The Perfectionist

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Rating: K-plus for mentioning kissing. Femslash, too, although from a moral standpoint I don't really believe that having gay characters automatically makes something "inappropriate." But I'll go ahead and give the warning, anyhow, if you're not into that kind of thing.

Notes: Let's be honest, season nine sucks beyond all conceivability. Declan and Fiona are the only thing holding my interest. I love pairing them, but honestly, even without that, I think their relationship is fabulous. So here's some more of that. This fic is inspired by two things: the line from 912 where Declan says, "When you're not happy, I'm not happy" (or really everything from that episode, so revealing of the nature of their relationship), and by awriterscorned, who mentioned something in her profile that sparked my imagination. Also, from my own experiences, being a femme who's into femmes can often lead to disappointment. This is a one-shot for now, though I'd like to write a follow up.

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Tears ran hot down my face, scalding and salty, smudging my brand-new shell pink eye shadow.

I had to buy the eye shadow, of course, to match the shoes that went with the new scarf. It's all in the details. It's all in the subtlety. To the untrained eye, you might not be able to pinpoint what it was exactly that made me look different than the other girls in the hallways. You wouldn't know what it was, but you would know that it was there. Carefully placed patches of color, meticulously stacked layers of clothing, the perfect hem, an exquisite neckline: everything delicately calculated to frame and accent all that is godly and feminine. I am walking perfection; I can't stand to be anything else.

Declan hovered over me, his face contorted in pain. He reached out his hand, softly cupping his fingers under my chin. He wiped away my bleeding eyeliner with his thumb. "Don't cry, Fi, you know I can't stand it," he said.

I closed my eyes, dripping more hot tears onto Declan's soft skin. I shook my head insistently, shaking away his hand, refusing to accept his comfort.

"I just don't understand," I whispered, choking on sobs. I folded my hands in my lap and stared at them, porcelain flesh against chocolate corduroy. Even in my dark and miserable moments, I couldn't stop thinking about color-coordination. "You get whatever you want, you always do. You can have anyone you want, and of all the girls, you had to pick her."

He let out a pained sigh. "It's not like I planned it, Fi… I just kind of fell for her. Isn't there any way you'll forgive me? What can I do to fix it?"

Declan loves me so much it's disgusting. It's frustrating and infuriating. He honestly believed he could just dry my tears and make it all better. He's always trying to save me from myself. He thinks he can fill the gaps that leave me empty. I guess he's just so used to getting his way, he thinks he can double that power and give me all the things I want, too. His devotion is tragic, because he's fighting for a lost cause.

I'll never have what I want, because what I want is perfection.

"You knew I liked her, Declan," I murmured uselessly.

"It's not my fault you keep getting crushes on straight girls!"

The truth stung like a thousand tiny needles. It was the glaring difference between Declan and myself. He flaunted his charm and affection all over the place, scooping up girls like they were lucky pennies, while I kept my desires quiet and secret, selecting only the most worthy candidates and lusting silently from afar. He got everything he wanted, and I only wanted the things I could never have.

I can't help it that my standards are high. I'm not a social butterfly like Declan. Call me an elitist, if you will, but I need someone who understands perfection the way I do. I noticed Holly J instantly, because she was a girl who wanted to be noticed. It's all in the details, you see. Perfectly manicured, pearl-smooth fingernails, precarious designer heels, outfits crafted to make her seem powerful and domineering, despite her petite figure. Her sense of style intrigued me because it wasn't necessarily the "in" look. She created her own "in." She created her own rules, her own standards, and enforced them with an iron wit. She craved control, and she wove her web with awe-inspiring skill.

She was walking perfection. I fell fast and hard.

Anti-social as I was, using my brother's sparkling status and my fake jock-stud boyfriend as shields, I became infatuated as I watched Holly J construct her perfect high school fantasy life. I began to bask in elaborate images of us as a power couple, with outfits that subtly and sophisticatedly complimented each other. The envy of cafeteria gossip. Romantic evenings at art museums. Warm sugar kisses and my own china-doll skin against her ginger freckles, fingers intertwined, perfect patches of girl side-by-side. My perfect girlfriend, the way I'd always dreamed.

But my dreams, as always, were a little too lofty. The perfect girl usually turns out to be hopelessly heterosexual, and in this case… hopelessly in love with my twin brother.

"I know," I told Declan, groaning in frustration. Frustrated that I couldn't be what he wanted me to be. Frustrated that I couldn't have what he had. Frustrated that I just couldn't be him. "I know it's not your fault. It's my fault, as usual. Always picking the wrong girls."

Declan put his hand on my shoulder. "I'm sorry, Fiona."

I sighed and shook off the caring grasp I knew so swell. "Stop feeling sorry for me. Why should you be sorry? She's yours, isn't she? Just like everything else."

I wiped away the tears, my fingertips now coated in shimmering pink dust and smeared black eyeliner, and marched off to the bathroom. It was time for a serious touch-up. Time to hide the tears again, put on that perfect doll-face again. Walk back out into the high school world where I was a goddess, untouchable to all the boys, waiting desperately for the dream girl that would never come.