the west wing/gilmore girls. amy gardner. (josh/amy, some josh/donna) amy/jess mariano. 1500 words. r. this is pure crack but i got the idea of jess/amy in my head and just couldn't shake it. It's not about anything, really, except that she calls him a child and he doesn't like it.
you can't measure the mutual affection of two human beings by the number of words they exchange.
She takes a vacation around the same time that Josh does (with Donna – insert eye roll here).
She doesn’t buy a plane ticket, she drives out to New York, crossing state lines and street lamps and the stereo of her car is broken so she taps her fingers out against the wheel and sings till her voice is hoarse because she can and she’s alone and it feels great, actually, not weird at all and she has no idea why she pushed Josh to get someone because really, what’s the point of having people, anyway?
Her car stops at a red light.
The last time she broke up with Josh (she’s lost count, really, of which time it was) she said—
“I don’t need you to love me, you know.”
“That’s not a prize winning answer, Gardner.”
And she’d lifted up her glasses and stared into the smirk.
“You don’t have to love me as long as you respect me.”
He’d saluted her, she remembers. She laughs.
The light turns green.
She stops singing after a while.
The bar is empty. She lights up a cigarette.
“You can’t smoke in here?”
“What are you – the smoke police?”
Her words slur a little.
“Maybe you shouldn’t have anymore.”
“You’re not my mother,” she tells him, fingers tightening around her glass protectively.
The boy raises his eyebrows.
“No. No, probably not.”
She lowers his glass. He is sitting at the other end of the bar. There is a book at his elbow
and no drink.
“You know, I didn’t come to New York to get drunk.”
He shrugs. “Never thought you did.”
“I have better things to do with my life,” she mutters, low.
Before that trip? The one that Sam suggested?
He was actually fucking her. Not on a regular basis and they weren’t exclusive and they weren’t going to repeat history or go down any paths that they had gone before but somewhere along the campaign trail, they’d ended up in his hotel room, never hers and they weren’t drunk and there was no need to talk about it (they are both adults. Theoretically speaking, anyway) but it happened a few times and it was funny, always, being with him again, like some kind of landmark in the passage of time. His eyes didn’t light up in the dark anymore.
She is probably not going to forgive herself for thinking that.
He didn’t tell her about Donna, which was probably his first mistake. Donna told her about Donna, actually, with that small, confiding smile like she was sharing a secret and oh, god, she probably was, wasn’t she? She can’t really think of anything less pathetic than being one of Donna Moss’s girlfriends, which is probably mean but Amy – she doesn’t do that crap. She was the lone wolf in high school and college, too sharp and too likely to steal their boyfriends (okay, sometimes she did) and she’s never done the female posse thing. She didn’t do it then and she doesn’t do it now.
Josh didn’t tell Donna about Amy.
That was his second mistake.
Jess, the boy’s name is Jess – she kisses him first.
Actually, she knew he was going to do it but she decided to steal his thunder anyway.
Amy doesn’t like to wait for other people to make a move. It feels weak, somehow
"You think this thing would have worked out better if we'd slept together in college?"
Josh asked her this once when he was drunk. Very drunk. Drunk off his face. Josh wasn't a charming drunk, not ever. He was morose for the most part which meant every time he got drunk, she got drunk too and for some reason she is thinking of him asking that when she wakes up between the dirty sheets in Jess' dirty small apartment and reaching for the cup of coffee on the nightstand and she is thinking of it because something about that question seemed to imply that youth was the answer to everything and here she is,( “It’s good to know that the grand tradition of living like a pig if you’re in your twenties hasn’t gone out of fashion,” she'd sneered the first time she'd gone home with him and he'd grinned -“I like to think of it as comfy." “Of course, you do.”) sitting in youth's apartment, drinking his coffee as he slinks off to the hell hole he calls a day job and she is fucking youth, now, so what Josh, so what? Has she found the magic answer?
She picks up a book from his shelves one afternoon. Because this is supposed to be some kind of break for her and she doesn't have anything better to do.
She is halfway through before she realizes it's one of his.
(The women in his stories hold cigarettes. They roll of the page like real women. There is something about the specificity of it that scares her.)
There is no strategy to this, his hips moving up between her legs and the solid weight of two bodies in motion and the slow, soft beat of his breath panting on her skin, the heat veiling his eyelids and the room smells dark and sweaty.
There's no strategy to it at all which isn't nearly as comforting as she thought it'd be.
They're at a bar. She isn't drinking tonight.
"I read your book."
"That's it, yeah? You're not going to say "thank you, Miss Gardner for taking the time out of your incredibly important life to read my - "
"Should have bought it. I'd have been more grateful."
"How do you know I didn't?"
"There's a crease on the spine. I hadn't touched that copy."
"I don't really ever read my own stuff again."
"I can understand that."
"Did you bring this up because you had something to say?"
"Do you want to hear it?"
"Not particularly, no."
She twists her mouth a little. "Okay."
(Later in bed -
"You know, kid, you'd write better if you'd had your heart broken," she grins around the mouth of the glass and quirks up an eyebrow.
It's probably meant to be light.
"You're not as clever as you think, Amy.")
Before in the bar, that night, he'd asked her name.
The words are very careful, important the way words can be when you have too much alcohol in your stomach and not enough food.
"Hey, Amelia Gardner."
She'd put her drink down.
"You're not funny."
"Wasn't trying to be."
There is something about the way he smirks. She does not think he is mocking her.
She doesn't dance around in Jess' kitchen singing Van Morrison and drinking mimosas in the mid morning.
It doesn't fit in with what he wants from her, which is sex and the raised eyebrow and maybe a sharp remark thrown in every now and again to remind them both that she is smarter than him and older, with more degrees and accomplishments under her belt than he'll ever have and it's funny that she's been reduced to competing with a boy (who is not a teenager; she checked) and who never went to college and it doesn't feel reduced at all.
She doesn't dance around in his kitchen but some nights when he's asleep, she puts on his t shirt which fits strangely around her hips and stands next to the window and lets the light sting her eyes.
The lack of strategy seems to have amounted to a curious lack of intimacy.
She couldn't be bothered to understand it.
They only have one fight in the whole three
It's not about anything, really, except that she calls him a child and he doesn't like it.
She calls him a child and his face goes hard in a way that scares her and they scream for a while and fuck later.
(She laughs at him. He shouldn't like that, either.)
He's not romantic, which is a bit of a let down, really because she comes from a world of nuts and bolts and bleeding hearts and she'd have though that mr. bohemian writer guy would at the very least be more sentimental than stoic but Jess isn't, he's not at all and she keeps hoping that there's something she's missing, some puzzle piece or the other and is she being romantic, now because she can't tell?
After, she keeps up with his fiction in a sort of casual disinterested Sunday afternoon way and her mouth curves down as she skims over the pages.
None of his women are her. There was one who she thought might be but she died, anyway.
None of his women are ever her. She doesn't know why she thought they would be.
Back in DC, she leaves the lights of her apartment switched off.
The city crawls in through the windows.