When the Right One is the Wrong One
Author: Erin (erinm_)
Characters, Pairing: PJ and Bobby (mention of Andy, Stephanie, Ilsa, Jack Newman, Jack Briscoe and Papa Newman)
Rating: PG *nothing they didn't say on the show*
Summary: PJ needs to talk to a friend. Problem is that the only friend she wants to talk to is the one she needs to talk about.
Warning: post-John, Cougar, Newman Camp. *Written for Round 7 of prompt_in_a_box on LiveJournal. Prompt #12: You made room for me but it's too soon to see if I'm happy in your hands. (Love Song, Sara Bareilles)
Disclaimer: The original characters belongs to TBS and their respective actors.
Bobby was pacing outside on the patio. What had just happened? Damn Jack. Always Jack.
"Bobby?" He turned to see PJ standing behind him.
"Look, PJ, now's not a good-"
"I could really use a friend right now, Bobby. I'll be quick, I promise," she frowned and dug her hands in her pockets. Bobby sighed and nodded, shoving his own hands in his pockets. PJ pulled her hands out of her pockets and started pacing, trying to form a decent excuse for what was going on.
"So, I'm kinda stuck. There's this guy I really like. But there's a problem because of his brother. They have issues and I don't want to cause a fight, but I really, really like this guy and I might even love him but I can't tell him," she rattled off in one breath.
"Because of his brother," Bobby concluded, wanting to be anywhere but there. Their timing always sucked and having Jack making moves on PJ had just pissed Bobby off. He was getting married the next day and in came Jack: making everything about him, not helping control Dad and impressing all Bobby's friends with his act. But it wasn't even all that.
It was PJ.
The more time they spent together, the more he realized he wasn't ready for marriage. If he was, he'd be picking flowers with Ilsa. They would be deciding the menu and addressing invitations until three in the morning.
This wasn't Bobby and Ilsa's wedding; it was Bobby and PJ's.
He loved Ilsa, he was certain of that. But when he thought of life down the road – stupid things like mowing the lawn, paying bills or grocery shopping – he always saw PJ.
Ilsa wanted the life he had. He wanted the life PJ had. And, after everything, it was sitting with the gang that Bobby realized he liked his life. He wasn't ready to give it up and be a husband. Unless it was with PJ, because life wouldn't change. And he'd have less travel time on poker nights and a roommate on away game-days.
One away game with PJ is what started the whole thing. And every night he was stuck in a motel with Jack Briscoe – seriously: wasn't Jack Briscoe God-enough to get his own damn room? – he wished PJ was there.
And then she'd told him about Italy. She'd wanted to see what would happen and he was all about showing her the sights. Maybe something would have happened, but Stephanie showed up. They had a good time, but Bobby suddenly rethought the entire trip.
Every glance, every comment... every moment.
He'd completely missed it.
And then Ilsa happened. And PJ played the best friend and took it all. Every damn second. And the only reason he didn't choose PJ as his Best Man was because Ilsa didn't approve of a girl in the role.
But she was his first choice.
She must have been miserable, helping him with all the planning. He thought of the times she'd asked if he was moving too fast, trying to talk him out of thinking rashly and taking a step back. Did she want him to see her standing there? But she helped; she planned.
"Because he's getting married tomorrow," PJ said with a frown and moved to the closest chair to sit. Bobby said nothing as his brain reregistered everything she'd just said. She wasn't talking about Jack...
"But Jack was-" he pointed toward the hotel.
"He came by to 'talk'," she emphasized with air quotes. "-because I told him we needed to talk. I told him that the wedding was about you, he was acting like an ass and I that I was done. And he took that as 'time to stick my tongue down your throat'." She made a face and Bobby nodded.
That was Jack Newman, all right.
"Look," PJ said, getting up and pushing her hair back. "I don't want this to be weird between us, Bobby. You are happy and that's all I need. We can still do poker and we'll see each other at work and it'll just be one of those stories we remember when we're eighty," she rambled again and moved away from Bobby.
"We called off the wedding," he jumped in, a little quicker than he'd intended. PJ's eyes went wide and her hands flew to her mouth as she shook her head.
"Oh, God, Bobby. I didn't mean-" Bobby lurched forward and put his hands out, but didn't actually touch her.
"No, PJ, it isn't you. It was Jack, actually." PJ's head kicked back and her eyes narrowed. "And Andy." Bobby breathed a laugh and continued: "My whole life, Jack's always gotten what I wanted. And I always took it. Always. And the last few weeks... And Andy helped me realize something tonight: it wasn't Jack to blame."
"It wasn't?" She didn't understand. Bobby shook his head.
"No, actually, Jack is to thank. For once in my life," he smiled and took a step back. "I realized that I was marrying the wrong girl." PJ blinked and Bobby glanced down at his shoes. "I love Ilsa, but she's just not 'the one.'"
"But her green card, the guests, the food-" PJ started thinking logistics of canceling a wedding and not about what Bobby was saying. He laughed, simply because he could see the gears in her head turning. "PJ," he said, managing to get within arms' reach. She blinked again and looked at Bobby, who smiled.
"Would you like to go to Italy with me for a few weeks?"