A/N: I meant to write this a week before Christmas, but I didn't. So here you have the tweaked version of a completely random but slightly seasonal thought that I came upon more or less two weeks ago. I don't own Gilmore Girls, any of its characters (bummer) or anything mentioned in this one-shot that isn't, well…mine. I don't even own my copy of The Wizard of Oz, or this computer.
Italics indicate flashbacks.
It's in second person, I suppose, so bear with me.
Read at your own risk.
All read and no review makes Molly a sad writer!
She knows that it's entirely bizarre, not to mention completely unreasonable, but that's what you like about it, and what she likes about it.
You like it that you've taken all of the bad things with you, so there's nothing left behind for her to cry about. She likes it that…quite frankly, she likes it that you'll never sleep with anybody else ever again.
Both you and she remember when you decided that your fleeting – yes, fleeting – your fleeting romance of sorts was one of those impossible things, those little white stars in the sky that twinkle really brightly one night, but aren't there the next time. A week or two after Christmas, the lights on the houses and apartment windows came down, and even she rubbed her eyes…nobody's quite sure if they were ever there. They were nice, but they couldn't stay up all year.
It was ten years ago, but you think in minutes. It really, truly has been forever. You didn't put Christmas lights up this year because you would have to take them down eventually. After all, you never put them up anyway. You probably don't have any.
She has some. A whole box of pink icicle lights. You wonder where she found pink icicle lights – not exactly where, but who would make an entire strand of icicle lights bright pink. Glittery, sparkly, secularly pink dots snaked around the inside perimeter of her apartment. They weren't very practical for a city dwelling and took her years (or minutes) to hang, but for the nine years that you were there to see their annual revival, they were something you looked forward to.
When you sat on her couch that night ten years ago, her eyes were blue with a crazy neon glow in them from those icicle lights and you remembered the phrase "sky blue pink." It was a fleeting thought.
"You'll never change," she had said.
"Would you want me to?" you asked.
Ten years of the same argument – she would cry and hide her eyes from the fuzzy brightness of Christmas lights. You would say that at the rate you had been going for the past nine years, the whole damn thing wrapped up rather nicely.
Now, you think she must be the only person in the entire world who ever owned pink Christmas lights, not to mention the only one who ever loved you…loved you in that certain way where the next morning you rubbed your eyes and wondered if it had all actually been.
When he looked through her apartment window across the street, he saw a funeral parlor, a florist, and a candy store. His peripheral vision caught bright yellow taxis as they swarmed back and forth on black asphalt streets. It was four thirty, seven days before Christmas (10080 minutes) and she was hanging pink icicle lights.
"What's your favorite color?" she asked.
He could smell the beer in his own breath, and heard the plastic and glass of tiny light bulbs clacking on white walls.
"I don't really have one," he said.
"Guess mine," she continued, voice two parts bubbly, one part dry.
"Pink," he replied, the muscles on the edges of his lips tugging vehemently upwards. His mouth recognized a smile. He gestured with the brown bottle upwards, neck of it pointing at the coils of lights looped over her shoulder like a garden hose.
"Nope," she happily chirped. She was working on four hours of sleep, two cans of cherry 7UP, and an aspirin. He wasn't sure if he should be amused or worried, but settled in between and inhaled sharply.
"Three strikes, you're out," she warned, a warm sort of floaty giggle escaping her lips. She draped the never-ending string over a shelf, carefully weaving around the objects on top.
"Red." It was a full-blown smile now. Lucky for him, her eyes were on her lights.
"Strikeout!" Her butt did a little shake and he caught it out of the corner of his eye and grinned even wider.
Ten minutes later, she had rounded the corner of the wall and was standing, lights still looped and draped and criss-crossed haphazardly over her shoulders and arms, looking for a place to hang the next section. He put the beer bottle down on the dining table behind him and continued to count taxicabs.
"Do you want to know what it is?" she asked casually, voice three parts sincere. Her eyes drifted studiously over a few shelves before she began to untie the cords hanging over her neck, a pink-and-white piece of jewelry fastened in a peculiar way.
He laughed. It was as pasty as jewelry could get. He resolved to reread The Necklace.
"Do I want to know what what is?"
"My favorite color."
"Shoot." He threw her a lopsided grin to further persuade her of his mock indifference.
"That's my favorite color. Jess."
He really wanted his beer bottle back but his fingers had found their way into his hair. They always did when he was nervous. He turned to look at her, tongue sticking out of the corner of her mouth, light string grasped tightly between her fingers as she tried to unfold a stepstool with her feet. "You're a color all your own," she finished.
Ten minutes later he found his voice. "I lied before. I have a favorite color."
"Oh really? What is it?" She had re-looped the lights over her shoulder and turned her focus to him, eyes dancing. Eyes: one part blue, one part pink, one part lusty.
"Pink," he snapped smartly. She smacked him, so he kissed her. When he pulled away, she goofily threw a foot or two of glowing lights over his neck. "It's in your eyes, pink," he murmured. "Prob'ly why I like it, I guess." She kissed him back.
This thing you and she have going is bizarre, you think. She pretends it's normal but you both know it's not.
"There will never be anyone else for me, Jess," she asserts sometimes after you're done and she's lying stark naked on top of the sheets, knees bent and eyes focused on the ceiling. Her shadow is a pink glow because she put some pink lights in the bedroom this year.
When "it" (that fleeting romance with a foundation and terminology like 'girlfriend' and 'boyfriend') ended, you kept coming back though. And she always opened the door. And you had sex, or sometimes you didn't and you just talked or counted taxicabs or read books. You did things you both liked.
Sometimes she came to you. But then one day you weren't at your apartment, and she stopped coming. Because you were fleeting, like time and romance and the holidays.
You haven't touched anyone but her in nineteen years. You probably never will. And this thing you both have going is so strange and messed up, and you're both probably throwing away chances for weddings and families. But when you go, you leave nothing behind for her to cry about. She doesn't bring her work home much anyway, so there isn't a lot of paper lying around for those damned pro-con lists.
She hasn't touched anyone but him in nineteen years. And she has become especially fond of the color pink. After Jess, it is her favorite color.
Hearts will never be practical until they are made unbreakable.
This situation isn't practical anyway. At least they haven't broken much yet.
You're sleeping this Christmas Eve in her bed; it's one of those days (or nights) when you just show up. She's lying stark naked on top of the sheets and staring at the ceiling, eyes blurry and wet. All she sees are neon pink lights.
At least this "situation"…at least these lights aren't fleeting. Love and Jess aren't fleeting (although it seems so, they're not).
She rubs her eyes and it's all still there.
…And there's nothing left to cry about anymore.