Gem (strandedinaber) wrote in grace_karen,

So Much to Lose

Okay - first post here in this community, I've only just joined and really enjoyed reading everyone's fanfics etc. Heaps of thanks to lindsey_grissom for beta-ing and convincing me to post this! :D

Disclaimer: Blatantly aren't mine. I'm not making any money from them. Please don't sue me? The lines from the song quoted at the beginning are from Alanis Morrisette's "Under Rug Swept". It'll make sense later.

Spoiler warning: This continues (kind of) from season 7's "Bulley Woolley" with a bit of a twist on it, and then will go AU from there. Other than that there isn't anything else obvious.

Part One (Grace POV): Under Rug Swept
What part of our history’s reinvented and under rug swept?
What part of your memory is selective and tends to forget?
What with this distance it seems so obvious?

“You tried to destroy my best friend”

I think that startled me as much as it did him; I’d never thought of you as my best friend before. I mean, Will is obviously my best male friend – but, somehow, without either of us noticing, I’d put you up there beside him. And it’s true. Will is my dearest friend, but these days I turn to you as well because he’ll lie to me to protect me and you’ll tell me the truth. Often it’s your own unique, twisted version of the truth, but I’ve come to tell the difference between the times when the drugs spin you into your own twisted clarity, and when you’re so aware of everything and everyone around you that it startles both you and me. It scares me that I know drunk Karen better than I know sober Karen.

Because you are two different people, you know. Drunk Karen is fun, all wide smiles, flirtatious offers and stolen kisses in the swatch room that mean more to either of us than we’ll ever admit. But sober Karen, once you’ve gone through an hour or so of nervous giggling and impatient movements, is quiet, hands folded in your lap, tired expression. The sober Karen is the Karen who cries in Jack’s lap, hidden in my bedroom away from Will and I. It used to hurt, you know, that you turned to him instead of me. But now I know why.

The truth grips me, fleetingly, and I let it go again. This isn’t about me. It’s about me and you; it’s us. If there even is an us. And now, as I watch you sleep, I realise how much I want us. I need it. But I can’t need it, because you won’t. You’ve never needed anything, not even the alcohol, or not as much as it seems, anyway. You want them, just like you want Stan and you want Rosario and Jack and your step-kids (yes, I know how much you miss them, do you really think I’m that blind, Karen?) and me and even Will. But you won’t let yourself need it in case it’s taken away from you.

I can’t blame you. Stan wasn’t only taken from you, he left you. And Jack – well, Jack’s dedication to you depends on how much money he needs and his latest fling and a dozen other factors, but he’ll never leave you. You two connect on a level beyond anything superficial, and it’s one of the oddest relationships I’ve ever seen, but it’s also one of the most genuine. And as for me?

I’d like to think that you know I’ll always be there. I hope that you need me, I want you to need to phone me in the middle of the night and I want to leave the flat and rush over to the penthouse. But I’ll always remember that night in your limo when I begged you to ask for help, and when you did several months later, I turned you away.

A small voice is reminding me, trying to abate my guilt, that you weren’t always the best of friends to me. But somehow, I know that you always thought you were helping in your own unique way. You’ve never been intentionally cruel to me, and despite whatever Will might say, you’re very rarely mean without some sort of provocation. You’re always harshest when you’re sober, without the numbing effect of the alcohol to take the edge off of your pain.

Part of me is always wondering how much pain you have that makes you this way. Why do you drink and why the pills, why the endless masquerade of parties and people that you don’t want to see? Why do you do this to yourself? I’d almost asked, once. I remember I’d been going to AA meetings just to have someone to talk to - ridiculous, now I think about it. I, Grace Adler, do not lack people to talk to. Then you found me, dragged me back to the office for beer and sympathy. You came so close to opening up - looking at me, eyes begging for help, and before I could give it you pulled away again. Because, you and I, we don’t do that.

And I look down, at your porcelain body intertwined with mine, pulling away from me slightly even in your sleep and your peace, a thumb edging toward the corner of your mouth, desperate for even that small comfort, and I wonder what the hell I’m letting myself in for. Part of me is screaming “Run, Grace!” because I know I’m a selfish person. It’s just who I am, and I can’t – well, no, I won’t – change. And I know you well enough to know that a meaningful relationship with you won’t be easy, and I’ll have to be the gardener and not the rose, and I’m not used to that.

But I’m not as strong as you. You’ve managed to walk away, push me away emotionally and physically when I’ve hurt you. Yet despite the countless times you’ve hurt me, I’ve never been able to walk away from you. Not once in nine years.

And I’m not about to start now.

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