slybrunette: (weeds. a/n. we've all been warned)
[personal profile] slybrunette
title: with band-aids and safety pins
fandom: weeds
character/pairings: andy(+/)nancy. really up to reader interpretation.
rating: r
word count: 2,526
author's note: last monday i was expecting a fight that i didn't get, so i wrote one. this is more cathartic than anything else, and it's one of those single scene post-eps that i used to write years ago, so this is an odd change of pace for me, personally. unbeta'd.
summary: post 'vehement vs. vigorous'. he's taken to locking things up.

He’s taken to locking things, apparently, and she doesn’t know if he suddenly decided to become the responsible one or if this is his idea of rebellion but he fucking padlocks the back room of the bike shop and then locks himself in the apartment. She doesn’t have her key and he has her bag and this presents a problem of sorts, namely that she has to beg him through a door to let her in.

And it was turning out to be such a great day.

“Dammit, Andy, just open the fucking door,” she pleads, and there’s a pause, a note of hesitance, between the moment when he crosses the room and when he opens the door. For those few seconds, there’s just the sound of his breathing on the other side of the door, and it catches her off guard, the sudden contrast. Between the softball game and Zoya, it’s been a whirl of shouts and curses, bats smacking balls and the sound of glass shattering, and to have this, to suddenly have everything fall so silent that she can hear something as simple as the way another person inhales deep before they undo the lock, like they’re preparing for battle, makes her mouth go dry.

She’d expected irritation, for some reason. Had caught the eye rolls and the way he had held himself tightly together, her bag in between them and no part of him touching her, and on some level she’d marked it down as abnormal, as a peculiar departure from the way his shoulder would always bump hers and his hand would fall against the inside of her knee, but that was as far as it went.

There’s a lot on her mind, these days, and sometimes she forgets the details in favor of the big picture.

What she gets is defeat and her bag in his hand, already held out, permission to take it and be on her way, and it’s the ambivalence that worries her. It’s the ambivalence and the silence and the locks on the fucking doors that make all those little details start to coalesce and come sharply into focus.

She takes the bag and pushes past him anyways.

This is her first mistake.

“You left early,” she says, navigating limited floor space in the heels she hasn’t yet ditched. There are saws on tables and ladders against walls, a lone hammer half hidden underneath the edge of a blanket and spare nails on the floor to trip her up. The type of obstacle course that will get someone killed and he is content to leave as is. Rebellion, not responsibility, she decides. “Doug went into ‘roid rage and my boss tried to hit on me.”

Her back to him, she can’t see his face. “I thought your boss was Doug.”

“My boss’ boss.”

“You know you can sue for that sort of thing,” he tells her, and she laughs in a way that doesn’t quite land right, just sounds like a short burst of blown air accompanied by the shake of her shoulders. When she turns to face him, pivots on her heel, he isn’t looking at her. He’s looking at one of his bikes leaned up against the far wall. She frowns, intentionally moves into his line of sight until his gaze is level with her hips and he finally looks back up at her. Doesn’t say anything.

“Why did you leave?”

“Oh, yeah, I’m not finished setting up yet. Still had a few things to do while we’re being…fumigated.”

“Right, like padlocking the door so that Silas couldn’t get back into the store.” It’s her usual brand of sarcasm, amped up to eleven, and she thinks that’s shame that causes the corners of his mouth to fall. Something like regret tugs at her chest and there are times where he’s uncooperative and crass and she wants to push, wants to scream at him just as much as she wants to tug her own hair out, and then there are the times where he’s almost fragile, vulnerable, this man who put her on a pedestal, once upon a time, and that’s when she fucking hates him. That’s when she wishes she hadn’t told him she wanted him to come with her back in Ren-Mar, when she wishes she’d kicked him to the curb back in Agrestic.

She hates him and she hates herself for fighting him when he looks at her like that.

But, then, he doesn’t look at her like that much anymore. He doesn’t look at her at all, sometimes, and when he does he just looks old and tired, distant. He looks the way that she feels, and it’s a joke, when people say that, only she’s not laughing. She hasn’t truly laughed in a long time, really, not the deep, all-encompassing kind of laughter that makes your sides hurt and leaves you breathless.

Andy used to make her laugh. She used to like that about him.

He’s looking at her now, though. He’s looking at her like that now.

“This is about the weed, right? You’re pissed at me.”

“I’m not pissed – okay, yeah, I am pissed. The bike shop was going to be my thing. My completely normal, one hundred percent legal, contributing to society like a good citizen, thing. And you fucked that up. Granted, yes, Shane fucked that up, but Shane? He would do anything for you, short of setting himself on fire, so this is about you. All you. As usual.”

It’s that last part that eats at her. As usual. There’s venom behind that, she can taste it, and it’s a knee-jerk reaction when she says, “Fine. If you’re so unhappy here, why don’t you just go back to Copenhagen? I mean that’s your fucking dream right? Femke and – Hygge or what-the-fuck-ever. You don’t have to be tied down to me anymore; I release you. Go back and…do your thing.”

He laughs. Short and laced with anger. Disbelief, maybe. And then it starts. “You really don’t get it.”

“Yeah, I think I do, Andy.”

“You think I was happy in Copenhagen? You think anyone was happy in Copenhagen?”

“How am I supposed to know? You don’t talk to me about it. Silas doesn’t talk about anything but business and how I ruined his life and Shane – I don’t even know where he is half of the time. You came back and you all acted like everything was just fine.”

“When exactly was I supposed to say something? The time you showed up high or the time you asked me to babysit your grenades? You don’t fucking ask.”

“Well, I’m asking now.”

He goes quiet, for a long moment, his jaw tense. Her eyes are damp at the corners and she tries not to dwell on that, passes it off as a consequence of the rollercoaster day she’s had, of the anger and confusion and hurt that’s practically bouncing off the empty walls. It makes her want to crawl into the bed by her feet and sleep the rest of the day away, and she thinks she might have been done with this fight before it even started.

They both might have been.

“We were miserable. Shane’s girlfriend fucking hated him, Silas’ modeling career was tanking, and I thought about running a country for about five minutes, except I hate politics. I just like the people, and I wanted something to do something that was important for once. So, we were miserable. We were miserable and we were waiting for you, even if we shouldn’t have been, and we came back to find that you were never waiting for us.”

Absent the hostility, he just sounds raw. Raw and so very, very quiet.

“I mean, it’s called Wonderful Wonderful Tours, Nance. Did you think that didn’t mean anything? Copenhagen was for us. Whether or not we ever were an us, that was…” he sighs, resigned to it, “that was you and me and the kids and a chance at a normal life. And maybe it was stupid to think that was something you were cut out for, or any of us were cut out for, but I wanted to try. We were supposed to try and then we didn’t.” He shakes his head. “I’m not trying to blame you for that, not anymore, but don’t for a second think that jetting off to Copenhagen fixed everything.”

It’s not quite the gut punch that she expected, the hurled accusations and variations on a similar theme. You do this. What you sacrificed was your family. Your fault, your fault, your fault. It’s not anything she can deny or fight against, just cold, hard truth that she’s being made to stare at. Copenhagen wasn’t all it was cracked up to be and Andy holds himself just out of reach in an effort not to be pushed away any further. Like the dog who doesn’t want to be hit again and learns to stay at a safe distance.

Outright blaming her would’ve stung less.

She trades standing for sitting, dropping her bag to the floor and following it onto the bed, folding her legs underneath her as she does. It’s all very fluid and it’s all very sudden, but she’s sinking and he’s just standing there, caught between relief and guilt.

“You can have the bike shop back.” It’s an instinctual concession, and it isn’t hers to make. Silas will fight her on it and Shane will remind them that it’s his money, but she’s not thinking about that right now. She’s thinking short-term, looking for a quick fix that’ll draw him back in because she may be blind but she isn’t stupid. This doesn’t work without him. She needs him. “We’ll have our stuff out by the end of the week, I swear.”

The corners of his mouth tease upwards but it’s fleeting and it’s the grimace that sticks. “You know that isn’t what this is about.”

“Any chance it could be?”

There’s far too much hope in her voice and she regrets it instantly. She has this pervasive fear of showing her cards too early, and it’s not that she’s trying to avoid giving him the upper hand – Andy’s never done anything with that but relinquish it, ever the grateful masochist, and it’s the lack of a challenge that’s kryptonite to the adrenaline junkie, it’s what breaks them down before they can ever get going in the first place – but that she’s trying to avoid admitting that all she has for him are band-aids and safety pins. Nothing else. Temporary fixes, all of them, and he wants to believe that they can be more than they are but they can’t. There is no change. There is no better. There is only their approximation of it, a week in Dearborn where they were finally a cohesive unit working towards a common goal without the manipulation tactics and the guilt trips.

And that won’t ever be enough when he won’t stop reaching for the fantasy that’s long been out of his grasp. He wants what he can’t have, and maybe the logic follows that once he does have it he won’t want it anymore. She thinks of that sometimes. She thinks of what that means for her.

“I don’t want the bike shop,” he says, and her curious eyes make him elaborate. “I mean, I do – want the bike shop. I just…that’s not what I’m after here.”

“What do you want?”

She’s wholly unprepared for him to collapse next to her on the bed. Collapse, not sit or settle, an involuntary action, and it’s like the air goes out of him. Boundaries disappear and there’s that warm, familiar weight of his body against hers that she can’t help but lean into. She looks at him and he looks straight ahead, talks just as much with his hands as his mouth when he says, “Don’t cut me out.”

“I didn’t – “

“No, no, no, don’t turn this into an argument.”

“I’m not turning this into anything.”

“Yes, you are, with the denial and the, gasp, what, me, never. Don’t do that.”

“You know, you’ve really gotten hostile in your old age.”

“Let’s not forget, I’m Judah’s younger brother, which makes me how many years younger than you?”

That’s not really a question she wants to think hard on, so she does the brave thing – which also happens to be the stupid thing – and tries to refocus him. Ensnares his wrists and tugs, which has the effect of both jerking him forward and throwing him off that train of thought. They end up eye-to-eye, her body turned towards him, and their limbs a little more tangled than could be reasonably explained should anyone walk in.

But, then, the door is still locked.

“Andy,” she sing-songs.

He turns suddenly, uncharacteristically, serious. “I’m not just the owner of the store you’re using as a front, okay?”

“You’re not. I know you’re not.”

She gets it now that the shop was a front in more ways than one, a convenient target to direct his bitterness towards. He never really expected her to change, for three years in jail to turn her around where years upon years of domesticity didn’t, even if he had hoped, futilely. He moved on from that. They always do, mobility over stability, and she might not have killed his desire to stop, to put down permanent roots, but she may have killed his ability to.

If there’s a moment, where her hand drops to his, holds for a count of three and squeezes, he breaks it quickly. Says, “Also, I don’t know if you’re running off all the time to visit a fellow inmate that you had a secret, tawdry, ladylove affair with or if you’re actually schtupping the CEO, but checking in on Silas and his model brigade every once in awhile might not be the worst idea. He fancies himself the businessman but that’s really more Shane’s deal, and you’ve been there and done that…sort of – why are you looking at me like that?”

“Tawdry ladylove affair?” She pretty much stopped listening after that point.

“It’s not like that’s totally out of the realm of possibility.” Her eyes must be exceptionally wide or her mouth must be hanging open, something, because he gets this knowing grin on his face that spreads fast as he says, “Oh, wow. You do. You really – wow.”

“Don’t even – “

“There’s no chance I could get in on this is there?”

“And there it is.”

“Was it just the one, or…?”

“Okay,” she stands and grabs her bag, “I really do need to be going. Now.” He makes no move to stop her, just watches her navigate across the apartment, his thumb scrubbing over the back of his hand, where hers just was, subconscious reaction. “But I’ll call. And check in on Silas. And – “

“Don’t worry about it,” he says, a dismissive wave of the hand that acts as a sharp contrast to the tension of five minutes ago. She’s never been much for saying sorry.

She hopes that he gets that she is.

Date: 2011-08-16 02:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh this fic.
Oh Andy.
Oh my darlings.
I just...THIS is the Andy I want to see in the show again! This is the Andy/Nancy that I want to see in the show again. I feel like this is a confrontation (especially the stuff about Copenhagen) that really needs to happen between them. I just want them to be building to some release with them on the show, y'know?
Also, this section

She hates him and she hates herself for fighting him when he looks at her like that.

But, then, he doesn’t look at her like that much anymore.

Basically broke my heart. So perfect.
When do you start writing for the show?

Date: 2011-08-16 03:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm waiting for them to fight. I've been waiting for them to fight pretty much since the third episode when she was firmly back in the drug business and he knew. You know how every time they're sitting somewhere for a long period of time, like the bus stop or the various waiting rooms, there's some kind of fight? Yeah, I so thought that would be them at the softball game. Alas. So I wrote this. Because I miss them and, I don't know, I needed this to happen on paper if not on the screen. Especially because I feel like we've had nothing but Andy/Nancy tension for two seasons and then they just kind of...drop the ball. Then again, it has been three years for them. It's only been a handful of months for us.

Haha, if I could get a job on this show, I would be on a plane to California in a heartbeat. Do you hear me writers? lol.

Thanks so much hun! I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

Date: 2011-08-16 09:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This is fantastic; you have their voice spot on and I would love to see this kind of tension between them played out on the screen because damnit, writers, their relationship is a thing, don't you get it?

Date: 2011-08-17 12:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I swear, I don't understand what the writers are doing this season. Did they forget the last two seasons? Or the last six? This is totally a thing and it needs to be dealt with ASAP.

Thanks so much hun! I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

Date: 2011-08-17 12:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Okay, seriously, why haven't I watched this show yet? If it's ANYTHING like what I just read above, I need to get on that ASAP.

Date: 2011-08-17 12:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Girl, I love you. Like. How you went about reading this and making some sense of it enough to like it is beyond me but I hope you watch. There is not nearly enough people in this fandom and these two would probably turn you into a pile of goo like they have me.

Thanks so much for reading this hun! I really appreciate it, especially since you're unfamiliar with the fandom and all. That's really sweet :)

Date: 2011-08-26 03:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
New reader here...just found this site. Love it! The comment posted about how you totally get their voice is spot-on. I've been waiting for a big fight/confrontation all season, too, and it's been oh so underwhelming. I will always maintain that the bonds between these two characters are what make/break this show. It's felt like a ghost of its former greatness without the "always drama," as Shane put it so eloquently.


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