Title: Are We Done?
Rating: PG (for talk of clubs and drinking)
Fandom: Sports Night
Characters: Natalie Hurley, Jeremy Goodwin
Word Count: 904
Warning: Spoiler alert, season 2, episode 14
Lot 60 was, without a doubt, the most difficult club to get into. She wasn't sure exactly how Dan had managed to get her name on the list, but she didn't care. She was going to spend the night with her boyfriend at Lot 60, and she was going to have a great time.
Natalie loved clubs. She loved the energy surrounding her, energy that was so different from what she felt at work. At work she was always hurrying around, helping Dana make sure everything ran smoothly, trying to keep Dan and Casey focused. And while she loved the adrenaline rush she felt during a show, sometimes she needed to feel that energy without having to worry about what horrible things could happen at any moment.
When she was out at those clubs, she could just have fun. People liked her. She wasn't in anybody's shadow on the dance floor. Oh sure, everyone at work loved her, but it wasn't the same. At work, Dana was the one everyone looked to for answers. She was the one they called when things went wrong. She was the one they expected to fix everything. Natalie was just there as a backup. Someone to fix things when Dana wasn't there.
But on the dance floor, no one looked at her because someone better wasn't there. She didn't have to live up to anyone else. She could just be herself. Just dance and drink and have fun with a bunch of people she didn't get to see on a daily basis. Sometimes it was nice just to chat with people whose lives didn't revolve around sports.
And sometimes it was nice to see Jeremy pushed out of his comfort zone. When they first started dating, he made her feel like she was the most beautiful, interesting person on the planet. Now she felt like an outdated almanac. Fun to look at every now and then for comparison's sake, but not something you need have in your possession all the time.
So, yes, maybe her motives for wanting Jeremy to go with her weren't one hundred percent innocent. Maybe she did want to make him a little jealous. It seemed like the right thing to do. He spent so much time making sure she knew he thought he was better than she was, making sure she knew how lucky he was that he wanted to be with her. It was like he forgot that she was a desirable woman, and it was her job to remind him of it. If he wouldn't take her word for it (since she was, after all, always wrong), she would just have to let the boys on the dance floor tell him.
Jeremy tried to be a reasonable person. He understood that relationships were about compromise. What he didn't understand was why he always had to be the one to give in. She didn't want him playing tennis with an old friend, but she was allowed to get drunk and dance all over some guy she just met? Was she trying to get him to be more like those people? Because he would never be one of them. He valued himself too highly to ever become one of those people who wore uncomfortable clothes and acted miserable just because it was the cool thing to do. He had valued Natalie too high to consider her one of those people, either, but now he was being forced to reconsider.
What was so wrong with staying in with your significant other and relaxing after a long day at work? He couldn't fathom why Natalie wanted to spend all day running around at work and then immediately go out and spend all night on her feet. Where was the thrill in that? And if she really wanted to dance, why couldn't she dance at his place? She knew he wasn't comfortable dancing in large groups of people, but he would have danced with her at home.
But she didn't want to dance with him. She wanted to dance with the guys with piercings and tattoos. The guys who threw about words like 'irony' without having any idea what they actually meant.
And he would've put up with it. He always did. Every time she dragged him to one of these ridiculous places filled with people who had spent most of his adolescence making him feel like he should be ashamed for being smart, for doing his work on time, for caring that he got into a decent college. These were the people he put up with for her, and she didn't even have the decency to let him make fun of them? That was asking too much? Really?
She looked him in the eyes. "Are we done?"
"Yeah, we're back from commercial," he said, turning toward the door. He wanted to be angry at her for doing this to him, for making him doubt why he was with her in the first place, but he didn't have the strength anymore.
"No, Jeremy," she said, her voice quiet but determined. "Are we done?"
He wished he could go to her and tell her no. That they could work this out like they had everything else. But you can only have the same argument so many times before you just stop arguing back. It's not worth it. She's not worth it. He wishes she were.