DISCLAIMER: Scrubs and its characters are the property of Touchstone Television and NBC. No infringement intended.
CHALLENGE: Written for Passion & Perfection's Big 5000.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Her Alarming Lack of Malice
Jordan Sullivan is dead inside.
Sometimes, people don't believe her when she says that, but, no, really. It's true. She doesn't have ooey-gooey feelings for other people. She doesn't get butterflies in her stomach. Hell, she really doesn't even experience amusement unless she's winning, having sex, or making other people miserable (bonus points if she can manage all three at once.).
She realizes that that probably makes her just an eensy bit of a bad person. She'll be sure to put it on her list of things to cry about laterright under "I make my ex-husband feel inadequate" and "the nanny is on the verge of a mental breakdown because I verbally abuse her."
(Oh, what? Her parents were mean to her.)
The fact is, she's got other things to consider right now. Like botox, or the unnatural interest she's taken in the blonde-haired pile of neuroticism who's currently standing in the hallway outside of the boardroom. Especially that latter one. It's bothering her, and she really doesn't appreciate being bothered.
Don't get her wrong. It's not a fluffy bunnies n' rainbows type of interest or anything barf-worthy like that. It's not even really a nice interest because, to borrow a slightly modified phrase from Perry, Jordan is just not. that. gal. But it is an interest that's not entirely of the "I want to make her suffer" variety, and that? That doesn't make any sense.
The girland, yes, she does mean girlis a mess. Take for instance, right now: Perry is berating her in another of his little hissy fits. Jordan hasn't been paying enough attention to figure out what it's about (nor does she care), but it's one of those ones that starts with "Hee-ere's the deal" and has a lot of re-he-heeeally's in the middle. In other words, yawn. Boring.
Jordan would tell him as much, too, if it were her that he was directing his red-faced temper tantrum at. But it isn't. It's Stick, and, instead of just shutting him down like she should, she's staring down at her clipboard, flinching when he raises his voice and looking very much like she's going to burst into tears if Perry so much as says, "I mean, for god's sake, Barbie" one more time.
Jordan should be happy about it, she thinks as she reclines back in one of the ergonomic chairs she made Bob buy for the boardroom. Or at least a little amused; human misery is, after all, part of her enjoyment trifecta. But, honestly, there's something sort of pathetic about the way Elliot just stands there after Perry leaves, fiddling at nothing particular on the chart she's holding while she tries really hard not to cry. It makes Jordan feel like enjoying it would be... not too mean, because Jordan couldn't care less about that. Too easy?
Maybe. It's not like Jordan really likes a challenge that much, though. Truth be told, she's kind of lazy. It's best when opportunities to screw others over just sort of fall into her lap, like that time one of the incompetent interns lamented, "What else can go wrong today?!" right as she was walking by with a hot cup of coffee. But, for some reason, she watches Elliot swipe ineffectually at the piece of hair that's fallen over her big, glassy doe-eyes, and it isn't the same. It just seems like it would be almost like cheating to take advantage of the situation.
Except, when has she ever had a problem with cheating? Pretty much never, in any sense of the word (just ask her ex-husband and half the hospital staff). It's got to be something else.
The thought makes Jordan frown as she sips her overpriced mocha.
Maybe it's Perry. He really seems to like belittling Elliot, and, while Jordan can't really blame him, she does, impulsively, want to take away anything that pleases him. So that could be where the sudden urge she has to walk up to the little twink, brush the hair out of her face, and tell her to buck up is coming from. If the girl were to actually develop some semblance of a backbone, Perry would lose the ability to make those charming little rants he loves so much, and Jordan would win again.
That would be delicious, but here's the problem: her little plan wouldn't work if the things that Perry said about Blondie were actually true. Luckily, they aren't, but why does Jordan know that? Why is it that when she looks at the girl, instead of seeing a weak-willed ninnywell, instead of seeing just thatshe sees potential? How is it that she just knows that Elliot is way smarter and more capable than 99.9% of the friggin' hospital? And, more importantly, why the hell does she feel the sudden urge to help Blond Twig to realize that? Nothing about her belongs in the same paragraph as the phrase "urge to help," unless it's followed by the "someone 'fall' off a building."
"Stick," she calls from the boardroom. Elliot turns, startled. "Want to avoid that in the future?" Elliot glances around to make sure Perry is nowhere within sight and nods eagerly. "Come here."
Elliot gives a little smileall wide-eyed and nervousand hugs the clipboard to her chest as she walks into the room. And Jordan should be thinking "fresh meat" or "lamb to the slaughter," but, for whatever reason, it doesn't happen. Her actual thoughts are somewhere between, "she has nice hands" and "that shade of lipstick looks good on her." No desire to choke. No impulse to do a little ego-crushing.. Not even much temptation to lure her to the dark side. What the hell?
Then, it hits her. Oh God. I think I just puked a little in the back of my mouth
"Are you ok?" Elliot asks. "You look feverish." Her face scrunches with concern, and she sets the chart down on the table and tentatively reaches towards Jordan. When Jordan makes no move to snap at her like an attack dog, she gently presses a soft, cool hand against her forehead.
"Huh," she says after a moment's delay. "You feel ok."
And, the truth is, Jordan does feel ok. Really, really ok, even when Stick had the nerve to make physical contact.
And that? That is so not ok.
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