The Cure

Part One - Jenny's Mistake

For a while now Jenny had been unhappy. The night of her fashion exposé at Bart and Lily's award ceremony had been her last good day; and it hadn't even been all good. She'd run to Nate and kissed him in excitement (her clothes were a hit), and it had been all downhill from there. Vanessa, Nate, becoming and becoming Queen of Constance, Jonathan, Eric. No good was coming from anything anymore and she couldn't stop it. She couldn't make herself fix it. She couldn't get back to who she'd been before all this mess. So she numbed herself to it all instead.

In the grand tradition of unhappy upper east-siders; she drank her misery and hid both it and her little misdeed from the world. But she couldn't hide it forever.

On a wednesday night Little J parted with her subjects and arrived home to an empty house. She deposited her things in her bedroom and changed out of her school uniform and into ripped jeans and a black sequined tank top. She tried doing some homework, gave up and flipped through a magazine before turning on the TV to see if anything interesting was on. By 8:30 PM she'd watched back to back Top Model reruns, made and eaten a box of KD, done 3 sudoku puzzles, read a scene from Hamlet and moved to a barstool at the kitchen counter. The house was still empty.

Jenny drummed her fingers on the table and then spun in the chair to look around, hoping she'd find something to do. Her chair stopped, facing her toward the Liquor Cabinet. Jenny bit her lip. She'd never taken alcohol from Lily and her dad before. She hopped off the chair and stood with her hands on her hips, starring at the cupboard door. 'Maybe they won't even notice' she thought to herself. Her hands dropped from her hips and she hesitated a second before opening the door and pulling out the first bottle she saw. Grey Goose Vodka. Jenny unwound the cap and took a gulp. The liquid burned a path down her throat and she covered her mouth with her wrist as she swallowed.

At ten o'clock Jenny was halfway through the bottle and standing just inside the front door contemplating the idea of going outside. She walked back to the kitchen, took another swig of Vodka and stoppered the bottle. She put the bottle back in the cupboard. On her way back to the front door she grabbed her coat off the back of the couch. She managed to get it on as she clumsily pushed her feet into shiny silver high tops. She barely remembered to lock the door behind her as she left. Once out on the street she found her way to the nearest subway station and got on the first train that came by.

At 12:24 Jenny was back at the Subway station near her house. She was standing off to the side trying to decide whether or not to go home when she was whistled at by a cute boy standing on a subway platform with a group of his friends. He had obviously drunk his courage. Jenny smiled and he nodded her over. She walked confidently, if not in a straight line, over to them as he stepped slightly away from his friends.

"Jenny." She put one hand on her hip and tilted her head a little to the side.

"Tyler." He looked her up and down.

"Introduce me to your friends?" she gestured faintly with one hand.

"No one special." His friends protested half heartedly before going back to their own conversation. "Join me for a walk outside?" He jerked his head in the direction of the exit and then backed toward it. She nodded, smiled and followed him as he yelled back to his friends. "Later, boys!" They laughed as the train whooshed to a stop beside them. They got on as Jenny and Tyler made their way up the steps onto the street. Once on the sidewalk Jenny was grabbed clumsily by the hips and pulled into a drunken kiss. It didn't feel right or even good. She didn't object. Her arms went around his neck.

"How about a little more alcohol before we move on?" Tyler suggested pulling back a little.

"Yeah." Jenny agreed and he took her hand and led her to the nearest corner store. She threw a pack of gum and a tootsie roll onto the counter and Tyler came up from the back with a six pack of beer, showed an ID and payed. As they left the store Jenny shoved the gum into the back pocket of her jeans and unwrapped the tootsie roll. Tyler opened a bottle of beer as they walked down the street and handed it to Jenny who put the tootsie roll in her mouth and then took a mouthful of beer. He opened one for himself, took a swig and then kissed Jenny full on the lips, sucking the candy out of her mouth.

"Hey!" she said playfully.

- - -

By the time they reached the last two bottles of beer they were back in Jenny's own neighbourhood, just down the street from the Bass/Humphrey apartment. Jenny stopped them on the corner. It was just after one in the morning and Jenny could not get caught outside her house, drunk and with a strange also drunk boy. She said as much to Tyler, who just snaked his arms around her and sloppily kissed the side of her face.

"Oh, come on. You can show me your room." He smiled and she giggled.

"No, seriously." she giggled again. "My parents are home. And so are my brothers. And my sister. I don't think they'd like you."

"Why not. I'm the perfect gentleman." His words were slurring together a little now and they were muffled by her neck.

"Doesn't look like it from here."

- - -

A/N: I'm not sure how long this will be. At least two parts maybe more. Review anyway! Perhaps encouragement will make me want to lengthen it. :P