Happy Holidays Everyone!
This is a slightly-Christmasified fanfic for my good friend Eri, aka Alyson Tierney. She requested a Smarties fanfic for Christmas, so here one be :)
I hope you have a fantastic festive season, huni. You've been an awesome friend to me this past year, and I cant thank you enough. Oh, and Daisy says "Esh" ;) Love ya hun x
To everyone else, please know that I am not in fact a Smarties, but actually a Jam fan for life! Go figure...
Disclaimers are in my journal, and huge thanks go to Dizzy Dreamer, aka Sammie, for beautious beta-ing x
Christmas Eve. Whoop-te-doodle. This year was so close to being nice, like last year. But once again, Samantha had screwed it all up. Why wasn't she surprised? Martin had split up with her two months ago now.
She sat in her living room, curled up on the chair with a hot chocolate and the TV mindlessly chattering in the background. A knock at the door broke her from her reverie.
She set her mug down and padded to the door. Great. It just didn't get any better. Graeme Cline, more affectionately known as Neighbour Fish Lips by the residents, propped himself 'seductively' against her doorframe.
Fish Lips was the local pervert. He was the caretaker to the building and so loved it when the younger inhabitants' pipes froze or something. He had taken a particular liking to Samantha when she threw him out of 3B's apartment. He apparently liked that she could gladly kick his ass. Men.
"What do you want, Graeme?"
"Merry Christmas, 4A." he pouted, calling her by her apartment number. His salted comb-over was just the tip of the ugly iceberg. His face was scarred from past punch-ups with sunken grey eyes. His red whiskey nose protruded from the pale complexion that hadn't seen daylight in years, and his body hadn't seen a shower in just as long, judging from the stench. Samantha's nose scrunched up.
From the back he probably looked pretty decent. If you ignored the dirty, smelly clothes, the hair and the stench, maybe he was cute, once. Maybe. But when you saw the front you definitely changed your mind. The 'Fish Lips' moniker came from how he slimed his way into everywhere and anywhere, and how his lips always seemed to have a sheen to them. And not in the attractive way. Hence, Neighbour Fish Lips.
"Yeah, Christmas." she dismissed, keeping the door to her hip to stop him letting himself in.
"I'm going around everyone's place to check the windows are secure. Don't want Jack Frost nipping in while we're sleeping soundly, now do we?"
Samantha shuddered at his insinuating eyes. There was something very wrong about this guy. "The windows are fine."
"Now what kind of caretaker would I be if I took your word for it?" he pushed the door with his hand forcibly enough for it to slip from Samantha's grasp.
"I wont be two minutes, then you can get back to whatever you were busying yourself with." he smiled over his shoulder, making his way over to the windows that both he and Samantha knew were fine.
"Graeme just get out."
He prodded something on the window, then turned back to her. Samantha held the door open for him, but he disregarded her 'subtle' gestures.
"I have a present for you, 4A."
"I don't want it, Graeme."
"Oh, I'm sure you want it."
She rolled her eyes. "Get out, Graeme."
"What about a little kiss then?" he pulled out some mistletoe from his back pocket. She was surprised he didn't have to reach to the back of his knees to get to it, that's where the back of his trousers usually was.
"I think not." she gestured to the door again.
"I love it when women play games." he snarled.
"This isn't a game, I'm telling you to get the hell out of my apartment before I throw you out."
This seemed to spur him on. He walked towards her again, gaining on the distance quickly. When he got near enough, she pulled him forcibly so she had the power and spun him to push him through the doorway.
He stumbled backwards but grabbed the frame of the door steadying him and not allowing the gateway to close.
She sighed and threatened to slam the door on his fingers, when something moved over his shoulder.
This was all she needed.
Her momentary lapse in attention presented an opportunity for Fish Lips to squeeze past her and back into the apartment.
She stepped out into the hallway watching as Martin turned on his heel and walked off.
"Martin? Martin!" Her calls turned into a growl of frustration as he kept walking and rounded the corner. She teetered on her heels in debate of whether to go after Martin, explain everything and hopefully shoo the elephant that had been following them for the last two weeks; or kick neighbour Fish Lips out of her apartment, and most probably her underwear drawer.
Her fists balled, making crescent-moon shapes in her palms from her nails. That was when she remembered. She uncurled her fist, ignoring the angry red marks and focussed on what the psychic had called her 'love line'. She recalled what Hilda had said in their private session. Your problems with M will come to a head. A chance may arise for it all to work out, you have to take it if you really love him.
'If you really love him'. That had played on her mind repeatedly since the Hilda had said it. Samantha thought she'd finally decided, and even felt good about it, but then Martin sent her crashing back down to Earth with a painful thud when he broke it off.
This was their chance. It had to be.
Samantha shrugged her hands at her open door and took off after Martin.
The elevator doors pinged as they drew to a close. She passed her hand between them, instantly halting their progress and splitting them apart. She heard a sigh from Martin as she slipped into the carriage.
"What're you doing, Samantha?"
"Taking a chance." She looked to the cardboard box in his hands, "Why'd you come here?"
He followed her eyes "To give you your stuff back. I found some CDs and clothes in my place, thought you'd want them"
"Oh." Maybe this was a bad idea. He had obviously dealt with what feelings he had for her. Why else would he be returning her things? "Thanks." He handed them to her and went to click the doors open again. She spoke to stop him "So it's official then? We're no more?"
"It's what's best, Sam."
"Relationships shouldn't be as hard as ours was." The word 'cop-out' came to Samantha's mind.
"Anyway," he went on, handing her the box "looks like you've already moved on."
Her brow furrowed as she said "Moved on? Wait, Neighbour Fish Lips?" she pointed in the general direction of her apartment, where the man probably had his nose buried deep within her closet with her hairbrush probably in his pocket, (the big freak).
"That was Neighbour Fish Lips!" he pointed back as well, finally having a face to the name. Samantha had stopped over at Martin's a couple of times because of Fish Lips. Of course, that wasn't always the only excuse…
"He came over with a 'present' and his own mistletoe." She shuddered at the image "What you saw then was me trying not to be the crap outta him but still get him the hell out of my place." Her pointed finger curled back into balled fist, as her frustration returned "But that plan got a little sidetracked, and he's still in there doing… what? I don't want to know."
Martin's mind swam with the stories Samantha had told of Fish Lips and the other residents. "I'll help you get rid of him."
"I can do it myself." She practically growled, her independence threatened.
He sighed, they were back to the same problem she had. "I didn't suggest you couldn't, I just thought we could double team him."
"Oh, that could be good." she reasoned. She could get Fish Lips out of her home, would have gotten Fish Lips out of her home, but the promise of not breaking noses was to hard to keep, so Martin's help might be a good idea.
He clicked the doors open again, and surprised himself when his hand automatically fell to the small of her back. He pulled it back sheepishly, returning it to his side.
When they got back to her door, they saw that it was still how she'd left it, half open. Samantha quietly opened it fully and set the box on the floor. "Check the closets."
Martin nodded and followed her to her room.
They passed the kitchenette and through the open bedroom door to see nothing much. Fish Lips was either in hiding or had gone. She doubted it was the latter.
"Fi- I mean, Graeme?"
Samantha checked under her bed while Martin swung open the closet doors. He was nowhere to be seen.
"Graeme? If you're in there, get out here now" Samantha called again, staring at the en-suite bathroom door. Martin was closer so twisted the handle and threw it open. He checked in the bathtub and behind the door, nothing.
"He's not here."
"Huh, well that's a first." she said, sitting on the edge of the bed.
"He's been in your house before?"
"Not mine, a girl from downstairs though. She called me because she knew I was FBI and I had to throw him out. She didn't press charges, just moved out."
"I always am."
He just stood there for a minute. Eyes scanning the room he knew so well, but would never see again.
"It's not that easy, y'know," Samantha suddenly told him, "to deal with my 'problems'."
Martin's head fell, realising that she was talking about what he'd said when they broke up.
"They're not the kind of things that will be solved by a few sessions with Lisa…" she tucked a stand of hair behind her ear, "Or an episode of Oprah with a pint of Ben&Jerry's and a box of tissues"
"I wouldn't know, you wouldn't trust me with them."
"It wasn't that I wouldn't trust you, it's that I didn't want to burden you with them anymore than you already were."
"You wouldn't have 'burdened' me, Samantha. I'd have helped you."
"Nobody can help me, you need to realise that."
"That is the kind of attitude that made me leave you. You don't think about anyone but you. There were two people in our relationship."
"You don't think I know that? I can't believe you think that about me. I know I was stupid when we were together. I know that. That was why I changed. I realised that I loved you, didn't want to lose you, and thought 'Screw the office' and that I'd go to the wedding with you"
"You didn't tell me that." he looked to his feet.
"You didn't let me."
"What do you think now?"
"Whether you still love me or not."
"It doesn't matter anymore, does it? You've already given me the box."
"Just answer me."
"I still love you."
"I still love you." he sat down on the bed, "I'm sorry."
"No, it's me who should be sorry. It's just been a…mad year on top of 28 other mad years. It all just took its toll, that's all."
"I understand." he brushed a lock of hair from her face and leant in to kiss her.