Well, hey there...I just wanted to apologize first for taking so long to update this thing. I'm sorry. I got swamped with school and real life drama. College problems, anyone? Ha. But anyways, THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH to everyone who has reviewed the first two installments. It's kinda crazy how this small thing blew up. I sincerely hope that you all enjoy this next piece. I'm trying not to get too carried away with what's happened in the season this far, so I'm still operating in the first few episodes. Hope you enjoy! Thank you again!
Jane woke up to a subtle banging on her bedroom door. Stumbling out of bed, she opened it to see a less than enthused Ben. She yawned and declared with a bit of a whine, "Ben, it's Saturday."
"Yes, Jane," he answered in a deadpan, "yes, it is."
"Well, what do you want? It's..." She turned around as if to find out the time, before she realized there was no clock in sight and her phone rested almost mockingly on her dresser. "Well, I don't know what time it is, Ben, but it feels like it's early and I don't want to be awake right now. Can you please just tell me why on Earth I need to be up right now?"
His expression didn't alter. "It's seven in the morning, Jane. No one wants to be awake right now. But, there's a chipper Billy standing on our doorstep right now and I tried to ignore him for all of five minutes, but the kid won't leave. Do me a favor, Jane, and talk to your best friend before I kill him."
Jane sighed, running her hand through her slightly disarrayed hair before nodding to Ben. "Yeah, you're right. Okay, go back to sleep, Ben. I can handle this."
Ben smiled tightly, wishing her the best and giving her a brief, brotherly hug before he slipped back into his bedroom. He knew enough about his sister and her relationship with Billy to know that they'd work this out.
Jane stepped back into her room and grabbed her robe, slipping it on. She pocketed her phone as well, just out of habit, before she took a deep breath and headed towards her front door. She had successfully avoided any substantial conversation with Billy for the past few days, which was about three lifetimes in their world, and she had seen this confrontation coming. She hadn't seen this coming at seven in the morning on a Saturday, and frankly she wasn't sure if it was a strategic move on his part - keeping her less prepared in her sleep deprived state - or if he was just being cruel.
She opened the door and Billy nearly fell over himself in relief. "Janey," he breathed out.
She tried to rub the sleep out of her eyes as she answered, "Hi, Billy." The Quimby charm shone through, as her tone was nearly a perfect imitation of the one Ben used on her not moments earlier.
Billy pressed his hand against the door frame, not even trying to get Jane to invite him inside. He just tried to get her to see that he was sorry for what had happened, that he was sorry for not banging on her door for the past three days, and that he would continue to be sorry until she looked at him like he hadn't knocked her over with a sledgehammer.
"Jane, I know that these aren't the words you want to hear, but I'm prepared to get on my knees and repeat them for as long as it takes until you forgive me. I am so sorry for lying to you about Lulu and everything else that has happened in the past few weeks. You are my best friend, the most important person in my life, and knowing that I hurt you kills me."
Jane leaned her head against the doorframe as well and threw Billy a bone in the form of a small smile. It was enough to make Billy's tightened muscles relax.
"Billy, you know that I could never stay mad at you for long. You're my best friend, and it just hurt my feelings that you were keeping this secret from me. I felt like you didn't trust me." Billy went to respond, but Jane shook her head. "Hold on. Let me say this, okay? Billy, I will always be on your side, because I love you and you, and Ben, you guys are my world. And it just totally sucked when I found out. It hurt me more that you hid it from me than it being Lulu. You get that, don't you?"
Billy did know that. Jane didn't have a vindictive bone in her body. Lulu was her rival and she certainly didn't like her, but had he told her from the beginning, Jane would have been shocked, but eventually he'd get over it. She'd try to tolerate her for him.
"I know, Jane."
She nodded. "Good. Don't lie to me again," she said, her serious voice the most endearing thing Billy had heard in a while. "If you do, I'll...kick your ass," she said jokingly.
He held his hands up in mock fear. "Wouldn't want that. Pretty sure you'd hand me my ass, Janey."
She laughed and pulled him inside. "Don't you forget it."
"So, what did Jane say when you went over?"
Billy looked at Lulu, surprised that she showed any interest in what Jane had to say. "You actually want to know?"
She looked at him like he was crazy, setting down her fork and sighing in exasperation. "Yes, Billy, I actually want to know. She's your best friend and obviously you and me aren't going to work out if Jane hates us being together. So yes, I'd like to know how she reacted."
Billy accepted this and set his fork down as well. They were on a legitimate date, one of very few now that they'd officially declared themselves a couple. It was new to both of them, not just with each other, but in general. They were both casual people. Casual sex, casual dating. This whole boyfriend-girlfriend thing was odd, exclusivity was odd. Dating each other, kids from opposite ends of the socioeconomic spectrum was for lack of a better word, odd. So they attempted to ease their way into the relationship with the expected norms an exclusive relationship demanded. He still hadn't met her father yet, and she hadn't been invited to hang out with him and Jane in their world, but they were taking baby steps. Dates. Long talks, not just make-out sessions. They were learning there was more to the other than they'd assumed over the years.
Billy looked away for a moment, finding it odd to be talking about Jane to Lulu. There was still a part of him that wanted to protect his best friend from her childhood nemesis, even though that same person was now his girlfriend. He just couldn't get it out of his head that Lulu would try something with Jane. She'd already pushed her into a pool.
"She forgave me pretty quick," he said. "I should've known I wouldn't have to do much groveling with Jane, though. She's the most forgiving person I know."
The affectionate tone made Lulu tense up a bit. Billy couldn't have guessed that his relationship with Jane made Lulu feel insecure about losing him, but then he couldn't know that Lulu suspected that there were feelings of the romantic variety lurking beneath the golden friendship the two had.
She pushed the nagging feelings aside. "Did she say anything about me?"
Billy looked at Lulu curiously. "Lulu, are you telling me that you care what Jane thinks about you?"
The usually poised it girl shifted uncomfortably in her seat, not wanting to admit a confirmation to Billy's question. She merely stayed silent, but the silence was enough of a yes to get Billy to smile.
"It's okay to want Jane to like you, Lulu. It's great, actually. I mean, don't you think it's time that you guys put the rivalry behind you, bury the hatchet, let bygones be bygones - "
Before he could continue with the idioms, Lulu cut him off. "You don't think she hates me at this point?"
"It's Jane. She doesn't hate anyone."
Lulu rolled her eyes. "Billy, I pushed her into a pool two weeks ago. When we were twelve I told the entire seventh grade that she taped a picture of Nick Fadden to her ceiling so he'd be the last thing she looked at before she went to sleep. I've been nothing but horrible to her. If she doesn't hate me, I think we've got more to worry about."
"Okay, so you've kind of been a bitch to her over the years," he said, trying not to be overly harsh. "Buuuut, it's never too late with Janey. Unless you're her mom. That ship's kind of sailed," he added as an afterthought.
Lulu raised an eyebrow in question, but chose not to ask. That seemed like the kind of thing that she just shouldn't touch.
"Well, maybe we can all hang out or something so I can get to know her. I mean, I'm your girlfriend," she said, almost in a 'I am marking my territory' sort of way, "and she's your best friend. I think we need to get along."
Billy grabbed her hand from across the table and lightly caressed the back of it.
"Lulu, thank you."
She smiled lightly, and they continued to eat their meal. It was a big deal, and he couldn't wait to tell Jane.
Billy stared at Jane incredulously.
"No, Billy." She crossed her arms defiantly. "No, no, no."
"Jane, Lulu is my girlfriend."
"I know that, Billy."
"And I'm asking you, as my friend, as my best friend, to please give her a chance."
Jane shook her head. "No. Uh uh. I don't need to go through the list, Billy. You already know our history. The most recent event ended with me being pushed fully clothed into a pool. So this whole 'giving her a chance' thing is a little much if you ask me. I accept that you two are dating, I accept that you want me to bite my tongue and not act like she is pure evil, but you can't ask me to hang out with her. No."
Billy wasn't sure what to say to that. He had just expected Jane to say yes.
"Jane, when you got that job at Donovan Decker, I supported you. And I've done my best to help you. And now I need you to help me. Please give Lulu a chance."
Jane dropped her arms. "What is this? Are you trying to manipulate me into hanging out with Lulu? Yeah, you supported my job, that's because you're my friend. And I am yours, but I am not Lulu's. I'm not going to tell you who to date, Billy, but please don't ask me to do this. If Lulu wants to get to know me, then have her come to me; at least I'll know she's being sincere. I'm not going to play this game where you try to mediate between the two of us. Because I can promise you that won't work."
"I'm not trying to manipulate you, Janey. But I don't get it, what's the big deal with the three of us hanging out?"
"So apparently I do have to go through the list," Jane huffed. She held up her hand, closed into a fist. She detailed three key humiliations from her grade school years, lifting a finger for each one. Once she got up to 7th grade, and detailed the Nick Fadden Obsession embarrassment, Billy pleaded with her to stop.
"I know that Lulu hasn't been the nicest person to you - "
"That is such an understatement, I can't believe that you're trying to downplay it. For years, Lulu has messed with me just because she could, Billy. Do you get that? She was my personal tormenter and now she's dating my best friend. I won't lie to you, it's hard. It's so damn hard to see you two at school, and I just can't do what you want me to. Not right now. I'm sorry, Billy. I'm not saying it's fair to you, and I really don't want to hurt you, but please just try to understand that I can't."
Billy clenched his jaw, feeling like it was going to come down to a choice. And for the first time, he wasn't sure if he'd choose Jane.
Bummer. Sadly, I think my least favorite person right now is...Billy. Like, dude. Why'd you have to go out with Lulu of all people? Honestly, I think she's just misunderstood. And so incredibly wrong for Billy. Eventually, I'd like to see a Jane/Lulu friendship form, and I'm trying my hardest not to portray her as the villain. I'm trying not to make anyone villainous, actually. But anyways. I hope you liked this enough!
Reviews = love, and they fuel the fire in my fingertips. La dee da. I just realized that going by 'Pyro' makes that phrase kinda humorous.
Please drop me a line or you'll leave me a very sad Pyro. Thanks, loves! Have a good night/day/morning! ^_^