Being Erica: The Josh Chronicles

Disclaimer: I OWN NOTHING.

Summary: For you poor souls who have never seen or even heard of this show, FIND IT. I recommend this to anyone who loves humour and sincerity.

Anyways, it's about a woman named Erica Strange who is having a tough time. She's thirty-something, single (though not all the time. Ethan: cute best friend, but married; Ryan: cute, Josh's best friend, Ethan look-a-like, has potential; and Josh: semi cute, and as of today, her brother-in-law), unemployed and overly educated (has a Masters degree). One rainy evening when her blind date bails she stepped into a coffee shop and is offered a sample of their almond latte (she has a nut allergy). Needless to say she had to be rushed to the hospital and received a weird visit from an even weirder psychologist, Dr. Tom. She decided to meet with him and he makes her write down all her regrets. In each episode she goes back in time to revisit one of her regrets and has to decide whether she would do anything differently.

Note: I'm kind of having an obsession with song fics now.

In this chapter the song I've used is called "Can't Behave" sung by Courtney Jaye.

The term "lady garden" I borrowed from the trailer of the movie "The Ugly Truth" which will star Katherine Heigl (from Grey's) and Gerard Butler (from P.S. I Love You)—I find that euphemism very funny.

Anyways, as I was reading this story over again I realized there are some discrepancies. So I've changed the story a little bit. Instead of Josh driving the car (which he wouldn't be able to at 14) I've invented his older brother named John (who is a year younger than Erica). And I've changed the time line. I think it will make a big difference to how the story is read. So I hope this makes it better. Feel free to write a review.

Pairing: Erica/Josh…eventually

Enjoy!

Chapter One: Can't Behave

Fifteen years ago…

I remember my prom vividly. Well, the day of the prom actually. The actual prom is still kind of fuzzy. If anyone has any video, sign me up please!

I went because my sister Sam had just started to date a cute ninth grader named Josh and she desperately wanted to go with him. I tried to talk her out of it. She would get to be able to go to her own prom in four years. But she told me that by then she would be a jaded twelfth grader (like myself) and not want to go. Instead, she told me, she would probably end up puking her guts up at some biker bar with Josh. I thought it was pretty presumptuous of her that she would still be dating this guy, but who was I to judge. I never had a relationship with a man, never mind a boy, that lasted longer than two weeks. I couldn't think past two weeks. It seemed like a century to me.

"Erica!" Sam shouted.

"In my room!" I answered.

Sam nodded her head at my room. "Josh can you ask her if she's done her hair yet?"

Josh rolled his eyes, but complied. I heard a knock on my door.

"Just a minute," I replied to the knock. I heard the door open slightly. "Just a minute Sam," I shrieked.

I frantically tried to turn the damn electric hair razor off, but it got stuck in my hair. Not on my head. You know. It was there.

I whirled around in my chair. "Sam, I said…" I stopped cold. I quickly tried to cover myself, but not quickly enough.

"Your not Sam," I accused Josh angrily. "I told you to wait outside."

His eyes immediately drifted downward as I tried to cover up my "lady garden" unsuccessfully. His mouth made an "O" and then covered his mouth as he started to laugh.

"No," he said, his eyes sparkling with laughter, "You told me 'just a minute'. I waited a minute and then came in."

"God!" I muttered. "You are so annoying!"

"What's going on?" my sister, who had just walked up beside Josh, asked me.

"Oh my god! Erica!" she shrieked as she tried to cover up Josh's eyes.

My sister nodded her head towards the blinded Josh. "Can't you be a little more discrete? We have a man in the house?"

"God, are you the incarnation of a fifties housewife, or what? I told him to wait outside," I told her, annoyed.

Sam, although pissed off at Josh, turned him around towards the door still covering his eyes.

"Come on Sam!" he sighed. "It's not like I haven't seen everything already!"

Sam smacked him on the back of his head with her other hand.

After they left I turned on the radio. With nothing on, I started singing a song I heard last week. Last week, as in last week when I turned thirty-two. I became obsessed. I should totally sing it to Sam. If she knew what I know now, it absolutely applies to her life.

I've got eyes in the back of my head/your halo is turning red/fooling around, knocking me off my cloud/they're talking about your mischievous ways/boy, it's painted all over your face/stealing a kiss, mysterious whispers, a thorn in my pride, I'm still by your side

I wore this hideous green monster to the prom. It was sea green; according to my mother it highlights my red hair and my eyes. But I looked like fish out of water.

"Oh my god! Erica?" gasped my best friends, Katie and Jenny. "That dress!"

"My mom picked it out…" I whispered.

"I'm sorry…what was that Erica?" Jenny asked loudly.

"My mother picked my FUCKING dress!" I screamed at her.

Both her and Katie looked shocked at my outburst. My sister and Josh stood in the doorway shocked. That was probably because they'd never even heard me so much as raise my voice before.

I looked down, ashamed. Softly I told them, "I didn't have time to go shopping, okay?"

My friends looked up just in time to see Josh walking towards us, obviously furious. "Are you okay Erica?"

Embarrassed that I had to be rescued by my younger sister's boyfriend, I didn't even look at him as I waved my arm in nonchalance and muttered, "I'm fine." My friends and I walked away laughing.

Now that I come to think of it I probably shouldn't have done that, especially with what happened after the dance.

It was almost three am and my friends and I got kicked out of the hotel for making too much noise and then almost arrested for drinking all the mini bottles of vodka that were kept in the mini fridge. By then I was very out of it and waiting for a cab, when Josh's brother's car pulled up by the side of the road. My sister rolled down the window and yelled, "Erica! Get in the car!" As I could barely balance myself standing upright, my sister had to get out of the car and lay me on the back seat. As we drove I kept feeling sick and passing out. I remembered thinking, if this was what drunk felt like I think I'd like to pass.

By the time we reached our house, I vaguely remember that my sister told Josh that she couldn't bring me in the house looking like that. So his brother John told her not to worry and that he would let me sleep it off in the car and bring me back tomorrow. I recipe for disaster I would say.

I've only been to their home once before and his family lived five minutes away. But that night it seemed like twenty. The next thing I know is that John has stopped the car and Josh has opened the back door.

"What the hell are you doing?" I moaned in pain and dizziness.

"Shh…" he said as he climbed in beside me and laid my head on his lap.

The last thing I remember is Josh stroking my hair and repeating, "Shh…it's okay…" Like I'm some kind of invalid.

I woke up the next morning with a headache that felt like an anvil dropped on my head. Although I tried to sit up I felt too dizzy to even see straight and lay my head down again. Josh, on the other hand, was snoring lightly with his head was resting on the back of the car seat. We must have looked anything other than innocent because I woke up again to the shrieking of my sister.

"How could you!?!" Sam is screaming at Josh and punching him in the chest. "How could you!?! And with my sister!"

My sister didn't speak to me for a week after that incident. When our parents sat us down and told us that we would have to eat mushrooms for a week (we both think they are vomit inducing) we became best friends again. But she refused to tell me if her silence was because Josh came to my rescue or if it was because I blew him off afterwards.

But one day, I'm walking away/the tide is gonna turn, I'm gonna find my place/give me a reason to stay/I wanna be your lover/baby, but you can't behave

"Erica?"

"Josh?"

"Yeah."

"Hang up."

"I need to talk to Sam."

"You don't need to talk to anyone." So I hung up on him.

Remember the days and the Hollywood nights/what happened to paradise/stolen away, I can't replace it now/cause rumours are flying that I can't avoid/are they true or am I paranoid/living like this is driving me crazy so make up your mind/your running out of time

Josh ambushed me two months after that fateful day after the prom.

"Erica, I need to talk to you."

"Go away," I told him angrily. "My sister hates you, so I hate you too."

"You don't hate me," Josh flirted.

"I do," I replied, "and you need to leave before Sam catches you here. Do you want another dent in your head?"

Josh moved towards me and pushed me into the circular bush in front of my house.

Sam was watching us from her window that faces that street and was fuming.

The door opened and Jenny entered her room and jumped onto her bed.

"What's up?"

"How dare she?"

"How dare she what?" Jenny asked confused.

"How dare she make a move on my boyfriend!" Sam cried.

Jenny moved to the window where Sam was looking out into her front yard. She saw Erica and she saw Josh. They were playful and laughing and running around like children. She shook her head.

"I don't think anything is going on," she said seriously.

"I wish that were true," Sam said sadly as she turned from the window. "I wish that were true."

But one day, I'm walking away/the tide is gonna turn, I'm gonna find my place/give me a reason to stay/I wanna be your lover/baby, but you can't behave

"Can you forgive me?" Josh asked as Sam sat beside them on their picnic.

She shook her head. "I don't know."

"I didn't do anything wrong," he claimed.

"It's not that. I feel that you are more comfortable with my sister than you are with me."

"I love you," Josh said as he cupped Sam's face with his hands. "But I think you already know that. I love you. Not Erica."

He shook his head. "Definitely not Erica."

Ease all of my worries/please don't make me play the fool/baby won't you hurry/you don't know what you're gonna lose

Four years later…

"I'm leaving tomorrow."

Sam looked at Josh in shock. "What?!?"

Josh looked at her sheepishly. "I know we promised that we were going to work through our issues, but I need to get ready. I mean I'm leaving for British Columbia for God sakes. I need to get ready."

Sam was still staring at Josh incredulously when I popped my head through the door. "Sis, did you want some lunch?"

I wasn't sure whether to acknowledge Josh or not, so I said, "You're welcome to stay for lunch Josh?"

He shook his head "no".

"My mother needs me at home right now," was his lame excuse. Then he got up and walked right past me and out the door.

But one day, I'm walking away/the tide is gonna turn, I'm gonna find my place/give me a reason to stay/I wanna be your lover/baby, but you can't behave

Sam sat on my bed. "Do you think Josh loves me?"

I almost choke on my yogurt. "What?"

"Do you think Josh loves me?" she asked again.

"I think he would be stupid not to."

"But do you think he loves me?" she asked once more.

I looked her straight in the eyes and said honestly, "I have no idea."

Baby, but you can't behave

It was August third. It was Saturday August third and all I could hear was yelling. It was so loud that it was almost shrieking.

"I hate you! I hate you!"

Sam was throwing things at her wall. They were things that echoed so I could hear them from across the hall. I remembered being surprised that nobody but myself could hear this. This racket.

"I hate you and I wish I never met you!"

Some more things were thrown at her wall. But this time they were probably her textbooks from her first year psych class at York.

"But tell me this," Sam's voiced seemed to be getting louder. "Was she any good?"

Then, silence.