AN: Hey, guess what? I did the numbers, and it turns out that my first Lip Service fic (Misery Loves Company) was my fiftieth fic, all told. That doesn't have anything to do with this fic, I just thought I ought to commemorate the milestone.
Never Get the Girl
Tess had been Cat's friend first. The Glasgow lesbian scene wasn't all that large, after all. Cat had brought her home to meet the family because, unlike a certain bisexual girl's wanker of an uncle who will remain anonymous, they were not evil fucking bastards, and still loved and were proud of her.
Gee, Ed, tell me how you really feel about him.
Ed was a writer and Tess was an actress. They bonded over the fact that they were both "empty-headed artiste types," and from there a friendship bloomed. They became mates, and then best mates, and then, one day, Ed had a pair of realizations.
The first realization was that he hadn't of been on a date in several months. The second realization was that he had to realize that he hadn't of been on a date in several months. This, he realized, was something that required a little examination. It's not normal to simply forget to date. Alright, so why does one date? To get laid?
Heh. Ed could remember Jay's little speech on the subject:
"Oh, please! Dating to get laid is like buying a 747 for free peanuts. Getting laid is easy—if I tried, I could end up going home with someone here inside of a half hour; dating is hard. Sure, lads say they date for sex, but lads are wankers who don't know what they're talking about, ever, about anything. No, dating is not about sex. I mean, I'm a 'player'—and I put that in air quotes because I find the idea that being one takes actual skill just so laughable—but I still date sometimes, because we are all of us hardwired to seek someone to love. That's what dating is. It's hunting for love." Then he started hitting on some waitress, and was leaving with her about half an hour later.
But it got Ed thinking. Dating was about love. How did you know you were in love? What was love? Ed thought of all the various love stories he'd heard, read, and watched on TV, from the ones with the classic Hollywood happy ending to the ones that went horribly, horribly wrong. Sometimes, someone would step aside so that their love could be with the one that they love, so love was selfless. And sometimes someone would shoot someone who had scorned them and then themself, figuring that "if I can't have them…", so love was selfish. Love brings out the best and the worst in people. It shows us at our most altruistic and our most jealous. But what was it?
Love is a glorious loss of common sense, an addiction to another human being. Yes, that was it—love is a drug. That's why some people fly higher on it than they've ever been in their lives, while others become junkies and lose their souls to it. To be in love is to be intoxicated by another human being, to have the endorphins fire from the mere sight of them or sound of their voice.
So if Ed wasn't out seeking to score this drug, it must mean that he was getting his fix fulfilled elsewhere. But where? And he got to thinking: Is there anyone who I'd rather hang out with than do anything else in the world? Is there anyone who the mere sight or thought of can cause a smile to spontaneously sprout on my face? Is there someone whose happiness I care more for than my own? Is there someone whose smile and laugh cause shivers of delight to run down my spine? Who do I care about most in the whole world?
And that's how he realized that he was in love with Tess. Fuck.
Normally, when you fall in love, you pursue it, and then either you live happily ever after or they break your heart and you move on (or if you're a certain nameless wanker's bisexual niece, you panic and break their heart, instead, but she has issues), but that doesn't happen when the person you fall for can no more return the feeling than she can jump to the moon. It wasn't anyone's fault that they couldn't be together, it was just the fact that Tess was a lesbian and Ed, well, wasn't. And that's not really the sort of thing you can one-off.
Logically, they could never be together, but logic has nothing to do with love. There was no emotional pain or betrayal attached to the reason it could not work, so it didn't really register. And so Ed was trapped in the roll of hopeless suitor with no foreseeable way out. As he said before: Fuck.
He made attempts to date, but they never ended well; it was almost as if they could somehow sense his feelings for Tess. Of course, from the second he went out the door, the little voice in the back of his head began nagging him, perversely enough, that he was cheating on Tess, so that was never a good start to an evening. Fuck and damnation.
So here he was. Occasionally making the feeble attempt to date and/or get laid, but knowing in his heart that it was futile—he was already in love. Trapped in love, doomed to be dateless, and probably unsexed, forever after.
Only, there was a way out. He could run away to America, maybe get a pad with Frankie, and then do his best to forget about the fact that Tess even exists. Maybe he'll find someone, fall in love, and forget that he'd felt like this before about someone totally inappropriate.
Fuck that! No, he chose to stay. Unrequited love was such a brutal thing, yes, but also such a heavenly thing, so divinely painful and so painfully sweet. Maybe it was a masochistic streak he never knew he had before, but he was perfectly willing to stand by Tess' side, unnoticed forevermore. After all, if he wasn't around, whose shoulder would she cry on when life has kicked her while she was down, as it seemed to take a perverse love in doing? Who'd tell her that she'd get the part, that she'd find that one and only someone (who, alas, was not him), that she deserved to be happy and that she was wonderful?
Ed would stay. He could not bear to leave his drug of choice. It made him feel so good and asked for so little in return. And if he spent the rest of his life dateless and undersexed…
Well. That was a small price to pay, really.