Also, if anyone has written in the past for old TV shows, feel free to link your old work here. For example, back in the day, I did some Boy Meets World slash. It was a phase.
Title: How It Should Be
Fandom: The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest
Pairings: Jonny/Jessie, Jessie/Hadji, Hadji/Jonny
Warnings: None, really.
Summary: Hadji, as a general rule, knows best.
Disclaimer: Not mine, no profit, please don't sue.
Jessie thinks: This is when it will all come together.
It seems like clockwork, the way things should be. She's liked Hadji for as long as she can remember--not quite, anyway, but for as long as she's known that liking boys was an option, she just thought it would be Hadji.
There's Jonny, of course. Jonny's...Jonny's there. But Jonny is younger than her (only a few months, a voice in her head tells her) and Jonny isn't that smart (except that he is) and he's so immature sometimes (and so are you) and... Jonny is different.
(Shouldn't Hadji be different?)
And now Jonny isn't there. Jonny is on a ski trip with her dad, and Dr. Quest is, for one night, in Washington D.C.
Her dad told Hadji to take care of her. She told him she didn't need taking care of, and her father said: Just in case.
She isn't interested in Hadji taking care of her. He's almost eighteen--soon he's going to be going back to Bangalore, and it will be just her and Jonny.
This could be her last chance.
Jessie looks over at Hadji. They're watching a movie, on opposite ends of the couch, and Jessie thinks she should do something. She's never subscribed to the whole idea that girls should just stand by waiting for guys to do things.
But she can't make herself move.
"Do you miss Jonny?" says Hadji into the largeness of the house.
"Jonny?" she asks, surprised by the question.
"It's been a long time," says Hadji, "since it's really only been the two of us."
"Oh," she says, quietly, not blushing, "yeah."
"I thought you might prefer having him here."
It's an opening, but she can't take it. "It's different when Jonny's here. We watch more action movies."
"I'm sorry," says Hadji.
"No!" she says, too quickly. "I like hanging out with you, Hadji."
He smiles. "I know. But you and Jonny are different."
Jessie isn't really sure where this is going. This was supposed to be about her, telling Hadji how she felt about him.
Maybe he already knows.
Maybe talking about Jonny is his way of telling her that he doesn't feel the same.
But somehow, it doesn't feel like that.
It feels like Hadji wants to tell her something else.
"I guess. I don't know why dad took him skiing."
"I believe Jonny wanted to talk to him about something," says Hadji, too carefully. "He was concerned."
Jessie feels her temper flare. "Concerned? What's he got to be concerned to my dad about?" She knows, with a confidence she can't explain, that whatever Jonny is worried about is somehow about her.
"It is always you and Jonny, isn't it," says Hadji, reading her mind. "He was concerned that your father does not allow you to date."
"That's my problem, not his," she snaps. She always assumed that if she was dating Hadji, there wouldn't be any problem--her father couldn't object. "Where does he get off--"
"Jessie," says Hadji, in a voice so quiet she can't help but calm down. "Do you think your father ever would have left you alone with Jonny like this? Now that we are older."
She doesn't say anything for a long time. Then, finally, she speaks up softly, "Why are you always explaining things to us, Hadji?"
"Because I am the oldest," he says. "That is my job."
She can't get angry at him. She feels heavy and far away, as if she is watching herself from above. She is replaying her life back to herself. It seems so obvious, from this angle. "Did you always know?"
Hadji looks at her for a long time, so long she thinks he might not say anything at all. Finally he does, though. "Do you know how I met Jonny?"
"Not really," she admits. It seems like the kind of thing she should know, but she tries so hard to forget that it was ever just the two of them.
"I was only five years old. Jonny was three. The two of us learned how to speak together--I did not yet know English yet, and neither did Jonny. In Bangalore, I had friends, but it was different. I did not think of Jonny as my brother, but he was different from anyone else."
Jessie's never heard Hadji talk like that before. Not about anyone.
"Of course, it wasn't very long before you came to live with Race, and it was no longer just me and Jonny. I was old enough to know that having a girl around changed things. And Jonny was not."
"I think you and Jonny make a good match. I think that Jonny has spent a long time trying to tell himself you are not. Almost as long as you have been trying to do the same."
"Jessie," he says gently, "you have never thought of Jonny."
"You never let yourself think of him."
"But you did?"
Hadji smiles down at his legs, wistfully. "It was a long time before I realized this was not how things were done."
"But still...you're telling me that I..."
"That you should talk to Jonny," Hadji says.
Jessie is silent. In the quiet, the movie continues.
Nothing really went like Jessie planned.
Her father comes home before Jonny does, because Jonny is staying on with a couple friends from school before coming home for Christmas and New Year's.
"Jess," says her dad, "I think you should start dating."
"I am sixteen," she says, too flippantly.
"I guess I'm a few years behind," he says. You're still my little girl."
"Jonny talked to you," she says.
Her dad freezes. She smiles. "Come on, dad. You didn't think I wouldn't notice the timing."
"Jonny made some good points about being a teenage girl and social alienation."
"So he really did his homework, huh."
"You could have just asked me yourself."
"I didn't tell Jonny to ask you, dad."
"Well then, that was mighty thoughtful of him."
Jessie doesn't say anything.
"Hey, Jess," says Jonny when he gets back. He's smiling, but he looks nervous too. He looks a lot of things--she can't really put his face together in a way she gets.
Maybe Jonny really is in love with her.
And Hadji is in love with him.
And Jessie thought she knew so well what was going on.
Jonny's had a lot of girlfriends. He never had them for long, but he had them. She figured he was just a high school guy with a short attention span. But the way Hadji tells it, Jonny was in denial, and she was in denial, and...well, Hadji is the one who always knows best. That's how it's always been with him.
Jessie thought that was why she liked him.
At least now, she gets why she never liked a single girl Jonny dated. Even the ones she used to like.
Jonny doesn't hug her, but he looks like he wants to. He always used to. Jessie wonders if anything changed for him, like it did for her. Maybe he thinks she already started dating other guys.
"Welcome back," she says, hugging him instead. Screw this passive bullshit.
He hugs her back, and she feels him nuzzle her hair. A part of her registers he's been doing that for a while now. She just never let herself notice.
"Is Hadji always right?" she asks, without letting go of him.
She feels him draw in his breath. "Depends on what he said."
She smiles into his chest. "That you went skiing so you could talk to my dad about his dating policies."
"Shit, Hadj..." Jonny mutters, moving back slightly. "Look, Jess, I just...I thought he was being out of line. My dad doesn't get teenagers, I figured maybe yours didn't either."
"I don't mind," she says. "Except now I need a new excuse to not go out with that dickhead Mike Carlson."
He laughs, but it's a little forced. "Isn't him being a dickhead an excuse?"
"Yeah," she says, pushing her hair behind her ear. She doesn't know what to say to him either. She thought it would be easier with Jonny. Everything's always been a little easier with Jonny--the two of them are always together. Hadji's on a whole different wavelength. She's thought a lot about it over the last few days, and she thinks she admires Hadji, but on a plane that she can't touch--she can't imagine going out for pizza with Hadji. She can't imagine doing some other things with Hadji either.
She blushes. Jonny scrutinizes her. "You okay, Jess?"
"You know," he says, with such forced casualness that she has to look up, "I could help you out with Mike Carlson. If he asks you out, just say you've already got plans with me."
She could say yes. She could take what he is giving her, and she could give something back. If she really loves him, this is what she should do.
If she really loves Hadji, then everything is complicated. If she loves Hadji, then they are stuck, and no one can be happy, no one will be happy. If she has let Hadji talk her out of her real feelings, then she shouldn't tell Jonny she would like to really go out with him, not just for Mike Carlson.
She doesn't have to pick right now--she could stay silent, and nothing would change. She could keep going as she always has, denying that she loves Jonny just to keep from giving people the satisfaction of being right about the two of them being perfect for each other.
Jonny is rubbing the back of his neck, looking not quite after, his gaze grazing her cheek. He's still so close. All she would have to do is lean forward, and...
Jessie thinks: This is when it will all come together.