Rating: light R
Genres: Angsty fluff, oneshot
Spoilers: Takes place after Boys and Girls
Summary: The five steps from denial to acceptance.
A/N: for broken__records ... I know it's not terribly smutty, but hopefully it'll do until I can write a nice long sextastical story and things.
At first, she tries to forget what he’d said. She sits stonily at her desk, staring blankly at the cards on her screen. She could put the ten of diamonds on the jack of spades, which would free up the seven of clubs. She almost convinces herself that Jim didn’t just tell her off, tell her she was making the wrong choices. Friends don’t do that. She put the seven of clubs on the eight of hearts, and put them both on the nine of spades. She couldn’t really take that internship anyway. It was in New York, it was too time consuming, she didn’t have the money. She was getting married. She closed her solitaire game, even though she knew she would have won. She didn’t want to see the cards flipping happily across the screen, anyway. Maybe if Jim hadn’t just told her she was ruining her life, maybe if he hadn’t looked at her with a sadness in his eyes that made her feel like such a coward.
What kind of friend said that kind of thing, anyway? Who was he to question her future, when he was going to be sitting in the same chair five years from now, making the same sales calls, wearing the same shirts, the same pants, the same ties? At least she was going places in her personal life. She was getting married. What was he doing, dating ex-cheerleaders who sold purses? What good was that? And he was judging her choices? Stupid, skanky salesgirls who latched onto guys who were really tall and trying to worm their way into his life. God.
She considers telling him she means to think about it. She won’t, because she knows she doesn’t have the money or the time, and Roy wouldn’t let her go away for that long anyway, even though he’s never really home and doesn’t generally talk to her about this kind of thing, like, ever. But maybe just to get Jim to stop being mad at her, because he hasn’t glanced up from his computer for a really long time and it just sort of hurts. Like he’s stabbed a knife in her gut and is twisting it. Only she knows that she’s the one who’s stabbing herself and inflicting the pain. Even just telling him she’s going to try, that’d make him look up and smile that smile, the one that reaches all the way to his eyes and makes her knees feel weak even when she’s sitting.
But really, why would they even take her into the program? All she draws are things she sees around her every day. Mugs and staplers and buildings. Mundane things that would never draw attention to her portfolio. Things that no one cares about. Houses with terraces. Things that she’ll never have. Things that people wouldn’t look twice at. Just like her. And the only person who encourages her is the one person she’s pushed away. The one person who saves everything she throws out (she’s seen him pull her sketches out of her trash can) and who tells her she’s just so damn talented and who just genuinely cares is the one person she disappoints. She never takes chances. She worries she never will.
She’s the last one out of the building, fumbling with her keys as she locks the front doors, heads to her car. His Corolla is still sitting in its spot, and when she looks up from the asphalt, he’s standing next to the driver’s side, just sort of leaning in that way that he does. She knows that he wants to tell her that she’s got to try, got to take that chance on something, sometime. And when he looks up at her through his lashes, she does.
His lips are firm against hers, his hands hovering and then grasping her hips. He gasps, and she pushes herself further against him, sliding shaking hands down his sides to meet on his stomach, right above his belt, and the hardness that she suddenly just needs. His fingers squeeze her tightly and she breaks the kiss.
“We shouldn’t,” he whispers, and his lips are swollen and she feels light headed.
“I’m fine with my choices,” she murmurs, before pulling away and slipping soundlessly into her car.
She sticks the brochure in her sock drawer when she gets home, and doesn’t sleep all night. She likes the way her sweater sort of smells like him. She opens a new sketchbook and starts to draw.