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03 February 2005 @ 10:43 pm
The Pleasures of Fanfic (Warning, contains short Nip/Tuck vignette *g*)  

Fandom and I haven't been talking very much to each other, lately  (my fault and certainly not fandom's, I can assure you), so the urge to sit down and write a bit of fanfiction quite surprised me.

Ironically, the series which inspired my muses enough to carry me through a full-blown vignette from start to finish, wasn't one of the "good" shows. Safe fannish ground like Farscape or the new and amazing Battlestar Galactica. Instead it was Nip/Tuck , which feels like the bastard offspring of classical prime time soap, Miami Vice and probably every medical show I've ever seen. Melodramatic as Chicago Hope, bloodier than ER. Clichéed, trendy, played for shock value, not for refined artistic expression. (The writers seem to know one or two things about great, emotionally intense drama, though) The kind of guilty pleasure which gets you hooked right from the pilot and makes you order the first season DVD so you can watch the episodes just that tiny bit faster.

If falling for a show resembles falling in love as selenak has pointed out a few days ago, this clearly must be some passionate but fatal mismatch.

However, I'm quite enjoying it at the moment. Here's my vignette, brandnew and still not properly beta-ed.

FANDOM: Nip/Tuck
TITLE: Convenient Choices
CHARACTERS: Christian, Julia
PLOT/DESCRIPTION: A little Julia&Christian reconciliation, set during the last third of season 1


"Look Christian, I 'm sorry", she said. And then, two or three breaths later, the time it took her to regain her composure, "Annie shouldn't have to suffer from this. Maybe I overreacted."

Apologizing did not come easy to Julia McNamara. He could see it in her eyes, which were narrow and fierce and still slightly reddened from wiping over them with the sleeve of her sweater. How tight and nasal she sounded when she was fighthing her anger.

"So, how should we straighten this out?" On his way to Sean and Julia's house he had fantasized about letting her know how much she had hurt him with her attempts of cutting him out of the loop. But that would have been just stating the obvious, granting her the short wave of satisfaction that comes from knowing you've hit your target.

Christian wanted to repair bridges, not do add to their ongoing destruction. Leaving the ball in Julia's half of the playing field seemed safest for the moment.

"What about getting Annie a new birthday present, one I don't need to return to the pet store ?"

"Any suggestions?"

"Well, you could get some tickets for this figure skating show she has been pestering me about for weeks. After all she is your goddaughter."

As if she already regretted to have uttered such a major concession, Julia broke eye contact, wringed her hands, raised her chin. "And of course, there's always Barbie..."

Her short laugh sounded utterly uncomfortable, haughty and at the same time afraid. The ten thousand things she could do with her shoulders and neck were part of Julia's charm. So slender and tall, graceful yet tense.

"Doesn't Annie already own enough of these dolls, Jules? I mean, how many has she got? Five, seven?"

He gave his best not to appear pissed, just curious. Explaining why, of all people in the world, Christian Troy would shy away from securing his place in a little girl's heart with the epitome of consumerist toys was not an option. Better to leave the corpses of his own childhood buried, regardless whether Sean had taken the liberty to kindly inform Julia about them, or not.

"Actually it's eight." She bit her lip, then smiled, her eyes bearing an expression of mild surprise. "Please don't get this wrong, Christian. I just thought that you would be about the last person to hold me any lectures on how paedagogically incorrect these things are. It's enough that I had to fight over them with Annie's grandmother."

He drew a grimasse. "Erica Naughton, brilliant child psychologist on the warpath again? Ouch!"

"And the funny thing is", Julia continued, "the kids aren't even playing with them the way you'd imagine from the commercials."

"Then, how? If it's not the dressing and the undressing, the cars and the fancy stuff that's all important?"

For a few seconds, the lack of any reaction on Julia's behalf made him believe that once again he had crossed the line she so clearly didn't want him to cross anymore. When Julia finally decided to lower her guard, it came totally unexpected."

"Very innocent. Very sweet. Last Saturday, we had Chelsea Bunner for a big sleep-over and the two of them re-enacted Arielle, the Mermaid with Barbies all evening, until Sean finally put an end to it."

"That must have been quite a sight", he replied. It felt hard to convey just the easy emotions, just the amusement and the fuzzy, protective affection he had for his partner's kids, even though Matt, by now, was almost a man.

"Everything alright, Christian?"

"Apart from the fact that I'm world's lousiest godfather and that Annie should hate me? Yes. I know I shouldn't have bought her that stupid bird without consulting you first. It's just that…"


He looked downward, to the black tips of his shoes, the immaculate living room carpet. Buying himself some time. Wondering if once he had allowed himself to jump on that dangerous train he'd ever be able to jump off again when it was getting too fast and too far.

"I wanted to give something to her that she could actually love and care for. Something she'll remember someday. Not the kind of crap that ends up in the attic."

"Like we all didn't know how Frisky the gerbil has ended."

The remark was priceless, lifting the weight, even if only for a few seconds.

"And besides, there is so much you've already done. Like the day you taught her how to swim. If that doesn't make a good memory, what then?"

"I don't know. I honestly don't know", he said, noticing his own voice tremble like he was just an unrelated bystander watching two actors perform some bizarre kind of play.

"This isn't just about Annie, is it?" She bend towards him, tall and lanky, birdlike, suddenly so unafraid to touch. As she opened her arms to hug and embrace, Christian felt his blood rage. He swallowed, flinched. Tried to get some distance between them, only to become calm enough to speak without sounding like a hysterical crash victim.

"Take your pick, Jules. Annie, us, Sean. Gina and that poor, unfortunate baby of hers, that means if she ever manages to carry it out. Whatever you like. Would it be crazy if I told you I could love that child regardless how much I despise the mother ?"

"No, not by the least. You'd make a fine dad, a little unconventional perhaps, but fine."

Again she came closer, unfolded her arms, and this time he let her. Julia's hand on his cheek lasted for about a minute. Then he picked up his jacket and left.

Please let me know if you have read the vignette and spotted any language- or show-related mistakes. I'm new to Nip/Tuck and as most of you already know, English isn't exactly my first language *g* 

Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: Shirley Bassey, Where do I begin
eretriaeretria on February 24th, 2005 07:25 am (UTC)
While I'm completely out of the loop with this show, and was trying to somehow sort out where Annie belonged, I must say that this is very good writing.
The one thing I love glimpsing on the show are the moments in which Christian isn't the big memememememeeeeee arse he often appears to be. There's a softer, more thoughtful side to him and you're captured that beautifully. The underlying tension is there, and the wistfulness is palpable.

And, bwee! The barbie-bashing is priceless. :o)
Cavendishcavendish on February 26th, 2005 06:45 am (UTC)
Hi there :-)

I also do not watch the show (to much artificial blood, needles and things ;-), and who has got time for TV anyhow theses days?), but I liked the story as well. As you said, it is the balance between tension and tenderness is really well developed here.

But I do not agree on the Barbie bashing. (if I have understood you correctly at all, being unfamiliar with words like bwee and memememememeeeeee ;-)

But seriously: I see the barbie paragraph rather as showing the unemotional, superficial way of adults vs. personal, fragile memory of childhood, which they both do not really dare to reveal to each other.