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13 December 2006 @ 03:54 pm
The Price of Running  
Title: The Price of Running
Author: Devin
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: Let’s say everything up to and including ‘The Christmas Show’, just to be on the safe side.
Pairing: Danny/Jordan, Danny/Other (past)
Warnings: This is a fairly safe fic, a little angsty and a little fluffy, but nothing too out there.
Summary: He gave her the option to run, but now that she has what happens next?
Disclaimer: Anything that remotely resembles anything on Studio 60 does not belong to me.
Author’s Note: This is my first try at a Studio 60 fic, so I hope it turns out all right. Thanks so much to my beta aaeryn!


Danny stared at Matt like he had lost his mind, which, depending on who you asked, wasn’t entirely out of the question. “No. Absolutely not.”

“We need more writers, and she’s good,” Matt defended.

Secretly, Danny was glad that Matt was fighting him on this, people had been walking on eggshells around him for the last two weeks and it was starting to annoy the crap out of him. He just wished Matt had picked something else to take a stand on.

“Did I do something to piss you off?” Danny demanded, trying to keep the anger out of his voice. “I don’t recall slow dancing with Harriet lately.”

It was a low blow but Matt ignored it, given what he was asking of Danny it was the least he could do.

“Our lives aren’t complicated enough? You need to add into the mix my Ex-Wife running around here?”

“Aw, Daniel, I thought we were past the name-calling,” a teasing voice said from the other side of the room. He looked up and there, leaning against the doorframe of Matt’s office, smirking like she didn’t have a care in the world, was Sarah.

Matt gave him a somewhat guilty look. “Did I not mention she’s starting today?”

***
Jordan’s usually confident gait wavered slightly under the intense scrutiny she felt as soon as she walked through the doors of Studio 60. If it wasn’t the guys’ nervous glances, like she was going to drop the baby at any moment, regardless of the fact that she was only in her 18th week, than it was the women whose dirty looks spoke of exactly whose side they had taken in the current circumstances.

Regardless of the fact that she had gotten Danny to agree that it was best all around if they remained just friends for the time being, there were still people who were walking around like she’d ripped out his heart and stomped on it.

But she hadn’t, she swears that she didn’t. Things were just too complicated at the moment to add anything else into her life, even if it was Danny Tripp.

As she walked through the halls today though she couldn’t help feeling there was something different, amongst all the looks she was used to receiving, there seemed to be a third, one that almost appeared to be pity. However, she decided that this, like the other two, was best ignored.

She walked into Matt’s office, not bothering to knock, sure that this would be where she’d find Danny.

“What happened? I thought you were meeting me 30 minutes-“ But she pulled up short, taking note of the third occupant of the room. “Sorry,” she said, almost automatically, assuming she’d interrupted a meeting.

There was a very weird vibe in the room. The tall blonde woman, who looked just a couple years older that her, was relaxed but she appeared to be the only one. Matt seemed to be an odd mixture of amusement and apprehension. And Danny, well, either he was red-in-the-face angry or someone in make-up had attacked him with rouge.

But, being Danny, he still took control of the situation. “Jordan McDeere, Sarah Greene,” he introduced the two women, who then shook hands. “Sarah’s just been added to the writing staff.”

Jordan decided she was definitely going to ask him later about the look he’d just shot Matt.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you,” she told the woman, who smiled brightly in return and echoed the sentiment. Well she seemed nice enough, what on Earth could be Danny’s problem with her? Matt wouldn’t hire a hack, so that couldn’t be it.

“So which of these two did I cause to stand you up?” Sarah asked, amiably.

“Oh no, it’s nothing like that,” she hastened to reply, even though she saw the tiny bit of hurt in Danny’s eyes every time she acted like it was an impossibility that she was with him. She just couldn’t let anyone believe it; if others believed it was true than it would become a little more real, and then she would suddenly find herself in an area she told him and herself that they couldn’t go. “Danny’s doing me a favor by making sure I never have to face the terrors of the OB-GYN alone,” she joked and grinned at him, trying to soften the blow of her prior vehemence.

Danny grinned back slightly and got up from his place on the couch, she assumed so they could at least attempt to be on time to her appointment. Sarah’s expression, however, had become slightly guarded now.

“Yeah, he was always good at that,” Sarah said, her voice now tight but she was trying to force some humor back into it. “Just make sure he doesn’t pass out this time around. That stuff makes him a little queasy.”

Jordan felt her spine stiffen as the words fell into place, and she couldn’t even look at the other two occupants of the room to see what their reaction to her words had been.

The only thought she remembered having at that moment was, ‘Oh.’

***

Danny couldn’t remember ever being a participant in such an awkward car ride. There had been more cheer in an automobile when he’d had to go pick up his little sister from her Prom because her idiot date had gotten drunk and she was afraid to call their parents about it.

Jordan had tried to make small talk a couple times but all he gave was nonverbal answers. Mostly because he thought that if he actually opened his mouth the first words out of it would have been, “Yeah, so that was Ex-Wife #1. You’re just lucky it wasn’t the 2nd one; though she might actually be graduating from college now, so she might finally be able to chew gum and walk at the same time.”

That probably wouldn’t be one of his best moves, so he stayed silent.

Apparently Jordan had just been biding her time however, because as soon as they had signed her in for her appointment and they had found seats in the waiting room, she attacked.

“So, Sarah seems nice.”

He picked up a magazine and pretended to read it before answering. “She is.”

“You didn’t seem happy that Matt hired her.”

Her tone was leading but he wasn’t going to give into it that easy, so he just shrugged. “It won’t be too bad, she is a good writer.”

She paused and he, had he not known her, would have thought she’d given up. “Did she lose the baby?” Her voice was soft, almost like a caress, but it didn’t take the sucker-punch value out of her words.

Snapping closed the magazine, he tossed it on the table in front of them and turned toward her. “I don’t want to talk about it,” he told her in the voice he usually reserved for people on the crew that had screwed up during a live broadcast.

But he was talking to Jordan, and she wasn’t scared of him, no matter which voice he used. “Is that why you two separated?”

He turned away from her, but was just as surprised as she was when he answered her. “That, among many other things.”

“How long were you married?”

“Four years.”

“Is that some kind of Hollywood record?” she tried to joke.

He felt a corner of his mouth raise up, but felt absolutely no humor about the situation. “I think the only record we held was for number of fights held in a single marriage.”

He wasn’t expecting it, so when she reached over and took his hand Danny practically jumped out of his skin, but she didn’t let go. “She doesn’t sound that nice to me.”

He looked at her curiously. “How do you know it wasn’t my fault?”

“Because I do know you.” She smiled, almost shyly, and picked up the magazine he had tossed aside and handed it back to him. “You want to tell me more about crab eggs?”

***

“I don’t want you working with her.” Jordan couldn’t believe the words she’d been thinking since meeting Sarah earlier in the day had finally slipped out. To his credit Danny managed not to choke on the water the waitress had just brought them.

She watched as he calmly, almost too calmly, set the glass back down on the table. “The writing staff is Matt’s domain. Neither of us gets to make that call.”

She thought about playing the ‘I’m the boss’ card, but it didn’t seem appropriate in this situation. Instead she went with a slight variation. “Maybe if I talk to him-“

He cut her off with a shake of his head, she knew she wasn’t going to like what he had to say next. “Jordan, don’t take this the wrong way, because I do appreciate your concern, but you forfeited the right to be upset about this.”

She should have seen that coming. “And how did I do that?” she challenged anyway.

“By giving me the most well-thought-out, though questionably structured for a graduate of Amherst, ‘let’s just be friends’ speech.”

Jordan felt tears creep into her eyes, but both were spared from continuing the conversation when the waitress returned to take their order.

***

Danny walked Jordan back to her office after they finished lunch. Though he wanted nothing more than to escape this entire afternoon he could still hear his mother’s voice screaming in his head that no lady should have to walk to a door by herself.

Once she was safely returned however, he did turn to leave but she caught his arm and dragged him into her office, shutting the door behind them. He went without question, though not quite willingly. As he looked at her, waiting for her to speak, he watched as tears gathered in her eyes until there were so many that some had to escape.

Without much thought he reached out and cupped her cheek, swiping at the tears with his thumb.

When she began to speak it was in a whisper that he had to strain to hear.

“I’ve been married once before, and I’m pregnant with another man’s baby, and I’ve already turned you down once. I know that’s no man’s dream of a woman. Nevertheless I believe I’m falling in love with you as well. If you want to work with every Ex-wife or girlfriend you’ve ever had that’s fine, but you should warn them ahead of time that they have no chance in hell because this time I’m coming for you, and I won’t let you give me the ‘let’s be friends’ speech.”

Danny felt his jaw drop to somewhere in the vicinity of the floor, and was pretty sure that his mouth had just dried up because his throat felt suspiciously scratchy.

She didn’t let him take the moment he needed to restart his brain though, and leaned up into him, lightly brushing her mouth across his.

He recovered quickly after that and pulled her against him, kissing her back.

When they separated, arms still tightly around each other and foreheads now resting together, they were both breathless. Pulling back slightly, he brushed a kiss against her cheek that was still salty from her tears.

“I’m definitely keeping Sarah around if this is your reaction,” he teased.

Before she could retaliate for that comment he captured her lips in another sweet kiss.


The End
 
 
 
hopeful_writer: Jordanny Kisshopeful_writer on December 14th, 2006 12:34 am (UTC)
That was cute! Loved Jordan's reaction to the ex-wife, and how it finally jump-started her to do something. And I liked Danny telling her that she had forfeited her right to be angry. Well done.
Devin: Danny/Jordanhazel_eyes_86 on December 14th, 2006 08:33 am (UTC)
thanks! glad you liked the line about her forfeiting her right to be angry, it was one of the first lines stuck in my head when I sat down to write the thing :D
jezzibella: jordan/dannyjezzibella on December 14th, 2006 12:44 am (UTC)
Yayyy! I love this piece! ♥ I like possesive Jordan :D

Nicely done!
Devin: Staplerhazel_eyes_86 on December 14th, 2006 08:41 am (UTC)
thanks! hey, a girl's gotta defend what's hers, right? ;)
(Anonymous) on December 14th, 2006 01:05 am (UTC)
Yay! Well done! And all it took was an ex-wife, that's pretty cool ;-)
Thank you!
J.
Devin: Backward Glancehazel_eyes_86 on December 14th, 2006 08:43 am (UTC)
lol well one of those ex-wives has got to pop up sometime, we might as well get something out of it :P

thanks!
scoob2222scoob2222 on December 14th, 2006 01:16 am (UTC)
Adorable. I love jealous Jordan.
Devin: Danny/Jordanhazel_eyes_86 on December 14th, 2006 08:43 am (UTC)
thanks! :D
van_canucksvan_canucks on December 14th, 2006 04:12 am (UTC)
That was love. Utter and complete love. Possessive/Jealous Jordan kicks ass. And her speech to Danny almost made me want to cry like when Danny said that to her. This may sound mean, but I kinda want this situation to happen, where someone from Danny's past comes and works or is just around him and that kinda threatens Jordan and makes her realise that he is her lobster.
aaeryn: lexiloumarie D/J Even Matt Knowsaaeryn on December 14th, 2006 06:27 am (UTC)
Exactly!

He's her lobster! :) I got teary when I read the speech. Such good writing. :)
Devin: Staplerhazel_eyes_86 on December 14th, 2006 09:19 am (UTC)
*blushes* thanks! glad you liked it :D I don't think it sounds mean, but then again I pretty much live for angst... as long as it gets resolved at some point of course lol

five points for 'realise that he is her lobster' ;)
(Deleted comment)
Devin: Backward Glancehazel_eyes_86 on December 14th, 2006 09:20 am (UTC)
thanks! glad you liked it :D
Amelie: s60 [JD] B/W distantthree_fates1987 on December 14th, 2006 05:42 am (UTC)
Lovely. I adore how you turned around his own speech. I'm amazed at how much plot you could work into such a short story. It was very cause/effect and yet it felt fully developed. Awesome work.
Devin: Danny/Jordanhazel_eyes_86 on December 14th, 2006 09:22 am (UTC)
yay, I'm glad it didn't feel like I tried to cram too much it. thanks!
(Anonymous) on December 14th, 2006 05:59 am (UTC)
Is it wrong that I love that the ex-wife is the exact opposite physical description from Jordan? Interesting little thing, and I loved the heartbreaking little convo. in the waiting room. Just rip my heart out now. I can take it.

Fave part?: “I’m definitely keeping Sarah around if this is your reaction,” he teased

Can't you just see him smirking after that? (Yes, I love the smirk!)

Great work!
Devin: Staplerhazel_eyes_86 on December 14th, 2006 09:25 am (UTC)
hehe it is definitely all about the smirk (esp when the dimples are involved)

thanks!
aaeryn: Morgan Respect J/Daaeryn on December 14th, 2006 06:26 am (UTC)
Lurves it! Great job! :) Squee! I love Jordan in this.
Devin: Backward Glancehazel_eyes_86 on December 14th, 2006 09:26 am (UTC)
thanks!

and thanks again for beta reading it, you rock :D
le_maistre_e: On My Mindle_maistre_e on December 14th, 2006 06:37 am (UTC)
*guh*
“I’ve been married once before, and I’m pregnant with another man’s baby, and I’ve already turned you down once. I know that’s no man’s dream of a woman. Nevertheless I believe I’m falling in love with you as well. If you want to work with every Ex-wife or girlfriend you’ve ever had that’s fine, but you should warn them ahead of time that they have to chance in hell because this time I’m coming for you, and I won’t let you give me the ‘let’s be friends’ speech.”

Just *guh*

Devin: Danny/Jordanhazel_eyes_86 on December 14th, 2006 09:28 am (UTC)
Re: *guh*
*looks hopeful* 'guh' is good right? :D
ohdannyboy60ohdannyboy60 on December 14th, 2006 09:41 am (UTC)
That was awesome. Loved it. Loved turning the speech around on him, loved that the ex showed up (I've been hoping one or the other, or both, would...)

Also, I loved the beginning, how protective everyone is of Danny; the cast being so careful of him, and kind of wary of Jordan; that was really sweet.

Also sweet, was when Jordan turned another set of Danny's words back on him "Because I do know you." *sigh* Really lovely, thanks.
Devin: Staplerhazel_eyes_86 on December 15th, 2006 02:06 am (UTC)
o man, you've uncovered my devious plan to just have Jordan paraphrase all of Danny's lines! lol

thanks! I'm glad you like it
Mo: Studio 60 - Danny/Jordanluke2 on December 14th, 2006 02:27 pm (UTC)
EEE!! That was so great.
Devin: Backward Glancehazel_eyes_86 on December 15th, 2006 02:07 am (UTC)
thanks! :D
i already forgot your namestidbit2008 on December 14th, 2006 07:56 pm (UTC)
Aww, that was great! :D Very well written, thanks for sharing :)
Devin: Danny/Jordanhazel_eyes_86 on December 15th, 2006 02:08 am (UTC)
thanks, glad you liked it! :D
i already forgot your names: s60; jeannietidbit2008 on November 1st, 2010 07:58 pm (UTC)
So I was poking around and saw this on the sidebar and.. my god has it really been four years? :(

Still such a lovely fic, too, btw.

(Additionally, how is it the only S60 icon I have atm is Jeannie? LOL)
L.P: Studio 60-Dream Come Truelairewen on December 15th, 2006 05:31 am (UTC)
Aw, nice. Jordan's speech was good.
LP
Devin: Staplerhazel_eyes_86 on December 15th, 2006 08:12 am (UTC)
thanks! :D
(Anonymous) on December 15th, 2006 08:25 pm (UTC)
Can I guess that you would cast Janel Maloney as the "tall blonde" ex-wife?Love this story.
Devin: Danny/Jordanhazel_eyes_86 on December 16th, 2006 12:59 am (UTC)
lol well now I definitely would, the description just kinda came out when I was writing.

thanks :D
Chuck: darabelle // Hugh Laurietoughlovebaby on December 25th, 2006 12:13 pm (UTC)
NAW THAT WAS SO SWEET :)

loved it :D
Devin: Backward Glancehazel_eyes_86 on December 26th, 2006 02:26 am (UTC)
thank you! glad you liked it :D