Title: Espérances Abaissées

By: Megs

Rating: PG I'm guessing

Category: Penny/Jake (kinda, I guess.) Very angsty and dramatic.

Summary: Takes place before season finale, but after Jake broke Penny's heart. "Expectations were all she had left. And if she let her guard down long enough, they fell to the floor, leaving her to stare dumbly at him, not expecting him to do anything but stare dumbly back, shifting his gaze more than once to the leggy redhead behind her."

Archive: If you want. Just tell me where so I can visit.

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Website: http://www.geocities.com/silverbreece

Notes (PLEASE READ): For those of you who DON'T speak fluent French (And I'm guessing that neither of my two readers do) "espérances abaissées" transfers to "Lowered Expectations". (I think! If not I made an ass of myself in front of the French…AGAIN!)

I'm kind of proud of this, actually. Weird.

***

It was at 4:03 in the morning when she woke up.

The sun was creeping up from behind the mountains, but only barely, and it was that time of morning when every thing had an eerie blue glow to it, making everything seem smoky and ethereal and cold, despite the fact that there was a warm, once-sleeping body in the blue tinted bed.

Her eyelids rose gently at the breath of sunlight that had slipped its note below her door and she sucked in the crisp air that had doused her all night from the open window.

She rolled over, glad it was Saturday, planning away her day in her head. All of her gigantic plans would go on after she woke up of course, preferably in about seven hours.

Gigantic plans. Right. Maybe today after she woke up at eleven she'd go with Apricot Pineapple jelly as opposed to strawberry. That was basically what her sad little existence consisted of: food, work, and self loathing.

She knew that wallowing around in the self pity she hated so much was useless and childish. It was her own fault. She had too high of expectations.

High expectations, indeed.

Besides the variety of jam in her fridge, expectations were all she had left. And if she let her guard down long enough, they fell to the floor, leaving her to stare dumbly at him, not expecting him to do anything but stare dumbly back, shifting his gaze more than once to the leggy redhead behind her.

There was that self pity again. She grumbled to herself. Had she been wider awake she would have physically slapped or kicked herself for acting like a teenage girl.

She was a grown woman now. A grown woman who had seen life. She'd seen plenty of the reality she despised so much…but maybe it was *because* she despised it that she latched onto childish dreams.

She was much too old for childish dreams.

She knew by now that Richard Gere wouldn't walk into that stuffy TV station in his Navy dress clothes and sweep her off her feet. Take off his hat, and walk off into the sunset with her in his arms while "Up Where We Belong" played in the backround.

She knew it was corny and unrealistic, but she bought into the romantic ending. She wanted that. But she didn't want Richard Gere. She wanted Jake Silver.

And she knew that Jake wouldn't sweep her into his arms. No, but he'd die trying if he knew it would make her happy. It would be easy to command him to. She could walk all over him if he had the proper motivation. But she wouldn't do that to him. She loved him too much to do that.

As for the sweet, romantic love song, he'd be attempting to get the boom box to play Edwin McCain's "I'll Be", but the CD would be skipping all over hell and the batteries would die.

That was her vision of him now. At the beginning, it was even cornier than the Richard Gere ending. And if he ever realized for some reason that Dylan was actually a blood sucking bitch from hell--someone who, even if she *did* care for him, would trample over his heart-- he would do all that for her.

But, Jake never would realize that.

So she'd lowered her expectations. Pretty soon she knew she'd be lowering them even more. By the next time Jake said or did something to shatter all those visions, high or low, they'd be lower.

With her luck and *impeccable* taste in men, it would be Auto the bus driver from The Simpsons, carrying a boom box on his shoulder that's playing White Snake. And he wouldn't sweep her into his arms because she'd be too barefoot and pregnant for him to do that.

She rolled over. The sun was coming up now.

Did she have lowered expectations? Yeah. Would the expectation that he'd ever realize she was the person for him ever leave? Probably. But as for now she would rather just *have* her lowered expectations, because lowered expectations are better than no expectations at all. And besides the variety of jam in her fridge, expectations were all she had anymore.

***

Fin

***

Sorry to everyone who hasn't seen An Officer And A Gentleman. I totally gave away the ending to it in this fic. Oh well, I saw it coming, I'm sure you could too. =^.^=