DISCLAIMER: As usual, everything belongs to Sorkin. I just play.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
What Seems Like A Good Idea
"Are you sure you don't want to go?"
"Jeanie!" Harriet exclaims, with more than a hint of exasperation, "I'm absolutely, one hundred percent sure that I don't want to go! I already have plans for my evening, thank you very much, and partying with The Bombshell Babies isn't part of them."
"Harriet," Jeanie coaxes, "It's Halloween! C'mon, this is going to be one awesome party and everyone's going to be there, you can't miss it!"
"Yes, I can. Now would you please just let it go."
Jeanie heaves an overly dramatic sigh and rolls her eyes as she turns away. She's kind of been counting on having Harriet's company tonight and it never occurred to her that Harriet wouldn't want to go. She's disappointed because the two of them haven't spent much time together lately outside of work.
"Why are you so insistent I go anyway?" Harriet asks, after a moment of silence. "Half the cast and crew are going to be there, it's not like you'll have a shortage of people to talk to."
"Would you believe I just like your company?" Jeanie smiles, then shrugs as she turns around. "I guess I thought it might be fun. We could have a few drinks, dance I thought maybe it'd take your mind off Matt for a while."
"My mind is not on Matt," Harriet replies defensively. "It's true that I had a little relapse in that department, I know, I remember, but we're fine. Me and Matt, I mean. We're okay. And over. And fine with that."
"Uh huh," Jeanie says, shaking her head in amusement. "Of course you are. Because he's your boss and, besides, you don't have those feelings for him anymore."
"Exactly," Harriet nods. "It's exactly like that."
"Whatever you say, H," Jeanie says.
Most of the time, she wishes they'd just get back together. She figures that they will eventually, so why prolong the inevitable? But then there are other times when she wishes Matt would just forget Harriet and move on, because maybe then they'd have a shot at something more than just friendship sex, and still other times when she wishes for the same thing but it's Harriet she wants.
Between them, Matt and Harriet are driving her crazy and she can't help but remember how much simpler her life was before Danny brought Harriet to Studio 60.
"Have fun tonight," Harriet says, collecting her coat and bag. She pauses by the door and leans against the frame to watch as Jeanie puts the finishing touches to her outfit. "You look amazing, by the way."
Jeanie smiles at that and strikes a pose.
"Am I the sexiest witch you've ever met, or what?" she laughs.
"Definitely the sexiest witch I know," Harriet returns lightly. "Don't get too drunk."
"You can be certain that I will," Jeanie says cheerfully. "See you tomorrow."
Harriet waves and disappears and Jeanie watches her go with a familiar sense of longing. Harriet's never going to open her eyes and realise that Jeanie's admiration goes deeper than simply appreciating her acting skills, but Jeanie's had a long time to come to terms with that, and come to terms with it she has.
"Hey, Jeanie! Are you ready?" Samantha asks, poking her head into the room. "Isn't Harriet coming with us? I just saw her leaving and she's not in costume."
"She already had plans," Jeanie shrugs, summoning up a smile for her friend. "Is everyone else ready to go?"
"Yep," Samantha twirls the tail of her cat outfit, "Some of them have already left and the others are just waiting for us."
"Guess we'd better get going then," Jeanie says, collecting her bag and debating the need for a coat. "I'm ready for a drink."
"You, me and everyone else," Samantha says, leading the way out of the dressing room. "It's been a long week."
It has been a long week, no matter how much she loves her job, but one glimpse of her colleagues, dressed in a wacky range of horror-inspired outfits, and she feels a little bit better. They're a family, even if they're a slightly dysfunctional one, and she loves that.
"Nice choice on the outfit," Jeanie says as they join the others. "I like the ears."
"Thanks. I used one of your previous outfits for inspiration."
"I thought it looked familiar," Jeanie laughs. "But then, I think you were the witch last year, so we're even."
It doesn't take them long to make their way to the party and they enter in a group, blending into the darkness and scattering as they spot people that they know. Jeanie sees Tom and Simon and waves, getting a wave back in return, but can't see Matt or Danny, or Jordan for that matter, even though Jordan said earlier that she'd be there.
The stage is set in the centre and the Bombshell Babies, in Halloween-appropriate attire, are mid-routine. Jeanie leans against the bar as she waits to order and watches them, wondering which one is Matt's 'friend.' She's never met Wendy, only heard her name mentioned from time to time, but she's still kind of intrigued.
Jeanie turns to smile at Tom as he joins her at the bar, tearing her eyes away from the girls on stage. They're good at what they do, the Bombshell Babies, but she's not quite sure how their dancing here tonight fits into the theme of this party. Then again, it's Hollywood and anything can fit in here if people want to see it.
"Hey!" she greets him, "Having fun?"
"Absolutely," Tom says cheerfully. "I haven't seen Harriet yet though -- didn't she come with you guys?"
"She isn't coming," Jeanie tells him. "She had plans."
"With Darren Wells?"
Jeanie shrugs. "I don't know, she didn't say. Want a drink?"
"Sure," Tom agrees, letting Jeanie order for both of them. "Next one's on me."
"It's a deal."
"The Bombshell Babies are good tonight," Tom says, turning to watch the stage. "That's Matt's friend, you know -- front and centre."
Jeanie turns to look, identifying her this time and thinking that she does, in fact, look like someone Matt would date. And since Matt hates ditzy girls with nothing to say, Jeanie surmises that Wendy must have the brains to balance out her beauty. Life isn't fair.
"Wendy, right?" she says, handing Tom his drink.
"Yeah, that's the one," he says. "Thanks, Jeanie. You coming over to join us?"
"Yep," Jeanie nods, "Lead the way."
She follows him towards Simon, glancing over her shoulder at the stage from time to time. She's tempted to run into Wendy later, by 'accident' and introduce herself, even though she's not really sure why she wants to.
She's tired of crushing on the unattainable, and Matt and Harriet are about as unattainable right now as it gets, but she's also just tired. She's been doing the same thing for a long time and she's getting restless. She doesn't want to leave the show or change careers, she just wants something to break up her day to day routine.
She needs to find a date, she thinks with a sigh.
"Yo, Jean-o!" Simon greets her cheerfully. "Lookin' good, lookin' good."
"Right back at ya," Jeanie grins, taking a large gulp of her drink. Getting drunk is never the answer to solving her problems, but it never hurts either. "Lookin' a little pale there, aren't you?"
"Hey, ghouls are in this year," Simon laughs. "And besides, the role of axe-wielding psychopath's already been taken."
"For shame you did that so well last year."
"And this year Tommy-boy's trying to live up to my reputation," Simon says. "So I thought, what the hell, if he's stealing my costume, I'll steal his. "
"I'd mock your lack of creativity but since Samantha and I ended up doing pretty much the same thing, I can't."
"It's a sad day when a group of sketch actors can't come up with something more," Tom says, shaking his head in pretend disappointment. "Don't you think?"
"Speak for yourself," Simon counters, "I think it shows our, uh--"
"Lack of creativity," Jeanie finishes, fighting back a smile. "We have no excuse."
"No one cares tonight anyway," Tom says decisively. "Let's make with the drinking and forget all about it."
"Now, see," Simon says, "That's a plan I can get behind."
"Shots all round?" Jeanie suggests, draining her glass.
Simon smiles. "I like the way you think!"
Tom glances between them and groans as Simon gets up to head for the bar.
"I'm going to feel like hell tomorrow."
"Oh, quit your whining," Jeanie laughs, throwing caution to the wind and deciding she'll drink until she can't drink anymore. "It's a party! And we're not working in the morning."
"Last time we did this, it took me a week to recover!"
"You need to learn to hold your liquor then," Jeanie teases.
She looks up as Simon returns, balancing a tray on one hand, and her eyes widen when he puts it on the table. When Simon said drinking was an idea he could get behind, he clearly meant it, because they have three shots apiece in front of them and several hours left to go before the night's over.
"Nothing like starting slow, is there?" Tom mutters, picking up his first glass.
"Nothing at all," Simon agrees, handing a glass to Jeanie and taking one for himself. "Cheers!"
Jeanie lifts her glass and echoes the toast, and the tequila tastes good as it burns a path down her throat. The first shot is followed by the second and third, and then the fourth and fifth before Tom bails out, catching sight of Suzanne on the other side of the room and excusing himself to say hi.
Simon sticks around for a few more before he's tempted away to dance, leaving Jeanie to switch back to vodka as she makes herself comfortable on the couch.
They've been drinking for hours and the party's already hit its high notes and begun to wind down. One of her favourite local bands have taken the stage to round off the night, and she's been drinking vodka and coke between shots, so she's more than a little relaxed.
"Are you building a collection?"
"Of shot glasses," the female voice says, before its owner moves into her field of vision.
It takes Jeanie a minute to place her, mostly because her vision's started to go fuzzy around the edges, but then recognition kicks in.
"You're Jeanie, right?" Wendy says, perching on the end of the table. "I love your commedia sketch. I'm Wendy, I'm a friend of Matt's."
"The Bombshell Baby who signed a boot to help him make Harriet jealous?"
"That's me," Wendy sighs, in a way that suggests Jeanie isn't the first person to mention it. "These things really get around with you people, don't they?"
"We're close like that," Jeanie shrugs. "I saw you dancing before, you looked good."
"Thanks. I think the band's more popular tonight," Wendy says, looking unbothered by the fact. She sips at the drink she carries while Jeanie finishes the one she's holding and reaches for the other she'd left on the table.
"It's probably fifty-fifty," Jeanie says, and then decides that that sounded more encouraging in her head.
Wendy smiles and Jeanie waves her to a more comfortable seat on the couch.
"Make yourself comfortable," she says. "I'm drinking."
"I can see that," Wendy says lightly, taking the offered seat. "For any particular reason?"
"It just seems like a good idea."
"Lots of things seem like good ideas at the time."
"You're so very right about that," Jeanie agrees.
She stops and looks at Wendy as though she's considering something, while Wendy sips at her drink and stares out at the crowd. Wendy's pretty, Jeanie thinks idly, studying the way the coloured lights cast patterns on her hair, though she can't decide if Wendy's prettier than Harriet.
"How bendy are you?" she asks absently.
"What?" Wendy asks, turning back towards her.
"I bet you can bend like a pretzel," Jeanie says dreamily, tilting her head and fixing Wendy with an intense gaze. "Can you?" She falls back against the cushions and stretches a leg towards the ceiling. "I don't think I can but I could try wanna have a competition?"
Wendy pauses to admire Jeanie's own display of pretzel-like flexibility, but she knows that if Jeanie's skirt slips any further down she's going to be displaying something else altogether, and Wendy's pretty sure that won't do her reputation any good.
"Maybe later. I think you should consider going home."
"Don't want to," Jeanie says, reaching out to grab a handful of Wendy's top, pulling Wendy towards her. Caught off-guard, Wendy loses her balance and has to brace herself before she ends up in Jeanie's lap.
"This top is pretty," Jeanie says, studying it from up close. "You know, Matt stopped sleeping with me because of Harriet."
Wendy blinks, trying to follow the change in conversation with her lips only inches from Jeanie's. She has no idea why Jeanie feels compelled to tell her this, and no idea why she feels compelled to answer,
"Yeah, well join the club."
"It isn't fair."
"Life isn't fair. He's hung up on Harriet, Jeanie, that's just the way it is."
"Why can't he just get over her already, it's been months," Jeanie pouts.
Wendy isn't nearly drunk enough or sober enough for this -- she can feel the warmth of Jeanie's body teasing hers and she's really tempted to just lean in and kiss her, because, after all, she's not the one who put herself in this position. Fortunately, or maybe unfortunately, she's just sober enough to realise it's probably a bad idea.
"I don't know," she mutters, trying to pull away. "You wanna let go some time today?"
"Shouldn't that be 'tonight'," Jeanie says, her fingers still twisted in the fabric of Wendy's shirt. "I need a drink." She doesn't seem inclined to loosen her grip.
"You do not need a drink," Wendy says, "You're drunk. And, what?"
"You said sometime today. It's night, and I'm not drunk."
"You really are."
"I don't think so."
"Wendy. Wendy Bombshell Baby. Hey, do you like what you do?"
"Do you like what you do, you know, with the dancing and everything?"
"Yes," Wendy sighs, trying and failing to shift into a more comfortable position. "Yes, I like what I do."
"Does it pay well?"
"Does it matter?"
"I'm just asking," Jeanie pouts, using her free hand to twirl a strand of Wendy's hair between her fingers. "Am I not allowed to?"
"It pays okay," Wendy tells her, because it's easier than arguing, tossing her head to free her hair from Jeanie's grip. "Why? You thinking about a career change?"
"Maybe I am," Jeanie laughs, finally letting go of Wendy's top. "Do you think I'd make a good Bombshell Baby?"
"I think you make a good actress," Wendy says firmly, collapsing onto the chair next to Jeanie and stretching the kinks out of her back. "You don't want to leave Studio 60."
"Maybe I do," Jeanie shrugs noncommittally, resting her head against the back of the chair. "Or maybe I don't. I think I'm drunk."
"You think?" Wendy sighs, shaking her head in amusement. "Look, I'm going to see about getting you a lift home. You just wait here, okay? I'll be right back."
"But I don't want to go home."
"Jeanie, the party's practically over," Wendy points out. "Even I'm going home soon."
"Okay, so, let's go."
"Home. To your home. Do you have alcohol there?"
"I thought you just said you were drunk," Wendy says, rubbing her temples in an attempt to stave off the headache that's forming.
"I can still drunk when I'm drink."
"I think that should be 'drink when I'm drunk.' And you're going to feel bad enough tomorrow as it is."
"See, even drunk I'm fun. You're no fun."
"Actually, I'm a lot of fun," Wendy counters with a grin.
"So prove it," Jeanie says, fixing Wendy with a challenging stare.
Wendy's tempted, oh so very tempted, to do just that, but she knows better than to get involved with anyone connected to Matt. She has her pick of plenty so she's not sure why it is that Jeanie intrigues her the way she does; there's just something about her that makes Wendy want to throw caution out of the window.
Which is exactly why she needs to get away, right now, and find someone else to take Jeanie home, except the crowd has thinned out and the most easily recognisable members of Studio 60 are nowhere to be found.
"I don't have to prove anything," she mutters, draining the glass she'd put on the table earlier. "Jeanie--"
Jeanie kisses her, cutting her off mid-sentence and rendering her silent, and Wendy kisses her back because she's wanted to kiss her since she came up here. Her self-control only takes her so far, and it's no match for Jeanie the temptress after a night of drinking.
"Jeanie," Wendy whispers when they pull apart, "I'm not sure this is a good idea."
"I am," Jeanie says, resting her head against Wendy's shoulder. "I think this is a really good idea."
"You don't want me-- this. You're thinking about Matt, or --"
"Why is everything always about Matt and Harriet," Jeanie snaps, even though Wendy never mentioned Harriet's name. "I don't want either of them, they're welcome to each other."
"Okay," Wendy says softly. "Okay, I'm sorry."
She looks at Jeanie and Jeanie looks back at her, and she thinks she kind of already knows how this is going to end. When they wake up tomorrow morning and face the aftermath of their actions, she's not sure what'll happen, but the events that will take them to that point? Those she can predict.
"Forget about it," Jeanie says, dismissing the moment with a shake of her head and reaching out to put a hand on Wendy's arm. "Let's go home."
Wendy looks up at her and makes a decision, nodding her head slowly.
She's going to regret this.
"Let's," she says.
Return to Miscellaneous Fiction
Return to Main Page