Disclaimer: I do not own Coupling.
A/N: Yes, this took a very, very, VERY long time for me to update, but I don't seem to get a moment of time to myself any more. So now I have one, I think I'll update. Thanks so much to everyone who reviewed before. It means a lot to me, it really does.
Three Days to a Wedding
Sally had been planning this for weeks. Her ultimate secure-Patrick-for-life-and-make-sure-he-doesn't-see-other-women plan. And 'seeing other women' also meant on tape.
Patrick was still asleep when she woke up. Good, that gave her an opportunity to continue with her plan. She slid out of bed and crept out into the living room in her dressing gown.
The sun's rays were slowly coming through the blinds, illuminating the furniture, and the twelve dozen or so boxes Sally had already started to move in for after the wedding. Soon, this would be her apartment too. Smiling to herself, she stepped gingerly towards the Cupboard of Patrick's Love, and opened the door.
The shelves, once abundant with labelled tapes, now stood all but bare, and Sally was glad Patrick had apparently not noticed. She hadn't dared get rid of them all at once, so every week for the past four months, she had been sneaking a garbage bag full of them out, and disposing of them (sometimes quite violently).
She ran her fingers along the shelves, murmuring to herself. 'Hmm, now who shall go today?...I think…Rose, Rebecca, Kate and …Sarah. I've never liked the name Sarah. Sounds like a woman with huge, child-bearing hips who smells like Christmas cake. Imagine Patrick going out with that instead of me!'
Susan and Jane's tapes had been the first to go, along with all the others whom Sally had actually met. Being able to put a face to a video frightened her- it made Patrick's conquests all seem more…human, and thus more of a real threat. Now, she had just fallen to picking an armful of random names.
From the other room, Patrick yawned, and muttered something about waitresses. Sally froze, clutching the black bag, but her fiancée didn't wake up, and so she crept out with her hoard, hoping to throw them out and be back before he noticed she was missing.
'You know, the oddest thing happened to me today,' Jane told her friends as they met in their favourite coffee shop.
'The odd thing would be if nothing odd happened to her!' Susan whispered to Sally, who rolled her eyes in agreement.
'I had got up early, hoping to bump into some gorgeous night-shift worker on his way home that I could ask to the wedding…'
Susan narrowed her eyes. 'The point?'
Jane sat down. 'Well, I was going past a small alleyway, and I saw a woman who looked just like you!'
Sally blanched. 'Me?'
'Yeah, she had this big black bag, and she was jumping up and down on it!'
Sally plastered a smile on her face. 'What? Why would I be jumping on a bag, I mean, that's really silly, I was at Patrick's this morning anyway, really, Jane, I think you should see someone, hahaha!'
Immediately she kicked herself for falling into the prickles, blurts and headlaugh routine, but her friend was already carried away with a different topic.
'I need to find a date for this wedding! I can't go on my own, what would that look like?'
'Jeff asked you,' Susan said, 'why don't you go with him?'
Jane looked at her like she had grown two heads. 'With Jeff? With Jeff?'
'Well, why not?'
'Because I'm not desperate!'
They sipped their coffee in silence for a while.
'Well, you've got three days, Jane. Three days to meet Mr Right!'
Jane was eyeing her phone with a wily smile. 'Don't worry, girls, I got a plan!' She dialled. 'Hello, can I get a taxi to Tottenham Court Road? Preferably with an attractive driver? Blonde, if you've got one…'
Susan and Sally looked at each other. 'Not desperate, eh?'
'I can't believe it, I mean, I thought me and Jane really had something good goin' there!' Oliver said. The boys nodded. 'And the 'ole time she's seein' other guys. Well, Oliver Morris, you certainly can pick a girl. What's so wrong with me, anyway?'
He made to sit down, tripping over the arm of the chair and landing in an awkward position.
'Great girl, that Jane,' Jeff said. 'Great arse.'
'Jeff,' Steve groaned, 'there are other things that make a woman a good catch, other than their arses.'
Jeff looked affronted. 'Like what?'
'Well….there's…oh, Patrick, help me out here!'
'Their breasts,' Patrick added.
'Oh, I almost forgot their breasts!' Jeff said, grinning at his best friend, who merely shook his head.
Oliver dusted himself off and stood up, noticing that the others were no longer paying him any attention. 'Sorry Patrick, mate, I don't think I'm gonna be able to come to the wedding now.'
'Well, I got no-one to go with- I'm no way goin' with Jane after what she did. Who does she think she is, anyway? I'm a woman-killer, I mean a lady-murderer, I mean a….oh, never mind, I could get any bloody girl I want! Patrick! I'm comin' after all!'
He swaggered with great determination towards a girl sitting at the bar. 'Hey, baby, how does a weddin' sound to you?' he leaned towards her and waggled his eyebrows.
Steve, Jeff and Patrick looked away and cringed at the sound of the slap.
'Have you told him about you and Jane yet?' Steve asked Jeff, his voice lowered, glancing over his shoulder at the man who was now asking another unfortunate girl.
'Nah. I didn't think it right to. Anyway, she hasn't fully said yes, it's more a sort of partial arrangement.'
'Partial arrangement? Not fully said yes?'
'Yeah, well, the truth is…I need a date, Steve.'
'Sooo….' Jane crossed her legs, taking advantage of the very short skirt she was wearing. 'Would a gorgeous guy like you be free on Saturday?'
The man gave her a look. 'Madam, we're very busy today, would you please place your order or go to the back of the queue?'
'Cor, this bus stop, eh?' Oliver said, simpering at the girl he was sitting next to . 'These buses, eh? Bloody buses,' he laughed nervously, 'Bloody things…' It was only then he realised the girl had caught the bus and was riding away from him.
'Wow! You can walk!'
The girl's eyes widened at the Welshman who had cornered her.
'You know, people today ride in far too many…cars. Falling into the car rut.'
'Yeah, you know, one day you're an innocent pedestrian, and the next thing, you've bought a car and are riding to your doom… many people have become prisoners of the car rut.'
The girl took a step backward, then another, then another, her pace quickening.
'Hey, wait, you fancy going to a wedding with me?'
She turned and ran as fast as she could.
'Car rut?' Jeffrey put his head in his hands. 'Oh, Jeffrey.'
'Yes, okay, I'll pick up Baby Steven!' Jane said, 'Honestly, Susan, you'd think I had nothing better to do than get your baby from childcare!'
'Oh, I forgot you'd gone on a mad man-hunt! How's it going? Got a date yet?'
Jane sighed. 'No. All the men I asked, they said they were busy!'
She paused, memories of her rejections flashing through her head.
Excuse me, this is the men's room…
I have a girlfriend…
Are you going to sign for this parcel or not?
Madam, you're wasting police time. You're only supposed to ring the emergency services if it is ACTUALLY an emergency…
'Oh, Jane,' Susan said, and Jane turned her attention back to the phone.
'When you pick up Little Steven, you need to sign him out with Mr Parker…'
'The administrator. He owns the childcare.'
A saucy tone crept into Jane's voice. 'Oh, administrator, you say?'
Jane hung up angrily.
At five in the evening, Jeff's doorbell rang. Slumped over in his disappointment, he trudged over to answer it.
'Oh, hiya Jeff! Love what you've done with the place!' Jane strode into his flat uninvited, and parked herself on the sofa as if she owned the place.
'Yeah, I was just on my way home, thought I'd pop round, have a drink with Jeffrey, I thought…'
'You coming to the wedding with me?'
Jane looked defeated. 'Yeah.'
Jeff looked at her for a moment, and then leapt up and down! 'Yessssss!'
He pranced around the room, grabbing his phone and dialing manically.
'Steve! I've got a woman!'
I know, not the best update, but I've planned the next chapter already (it will feature Patrick and Sally's stag and hen parties), so stay tuned! I'll try and update faster this time. Cheers :)