A/N: I love Suzanne. Strangely, she is one of my favorite characters. Therefore, she got my undivided (ha) attention for a while. This takes place during Breaking News.
Disclaimer: I don't own Studio 60.
"Oh, Suzy…" says Matt, seeing the look. But he doesn't understand.
She will always remember this night. Specifically, she will remember this as the night before.
Her father is out, drinking, smoking, getting laid, doing drugs, buying her ponies, or whatever the fuck he did with his time when he wasn't aiming to be the sorry excuse for a man she'd come to wish he could live up to. He never tries.
Sure, she imagined that at one point, maybe when she was a baby, maybe when she still had a shred of innocence, that she could elicit some emotional response from him, some sort of protective instinct. But she is ten years old now, and he has given up.
She's trying to watch TV. The house is dark—her mother doesn't like the light on, ever – so everything is solely illuminated by the screen. This is Studio 60's third season, and Suzanne is in love. But despite that, her mother interrupts her every half hour or so for more pills, more water, more things with which to fill her in the place of life and joy.
It's raining. She should have guessed that something bad was going to happen.
Suzanne doesn't have a bed time, but there's a certain point at about two in the morning where her mother stops asking her for things, at which she can crawl under the covers. Tonight is different, because tonight her mother grabs her arm on her way out from saying a quiet goodnight.
"I love you, baby," she rasps.
It doesn't matter that Suzanne doesn't believe her. This is the one time she's remembered to say anything remotely loving or motherly to her that she can remember. The moon has slipped in and it whitens her gaunt face.
"I love you too, Mom." She thinks she doesn't mean it, but she is wrong.
Because in the morning when she finds her mother covered in blood, stiff, cold, she screams and sobs and wants to die herself.
"Danny?" She's meek, but that's how she's been feeling all day. This is a touchy subject, obviously. She knows Danny's going to lose his mind.
"What's up, Suzanne?"
And she knows that Danny and Jordan aren't having a great time right now; she had heard the shouting. But Danny is Matt's other half, in a strange but platonic and brotherly way. It has to be done. She is the girl to do it.
"I need to talk to you about something."
"Can it wait until after the show?"
"It's important. It's about Matt."
She hides, sitting on the floor behind her desk, arms wrapped around her knees. She feels like a child for the second time that day. She feels scared, but a cool calm has settled over her, because she knows that for once she's done the right thing. It's quite the juxtaposition; her head is spinning as she tries to keep up with the argument, the rapid back and forth, the sheer terror and urgency shredding Danny's voice up a few decibels. Matt is glib with his friend; the gentle sorrow he'd shown her was for her only.
But that would definitely be gone the next time she sees him, because Danny just gave her away.
She's wrong, again.
She doesn't know if it's the cautiousness in his eyes or the newfound understanding and resolve that comforts her. But it doesn't matter what she sees – the conversation will make the difference.
"I know you know I told Danny."
"I know you know I know." She wants to smile just at that, but she can't make herself. He will forever command and manipulate words in a way that awes her.
"You're going to stop?" Her voice shakes.
"I already did."
"And you're not mad at me?"
"I'm mad at me."
It's the truth, and maybe Matt knows it or maybe he doesn't, but he's brought her the peace she's been searching for for years.