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The one in which Gail gets drunk and then cries over a girl
By Kristina K


It's her own fault, probably. There's a reason why she doesn't gush and doesn't swoon and, generally, doesn't do the lovey-dovey stuff. Because it always comes back to bite her on the ass, that's why. And Gail Peck learned, years ago, if you keep it cool, if you keep your distance, the inevitable pain and heartache will be reduced to a minimum. And it worked, so far. Sure, she's still only human and sometimes you just cannot gauge the exact amount of feelings you're supposed to invest in someone. Situations differ, people tend to swerve off course and hit you from the side you least expect. Like Nick Collins. That was a pretty damn low blow he served her. And now she feels pretty damn good seeing him having his ass handed to him by the guy from 34th. Yeah, she likes to hold a grudge, sue her.

The sense of satisfaction dissolves, though, the longer the match goes on and she realizes she's starting to feel like Nick Collins looks and it's making her beer taste weird. She swallows and her throat is dry. She blinks and she feels her eyes burning. She exhales a shaky breath and realizes, oh god, is she gonna cry? Because, if she is, she better get the hell away from all these people. That's one spectacle she's not willing to host for anybody. But it's crowded and everybody from her division is moving in tighter around the ring because Nick is losing and they all feel the need to cheer him on, shout at him not to give up because he's got it, he can do it.

It's useless; she's already choking on tears and stepping on people's toes because her vision is blurry and by the time she's in the clear there's no stopping it. There's no one at the bar, thank god, so she swipes a bottle of vodka from a crate while she wipes at her nose with the back of her hand. Fuck you, Peck! Get your shit together.

She makes sure nobody caught on and is following her because if anyone were to assign all this snot and tears to her seeing Nick Collins getting beat up, drama of epic proportions would erupt. Fuck Nick Collins. Like she would ever cry a single tear over him again.

Also, fuck Holly. Because, yeah, she's the one Gail's all stupid about right now. She's crying over a girl. But, goddamnit, she was sure Holly was different. Shefelt Holly was different. Not just for the obvious reason, but no one. Ever. Made her feel like this so fast. She never cried because some stupid boy said something about her behind her back. She never felt so betrayed and let down by someone she met just a few months ago. But she is and she does. Because Holly is different. It's all different. And it hurts. And that's why she should have kept her mouth shut to Dov. This is what happens when she lets her guard down. When she gets unapologetically giddy, when she allows herself to act like a smitten teenage girl.

"You know what I'm talkin' 'bout, right?" Gail taps the bottle with her nail and then, satisfied with the dull ding, she sniffs loudly and twists the cap open. "Cheers!"

Ugh. She's too drunk for this right now. Chris is discreetly holding her up and, she's sure, once he leaves her side, she's just gonna thump against the wall, slide down it, and end up in an alcohol-soaked heap on the floor. That's gonna look spectacularly graceful and sexy. It's bound to leave a distinct impression on the lovely lady in front of her. In front of her door. Is Holly?

"Will you be okay?" Oh Chris, always the gentleman.


"She's a bit…" Chris explains as he moves carefully away to unlock the apartment door.

"Yeah." Holly exhales, "I'll make sure she's okay."

And then that's it. Chris is gone. Her mind is gone. But Holly's here. Yay, Holly!

"Maybe I should come back when you sober up…"

"Nonsense!" Gail waves her hand dismissively and it's a bad idea, because, uh, she's a bit equilibrium challenged right now? "I'm best at problem-solving when inebriated."

"Right. Well. I'm sorry." Holly wrings her hands. "I'm not sure what you've heard, what you think you've heard… but I would never—"

Gail lifts up her hand, "Lemme stop you right there, Dr. Stewart. I've done this many times. I have a knack at being at the wrong place at the right time, I knowmy stuff. 'Tis okay if you think I'm a loser, everybody else does, including my mother so yeah. I only cried a little, no biggie."


"I'm just gonna hate 'splaining things to Dov again, because, boy, that one sure always has a lot of questions, and just today he asked me why I never talked about you if I liked you that much and I realized, yeah, I should say things about Holly because Holly is pretty great and she makes me smile a lot which makes people think I'm on drugs or something because I do not giggle, Holly, I do not giggle and you made me giggle in front of people. And I said to Dov, I said: she makes me better. Because Holly is great, that's why."

Gail realizes then that she's crying again and it's even worse than ending up being a drunken heap on the floor in front of Holly, because Holly's seen her drunk out of her wits, stumbling around and slurring words. Holly's seen her cry, too, but because of other people, people whom got shot, whom were possibly dying. She was never drunk because of Holly in front of Holly. She never cried over Holly in front of Holly. And it's terrifying. It's paralyzing. It's so, so embarrassing.

"I'm an idiot." Gail sniffs.

"No."Holly moves in closer and, now that she has, Gail can see tears shining in Holly's eyes, too. She's crying over Gail. In front of Gail. "Well, you are. But not because of this. Not because of us."

"I don't like your friends." Gail blurts out and Holly laughs. "Rachel's kinda okay, but Lisa… Lisa, I do not like."

"Honestly, I don't like Lisa all that much right now either."


They share a moment. It's a moment, warm moment, where they do not speak, just stand there – some more steadily that the others – and look at each other. And fuck, Gail realizes, she doesn't regret saying things about Holly to Dov. All of those things are true about Holly, about her with Holly.

"I like kissing you, though." Gail whispers.


"You're really good at that."

Holly smiles, "Yeah."

"And I need to lie down because, dear god." Gail braces herself against the wall and closes her eyes in hope to lessen the wobbly feeling in her head, only that hardly ever helps.

"Here, come on." Holly wraps her arm around Gail's shoulders and steers her towards the apartment's door. "We need to get you to bed." Gail snorts. "…To sleep it off."

"And in the morning we're ganna talk about all the ways in which Lisa sucks."

"Yes because, apparently, we're ten years old."

So far it worked, the whole keeping the distance, keeping it cool. And then Holly came and she broke it. The system doesn't work anymore. She still gets drunk in the way of fixing the problem, but now she also cries. It's because she cares. She cares so much.

She's fucked, basically. Yup, that's right. Fucked.

The End

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