I know that like, no one but me even cares about MSCL anymore, but I couldn't help posting this. I've been rewatching the few episodes season 1 graced us with on Netflicks and it got my weird Brian/angst obsession flowing again. Which in turn spawned this. Do with it what you will.
Missing moments/alternate scenes from inside Brian's room. More than a little bittersweet, just like the series itself.
D: Not mine.
(italics are from the ep)
She didn't go to the concert that night.
He wasn't supposed to know that she was going, she didn't know that he knew because it wasn't something she had told him or anything, but he still, like, knew. Or at least, he thought he did, but he was obviously wrong, or else she wouldn't be here, sitting in his car. Okay, it was really his Mom's car, or whatever, but regardless it definitely wasn't a Grateful Dead concert, and she wasn't in there with Rayanne Graff...or worse, Jordan Catalano. But why was she here then, and not there? And moreover, why was he knocking against the window, when it was his (Mom's) car, parked on his driveway, at his house? But she was, and he was, and then there was a tightness building within his chest as he sat down next to her, because she didn't storm off in a huff when he came within five feet of her this time. He tried to ignore it, because feeling strange around Angela wasn't exactly something new to him, or anything, but it was kind of hard when they were alone...together...in the back of a parked car.
He was staring at her, but she probably didn't notice, because she was looking almost everywhere but in his direction. She looked embarrassed, and it felt kind of good to be on the other side of the feeling for once.
"Hi." she greets him stiltedly, cradling her knees to her chest against the cold, "Umm, it wasn't locked, and I just, can't go home right now, and there's nowhere else to go and it's...freezing."
So essentially, what she was saying was, he was her last option. When all else fails, might as well turn to Krakow. Until something better comes along, of course. And with Angela, better things usually came along in the strangest ways, and they tended to involve Jordan Catalano. "Are you like, meeting someone in here?"
She makes eye contact them, but only to give him a look that could kill. "That is so unfunny."
Of course it is. But if anyone is going to have their feelings hurt by the memory of the last time she was over here, and she actually was meeting someone...well, if he could see the humor in it, then he figured she owed him at least that much.
But he bit down on his lip to hide the grin that was tugging at the corners of his mouth anyway. She still hadn't jumped out of the car, and he took that as incentive to watch his mouth before he blurted out something stupid to set her off, like he tended to do. It wasn't like he was unaware of his social ineptitude, but he just didn't know how else to be. Calculus he understood. Physics was completely decipherable. But other teenagers? Especially teenage girls, especially Angela Chase? They made no sense to him, whatsoever. So when he was around Angela he would spout off an insult and run the other direction, the high school equivalent of pushing the girl you liked down on the playground in elementary. If he didn't criticize her, he was afraid he would end up confessing his undying love or something equally humiliating. They had gone from best friends to total strangers virtually overnight, and he had no idea how to bridge that gap.
But being nice, maybe, would be a way to start.
"What about...my room?" He was regretting the words the second they were out of his mouth. Did he sound like some sort of a sexual deviant, saying that? Wasn't that something that sexual deviants said? Oh great, now he had-
"What about your parents?"
She hadn't...she wasn't...was she actually considering it?
He gulped, "They won't even notice, they're balancing their joint-checking."
"Mine are getting audited." She replies with a roll of her eyes, but she's already reaching for the door handle and her words barely register to his brain, unable to be heard over the noisy drone picking up steam in his ears.
He thinks he mumbles something back about penmanship as he crawls out after her, and it must not have sounded too asinine, because she sort of gives him a half-smile over her shoulder, he is certain they have slipped into an alternate universe, because this type of thing just doesn't happen in real life. Not his, at least. The world is spinning tumultuously all around him and he can't be sure what is up or down or right or left any longer, isn't even sure he can find his way back to his own house not twenty feet ahead of them, because he can't seem to take his eyes off of her. It turns out he doesn't have to, though, as she remembers the steps well enough for the both of them, and all he has to do is follower her lead along the sidewalk to the Krakow's backdoor.
"Wait!" he says, stopping her before she rounds the corner of the house. Through the dreamlike fog of the last thirty seconds he somehow manages to recall from somewhere within the depths of his memory that his parents are seated just beyond that door at the kitchen table, and somehow he isn't looking forward to the inevitable 'sexual latency' discussion coming his way if they find their son leading his neighbor up to his room on a school night. "I've got another trash can to take out first. Why don't you go in the front door? My room is-"
"Same place it has always been?" She responds sarcastically, but it's almost teasing, and he can't stop himself from grinning like an idiot back at her.
"Right. I mean, yeah."
And she is walking about from him again, but this time, it's okay. This time she knows that he is coming after her, and she's like, okay with it.
His feet can't carry him fast enough to grab the second trash and bring it out to join its mate at the curb. This one seems lighter though, the garbage inside of it almost smells sweeter and it's almost like the stars above him are all shining a little bit more brightly than before. Or maybe that was just because another light had joined them and was suddenly illuminating the night sky. Above him, in the upstairs window of his house, there was a soft yellow glow from a light switch that had just been flipped on. This was really happening, Angela Chase was actually inside of his bedroom.
Staring up at the light like a lost sailor who has suddenly spotted the glow of a lighthouse, he feels his breath catch in his throat. He can see her, or the silhouette of her shadow at least, standing just behind the glass and looking down at him. Forgetting for a moment what he was doing, he lifts his hand to wave at her...and promptly drops the aluminum can onto his shoe. It clatters loudly against the pavement and lands on his foot again, sending waves of pain radiating through him.
Smooth Krakow, real smooth.
A female voice interrupts the racket, but not the right one. "Brian," his mother calls out, "what was that?"
He is sure Angela can hear Bernice and his resulting grimace is due in part to both pain and embarrassment. He puts both hands on the wobbling trash can to quiet it, and in that moment he kind of wants to die right here on the sidewalk. "Just the trash can mom, I'm fine!"
She isn't at the window anymore when he looks back up, and he doesn't know whether to be relieved or disappointed. Overall, he can't really help but to feel anything except nervous anticipation as he heads across the lawn.
It was probably a good thing his big toe was throbbing, or else he probably wouldn't have been able to stop himself from sprinting the whole way up to his room. As it was, he settles at a brisk walk, cutting through the grass and using the front door himself to escape his mother and any of the embarrassing questions he is subjected to daily as the child of psychiatrists but would never want Angela to hear. Outside of his bedroom door he stops to compose himself on the landing. He can't appear to be out of breath or overly anxious, like having a girl in his room was anything to get excited about. For all she knew, he had girls over all the time...except he didn't, not since her and Cherski used to come over when they were little, and if he had, she would have seen them going into or leaving his house. Well, that is, if she ever watched what went on over here. She probably didn't, not the way he watched through his...
Oh no. His camera! It was still set up at his window, the tripod pointing it directly towards her room! And she had been standing there not even a few minutes ago, what if she looked through the lens? What if she saw that he like, invaded her privacy? What if she thought he was like, a complete and total pervert?
He almost turns around right then, thinks about asking his mom to make her leave or something juvenile like that, but decides against it uneasily. When he gets up the nerve to push the door open, he can't help but to let out a sigh of relief to find her with her back to his valued possession. She has picked up a stack of developed photographs he took for yearbook and left out on his desk, and is flipping through them thoughtfully. A lock of her hair has slipped from behind her ear and she absentmindedly swipes at it with her free hand when it falls in front of her eyes and obscures her vision, but otherwise is focused on the pictures in her hands.
"These are really good, Brian." She says, looking up at him as he walks inside, and he isn't sure, but he doesn't think she isn't even being sarcastic.
"What, are you like, surprised?" he snaps back, out of habit, and immediately hates himself for it. She just rolls her eyes though, and turns her attention back to the pictures so he crosses the distance between them to settle himself on the edge of his desk as she sinks down to sit in his chair.
Together they view the captured images with him peering over her shoulder, though he has to fight the urge to tuck that one stubborn strand of hair back into place by shoving his hands deep inside his pockets. She laughs at some them and scoffs at others, and when she comes to one of herself she kind of blushes and makes him promise to not turn it in. He agrees, though he can't at all understand why she would feel that way, because she looks amazing in it. He is desperately glad that the other ones like it, containing nothing but her, her, her, at school and in her home, have already been separated and hidden beneath his mattress for...safe keeping.
The minutes pass and turn into hours, and he doesn't even notice the tension in his chest easing until it's gone. There is still a nervous fluttering in the pit of his stomach whenever her elbow brushes his knee, but it feels nice, and it's all too easy to remember why they had been friends in the first place. They build up a steady report, and when she reaches the end of the stack and asks expectantly if he has any more, he doesn't think twice about obliging. There are shoe boxes full of envelopes inside his closet, and he feels a flicker of pride as he presents them to her. As she flips through each one her eyes sparkle with interest, even the rolls from when his family went to visit his father's relatives in Texas a few summers ago, and he is surprisingly good-natured when she laughs at the effect of the southern humidity on his already uncontrollable hair. She spots a familiar face and they launch into reminiscing about the summer his cousins came to stay with him when they were in 6th grade. They had tricked a very bothersome Danielle into playing hide-and-seek and then left her huddled in the attic for much longer than was responsible while everyone else went over to Sharon's to play poker with spare change. Soon they are laughing so hard at the memory of Danielle's ensuing rage at being duped that tears are streaming from both of their eyes, and he can barely speak to tell her they have to quiet down before his parents come to investigate.
The memories are sweet, and he wishes time would stop so that he could spend forever with her like this. But when his mother calls up the stairs to wish him goodnight, he knows that their time together is over. She announces that she should be getting home, and just maybe he thinks that she puts the glossy paper down almost regretfully (though he chides himself afterward that he was probably just imagining it). Nevertheless, once his parents are in bed he walks her out through the silent house and she finally tucks that troublesome piece of hair back behind her ear while they both smile without a hint of irony as they wave goodbye at the threshold.
He goes out and buys a Grateful Dead tape the next day. He figures he at least owes the band that much, for what very well might be the best night of his entire life.
I think the scene in this episode where he gives her his sweater is just too. stinkin'. cute...but I would have rather liked it if she went to his room instead.