe this is exactly what actually happened.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 25th June 2009 18:32 (UTC)

[foreboding voice)
And so it begins...

Glad you enjoyed it. :-)

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 25th June 2009 18:33 (UTC)

Comedy always works best when it takes familiar reality and twistes it just that little bit further...:-)

Thanks!

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: 25th June 2009 20:08 (UTC)
Scoobies

Bwah!

Downloading porn to live up to her mother's expectations - that's so typically Willow!

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 25th June 2009 20:24 (UTC)

And getting rebellious thoughts about defying her parents by not downloading it, perhaps. :-)

Thanks!

Posted by: erimthar (erimthar)
Posted at: 25th June 2009 20:28 (UTC)
pic#89543843

I can picture late-90's Willow sitting there surfing the Net on her 2400-baud modem, staring for hours in fascination at the Hamster Dance and downloading Spice Girls tracks off Napster.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 25th June 2009 20:42 (UTC)

I suggested in my first ever fic that when Willow got broadband, she recorded the sound of a dial-up modem connecting, saved it as a sound file and set it to play when she opened her web browser. Nostalgia. :-)

Posted by: The Anti-OTP (snowpuppies)
Posted at: 25th June 2009 21:31 (UTC)

Oh. My. God. How utterly mortifying.

And how typical for poor Willow. :P

Brilliant and hilarious and I'm totally blushing for poor Willow.

Posted by: Lily (lavastar)
Posted at: 25th June 2009 23:50 (UTC)

Okay, but you don't understand - this basically IS my mother. Except in the form of giving me lots and lots of books about sex and, as I told Stephen, giving me a hand mirror and some ointment after I got my first period and telling me to "explore my body" before using tampons.

So, yeah. Mortifying in the extreme. :D

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 26th June 2009 00:16 (UTC)

These are the experiencces that formed her into the person she is today...

Thanks!

Posted by: Lily (lavastar)
Posted at: 25th June 2009 23:53 (UTC)

LOL! This is amazing - and like I told Snowy down there, EXACTLY my mother. Although we never actually discussed porn, thank God.

You wrote Willow and her parents in like the most realistic and hilarious way possible. Well done!

(And I'm really pissed that I haven't been able to read this till now - I saw it on my f-list hours ago, but LJ's being a bitch and not loading correctly...)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 26th June 2009 00:19 (UTC)

It's quite scary that you say my depiction of Willow's parents is 'realistic' :-)

My parents were more of the "leave several appropriate books on the shelves where I could find them, and hope I'll pick it up that way" school of thought...

Thanks!

Posted by: Lily (lavastar)
Posted at: 26th June 2009 00:52 (UTC)

Alright, I believe I have most of the books with me, here, let's count:

That would be six books about sex. And I remember getting two about my period that I don't have anymore cause I thought they were dumb. (Seriously, one of them had butterflies all the fuck over it and told me that I should have a party every time I get my period because it proves I'm a woman. Um. No.)

These books include one for teen girls about your body, one for teens/young adults about sex, one that I actually got at the sex ed class at my church (very liberal church), a 'classic' illustrated book for kids/teens about sex (it introduced the concept of "the birds and the bees" by having a cartoon bird and bee talk about sex in the margins), and two books about being gay.

Which is all just my mother. She's a perfectly fine person, she just made/makes things a bit difficult for me by trying very, very hard to get things right. Especially since she found out I'm gay - it's obviously lovely that she tries to be supportive, but sometimes it's just a little sad, that she feels like she has to try so hard.

Hmmmph. I'm sure I could ramble on for days, but it's not actually interesting. XD

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 26th June 2009 20:53 (UTC)

one of them had butterflies all the fuck over it and told me that I should have a party every time I get my period because it proves I'm a woman. Um. No.

So is it wrong that my first thought there was "Yay! Excuse for a party every month!"? :-)


and two books about being gay

Because she already knew you were, or as a precaution just in case you turned out to be? (Because that last option would actually be pretty cool.)

Posted by: Lily (lavastar)
Posted at: 27th June 2009 01:40 (UTC)

So is it wrong that my first thought there was "Yay! Excuse for a party every month!"? :-)

LOL! Not really. It was just very...very strange. They suggested making a cake and icing it with red icing to symbolize your blood. And inviting important women in your life to mark your passage into adulthood. o.O

Because she already knew you were, or as a precaution just in case you turned out to be? (Because that last option would actually be pretty cool.)

Oh, no, cause she knew I was. Although that would have been cool.

Posted by: itsmrgordotoyou (itsmrgordotoyou)
Posted at: 28th June 2009 15:30 (UTC)

Back in her early twenties, one of my female friends used to make a ritual of wearing something red when she started her period. There were no cakes or parties, though.

Posted by: Lily (lavastar)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 00:34 (UTC)

That's interesting - the book actually said, as I recall, that women were more likely to wear red (unconsciously) during their periods.

Posted by: itsmrgordotoyou (itsmrgordotoyou)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 13:25 (UTC)

Knowing my friend, I wouldn't be surprised if she read the same thing and decided to consciously make it a ritual of her own. She seemed to stop by the time she turned 30, though.

Posted by: I write tragedies, not sins (mabus101)
Posted at: 26th June 2009 07:43 (UTC)

*snerk* I suppose I feel bad for Willow, but at least her parents attempt to be informative. Although perhaps it was for the best that mine just assumed I'd already read all about it on my own, because I had.

Didn't have internet access till I left for college, though.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 26th June 2009 20:55 (UTC)

Mine did pretty much the same thing. And I was at uiniversity before the Internet was invented.

(Well, not literally, but certainly nobody had heard of it.)

Posted by: Emmie (angearia)
Posted at: 26th June 2009 18:18 (UTC)
More Beer

"It's not disgusting at all! You should be proud that your daughter is learning to accept and understand her body! You know full well that masturbation is a perfectly normal activity for a girl of her age. Would you rather she expressed her sexuality by going out and having sex with boys and getting pregnant and diseased, rather than sitting perfectly safely in her computer chair in her own bedroom and masturbating?...You're a good girl, Willow."

Yes, I know you're familiar with this whole speech. You wrote it - blah blah - but... *dies laughing* Teehee! She's a good girl, oh Willow's mom.

Awesome.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 26th June 2009 20:57 (UTC)

I don't mind you quoting it. The paragraph still makes me laugh, and as you say, I wrote it... :-)

Thanks!

Posted by: lusciousxander (lusciousxander)
Posted at: 27th June 2009 11:07 (UTC)

LOL, Sheila is awesome! I wish we'd seen more of her on the show. And poor Willow, you wrote her exactly like she used to be in the early seasons, trying so hard to please others.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th June 2009 12:29 (UTC)

She tried hard to please others in the later season too, except by then she was using magic to forcibly change their brains to a state of being pleased...

Thanks!

Posted by: spuffyduds (spuffyduds)
Posted at: 27th June 2009 12:49 (UTC)
btvs giles giggle

Oh HEEEEEE! Poor, poor child. I am sure I have never been THAT mortifying. Really. Maybe?

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th June 2009 12:29 (UTC)

Have you asked your own children's opinion on that? :-)

Thanks!

Posted by: Rebcake (rebcake)
Posted at: 27th June 2009 23:06 (UTC)
biteyourtongue

Right on, Sheila! You're only doing your duty by embarrassing the heck out of your kid. It's educational! And Ira is quite right to focus on the cost issue. I can't fault either of them, but I'm glad I'm not on the receiving end of all that parenting.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th June 2009 12:31 (UTC)

Yes, they're not actually wrong in what they're saying, it's just most people tend to, umm, beat about the bush more. So to speak.

Thanks!

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