Disclaimer: I own nothing except the plot, that's all mine. Everything else belongs to Howard Overman, Jon Brown and anyone else involved in Misfits. "Rudy (ie) Can't Fail"is a song by the Clash from their album London Calling.
Author's Note: This is a little story I came up with based on the Alisha and Rudy plotline in Episode 3.1. I'm very intrigued by Rudy's past and Alisha's roll in it and this is my take on it. Rudy's a bit out of character but I wrote him that way because, in my mind, he is the way he is because of Alisha. Any comment, questions, concerns and complaints are always appreciated. Thanks so much for reading.
Rudy Can't Fail
"No longer cool but a boy in a stitch, unprepared for a life full of lies and failing relationships." – Brand New
Rudy Wade isn't exactly what you would call cool. He acknowledges that he isn't very hard or smart or athletic. He would also tell you that, sure, he's all right looking but at 18 he's a bit shorter than the other boys in his secondary school and his nose is a little wonky and he's never quite sure what to do with his hair. He talks to himself in the mirror, sometimes, while he tries out different styles. His inner self doesn't really like any of them and Rudy tends to talk himself out of a lot of things. He wasn't particularly popular in secondary school. He had a few friends but most of them went away to university and he spends the summer of his 19th year envying his mates who get to go to Scotland and France and America while he gets ready for some dull college in South London (just down the road from his Mum's) with probably no fit girls or worse yet, fit girls who see right through him. If he was in America, he thinks to himself, the girls there would think he's Prince fucking William but as it is he's in Wertham and not America and really has nothing to look forward to.
His first day at college is pretty boring. He scans through the faces of the other kids in his courses. He sees no potential mates and a few mediocre girls but that's about it. That is, of course, until she walks through the door. She's 15 minutes late and enters the room giggling like a hatter with another girl. Rudy doesn't notice her looks first but instead focuses on the gorgeous sound that is her laugh. He could write a fucking song about her laugh, assuming he played an instrument of some sort which he doesn't. He watches as the professor chastises her and her mate and that's when he sees her face. She's the most beautiful person he has ever seen and maybe ever will. He makes a laundry list in his mind of adjectives he could use to describe her but as he listens to her give her name to the professor he thinks "Alisha" is the best adjective of them all and he couldn't have said it better himself. She sits a row in front of him and he spends the entire lecture staring at the cluster of moles on the back of her neck. He bets himself that if he leans forward enough he could smell her but he talks himself out of that idea quickly.
Throughout his first week of college he is glad to discover this pixie called Alisha is in two of his four courses and he spends the first three months of school trying to find a way to speak to her. This proves a lot harder than Rudy imagines partially because he's pretty rubbish at talking to girls. He jokes too much and has a tendency to say whatever comes to mind. When he actually gets the balls to talk to a girl he ends up looking like a dickhead and embarrassing himself.
It also doesn't help that Alisha has become one of the coolest girls at college. It seems to Rudy that most of her friends from secondary school are there and it doesn't take long for her to grab the attention of the lads that Rudy hates: the football players, the rugby boys, the international students from Italy and Greece and bloody America. Every boy in that instatution wants a go at her and Rudy's a little disappointed to see that she lets most of them. However, he internally pushes aside his disappointment and instead focuses on the fact that she doesn't seem to be picky.
Over the Christmas holiday, while he's visiting his Gran in Buckinghamshire, he starts writing poetry. In retrospect, it's bloody horrible stuff but while he writes it Rudy considers himself a modern day Keats; comparing her eyes to summer skies and her hair to caramel candy floss. He really thinks he has something there. He's absolutely positive she'll fall madly in love with him if she reads that or at least give him blowie. Maybe, he thinks, she'll think his awkward, virginness is endearing and he'll be unlike any other bloke she's been with. He highly doubts that but keeps him fingers crossed all the same.
When college starts back he's ecstatic to find her in three of his four courses but by the end of the year he's nowhere near close enough to her. Except, he reminds himself, there was that one time she dropped her notebook and he picked it up…but she didn't even make eye contact or smile or anything . She just took the paper out of his hands and kept walking with her friend. Rudy does get a bit of a confidence booster when Alisha's friend looks back at him, gives him a once over and shrugs her shoulders in a not totally negative way.
Something strange happens over the summer. The first thing is Rudy turns 20 and with his new age comes a growth spurt. He shoots up to well over six feet and finally figures out what to do with his hair. He also starts to accept that his wonky nose gives him character and that he could be considered handsome if you looked at him from a certain angle. Socially things begin to change for him as well. For whatever reason it becomes cool to be awkward so when school starts back that fall he takes note of the fact that more girls look at him in the hallways, that people actually begin sitting with him at the union. He gets invited to study groups and out for drinks. But still, even as he's mingling with her friends, Alisha pays him no mind. He keeps writing shit poetry but starts asking her mates about her. He even sees her at a few parties. He ignores other girls while he watches Alisha dance and drink and laugh and he never returns the calls he gets even though he keeps giving his number out hoping that someone somewhere will talk about what a catch he is and she'll hear.
Rudy goes to a party for the New Year with some mates and tries to ignore the fact that his mother beams when he says he's going out with mates from college. Alisha's there and she looks radiant, of course, in a silver dress. He decides, as he watches her bang on a pan and ring in the New Year, that he loves her. Sometime well after midnight he's sitting on the sofa, swirling what's left some his drink in his hand when she crashes down next to him. She's pissed out of her mind and leans into him almost immediately because she can't keep herself up. Her giggles are peppered with hiccups and when she looks up at him with those eyes of hers his heart stops beating.
"Do I know you?" Alisha asks all breathy while batting her eye lashes and smiling brightly.
"You're in Peter's Stylistics course, right? Sit behind me, I think." He tries to keep himself cool and collected but smiles so wide his cheeks hurt.
"Oh…"she says dreamily and he can tell she knows fuck all about him being in Peter's Stylistics course. "I'm Alisha." She clumsily takes his hand in her own and squeezes it.
"Rudy," he gulps as she rolls around so that she's on her back using his shoulder as a pillow.
"Mind if I stay here for a bit, Ronnie?" She's got her eyes closed and he can barely hear her.
"You're all right, love." He says as he settles himself in and ignores every stupid thing his brain is telling him. He considers himself lucky because with her passed out like this he hasn't had the opportunity to turn into his usual twatty self. If he were being honest, he would even admit that he did come off as a bit of a sweetheart calling her "love" and all that. About an hour later, just as Rudy's drifting off himself some footballer comes over, throws Alisha over his shoulder and heads for the door. Rudy downs the rest of his now warm drink and leaves. He can't think of a reason to say.
Then everything goes back to normal until spring comes. He holds the door open for her in March and instead of ignoring him like she always does Alisha smiles and says "cheers." It's not a loud "cheers" with any enthusiasm behind it but it's something. Then in April she asks him to borrow a pen and some paper. She even asks his name again, says she's seen him around. He blames his nervousness on the fact that neither is drunk while internally calling himself a pussy. He has trouble getting the "r" out, stutters a bit around the "u" but introduces himself, finally, as Rudy, the bloke from Tim's New Year's party, with his hand out and a smile like some fucking twat. She smiles back, its fake he thinks to himself, but she shakes his hand all the same.
In May his world simultaneously begins and ends. He goes to a party because he knows she's going to be there. He mentally tries to talk himself out of it but fights his own misgivings and goes. He squares his shoulders, makes her a drink (vodka and tonic with a bit of lime) and makes his way to her. She's dancing with the girl who fancies him but stops when Rudy approaches. He's more than a little shocked when she takes the drink, smiles and runs a finger down his arm. She dances with him and laughs at his jokes. He even gets a little bold and puts a hand on the small of her back. After three drinks she puts a hand on his shoulder, leans up and whispers in his ear. He doesn't say anything but nods as he lets her pull him through the crowd of people and up the stairs.
He kisses her as she opens the bedroom door and scolds himself for being sloppy and slobbery but she smiles and laughs and unbuttons his shirt. It's quick and embarrassing and he feels like a twat but she reassures him that it's fine. He asks her for another go round but she's already half-dressed and making her way to the door. He cleans himself up and tries to find her. He asks a handful of people but no one knows where she is. He finally comes across her friend, the one who fancies him and she tells Rudy that Alisha left with some other bloke, the captain of the rugby team or something. Rudy's first instinct is to get sick but he drives home instead and then throws up all over the front porch. He should hate her but he doesn't. He hates himself. His hope is that he can rectify it all on Monday morning.
He waits until class is over before he approaches her in the corridor. He tugs on her arm lightly and she turns in a huff.
"What do you want?" She asks venomously.
"I wanted to apologize…you know…about the other night." He shuffles his feet and tries to ignore the small crowd that has gathered.
"I'm sorry," she says and he can tell she isn't sorry at all, "but do I know you? Have we ever spoken?"
"Yeah, it's me…its Rudy. You know from Saturday night…at Alex's."
"What do you mean at Alex's? I was there with Tom. "And she gestures to the burly bloke to her right, the rugby player. Rudy doesn't know what to say. He's utterly gob smacked and all he can do is stand there and stare. Alisha keeps going, "Why would I know you anyway, weirdo?" Then she laughs the same laugh he fell in love with but this time it brings the sick feeling in his stomach all over again.
Rudy turns on his heel and runs down the corridor and home. He can't get her laughter out of his head. When he gets home he runs to the bathroom, locks the door and stares at himself in the mirror. He decides then and there that he'll never be good enough for her. He's too tall and gangly with that shit haircut and his stupid fucking nose and it doesn't help that he's talking to himself, talking to himself and crying. Then something silver catches his eye, the razor he left sitting on the edge of the sink. The last thing he remembers is all the red.
It takes him three months to become Rudy again. He learns to divide his emotions so he can deal with them appropriately. He doesn't go back to college but he wouldn't have any mates anyway. Everyone knew what happened. It takes him six months to transform himself. He gets tattoos to cover the scars and then keeps getting them because people start to look at him differently. Lads think he's hard and girls consider him a "bad boy" and he starts to live up to it a bit. He's a shit fighter but he gets into them anyway. He also gets into a bit of trouble here and there. He locks Alisha away in his mind with all the sad thoughts and all the emotions. He begins to treat girls the way he was treated and never stays longer than a quick shag to block out even the teeniest bit of heartbreak. He keeps reminding himself that he's playing a role, that this dickhead persona he has created isn't really him at all and that if he actually let someone in he would find that he really does care about people. He thinks if he can keep this up then he can't fail, can't fail the way he failed with Alisha. He thinks he's better that way ignoring all those things and then, one day a year later, he gets caught in a storm and everything changes.