This fic was inspired by a comment I read the other day about this show, where someone said that surely Sabrina has noticed by now that Jimmy likes her. I personally don't think that she does realize it, but it got me thinking about what it might mean if she did. So I wrote this. Be forewarned that there's lots of introspection and no action; I think after this I'll write one where more actually occurs, but for this one I just enjoyed exploring Sabrina's character. Anyway, enjoy.
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She pretends she doesn't notice, but she does.
She's not completely oblivious, and she realizes perfectly well that there is much more to her relationship with Jimmy Chance than just friendship. The trouble is, she's not sure what it is, and more importantly, she's not sure what she wants it to be.
They're friends, that's for sure, and though she'd never say something so sappy aloud, she's endlessly grateful for that fact. She doesn't make friends easily; she can be caustic and a bit abrasive, and between that and her rampant insecurities, it's hard for her to get close to someone without pushing them away, purposely or accidentally. But then he appeared, some guy using a shopping cart as a baby stroller, and since then he's been a constant fixture in her life: first just as a customer at the store, then as a coworker, then as a friend, now practically as a conjoined twin. They do everything together: movies, meals, parties, trips to Vegas, and best of all, those lazy hours they spend at his house doing nothing at all. He's unlike anyone she knows, sweet, guileless, caring, not brainy in the traditional sense but always ready with surprisingly profound advice.
And through him she has found a family. Her own family relations are strained; even before the divorce things were rough around the house, and they absolutely have not improved over time, with her mom off jet-setting and her dad philandering and her sister one of those smug marrieds. But because of Jimmy she now has Virginia and Burt and Maw Maw, and their cluttered old house feels more like home than Daddy's mansion ever did. She can't count the number of happy hours she's spent sitting at their kitchen table or playing some made-up game, just getting woven into the fabric of their quirky lives. And Hope, of course; when she first met Jimmy, she was wary at the thought of befriending a guy with a kid. But now she loves that girl like her own child—and in fact, if anything happened to the Chances, Hope would actually be her own child. That thought terrified her once but now it feels right.
And so it's always been, but in the last few months things have started to feel different. She's closer to the Chances than ever before—her presence in their home is the norm, rather than the exception—and Jimmy is the best friend she's ever had. But lately she's started to wonder if there's more to it than friendship. He watches her when he thinks she's not looking. And he touches her now a lot more than he used to; nothing overly intimate, mind you, but little things, little brushes of his hand or his shoulder. And she can't help but notice that she goes on a lot more dates with him than she does with her actual boyfriend. They might not technically have been called dates when they happened, but he's taken her to her sister's party, to a wedding and a bar in Vegas, to his family's Thanksgiving dinner. For all intents and purposes, they were dates.
And people have noticed. Though she was careful to clearly identify him as just a friend when they were all introduced, her family still has their suspicions about him and their relationship. Her father is much more interested in his own love life than hers, but he asks after Jimmy often as "that guy of yours." Her sister doesn't mistake him for a boyfriend—although she does tell Sabrina that all of their high school acquaintance assumes they're dating—but she does hint very strongly that Jimmy is a great guy and very much more in town than Wyatt and that the two of them seem to get along smashingly.
As if Sabrina hadn't noticed. As if she hadn't been deeply grateful walking into that party that she had someone she was comfortable with to stand by her side. As if she hadn't been highly aware of the fact that he'd been grabbing her hand and touching her back all night; as if the warmth of his body when he stood so close to her hadn't gotten to her much more than she'd let on. As if she hadn't enjoyed slow-dancing with him in a rooftop bar in Vegas; as if she hadn't given into temptation and laid her head on his chest as they danced. As if she hadn't noticed how much she enjoyed their Thanksgiving charade and how right it felt to hold Hope while Jimmy stood protectively by. As if she wasn't fully aware that her suggestion that they practice kissing was a ruse, designed to fulfill a sudden urge to find out what kissing him felt like.
And then there's Wyatt. She loves him, she really does. But he's becoming more and more like her family: someone she loves from a distance but is less fond of in person. And one night when he's in town and he's supposed to text her about dinner but she never receives his message, she's not sorry that she ends up hanging out with Jimmy instead.
So yes, she has considered the possibility of her and Jimmy. There's so many reasons it's a crazy idea, though. He's not exactly financially ready to support a family, and she's not exactly emotionally ready to raise a child. And she loves the Chances, but does she want to be one of them? Live in Maw Maw's house, get into mayhem constantly?
And even if it never gets as serious as all that, casual dating presents problems as well. She imagines telling her family she's dating Jimmy and it's an insane idea—her father and sister like him now, but neither of them knows that he's a pool cleaner who knocked up a serial killer. Her dad has dated his share of unusual women in his time, but they've always been incredibly brief relationships so the eccentricity of it all didn't matter. But it wouldn't be brief if she started dating Jimmy; she knows it wouldn't. She knows that she values his friendship too much to start anything with him without being sure it has a chance; she doesn't want to destroy that friendship. And that's another problem with dating Jimmy—if it ended badly she'd lose her best friend, her family, her girl.
So she does nothing. She allows things to carry on as they always have and she pretends to be thoroughly ignorant of the fact that Jimmy watches her with longing eyes while she restocks the mayonnaise. She continues to be his friend and only his friend. But sometimes when he laughs, when he makes her smile, when he stands so close to her that she can barely fight back the urge to touch him, she thinks that she can't keep up this ruse forever. And she understands that someday she'll have to make a decision about Jimmy Chance.
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