Pairing: unrequited Greta/Patrick
Summary: The scribbles on the papers on Greta's floor are not all about Patrick; most of them are.
Disclaimer: Don't own, don't know, never happened.
Author's Notes: I haven't written anything in weeks and this is confusing and pointless and strange.
There are long days and long nights and stacks of paper piling up around Greta’s bed. All she can think is “I’m not as good as they think I am,” because it’s true; she’s really not. Greta tries to be perfect because the days are endless when someone calls her up and she can’t help. At least when’s she’s fixed something, she can fall in bed exhausted, knowing she’s helped someone.
The thing is Greta wrote most of the songs for the new album on tour and the papers collecting on her floor are fragments of thoughts and descriptions of tiny towns with two gas stations and a strip mall. They’re long, rambling strings of words about home and love and loss. They’re decorated with rough treble clefs and bass clefs with notes dancing up and down the staff.
There’s a level of optimism Greta tries to put into all her songs because she’s really an optimistic person. Most of the time she can see the good in anything, but there are days, days when she hasn’t slept and hasn’t eaten anything except junk food and hasn’t washed her hair in forever, when all she can see is the bad. So she writes the bad down, pours it out into cheap notebooks she bought at Target and piles the unformed songs around her bed so she trips on them when she gets up in the middle of the night.
Greta has never been an obsessive Fall Out Boy fan, not like Darren and Chris. That’s not to say she doesn’t enjoy the music, doesn’t admire the perfect formation of the songs. It just means she never stood in lines for hours to get into some crappy, tiny little venue and never came close to passing out in the middle of a sweat-soaked crowd during Saturday.
So Greta’s never been the kind of Fall Out Boy fan who she met on Black Clouds and Underdogs, the kind of Fall Out Boy fan who’ll camp out outside shows and knows every single word. (Sometimes Greta wonders if they’ll ever have fans like that.) But she’ll sing alone when Darren puts Take This to Your Grave on in the van and sometimes she sticks Infinity on High in the stereo when she’s cleaning the kitchen in her apartment.
Greta mostly likes the music and she likes Patrick’s voice and that’s not surprising; she more than likes Patrick. She refuses to say she’s in love with him, because she’s really not sure. No, instead, she tells herself she’s half-in-love; she’s half-in-love with Patrick Stump and his nimble fingers and soft palms and big, huge smile.
There’s something about Patrick and how he’s soft like Greta’s girl friends (girl friends, not girlfriends because she’s still mostly straight despite being on Decaydance) from high school. How he seems to regard everyone in the Hush Sound as his children or something, even though he’s barely older than them. How he can take a song Greta thinks is good and make it unbelievable. How he treats her like an actual musician and not some kind of commodity because girls are so rare in their particular scene.
Patrick compliments her in a very casual way, most of the time. Just a simple “I like your shirt,” or “That jacket makes your eyes look nice.” Compliments like this, little offhand comments, make her heart swell and her cheeks flush. But when he compliments her about music, it’s different. The comments then are deeper, somehow, more important. He’ll watch her fingers dancing over the piano keys and mention how much he loves the gentle swell of the music there. He’ll tell her offhandedly about how much he loves a particular lyric. Then a warmth will spread down from her shoulders, through her chest and legs, and settle in the tips of her toes. She’ll stutter out a ‘thanks’ because here is Patrick Stump saying he likes her music.
No one really knows that Greta’s half-in-love with Patrick. She’s not going to go out and tell anyone. She’s muttered about it before, soft whispers and hints, after she’s had a couple of drinks. Maybe someone’s guessed, Bob or Darren or Chris, perhaps, because they spend so much time with her. Maybe they’ve noticed the way she smiles when Patrick’s around: happy and wide but with a current of pain that threatens to drag everything under.
It took Greta a long time to even admit to herself that her thing for Patrick was more than just admiration or hero-worship or whatever. There’s no way she’s going to admit it to anyone else.
Patrick’s got a girlfriend, definitely. Greta’s met her once, briefly, a flash of a pretty smile and brown hair curling over tan skin. She was nice, polite, shook Greta’s hand and introduced herself in a soft, pleasant voice. Patrick had an arm around her waist and he was practically glowing.
Greta does not hate Patrick’s girlfriend. Greta is insanely, unbelievably jealous of Patrick’s girlfriend. Sometimes Greta wishes she was that girl, the one with Patrick’s fingers creeping up her side, so much it hurts. But Greta does not hate Patrick’s girlfriend.
There are days, days when Greta’s been home from tour just a little too long when she thinks she has a chance. `Cause Patrick’ll have left a voicemail on her phone or an e-mail in her inbox just asking her how she is, how the new songs are coming. And Greta’ll think that maybe, just maybe there’s a chance. And she’ll feel like she did back in middle school when Matt Nash, the cute boy with the big blue eyes and black curls, smiled at her out of all the other girls.
Then there are days, other days, when she’s exhausted and stressed out for no particular reason and it feels like someone’s pounding rhythmic beats into her forehead. These are the days when she curls up under the covers with Pride and Prejudice and a bag of chocolate chips. These are the days when reality hits her and not in the good way, not in the way where she realizes she actually gets to play music for a living.
Reality hits her and she realizes that Patrick Stump sees her as a younger sister, a prodigy, maybe, that girl in that band Pete signed. Greta’s not anything extraordinary, even if she tries, and Patrick, Patrick can see that.
About half of Greta’s pens leak on her hands and the other half are covered with bite marks. And Greta’s not depressed, really. She’s just sad, sometimes, because she’s half-in-love with Patrick Stump and there’s pretty much no chance in hell he’ll ever love her back. (And Greta just can’t seem to shake it; she’s tried and tried but it doesn’t go away.)
So Greta fills her bedroom floor with stacks and stacks of paper torn out of notebooks, rough-edged and scribbled on. She lets her handwriting run on illegibly, she lets that note in the fourth measure that doesn’t belong stay. There is a certain abandon to those piles of paper, a certain recklessness, a certain necessity. There’s a feeling, to Greta at least, that these papers, these useless, unformed thoughts are just like her: unusable and lacking in potential.
Greta dreams about words and wakes up at 4 AM to jot them down in a notebook with a flowered cover. Sometimes they’ll have that certain something, that certain hope that makes them into a Hush Sound song. And sometimes (most of the time) they’re hopeless and dark and Greta’ll tear them out and drop them onto one of the stacks of paper.
Greta will not cry because there is no reason to. She is happy, she is healthy, she is smart. So she’ll let her words be her despair. She’ll let the darkness of the night hide it and the watery sunlight of the day wash over it. She’ll nourish it and cherish it and she’ll forget about it, eventually. It’s not everything.