Title: Something To Live For
Rating: T for normal teenage behavior.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Summary: One thing stands in the way of Josh and Andy's relationship, and it's not cancer.
Notes: SPOILER ALERT! This story takes place somewhere between "Between the Rack and a Hard Place" (the episode where Josh is accused of stealing money from the Rack) and "First Cut is the Deepest" (the episode where Josh and Andy go to "couples counseling"). So, basically – it takes place before Andy finds out she's in remission.
Spoilers: Nothing in particular, but I guess all episodes through "Between the Rack and a Hard Place."
Every second seemed like an ion. Josh wasn't sure if the bell would ever ring. He tapped his pencil anxiously against the edge of his notebook and watched the clock on the wall above his teacher's desk.
Finally, the second hand hit the twelve and the bell sounded. Josh had officially made it through yet another week of school. Now all he had to do was get through a six hour shift at The Rack and he would be free for the entire weekend to play video games and sit around doing nothing.
As soon as he heard the bell, he practically bolted out of the room and headed for his locker. He debated on simply ignoring the fact that he had history homework waiting in there, but he was trying to be responsible. And the new, responsible Josh did his history homework.
Josh quickly opened his locker, grabbed his history book and notebook, and shoved them into his backpack.
"Actually taking your homework home instead of doing it in homeroom? I'm impressed."
Andy was standing behind him with her hands on her hips.
"Yeah, well, I discovered that homeroom's better for something else."
He slammed his locker shut.
"You know, sometimes I ask myself what I see in you," she joked taking a step closer to him. Their banter was like a little game that they loved to play. It was just part of what made them perfect for each other.
"It's because of my charm, isn't it?"
"Yeah, that's it," she replied sarcastically.
He threw his arm around her shoulder as they began to walk down the hallway together. They made their way down the hallway and out of the building.
"So, are you coming to the Rack?" He asked as they approached his car. Josh threw his backpack on the backseat and got in the car.
"Can't," she answered, getting in on the passenger side.
"I thought we were going to hang out."
"As fun as hanging out with you while you're busy serving coffee to and flirting with hot chicks…"
"Me flirting? How about those computer geeks you sit there and bat your eyelashes at," he stated as he started the car and pulled out of the parking lot.
"I do not bat my eye lashes!"
They both glanced at each other and smiled. It was just another part of their little game.
"So anyway, what's the deal?" He asked.
"I've got dinner with my moms."
"What'd you do to deserve that?"
"Guess it's because they actually like spending time with me."
"What's wrong with them?"
She slugged him in the arm.
"Hey, no hitting the driver," he said, lightly hitting her on the thigh in retaliation.
"You just did that to cop a feel, didn't you?" She asked.
He shrugged as he pulled up in front of Andy's house. "Maybe."
She opened the door and went to get out when Josh pulled on her arm. She kneeled on the seat and leaned into his kiss.
"Call me later?" She asked, his fingers lingering on her cheek.
"If you're lucky," he answered.
She rolled her eyes and got out of the car. As she opened the front door, she turned back. Josh winked at her and she waved. It was just another one of their little things that they did. She walked into the house, closed the door, and listened to him drive away. He never left until he knew that she was safely inside.
"Is that you, Andy?" Andy's mom called.
"No, mom, it's Elvis."
She heard her mom laugh. It didn't take much.
"Can you give me a hand?"
Andy knew exactly where her mom would be. It was where she was almost every moment of the day.
She made her way through the living room and into the kitchen. Her mom was standing at the stove, stirring something in a pot. Andy walked over to the stove and looked at what her mom was making.
"Pink vodka sauce?" Andy asked. Her mom only made pink vodka sauce for very special occasions.
"Mhmm," her mom replied. Andy grabbed a nearby spoon and attempted to dip it into the pan to get a taste. "Not until dinner." Her mom knocked her spoon away with her hand.
Andy sighed. "What can I do?"
"Well, you can either chop," she said, pointing to two zucchinis and three peppers on the counter, "or toss a salad."
"How about I stir?"
Her mother shook her head. No one touched her special pink vodka sauce except for her.
"Chop or toss?"
"Fine, I'll chop," Andy decided. She washed her hands in the sink and grabbed a knife. She quickly rinsed each of the vegetables and began chopping them into small pieces. "So, what's the occasion?"
"Your mothers got some special news," her mom explained as she continued to stir the sauce. The key was to never let it sit and to constantly keep it moving.
Andy turned to look at her mom.
"What kind of news?"
"Just tell me it has nothing to do with skiing because last time she came home with exciting news, our weekend ski trip turned into a weekend trip to the emergency room."
"I promise, it has nothing to do with skiing. Now keep chopping."
Andy focused her attention back on the vegetables. She and her mom fell into their usual rhythm. Cooking was Andy's mom's favorite thing to do and Andy had inherited her love for the art. She knew that she would never be as good as her mother, but she still enjoyed working side by side with her. If her mom hadn't decided to be a stay at home mom, Andy knew she would have made the perfect chef.
Two hours later, Andy had chopped the vegetables, tossed the salad, and was finishing setting the table. Her mom was just draining some of her handmade linguini in the sink when her mother walked in the front door.
"Something smells delicious," her mother exclaimed as she dropped her briefcase and coat on the couch and entered the kitchen. She made a beeline for the stove where the sauce was sitting, waiting to be poured into the pasta. She went to dip her finger in when Andy's mom walked in from the dining room and swatted her hand away.
"You and your daughter are just alike," her mom said. "Now out of my kitchen."
"I thought this was our kitchen."
Andy's mother walked through the swinging wooden door into the dining room. Andy was just setting down the third plate at the table.
"Your mom is guarding that food like it's a government secret."
"Tell me about it," Andy said. "But it's worth it."
"How was work?"
"Oh yeah?" Andy sat down at her usual seat.
"Actually, I have a surprise."
Andy's mom walked through the door holding the large bowl of pasta in her hand. She set it down in the middle of the table.
"Now you two can dig in," she said, taking a seat.
Andy's mother also sat down and they began to pass their plates around the table. They each scooped a different food on their plate. Andy's mom was in charge of the pasta, Andy the vegetables, and Andy's mother the salad.
"So, what's the news?" Andy asked, shoveling a large forkful of pasta into her mouth.
"You know how my firm has been talking about opening a new office?"
"Well, I've been promoted to senior partner!"
"What? That's awesome! Congratulations!" Andy exclaimed, giving her mom a high five over the table. "When do you start?"
"Next Wednesday. Which means that we have to be ready by Monday."
"Ready? What do you mean?"
"Andy, honey, we're moving!"
Author's Note: Well, I haven't worked on any multi-chapter fics in a while and this story has been floating around in my head for quite some time. I hope you like the first chapter and hopefully the next one will be up very soon!