They begin at an ending.
They're standing with the other Jets and the girls at Riff's funeral. They're looking at the closed casket and can hear Velma sobbing next to Graziella and Minnie. Action feels a deep sadness as well. Riff was a Jet. He was practically family. And now he's gone. Just like that.
He looks at his friends and struggles to hold his stoic composure. He's the leader of the Jets now. He has to get them through this. He will get them through this. It's what Riff would want if he were still here with them.
He glances at Anybodys and sees a sadness in her eyes as well – even with everything Riff put her through when she wanted to to be a gang member. He looks away. She slips her hand into his.
He doesn't let go.
They aren't dating.
Action doesn't like that word. It seems too... permanent. He and Anybodys hang out and they have fun. Why should they complicate that with words like "dating" and "boyfriend" and "girlfriend"? Hanging out works just as well in Action's mind. It simplifies everything. And Action's always liked things to be in neat black or white boxes. His... relationship with Anybodys is no different.
They're hanging out at his house. His dad's at the bar and his mom's at work. They're sitting on his bed in silence, both wrapped up in their own thoughts. They don't need words to pass between them to know they care – it's somehow understood.
They sit for a couple more minutes before she breaks the silence. "Do you wanna talk about it?" She asks. He knows she's talking about Riff and Tony's deaths. It happened only a couple weeks ago and still kills all of the Jets. They lost two brothers. Action's never been good with feelings, though, and he shakes his head.
He kisses her instead.
It's late at night, and they're driving around in Action's car. The clock reads one AM, but neither care. Action had went to her house a couple of hours ago with bruises and cuts on his face and body. Anybodys had understood what it meant.
He doesn't know why he picked Anybodys' house -especially since he doesn't want to get attached to the girl even more than he already is- he just knows it was the right choice. Especially after she hugged him and told him she was ready to go kill his dad. He had always liked that she had an attitude like him.
"I hate him." Action says as he drives, glaring at the near-deserted road. "He's a drunk and a loser and I'm glad my mom's cheating on him. He deserves it. He deserves to rot in Hell." He states angrily. Anybodys watching, concern on her features, but anger at his father as well.
"He's a loser." Anybodys seconds. "He's going to get what's coming to him in the end, Action." She pauses and continues. "You deserve better than that piece of crap for a dad." She touches his arm lightly and he glances at her.
And for a second, he doesn't want this night to end. He wants to stay there with her driving to God only knows where. He wants to kiss her and hold her and do all the things a boyfriend should do for his girlfriend. He wants to make their relationship "official" like all the other Jets had with their girls. He just wants things with them to stay this good. Anybodys is the best, most constant thing in his life – right next to the Jets. He doesn't want that to change.
But then, the second passes and he's brought back to the reality of the situation and how she shouldn't get involved with his crappy home-life and his drunk, deadbeat of a father and his whore of a mother. He doesn't want her to see that he's really not the fearless leader the Jets think he is. He can't let her get that involved, even if he wants to.
"Come on," He says, "You gotta get home. It's getting late."
They're at Doc's waiting for the rest of the gang to show up. Anybodys is ready an old medical magazine, because there's nothing better to do. Her baseball cap is on her head, but not concealing her long, dark curls. Action likes it best this way. He sits next to her, his arm around her. The silence enhancing the peacefulness the older boy felt.
A moment later, Anybodys looks up from the boring, old magazine and says, "I like you, Action." They don't talk about feelings. For the longest time in their relationship, the feelings were understood. There was no reason to say it. It's dangerous to say them.
And she's said it. Something that can and will change their whole relationship. He just needs to decide if he's willing to take the chance on her, on a relationship, on them.
"So? I like my dog. Doesn't mean I go around sayin' it." He states. Truthfully, he does have strong feelings for the girl. But he can't be the type of guy she deserves or wants. He'll never be able to be. She has to know that deep down.
"So that's what I am to you? A dog?" She asks, anger mixed with hurt in her voice. "That's good to know, Action, really. Thanks for telling me." Sarcasm drips off of every word, her guard up. His own shield goes up as well.
"Oh, you don't know nothin', Anybodys. If you did, you wouldn't be hangin' with me or the gang, anyways. You'd be a girl and do girl stuff like Velma or Graziella." He says the words and he can see her recoil as if she's been slapped. He hasn't said those words to her since she helped with Tony. He can see he's struck a nerve. He feels bad, but holds his ground. He can't slip up. He can't let her have so much power over him.
"Well, I guess I learned somethin' today then, huh? You suck, Action." She says and leaves, just as the others are arriving for the meeting.
"What was that about?" A-Rab asks, taking a seat next to Baby John.
Action feels a ache in his chest from when Anybodys had left and wants nothing more to go after her and apologize. But he can't. He has to be a good leader. He forces the ache to the back of his mind.
"Nothin'. Now come on. Everyone needs to focus." Action replies, before glancing at the door, quickly, hoping it'll open.
It's been weeks since their fight, and neither have talked to each other except for official Jet business. It sucks for both of them, but both are too stubborn to apologize for doing (in their opinions) nothing wrong.
He's wanted to call her, though. But he doesn't know what to say. He's not good with words like Riff or Tony were. So he doesn't call. But he really wishes he would and just say the right things. He won't ever admit it, but he misses the girl. And that scares him more than anything.
He's at a party and has had a few drinks. He's trying to forget about the brunette tomboy. He takes another drink as Graziella walks over to him. The drink burns as it goes down. She sits next to him on the couch, closer than should be acceptable. But the alcohol's impaired his judgment a little.
"I heard about your fight with Anybodys." She says, slurring her words. She's been drinking, too. "If it makes you feel any better, A-Rab and I broke up last night." She leans closer to him and touches his arm.
He knows what she wants. He takes in her blonde hair, blue eyes, and curvy body. He can't help but think she's definitely not Anybodys. But she'll provide a good distraction, he figures. Hell, he'll probably provide one for her, too. No emotions or attachments whatsoever. Just the way he likes it.
He takes her hand and pulls her to her feet. Graziella stumbles and falls into him. As they walk to the room, he sees a familiar pair of brown eyes find his green ones. And for a moment, things stop for him and he wants to go over and kiss her with all the feelings he has for her so she won't doubt him anymore.
He follows Graziella into the room instead.
They "break up" on the first day of spring.
They both know it's coming. Ever since that fight, things had changed between them. They care about each other so much, but are still too stubborn to admit they're wrong and apologize.
"This is the right thing to do, but it sucks." She says outside her house as they sit. "We don't make each other happy. All we do is fight anymore. It's not fun."
Action nods, but thinks back to the night in his truck when he had wanted to give her the moon and the stars. It felt like a lifetime ago. He wishes he could tell her how he felt then – how he still feels now. But he's never been good with emotions, even when he was little.
"Yeah." He says. "You still gonna be in the gang?" He asks. A small part of him hopes she says yes, so he can still see her sometimes, even if they aren't "together."
She nods. "Of course. The Jets are family."
Action nods. This he understands. "Is that it?" He asks abruptly. He wants -needs- this to be over. She can't know how badly this is hurting. Even though he can see in her eyes it hurts her just as much. But he ignores it.
She nods and hesitates before wrapping her arms around him in a hug. He's transported back to when she had hugged him after he came to her after his abuse. He hugs her back, tightly, not wanting to let go.
What feels like minutes later, she pulls away and looks at him, pain clear in her eyes. She's always been better with emotions than him. "Goodbye, Action." She says.
He watches as she leaves and walks back into the house. He stands there for another minute before sighing and going back to his truck as the wind blows.
He tries not to think of the bitter irony of them ending at a time that's meant for new beginnings and second chances.
He climbs into his truck and drives away. His mind on nothing but the girl he quite possibly loves that he let slip through his fingers as easily as sand.
He drives away.
So... I blame my friend Kristi for this. I was contemplating writing an Action/Anybodys oneshot, and then she posted a really good Riff/Velma oneshot and I got inspired to write/post this. If it's good, then she deserves the credit for lighting the fire under my butt. If not... I'll take the blame for my writing.
I'm not sure how IC everyone is. I tried really hard. I also couldn't remember who's girl Graziella was, so I just picked A-Rab. I hope it was okay. I really like Action and Anybodys (together and as individuals), so I hope I did them justice.
This one goes out to Kristi because she's part of the reason this is even here. So, thanks, dude.
Disclaimer: I don't own West Side Story. Everything belongs to the original writers/creators of the play.