All I Need: First MSCL fanfic!

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All I Need: First MSCL fanfic!

Post by carlaisnt » Jun 20th 2007, 6:06 pm

Angela slips out the door, carefully running down her front steps while peering out from under her umbrella. The rain falls steadily, pouring all around her while her face lights up in recognition at something in front of her. She smiles and slides into a red Pontiac convertible.

It’s been three months since the letter, but in all the scenarios I ran through my mind back then, I never really thought it would turn out like this. I don’t even know what this is, really. I guess I should start at the beginning. At first, I was upset. No, that’s the understatement of the century…

“Stop the car, Jordan.” Angela says flatly. This is the first time she has dared to look at him for the duration of the ride. He glances up at her through the hair falling into his eyes, sees her face is deadly serious, and moves to pull the car to the side of the road. She looks at her hands crumpled together in her lap, and then takes a deep breath before starting to speak.

“Angela – ” he begins.

“Look – ” she says, then looks up at him once more. “You, um, you go.”

“I-I just think you should know, you know, that I… didn’t really write that letter,” he stumbles. “I like, wanted to. So bad. To be able to. I just, I tried, and I didn’t know how to say… what I really wanted to say. I knew I would just screw up again. And all I wanted was like, for you to look at me that way again. And then you did, and I just couldn’t tell you the truth.” Angela openly stares at him, biting her lip. I couldn’t believe it. I mean, this is what I had been waiting for. For like months. And that’s when I did possibly the first smart thing I had ever done when it came to Jordan Catalano. Or maybe the stupidest.

“Um, Jordan? I think… I think it’s really great that you told me all that. I do, I really appreciate it. I just need some time to work all this out. And maybe it’d be better for us to just be friends. For now, at least. I don’t know.” He looks down, quickly masking his disappointment and hurt.

“Friends, yeah. Okay, like, friends who make out?” he half-smiles while gauging her reaction. She looks stricken for a second, then laughs suddenly and shoves his shoulder gently. He smiles broadly, genuinely. “Just thought I’d ask.”

Angela sits in his car as he drives, talking animatedly about his band, on the way to school. She tucks her hair behind her ear and looks back up at him. So now, we’re friends. Friends who make out? No. But there have been a few slip-ups along the way. Sometimes I’ll accidentally catch him looking at my lips while I’m talking, or he’ll grab my hand on impulse and fold it inside his own. Being together is like this habit that we can’t just break. Not that I’ve been trying that hard. She nods and smiles widely in response to something he has said.

They arrive in the parking lot, and open their respective doors. Someone calls out to Angela and she grins and quickly waves goodbye to Jordan. Rickie appears and falls into step with her as Rayanne links her arm inside Angela’s. And then there’s Rayanne. How could I not forgive her? It took a while for her to, like, work up the nerve to apologize. I guess Sharon convinced her somehow. Things are still a little awkward all around though. Angela gazes at Brian Krakow and he returns the stare. They are walking in opposite directions, but he stops as she gives him a small smile and a little wave. He smiles back at her shyly but resumes walking as soon she passes by. Rayanne continues pulling Angela down the hall, flailing her unconnected arm around dramatically. They stop at Angela’s locker, as Rayanne carries on and Rickie rolls his eyes. Angela smiles knowingly at him as Delia and Sharon approach and everyone exchanges greetings. Angela tunes out as they discuss something. Brian and I were never really the same after what happened. We talked, that night, though.

Angela gets out of Jordan’s car and turns to look at the Krakow’s house. She sees Brian up in his window and pauses to think. I always thought Brian was the one who hated change, who wanted to prevent me from growing up, from outgrowing him. I never realized that he could develop feelings for me. But he had changed, more than I ever expected, and I realized I hated that change more than anything. Suddenly she begins to march determinedly towards his house. Moments later, they are sitting on the steps to his front porch, both with their hands on their knees.

“I know what you’re going to say,” Brian says without pretense. Angela breaks her downward stare and looks up at him, surprised. “I know that you’re like, in love with Jordan Catalano, and that nothing could change that. I just hoped… I don’t know what I hoped.” He looks down.

“Brian… God, I wish that I could tell you you’re wrong. I wish that I could like you like that, but I think… You’re just such a good friend, and I’ve known you for so long that I can’t like, see you that way.”

After that, we kind of went our separate ways. Rickie tells me what he’s up to sometimes, that he’s taking a new class at the community college or whatever. But he never stops by just to ask me a stupid question or to lend me something. He was always this constant in my life, no matter what else was changing. And I guess I kind of miss that. She smiles sadly, returning to the present conversation in which Sharon is complaining about Kyle. The bell rings and she begins to walk to class with Sharon as Rickie and Delia head off in another direction.

Angela pulls the passenger side door to Jordan’s car shut as she climbs in and buckles her seatbelt. She looks over at him as he starts the car.
I used to dread going to school, suffering through long classes and navigating the halls. My only refuge was coming home after school to my dad making me a snack. Now I dread coming home. Even before Dad left, towards the end, he was barely here. Now that he doesn’t live with us, and he has the restaurant to worry about, we only see him every two weeks. I remember the night he left, though, so clearly.

Angela closes the front door gently so as not to disturb the quiet, darkened house. She leans against the door, smiling, and turns towards the kitchen. Started, she looks at Patty, whose body is turned directly towards the refrigerator, her palms and forehead lying flat against the vertical surface, shoulders bent forward heavily, as if the triangle connecting her to the fridge is the only thing keeping her upright. Slowly, she turns towards Angela. It is clear that she has been crying: her eyes are puffy, cheeks pale and tear-stained in the moonlight flooding from the window, and her mouth curled into a frown too depressed to be surprised at Angela’s entrance. Angela goes to her, pulls her into a tight hug as Patty collapses against her, arms falling onto Angela’s shoulders awkwardly as she relaxes into the embrace.

Dad moved in with my uncle Neil a month and a half ago. Mom’s never talked about it with me, but I know it was because of his business partner, Hallie Lowenthal. They’re not divorced yet, or anything, but I can’t help feeling it’s just a matter of time. And that when it finally happens, she’ll just break. She tries to stay strong, but she’s working too many hours and everyone can tell she’s not okay. The only good thing to come out of this whole thing is that we’re actually a lot closer.

“So… do you wanna go somewhere?” Jordan asks, peering at Angela from underneath some of his shoulder-length hair, left hand draped over the steering wheel casually.

“Anywhere,” Angela replies, smiling. He grins back at her.

“I’m kinda hungry. You want something to eat?” he questions. She smiles, nods, and tucks her stray hair behind her ear.

They sit across from each other in the booth of a pizza place, eating and laughing. He is twisting his ring around his finger compulsively, and she reaches out a hand to stop it. She leaves her fingers lying on top of his. His eyes scan from where their hands meet up towards her face and look into her eyes kindly. “So, Tino’s having this party on Friday. Do you wanna go?” he asks softly. She gives him a surprised but delighted smile.

“Oh! Yeah. That sounds good,” she says, then pauses, frowning slightly. Is he asking me, like on a date? No, no, it can’t be a date. Why am I still trying to turn every little thing he says into something bigger? “I mean, I’ll have to see what I’m doing, but yeah. That could be fun.” Jordan looks wounded then carefully hides his disappointment at her response by looking down for a moment. He slowly withdraws his fingers and sets them on the edge of the table, tapping a little bit.

“Yeah, I mean, I might check it out. But you should come. With your friends. Maybe I’ll see you there or something.” Angela too appears hurt, but masks her sorrow by shyly smiling at him. “I should get you back, right?” Another weird thing? My mom and Jordan had like, created this, this bond. They like, talked. About stuff. I guess I’m still getting used to the idea.

Angela exits Jordan’s car and turns to wave to the disappearing form halfway up the path to her front door. She enters her house and is immediately bombarded by a bouncing Danielle. “Is he your boyfriend?” She asks, whining slightly.

“No! No. I don’t know,” she admits. She fidgets with the sleeve of her flannel shirt and glances at the floor.

“Well, Mom says you spend an awful lot of time with him for someone who’s not your boyfriend. Ryan says you guys are probably doing it.”

“Danielle!” Patty swoops in, throwing an arm around Danielle’s shoulders as a gesture of both love and irritation. Angela simply glares at both of them. “I was just telling Camille that I thought it was good that the two of you are still friends. And, you’re not… you know… are you?” She smiles, tightly, worried.

“Mom! God! How can you even ask me that?” she rolls her eyes. “I’ll be in my room.” It’s weird, though, to think about. I always thought I’d lose my virginity to Jordan, and sometimes I still think maybe I will. But now that we’re not, like, together… I just can’t picture it happening. At this point, I am just like, embarrassingly far from anything.

Rickie and Angela walk down the hallway, talking excitedly. Rayanne jogs to catch up them. She walks backwards, facing them, as she talks. “Okay, tonight! The three of us are going out! Just like old times. Tino’s having a party and it’s gonna be so awesome! We are gonna have so much fun.” Angela and Rickie look at each other, smiling awkwardly.

“Actually, we were just talking about that,” Rickie replies. Rayanne looks shocked and a little disheartened. “Jordan invited her. But you are so coming with.”

“Coming with, yeah…”

Angela, Rayanne, and Rickie enter through the front door of Tino’s house. Rayanne is dressed extravagantly, with her hair up in countless braids with a ribbon tying it all together, eyes painted in bluish eye shadow and lips stained a dark red. Angela is slightly dressed up in a black dress and has heavier makeup than usual. Though their styles are completely different, they both look beautiful. Rayanne, immediately seeing someone she knows, deserts them at the front door. There are people crowding in every direction, but Angela scans the masses until she sees Jordan among a group of guys. He is facing her, not really participating in the conversation around him. She smiles at him and does a little wave. He nods up at her and pushes off the wall he has been leaning on, cutting through the group to meet her. Rickie, looking distracted, quickly excuses himself just as Jordan arrives to greet them.

“Hey,” she says, tucking her hair behind her ear.

“Hey. You made it. You want something to drink?” She shakes her head in response. He puts a palm to the small of her back and guides her out of the doorway as more people come in. She leans back against the wall, looking up at his figure looming over her. The left side of his body is pressed against the wall with his arm leaning by her head. His right hand is in his jacket pocket, fidgeting with something inside.

Rickie rushes over to where Angela and Jordan are standing in the living room. He tries to make eye contact with Angela, but failing, reaches out to touch Angela’s arm. She starts, but then sees the look on Rickie’s face, full of worry. “I need your help, just for a few minutes. It’s Rayanne. Tino said he’d drive us home, but I have to go find him first.” Angela bites her lip in distress and looks up at Jordan regretfully. Rickie anxiously waits during their interaction.

“Do you need any help?” Jordan implores hopefully.

“No, I should just deal with her myself. Go find your friends, have fun. I’ll see you later.” Rickie pulls her away through the crowd, but she looks back to see him watching her leave. She turns her attention back to Rickie, but smiles softly. They reach the bathroom and enter, where Rayanne is throwing up forcefully. Rickie leans over her and pulls her hair back.

“Can you just stay with her? Make sure she stays over the toilet and have her drink some water. I’ll be back in a few minutes.” Rickie moves towards the door as Angela imitates his earlier actions, pulling her tiny braids away from her face. Suddenly, Rayanne seems to gain more conscious thought, twisting her head around and glaring at Angela. She flushes the toilet and wipes her mouth off with the back of her hand.

“Don’t touch me. I’m fine. Just leave me alone.” Angela, surprised and confused, just looks at her, open-mouthed as Rayanne pulls at her clothes clumsily in a failed attempt to straighten them out.

“God! I was just trying to help,” she says, then softens her voice. “Here, do you want some water?” She picks up a glass already full and tries to hand it to Rayanne. Rayanne simply glares deeper.

“I don’t need help. I don’t need anything. Especially from you.”

“What are you saying?” Angela’s voice and face distort in anguish.

“Oh, Ang-ela. You’re a smart girl, you can figure out, can’t you? You’re so perfect. You think you’re so much better than me. Well, I don’t need Little Miss Perfect,” she said it so deliberately that each word cut Angela to the bone.

“Why are you saying this, doing this?” Angela pleads. “I need you! I need you to not drink! I thought you were serious about this. You told me you’d quit drinking for real, and you just betrayed me. Again.” Rayanne visibly shrinks back at this, staring at Angela from her crumpled position on the bathroom floor. Angela just gazes back at her with equal intensity, the force of the combination of hurt and disappointment and adoration too much for her to say anymore. Rickie bursts through the door at this point, looking from Angela to Rayanne and back again. He pulls Rayanne to her feet and slides her arm around his neck.

“We’ve gotta go. Tino’s waiting out front and if I don’t get home soon, Mr. Katimski will have a conniption. Look, whatever she said… she didn’t mean it. She’s just drunk, don’t worry about it,” he laid a hand on her forearm in comfort as he shifted Rayanne’s body against him. “You coming?” She shakes her head.

“No, I…I just can’t be near her right now.” Rickie nods, understanding her decision, but sad about it, both for Angela and himself.

“I’ll call you tomorrow.” He kissed her cheek in farewell.

“Rickie… Rickie baby, let’s go. I’m tired,” Rayanne pleads, collapsed alongside Rickie’s body. She giggles and hiccups “See? Just like old times.” Rickie looks Angela apologetically one last time as he pulls Rayanne out of the house. Angela shuts the bathroom and leans against it momentarily. She goes to the sink and splashes water on her face. She gazes at herself in the mirror, her makeup smeared but reparable, her eyes still dark with anger. Slowly, she fixes her makeup and prepares herself to go back to the party.

She opens the door, intent on finding Jordan for a ride home, or just to cheer herself up. She weaves her way through the hoards, making her way back to where she had seen him last. When she finds him, he is leaning in a similar position, with a pretty, curvy blonde girl smiling up at him in her place. She is flirting with him obviously, fingering the bottom of his jacket and laughing at something he says. Angela takes a deep breath as she sees him smiling back at the blonde and spins around quickly. She knocks into a guy carrying a beer, which tips over and pours all over her chest. She only sighs resignedly, and hurries back to the refuge of bathroom.

She tries to wet her dress in the sink, but to no avail. The last thing she needs is to walk home, smelling like beer. She braces herself against the sink, once again staring at herself in the mirror. She hears a sharp knock against the bathroom door and opens it quickly, annoyed and expecting (maybe hoping) Jordan will be there. Instead, it is the guy who spilled beer all over her. He smiles sheepishly.

“Hey, I just wanted to apologize and, you know, take the opportunity to introduce myself. It’s not everyday I get to make a fool of myself in front of a beautiful girl. I’m Chris.” Angela just looks at him, surprised and flattered. She studies his face, his body, carefully. He isn’t strikingly handsome at first glance, but he wasn’t plain either. He is tall, taller than Jordan, but had a lanky quality to him. He has blonde hair, cut just short of his ears, warm brown eyes, and a single dimple on the right side of his smile.

“Angela,” she replies warily.

“It’s nice to meet you, Angela. Can I get you a drink? I seem to have misplaced mine.” She smiles at him and nods as he takes her hand and leads her through the crowd. Do not look at Jordan Catalano. Do not look at Jordan Catalano. She tries to casually glance at Jordan and sees him talking to the same girl, though this time he notices her in return. He looks concerned and makes a small gesture as if to leave, to follow her, but Angela just turns away from his stare, following Chris into the kitchen where the keg is situated. She hides a small smile at Jordan’s reaction and accepts the beer Chris has poured for her. They relocate to a couch in the living room, in plain view of Jordan and the unnamed blonde. She refuses to look behind her at them though, and instead focuses her attention on Chris, smiling as he talks to and flirts with her. Okay, I admit, at first I was only talking to him because of Jordan. But now, he’s funny, and good-looking, and very charming. And I need to get over Jordan Catalano. I mean, he’s obviously over me.

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Post by oaksand » Jun 21st 2007, 1:21 pm

i just read this on fan fiction site good start keep it up

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Post by annette » Jun 21st 2007, 2:33 pm

great start, i just read it on too, good to see some new mscl stories being written

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Post by BANGBANG » Jul 28th 2007, 4:29 pm

I immediately stopped reading when I read the drastic just step down from her and Brian. I seriously don't believe for one second she'd smile at him in the hallway and then he'd just 'sadly accept' that she doesn't love him or anything, what I mean is, it's totally unbelievable how she wouldn't think anything more of that, let alone just never talk to him anymore. Or him not talk to her. I just can't see that as being realistic. It's not just because I like Brian but more of the fact that they would probably still talk, if not progress as friends (or a relationship, whatever). I liked her thoughts and stuff though, up till that point.

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Post by carlaisnt » Jul 28th 2007, 4:56 pm

I think Brian and Angela's story could have gone in several directions. I think that at this point in time, Angela is just starting to see that Brian is a real person, and that it would be impossible (or just very unlikely) for her to develop nonplatonic feelings, even more so to admit them to herself or others, for him. Maybe it's easier for her to distance herself from him, and maybe that's unfair to him, but that's the way I see it playing out.

I like Brian too, he is one of the most realistic and complex characters. But I think any relationship between them, in the "present," is unlikely and uncharacteristic of both of them. I tried to portray a friendly distance between them: they talk awkwardly, but politely, associate with the same people, but they both know that their relationship could never be what it once was, and that's probably better for both of them. I think, eventually, Brian would have gotten over his feelings for her and they could have become friends, but their respective levels of maturity were not at points where a true friendship let alone a romantic relationship could occur.

Brian and Angela will have a plotline in the future of this story, but if you're unhappy with it then it's your prerogative not to read it. Thanks, BANGBANG, for reading, as much as you did.

And thank you to annette and oaksand, for reading and reviewing as well. It's really great to see an interest. :D

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Post by carlaisnt » Jul 28th 2007, 5:04 pm

“I’ll be right back, okay? Don’t go anywhere,” Chris leans towards her as he lifts himself from the couch, grinning at her and walking backwards a few steps while making absurd gestures with the empty cups in his hands. She giggles at his quirky actions, and he smiles wider and turns around, heading back to the kitchen. Seeing his departure, Jordan makes his way purposefully towards Angela, sliding in beside her on the couch.

“You wanna get out of here?” he asks. Smile fading, she shakes her head at him. “But I’m bored,” he whines. She glares at him jokingly. He smiles suggestively, “I can think of a lot more fun things we could be doing. Come on, An-ge-la,” he stresses each syllable brightly. She grins at him, pushing his shoulder playfully.

“Yeah, I bet!” she teases, shaking her head at him slowly. He rests his arm on the back of the couch, barely touching her shoulders, but she leans into it comfortably. She looks up at him as he gazes down at her and pouts, “I’m having fun.” He looks at her intensely, letting all the lust built up inside him shine through his eyes. She bites her lip, knowing that look intimately.

He notices Chris enter the room and deliberately pushes her hair behind her ear, leaning down to slowly whisper into her ear, “Come with me.” She can feel the damp heat of his breath against her neck, so familiar and yet so estranged. The look he is giving her creates chills down her spine and makes her mouth suddenly dry. Have you ever heard that phrase, alarm bells going off in your head? This is that phrase. She licks her lips and looks at him meticulously, judging his motives.

“Am I interrupting something?” Chris asks innocently, juggling two full red cups. She instantly rises from Jordan’s touch, sitting up stick straight, and accepts the proffered cup. Jordan glares at Chris, who seems genuinely unaffected or unaware of the disruption. Jordan sighs, looking up at the ceiling, then back at Angela, who sits nervously between the two boys. She needlessly tucks her hair behind her ears.

“Oh!” she jumps in her seat a little. “Jordan, this is Chris. He’s a junior at Liberty. Chris, this is Jordan.”

“Hey, man,” Chris begins as Jordan gets up abruptly.

“Gotta go,” Jordan says simply, letting the tips of his fingers drag along Angela’s arm as he walks away, leaving her to stare after him, perplexed.

Angela and Chris sit on the couch, leaning towards each other, obviously very engaged in their conversation. Chris says something and Angela bursts out laughing uproariously. This is fun. I’m having fun. He’s nice, and he’s here, and he’s capable of stringing more than three sentences together that aren’t about his band. And there’s no pressure. As she tilts her head back, the alcohol hits her harder and she puts a hand to her forehead. Chris leans forward, resting a hand on her knee, making sure she’s feeling alright. Her face changes from carefree to concern in an instant. From across the room, Jordan sees this series of actions and approaches hurriedly, leaving his newest companion in the middle of her sentence with only a muttered goodbye.

“Angela! Are you okay?” he inquires worriedly, his eyebrows knit together in frustration and concern. Angela only glares at him in response. He leans down towards her, softly cupping her elbow as he looks into her eyes. Her eyes soften towards him and she glances towards where her joint meets his hand. She breathes deeply, nodding against his look of protestation. “Maybe I should take you home.”

“No, I’m perfectly fine. Perfect,” she says, inwardly cringing at the accidental reminder of the night’s earlier events.

“It’s getting kind of late. Your mom might worry,” he covers, mentally slapping himself at saying something so stupid. Angela looks at her watch and considers this, standing up. Chris pauses, then stands up to join them, but still hangs back, awkwardly.

“Yeah, I guess you’re right,” she looks towards Chris hopefully. “So… I’ll see you later?” He perks up at the inclusion in the conversation.

“I hope so. Maybe I could call you,” he questions, hinting.

“Oh! Yeah…Yeah, that’d be nice. Um, do you have a pen?” Chris opens his mouth, then closes it and begins to desperately search his pockets for a writing instrument. He smiles at her, almost guiltily, as he continues to dig inside his jacket. Jordan, sighing, reaches into his back pocket and pulls out a ballpoint pen, handing it to her as he glowers deeply at Chris. Angela smiles gratefully at Jordan, then, noticing the strange looks between the two boys, glances back and forth between them. Chris continues obliviously grinning at her. She takes his hand carefully and writes her phone number down slowly, then holds it for a second longer as she looks up into Chris’ delighted eyes.

“I am never washing this hand,” he says slowly, beaming. Angela smiles shyly in return, as Jordan rolls his eyes, anxiously pulling Angela towards the door.

When they get to his car, Jordan yanks open his door. Angela watches him carefully, eying his movements suspiciously. Once inside the car, she places a hand on his shoulder and looks him in the eye. “Jordan, what’s wrong?” she asks gently. When he doesn’t respond after a few moments, she nudges him slightly, rocking her palm across the expanse of his shoulder blade and closing her fingers over the curve of his collarbone. He sinks forward at the contact, relenting, and turns to look at her.

“You can’t just do that. You can’t just give a guy your number and
then act like that,” anger flares in his eyes. Angela’s eyes widen at the level and intensity of emotion he has showed.

“Act like what?” she questions delicately. She stares at her lap, not daring to look at him, afraid of what his answer may or may not be.

“Like what?! You know what, Angela,” he says sharply, accusingly. He sighs, “Like you’re my girlfriend.” He looks at her again, gauging her response. She looks scared, frozen in place with her hand half-withdrawn from its place on his shoulder. She robotically pulls her arm in towards her body. She can feel her chin start to crease, the first sign of her heart’s betrayal. “I’m sorry. Hey, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it like that,” he lifts her chin with his thumb and forefinger, forcing her to meet his repentant eyes.

“Yes,” she starts, voice shaky. Then, more forcefully, “Yes, you did. I know that this whole ‘friends’ thing has been hard, but we’ll get better at it. We have to get better at it.”

“Angela,” he whispers, closing his eyes tightly. “We’re not friends. We never were friends. It’s just this, this illusion we made,” he struggles through the word, partly due to the difficulty of the word itself, and partly to the emotionality of the statement. He looks at her and takes her hand. “I didn’t want to lose you, but I never wanted this. And I can’t be around you if you’re just going to let guys like that hit on you in front of me. I just…I can’t.” A tear escapes from Angela’s closed eyes as she finally looks up at him. Suddenly he lunges forward, one hand wrapping around the back of her neck, one cupping the side of her face reverently, wiping away her single tear. He kisses her forcefully, pouring all of his pent-up feelings into this one kiss, knowing he may never have the opportunity again. Finally he pulls away, but places his lips over hers once more, chastely. She stays still, breathing deeply, with her eyes still closed. He gazes at her, eagerly awaiting her reaction.

Her eyes remain closed, her face emotionless, as he backs away to his side of the bench seat. He watches her carefully, examining every detail of her face for some exterior betrayal of her thoughts or feelings, but nothing reaches the surface. Finally, he sighs, leaning back into his seat for a moment, and then reaches forward to start the car. She looks out the window, not really seeing any of the scenery they pass. On the inside, wanting to scream at him, to kiss him again, to do anything. But she is too afraid to take any action.

“Angela. Hey, we’re here,” Jordan tries to get her attention, leaning over to see if he is having any effect. She blinks, eyes widening, and he takes her hand again. This jerks her out of her unconscious state and she turns to look at him once more. She sighs deeply as he instinctively curls his fingers through the empty spaces left by hers. “I’m sorry. About what I said, just forget it, okay? It doesn’t matter.” She looks up at him suddenly, and a surge of hope flies through his chest at the eye contact. But her voice, sharp and rising, suppresses any optimism he feels until he hears her words.

“How do you think I feel, huh? Watching girls throw themselves all over you? I hate it! I wish it didn’t affect me. But it does, and I hate that even more. I just want things to, to go back, I guess, to how they were before.”

“Before what?” he prompts, gently. He tries not to smile, and chews on his bottom lip instead, surprised by her admission of jealousy.

“Before life got so complicated. Before, you weren’t like this real person, you know?” He nods; even though he is slightly confused, he wants her to finish her thought. She looks down, out the window, anywhere but into his eyes. “And even though I thought I couldn’t, I could have just walked away, because I didn’t really know you…even though I thought I did. But now, it’s like, there’s so much, like, between us. And I know that it’s hard being friends, for both of us, but…I just, I really need you not to disappear right now.” She finally looks up and into his eyes, her own pleading silently. He smiles softly and squeezes her hand, causing her to look down, surprised that he was still holding onto it.

“I know what you mean. I don’t want…You need to like, make up your mind. You know that I…that I want to be with you, right?” he cups the side of her face with his left hand and she nods, ever so slightly. He leans forward and kisses her softly, once, twice, so quickly she does not have time to respond. He nods, once, to himself and pressed his lips together, pausing to recover control of his emotions.

“Jordan…” she whispers.
“It’s late. You should go,” he says flatly. Then, correcting his mistake in tone, he asks more optimistically, “I’ll pick you up Monday?” Angela nods.

“Um, so, I’ll talk to you on Monday. So, bye,” she looks searchingly into his eyes for a moment longer, wanting to say something more. Finally, she gives up and pulls out of his hand and opens the door. She shuts it gently and takes a few steps away from the car, then turns slowly to look back at him as she hears the car start. He waves a little at her as he pulls away from the curb, his arm resting along the seat she had been leaning against just moments ago.

Angela steps into the kitchen and opens the fridge, sighs, and closes it. She notices the phone is off the hook and hangs it up. She turns and sees her mother sitting at the dining room table in the dark.

“Mom?” Angela quietly asks.

“Yeah, honey?” her voice does not sound surprised at her daughter’s presence, but cracks under the stress of uttering these few syllables.

“Mom, what’s wrong?” Patty gets up from her seat and busies herself in the kitchen, finally turning the light on and pulling a container of milk from the refrigerator.

“Have a seat, sweetie. We need to talk,” she says slowly, carefully, as she untwists the cap and pours two glasses. She returns to her seat and pushes one of the cups across to Angela. Patty grips her own and begins,
“Your father wanted to wait to tell you girls himself, but I think you should know now…Hallie’s pregnant. Eight weeks along.” Angela’s mouth drops open as she stares at her mother’s composed expression. “I don’t want this to change your relationship with your father. He stills loves you, you know. And on Sunday…”

“Mom!” Angela cuts her off. “Don’t patronize me. This changes everything. How can you just sit there and defend him, after what he did to us, to you?”

“Oh, Angela. I don’t know what to tell you. Yes, I am angry. But I still love him,” she sighs. Angela nods sympathetically, frowning.

“I know. God, what’s going to happen now?” And just like that, my mother leaves her emotions at the door and returns to the person she always was, practical and bossy and smart, to an annoying degree. Patty picks up the mostly full glasses of milk and pours them out, setting them in the sink.

“Well, you are going to bed. It’s late. Camille and Sharon are coming over in the morning and you need your rest. And then on Sunday, you will go see your dad at Uncle Neil’s house and go to dinner at the restaurant and you will not complain. About a single thing,” she nods once and looks at Angela expectantly. Angela just looks at her for a moment and then picks herself up from her seat. She kisses her mom on the cheek before turning to head up the stairs. Halfway to her room, she half-turns and looks at her mother, who is now standing over the sink, looking out the window thoughtfully at the front yard.

“Angela! Phone!” Danielle screams. Angela jumps out of bed and opens the door to her room quickly, almost running into her little sister who extends the cordless phone impatiently. “Hurry up, ‘cause I need to call Ryan back!” she calls out as Angela shuts the bedroom door in her face. Danielle turns and rolls her eyes, before leaning her ear into the door, trying to listen to her conversation.

“Hey, Rickie. What’s up?” Angela asks casually, pulling clothes out of her closet.

“Hey, Angela. I was just calling to warn you that I talked to Rayanne this morning, and she kind of got this idea to like, make it up to you, or whatever, for last night. She didn’t remember it, but I think she sort of had the feeling she did something bad to you, or something. Anyways, I just wanted to give you a heads up.”

“Oh,” Angela says, biting her lip softly. “So, what’s she gonna do?”

“Um, I’m not sure. But she seemed like, really excited about it. But, you know, I’m sure, it’s like, harmless, or whatever.”

“Yeah, it’s probably nothing…um, so what are you doing tonight?” She maneuvers the phone as she pulls on a shirt.

“I’m probably just going to stay in. I think Katimiski’s kind of mad that I got home so late last night.”

“Oh, yeah. So, are you grounded or something?”

“No, not really. I just don’t want to do anything that’ll like, make him madder, or something. So what happened after I left last night? I mean, did you talk to Jordan or anything?”

“Umm, yeah…” Angela is cut off by the sound of the doorbell and Danielle yelling at her once more. “Um, I have to go. I’ll talk to you later, okay? Bye, Rickie.” Angela hangs up quickly and finishes dressing before scampering downstairs. She stops, expecting Sharon to appear in the hallway, but instead sees Rayanne, grinning at her.

“Hey! Rayanne. What are you doing here?” she inquires, already knowing part of the answer. Rayanne bounces, awaiting her chance to explain.

“So, I know I acted pretty bad last night, I was just so out of it, you know? Anyways, I thought to myself, what could I do to make it up to my lovely best friend, Angelica? And of course, my dear friend Tino has all the answers...” she trails off, still grinning and bouncing on the balls of her feet, excitedly. She grabs Angela’s arm, “I tell you, Angelica, for all the times that Tino bails on me, on everyone really, he always seems to pull through when I really need it!” Angela turns, sighing and rolling her eyes, and enters the living room. Rayanne bounds over to the couch, plops her bag down and rifles through it. “I mean, this is awesome. You are gonna love me forever for this! Aha!” she exclaims, pulling two tickets out of her bag and waving them in the air.

“What are they for?” Angela asks timidly.

“What are they for?! They are for the time of your life! Stone Temple Pilots! Sold out! Two weeks! Oh my god, Angelica, we are gonna have the best time!” Angela just looks at her, overwhelmed, until a smile breaks out. It slowly spreads across her face into a grin.

“I can’t believe you did this! Oh my god. This is amazing! Oh, my god!” Rayanne, ecstatic at her success in creating Angela’s excitement, grins even more widely and throws her arms over her head in exhilaration.
The side door opens and in walks Camille and Sharon. Sharon goes to join Rayanne and Angela in the living room, smiling confusedly at their enthusiastic faces and voices. Camille departs to head upstairs to find Patty.

“Hey! What’s going on?”

“Oh, nothing,” Rayanne fakes modesty. “I am just the bestest best friend in the whole world!” She laughs and Angela smiles back at her. Sharon smiles fakely at the two, slightly disappointed at the exchange and feeling left out.

“She got us tickets to see Stone Temple Pilots! I still can’t believe you did that,” she remains smiling as she shakes her head in disbelief at Rayanne. Sharon eyes Rayanne, her phony smile broadening.

“That is so cool. Scott Weiland is so cute!” Sharon speaks up. Rayanne rolls her eyes, amused.

“Maybe you should take Kyle, Cherski!” Sharon and Rayanne laugh, and Angela looks on, bewildered. Sharon catches her look and shakes her head softly. “Man, do you have any food? I’m starving.” The girls move into the kitchen in search of something to eat. As Angela pulls something out of the fridge and pops it into her mouth, the phone rings. She motions to Sharon, who picks it up.

“Chase residence.”

“Um, hi, may I speak to Angela, please?” the voice on the other end asks. Sharon looks puzzled.

“May I ask who’s calling?” she responds.

“This is Chris,” he replies. Sharon holds the phone up and looks up at Angela, amused, and covers the phone, mouthing the name to her. Angela’s eyes widen, shocked and scared, and Sharon giggles at her expression. Rayanne looks between the two girls rapidly, trying to figure out what is going on. Angela shakes her head enthusiastically, and whispers an “oh, god.”

“Just a second, Chris!” Sharon says brightly, waving Angela over impatiently, while her hand tightly covers the receiver. “You didn’t tell me about Chris! Who is this guy? Is he cute?” Angela blushes furiously.

“We met last night,” she says simply.

“You hussy! I knew I shouldn’t have left you alone!” Rayanne laughs.

“Tell him I’m not home! Tell him I can’t talk. Tell him, just tell him something!” Angela exclaims, trying to keep her voice quiet.

“Hey, it’s okay. I’ll deal with it,” Rayanne says, and then reaches for the phone as Angela lunges out, trying to tackle her from behind. “Chris? Hi.” Rayanne twirls her hair around her fingers and imitates Angela’s voice.

“Hey!...How are you?”

“Good. Listen, Chris –” she starts to tell him the situation, but is interrupted.

“God, I know I’m not supposed to call yet, or whatever. It’s only been a day, not even a day, but…It’s really good to hear your voice.” Rayanne giggles, and looks shocked and pleased at both his candor and her triumphant acting. She turns towards Sharon and Angela who are listening intently, hoping to hear his side of the conversation.

“It’s really nice to hear your voice too,” she says, her eyes flashing and smirking. Angela’s pink cheeks turn a shade darker.

“I was just wondering, if maybe, maybe you’d like to go out to dinner with me sometime? Maybe next weekend, or something?” Rayanne raises her eyebrows.

“Ummm…yeah, sure. Okay.”

“Okay! Great! I gotta go, but I’ll see you at school on Monday?” he says excitedly.

“Yeah, okay,” she pauses, “Mmhmm. Yes, I would love to meet you in the boiler room on Monday!” Rayanne grinned wickedly at Angela’s horrified face. “Relax, he hung up.” Angela sighs in relief. “But he did ask you to dinner next weekend!” Rayanne pushes herself up to sit on the counter, self-satisfied.

“Oh, my god. Tell me you didn’t say yes! I can’t believe I even let you talk to him.”

“Well, why not?” Sharon pipes up. “I mean, you are over Jordan, right?”

“Yes! I mean, yeah. I mean, I don’t know,” she looks down at the table. “Something, um, something happened last night.” She looks up at her friends.

“You had sex!” Rayanne screams. “I knew you looked different today!” Sharon rolls her eyes, and then looks at Angela squarely.

“You didn’t, did you?” she asks hesitantly.
“No! We talked. Like, about us. And he, um, kissed me. And I may have kissed him back.”

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Post by BANGBANG » Jul 28th 2007, 5:19 pm

carlaisnt wrote:I think Brian and Angela's story could have gone in several directions. I think that at this point in time, Angela is just starting to see that Brian is a real person, and that it would be impossible (or just very unlikely) for her to develop nonplatonic feelings, even more so to admit them to herself or others, for him. Maybe it's easier for her to distance herself from him, and maybe that's unfair to him, but that's the way I see it playing out.

I like Brian too, he is one of the most realistic and complex characters. But I think any relationship between them, in the "present," is unlikely and uncharacteristic of both of them. I tried to portray a friendly distance between them: they talk awkwardly, but politely, associate with the same people, but they both know that their relationship could never be what it once was, and that's probably better for both of them. I think, eventually, Brian would have gotten over his feelings for her and they could have become friends, but their respective levels of maturity were not at points where a true friendship let alone a romantic relationship could occur.

Brian and Angela will have a plotline in the future of this story, but if you're unhappy with it then it's your prerogative not to read it. Thanks, BANGBANG, for reading, as much as you did.

I should probably stop being a baby and read more. Once I've finished watching Amelie, I'll come back to this and read the rest of the first part and the second part :]

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Jody Barsch*
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Location: Los Angeles

Post by Jody Barsch* » Aug 18th 2007, 8:44 pm

I can't get behind the Graham-Hallie-Patty storyline, but I really liked that last scene between the girls about the phone call -- almost every line seemed spot-on to the true nature of the show. I also liked the scenario of Jordan watching Angela with someone else. Thanks for sharing your story!
Sometimes I write a little MSCL fanfiction:
Also, after multiple V. Mars reiterations, and finally a Deadwood movie, still wishing for some continuation of The Riches !

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