Disclaimer: Not mine. Title comes from the song "Love Interruption" by Jack White
A/N: So this is a complete drabble, I don't even know where the idea came from. But I had fun writing it, I hope you enjoy it! I know I changed up some of the end but...creative license I guess. Leave a review and let me know what you thought!
I Want Love to Leave Me Dying on the Ground
Marty figures if he'd met her first, things would have been different. He's never really been a big believer in fate or destiny or all that bullshit but sometimes he can't help but wonder.
You see, he'd known all along that Jules Loudon wasn't his type of girl but he was a freshman, young and naïve and way out of his league. He was from a small town, still trying to shake the geeky stereotype that had hounded him throughout his life and he was just barely getting to the point where he could talk to a pretty girl without stuttering through the entire conversation. And yeah, sure, he liked pretty girls as much as the next guy but he always thought there was something to be said for the ones that were…more like him. Quiet, pretty in their reserved way, smart.
Jules was none of those things. Okay, that's not entirely fair. She was pretty, but not in a reserved way. She was pretty in a holy shit did Miss January just walk into the laundry room way. Which is exactly how they met. Marty ended up helping her work the shitty dorm floor washing machine and Jules had shared a bag of cookies with him while they watched their clothes spin. She'd told him she was pre-med with desires to be a doctor and he'd told her he was…a freshman in college with no apparent life goals.
The first and only time they'd ever made out, it had been at a party on their floor. Marty had just smoked his first but definitely not last joint and he'd shared it and a beer with Jules and had thoroughly enjoyed the is she really going out with him looks that he was getting from the other guys. Jules had had more than a few beers and they'd been dancing to some song by Lil' Wayne and she'd grabbed his face in her hands and they'd made out right there in the middle of someone's dorm. Not exactly romantic but, hell, he'd take it.
The next morning, Jules had told him that she really liked him as a friend but they probably weren't going to work out. Marty figured he would have been more upset if he'd actually thought they stood a chance. And they actually did work pretty well as friends, in that whole opposites attract way. They saw each other everyday, had breakfast every Monday morning in the student center and actually had intelligent conversations. Marty really couldn't complain.
But then came Dana. Dana Polk, Jules' roommate and 'BFF for life!' from Jules' hometown. Dana had joined them one Monday morning during their usual breakfast and had been introduced by Jules as, "This is Dana, my roommate. She's way too stressed and uptight about her midterms." Dana had stuttered out an argument of some kind but Marty really hadn't been listened. He was just staring at her, thinking this is the girl. Granted, he was pretty stoned but maybe there was still some merit to his thoughts after all.
You see, Dana was the girl. The one he'd always thought he'd meet in college: quiet, pretty in her reserved way and smart. She was planning to major in economics of something or something but Marty could tell she had a passion for art, which was her intended minor. Jules even filched one of Dana's sketchbooks out of her bag to show Marty her drawings.
Marty spent a lot of time smoking and wishing that Dana had been the one who walked into the laundry room that day. They would have shared a bag of cookies and talked about…who cared, whatever. He would have been happy talking about economic structures of third world countries. But nope, instead he'd met Jules and was now forever going to be considered Jules' friend Marty.
Though, as the weeks went by, Marty was relieved to eventually become Dana's friend Marty. They both had a break in their classes at the same time and she sat with him in his dorm room while he got high and he sat with her in the library and quizzed her forty million times on vocabulary and historical figures and whatever.
Dana was shy, even more so than he was but in a cute and not annoying way. When you got to know her, she was funny and witty and could definitely hold her own. They developed their own routines (lunch Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays) and he knew her test schedules and how she liked her coffee but for some reason, Marty always held off on asking her out. It always seemed like a good idea when he was smoking up but as the high started to wear off, he always talked himself out of it. He liked Dana, he liked her smile and her red hair and her sense of humor. He liked her enough to think way too hard about their future…which ended with a dramatic breakup and her walking out of his life forever.
They took a day trip once, to some town Marty can't even remember the name of. Jules had been seeing this super jock named Curt (super in the sense that he could catch a football and explain Freudian theory. At the same time.) and she'd thought a trip would be a stress-free way for them all to meet. Marty had sat in the backseat of the car with Dana and had stuck beside Dana when they'd been sight-seeing and window shopping and talked to Dana when Jules and Curt were being ridiculously couply and was getting extra dressing for Dana's salad when Jules had saddled up beside him and said frankly, "You like her."
Marty looked at Jules, going for the stoned, clueless expression, which he was familiar with. "Who? What are you talking about?"
Both Jules and Marty looked back toward the table, where Curt was talking to Dana and she was smiling shyly at whatever he was saying. "Dana." Jules raised an eyebrow. "Ask her out, what are you waiting for?"
Marty rolled his eyes. "Please don't become one of those annoying girls who thinks that just because she's in a relationship everyone else needs to be too."
"I'm not!" Jules protested. "I can just tell that you've got a thing for her. I think it's obvious to everyone except Dana. So you should ask her."
"I think your instincts are a little off." Marty mumbled, walking back to the table. And, God love her, Jules never said anything else about it and she never mentioned it to Dana. Or, if she did, Dana never mentioned it to him.
The first semester of their sophomore year, Marty had decided to take an art class with Dana. She'd seemed pleased with his decision, so he figured it was the right one, even though he didn't know jackshit about art and really could draw past a dog or a stick figure person.
Marty had been thinking a lot about his conversation with Jules weeks before. Maybe he should ask her out. They worked really well as friends, maybe that would carry over into a romantic relationship. But then their professor had walked into the room and Marty saw the way that Dana lifted her head when he walked toward the podium. He saw the way she sat up straighter in her seat as he started outlining the course. He saw the little smile she gave the professor when he called her name. And he definitely saw the smile he gave her in return.
Marty hated the guy. Professor Fuck-face, that was his not-so-private name for him, even though he introduced himself as Professor Franklin. Or Henry, which Dana started referring to him as. Ugh, it was enough to make him want to drop the class. But then he couldn't keep on eye on Dana, so he showed up every week, stewing in his own private rage while pretending to sketch fruit and flowers. Marty wished he could draw, so he could sketch a picture of him punching this guy in the face. Hand it in for extra-credit.
He was the first one Dana had confessed her feelings for Professor Fuck-face to. Marty knew he should have told her that she was crazy, that the dude was twenty years older than she was and married. He should have told her that he had feelings for her but instead he'd just patted her on the shoulder and advised her to be careful. Not exactly the friend of the year but…what can you do?
And when Jules had stormed into his dorm room, demanding to know what the fuck was going on in art class, he'd just lit up a joint and mused, "We all have patterns. We all fit into our own places in life." Jules had taken a hit off the joint, told him to stop smoking so much and left.
Dana had started seeing Professor Fuck-face on the sly. Or should he call him Professor Fucks-His-Ingenuous-Students-And-Then-Goes-Home-To-His-Wife? That didn't quite roll off the tongue. Dana told him about sleeping with their professor, which Marty so did not need to know. He knew that Jules did not approve of these goings-on and was pretty vocal about it, not in a judgmental way but in an I'm just looking out for my BFF way, but Marty never voiced his own opinion. Or, if he did, it was in the really confusing way he had when he was stoned. Which was quite often.
And, of course, Professor Franklin had "dumped" Dana unceremoniously a few weeks after their first roll in the hay. Dana had been absent from class and Marty had gone to see if she was sick and had found her crying in her bedroom. He'd held her while she cried and patted her back in what he hoped was a comforting manner. After that, Dana had been pretty stoic about the whole thing. Mature, even. She'd kept going to class. She told Jules that she hadn't really expected a ride off into the sunset happy ending, that she'd gotten into the "relationship" in spite of the risks. But Marty couldn't ever get the image of her sobbing into his shoulder out of his mind. So he'd gone to Professor Franklin's office hours and punched the guy in the face. He'd never mentioned it to Dana but when Dana had mentioned the professor's black-eye casually to Jules, Jules had given him a knowing look and a big smile.
It had been a few weeks since Professor You-Know-I've-Got-a-Wife-And-We-Could-Never-Work-Out-Because-You're-My-Student gave that speech to Dana and Marty had been considering making his move. In a subtle way. Slowly, because that was the way he did everything these days thanks to his friend Mr. Bong. Curt had mentioned his cousin's cabin and Marty had pondered the possibilities. Then Curt had mentioned his new friend Holden and was all oh Dana, he'd be perfect for you (or maybe that was Jules…) and Marty had promptly given up. It clearly was not meant to be. Maybe it would have been, if he'd just met her first.
And then, of course, the weekend had gone to shit pretty spectacularly. Zombies and bear traps and all of the sudden all his friends were dead. When Marty had managed to dismember that dead asshole with a trowel (yeah, he doesn't recommend that) he'd thought about Dana and how she was probably out there in the woods dead. Dead. That was not a good thought.
But she hadn't been dead and it had felt so good to see her there, her eyes burning with anger and the will to live. He'd shown her the elevator (which he was regretting right about now) and held her to him as she'd cried and shivered as they waited in their little glass cube. He'd kept her close, wanted to keep her safe, protected her from all those monsters (monsters, what the fuck) and was determined to make sure she got out of this okay.
And now she was pointing a gun at his face and some woman was telling her to pull the trigger. Her hands were shaking and there were tears on her cheeks but that didn't change the fact that she was still pointing a gun at him. Dana, his Dana.
"Wow." Marty wasn't sure how he was supposed to feel about that. On one hand, he didn't want to die. On the other hand, he didn't want her to die either. The whole world could screw itself.
"Marty…the whole world…" Dana's chin wobbled the way that it did whenever she was about to cry. He'd seen that look when they watched The Notebook (yeah, Jules and Dana suckered him into that one) or when she'd told him the story about her childhood dog being hit by a car. Or when he'd held her in his arms as she cried about the professor (yeah, a part of him wanted those gods to come out and get that fucker) but it didn't make him feel any better. She was still pointing a gun at him.
"There is no other way." The woman said in her freakishly calm, almost robotic voice. "You have to be strong."
He'd felt like he'd been strong for her. He'd killed that zombie thing in hopes of finding her. He'd tried to keep her safe when hell was breaking lose outside the door. He'd never told her how he felt. Maybe that had been a mistake, maybe if he had she would understand. She wouldn't have the gun pointed at him. "Yeah, Dana." Marty said, his voice shaking. "You feeling strong?"
A tear fell into her cheeks. "I'm sorry." But she didn't pull the trigger. She just looked at him, right in the eyes, like she could read everything that was reflected there. And maybe she could. Maybe she knew. Maybe she had always known. And that was why she still wasn't pulling the trigger.
But she might. No, she would. Marty knew that she would do what this woman was telling her to because she was terrified, too terrified to do anything else. He saw the shadows moving behind her, the beast approaching. The claws of the monster were wet with blood, the fur around the snarling snout was matted with flesh and it only had eyes for Dana. His first instinct was to warn her, to push her out of he way but the words froze in his throat. "So am I."
The next few moments passed in a blur or maybe that was just his brain's way of protecting him for what was going on. The werewolf attacked Dana, her screams echoed throughout the cavern. That little zombie girl showed up and both she and the woman ended up in the pit with those things. Which were apparently pissed off and about to destroy the entire world.
Marty turned away from the edge of the pit and saw Dana laying on the floor, motionless and bloody. His eyes pricked with tears as he limped over to her. He dropped to his knees beside her and saw that her chest was still rising, albeit very shallowly. "Dana…"
She opened her eyes and looked up at him, offering him a weak smile. "I'm sorry I almost shot you. I probably wouldn't have…"
Marty took her in his arms, trying to prop her up but she just slumped against his chest. "Shh…it's okay. I'm sorry I let you get attacked by a werewolf and ended the world." What a bizarre sentence. "How are you?"
Dana coughed and closed her eyes. "Going away." Her voice was weak and Marty closed his eyes too. This was not really how he saw their friendship ending. Though, if what that woman was saying was true, the world was about to end anyway so he wasn't going to have to lament it for long.
Marty put his arm around her waist and grasped her hand with the other. "Dana…" Even now, the words froze in his throat, refusing to be dislodged even in this end of the world scenario. "I'm sorry. I…I should have told you sooner."
Dana opened her eyes and looked up at him. He could see that she had difficulty focusing on him and he held her tighter. Again, he couldn't find the words. "I'm sorry." He croaked, lamely.
She gave him a faint smile. "You did tell me that." She assured him, closing her eyes again and putting her face against his shoulder. "Do you think it will hurt?"
"Dying?" Dana nodded weakly. "I hope not." Marty reached into the pocket of his jeans and pulled out his emergency joint. If this wasn't an emergency, he didn't know what was. He lit it and tossed the book of matches away.
"Marty?" Dana opened her eyes but didn't lift her head. "You won't leave me alone, will you?" Her chin trembled again.
Quickly, Marty shook his head. "No, of course not. Just you and me."
The cavern around them started to shake, rocks tumbling from the ceiling. "Good." Dana said softly. "You're a good friend Marty. I shouldn't have been so afraid to tell you that I always had a crush on you." She smiled to herself, almost as though she didn't realize she was speaking the words out loud.
Marty shook his head, taking a long drag on his joint. Figured. The world would be about to end just as a girl admitted that she liked him.