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Sisterly Advice

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"Ashley, Ah want to ask you something." Something in the tone of voice had Ashley on her guard even before she turned from her desk to look at Judy. She signaled Judy to go on with her eyes - then tensed when Judy, blushing, asked "How, um, how old were you when you lost your virginity?" 


Ashley closed her eyes for a moment and seriously considered saying what she wanted to say, which was "That is not your business, Miss Cahill" - but when she opened her eyes, she looked at Judy, saw the stricken look on her face, and felt herself tense for a whole other reason. 


"...what did Leroy ask you?" She couldn't actually shoot him in the nuts but she could sure as hell make him _think_ she could, which would probably be convincing enough the way he viewed dominance behavior from women - 


"_Nothing_!" said Judy, leaping automatically to Leroy's defense and to her feet for that matter. "He never asked me anything, Ah don't...ah don't even think he wants to until we're actually married. He is a gentleman prince and he is a good Christian boy too."


"...you've always told me you didn't want to either," said Ashley consideringly, keeping any judgement out of her voice. Judy had also promised not to do anything during her 'engagement'. "Has something changed?" 


"No-no, not really," said Judy, shaking her head. "Ah mean, Ah still don't want to have sex until Ah'm married. But Ah've been thinking a lot lately. Those aliens, the Stellarians; they don't eat, they don't sleep, they...don't breath..." She tugged at her hair and took a deep breath. She still did that, anyway. "They probably don't exactly practice, you know, marital relations between man and wife." She sighed, then said, "Ah'm just worried what'll happen if Ah...change more, before we're married. But as long as we get married afterwards, it's not...it's not bad. Ugh, it sounds bad when Ah say it like that, though.." 


_This is really between you and your parents, or maybe you and Nurse Joy._ Ashley was thinking between blinks. _Your parents who will tell you never, ever have sex, and that there's something wrong with you if you do. Nurse Joy, who'll hand you a condom and smile about it, and you'll probably throw it away because that's what your parents taught you too. Or maybe you'll ask one of the other girls your age..._ Ashley's hands twitched inside her fingerless gloves, and she spoke about herself because it was easier than thinking about Judy. 


"Tyler. The one from the tattoo." She rubbed her upper arm, then said, "It wasn't much to speak of. Tyler was a very handsome boy but he was pretty new at it too." Which was not entirely what he'd told her before they'd done the deed, but the fine details there were definitely _not_ something she was going to share with her ward. "Frankly, Judy, I can't recommend losing your virginity in high school. It's not all it's cracked up to be." 


"All right," said Judy, looking disconsolately down at the floor. "Ah'm just afraid it'll just...drift away. Like everything else. Ah don't even remember what food tastes like anymore." 


"I'll get you birth control if you want it," said Ashley in a whisper that came out before she quite knew what she was saying. "You're almost eighteen, and I can't stop you, so better to do it safe than unsafe." Ashley briefly contemplated being fired not just from her job but out of some sort of cannon behind the White House, but decided she couldn't just turn away. "But it would _really_ be a bad idea, Judy, and...I want you to be honest with me before you do anything." 


Judy took a breath, then scrubbed her hand across the back of her eyes. "Thank you, Ashley. That really means a lot." She smiled slightly, then admitted, "Ah don't...Ah don't even think Ah'll say anything, Ah don't want Leroy to think Ah'm easy, and Ah did promise you Ah'd wait. Ah just...wanted to be honest with you, like you said." 


"Yeah. Yeah....okay." Ashley rubbed her eyes and had the sudden manic thought of Well at least she didn't ask you what you think about women! 

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