Title: Looking for a Sign
Fandom: Misc, 8 out of 10 cats(?)
Pairing: Jimmy Carr/Unknown Male Companion -- Basically whoever your Jimmy Carr OTP is...
Rating: T for language (cause Jimmy Carr, natch!)
Disclaimer: Do not own (haha, as if anyone could own Jimmy Carr - though after the tax scandal maybe he's up for rent?), am not making any profit, etc.
Summary: Jimmy has a knack for rousing the most intense emotions. Anger, annoyance, irritation, exasperation... but in the end it always comes down to love.
Author's Warning: Second-person point of view - can be a little jarring if you're not used to it.
You weren't exactly sneaking down the hallway (in fact, you'd be a little surprised to find that half of London hadn't heard you coming) but when you reach Jimmy's dressing room door it's to find him thoroughly engrossed in his paper and quite pointedly ignoring your arrival.
There's any number of reasons you ought to turn around and walk away, not least of which is his chilly reception, but you can't bring yourself to do it. You lean against the door frame, knowing it annoys the hell out of him but doing it anyway.
He clears his throat, shifts irritably in his chair, rustles his paper with an annoyed snap and generally makes his displeasure known but he still won't turn around to acknowledge your presence. You allow a small smile to slip onto your lips. Even now you can't help trying to get a rise out of him.
He's never been one for keeping his opinions to himself and you know it's only a matter of time before he tires of the silent treatment and starts venting. If there's one thing you know it's how to push Jimmy Carr's buttons.
He breaks sooner than you expect, his familiar derisive drawl almost startling in its suddenness since you still can't see his face.
"Sorry," he starts without preamble, "but who precisely let you in here?"
The question is obviously rhetorical and even more obviously meant to convey just how thoroughly unimpressed he is with you at the moment but you answer it anyway.
"No one," you reply with a hint of pride. "I let myself in."
"Oh, good." Again his tone implies the exact opposite. "I'd hate to have to fire someone on Christmas fucking Eve."
You allow yourself an amused shake of your head only because he's still buried in his paper and can't see you. You're not an idiot after all.
"You don't have the authority to fire anyone," you remind him dryly.
"No, but I can make their life truly un-fucking-pleasant."
He can be such a melodramatic cunt when he's in one of his strops. You can always trust Jimmy to turn a minor disagreement into a major row.
"Jesus, Jimmy," you start without thinking. "What the hell is your damage?"
Okay, maybe you're a little bit of an idiot. There's no need for a thermometer to know that his already frosty attitude has dipped well below absolute zero and you could just about kick yourself because this is so not going according to plan.
"My damage?" he repeats tightly. "You want to know what my fucking damage is?"
Each syllable comes out several octaves higher than the last and you can practically see the steam billowing off of him in waves. It's a struggle but you valiantly keep yourself from humming I'm A Little Teapot. You have that much self-preservation left.
"You are my fucking damage," he continues with a snarl. "You and your stupid jokes and your stupid hair and your stupid... fat fucking face!"
You start to wince out of habit (the man is infamous for his ability to flay people to the quick with his words alone) then stop in confusion.
Your face wasn't fat. Was it?
A hasty glance in the mirror reveals perfectly normal face proportions here, thank you very much. You sigh in relief before your eyes meet in the mirror. He's finally dropped the paper and it's not looking good for your chances of walking out of here with all your bits intact.
"I'm sorry I have stupid hair," you blurt out with all the gravity you can manage.
He swivels the chair around to face you but its not exactly a victory. The glare he levels in your direction would have lit soggy kindling if there was any to hand.
"You're pissed, aren't you?" he snaps out.
It's not a question and it's getting really bloody hard to keep up with this conversation when your mind is spinning hazily and Jimmy refuses to mean what he says and say what he means.
Except for the stupid part. He meant that one.
And you're starting to agree with him. It was really stupid of you to come here, especially considering how difficult it is to remain standing upright at the moment and the floor, when you squint at it, looks a million miles away.
"I'm sorry," you whisper again, leaning miserably against the door frame.
For coming here, for finding your courage at the bottom of a bottle, for getting him so angry he left in the first place, for stalking his friends until their glares turned to looks of pity and they told you he'd been crashing at the studio to avoid you.
He could take his pick, you were sorry for all of it, and for a split second it seems like that might be enough. His face softens minutely and your relief is so intense you could almost swoon.
Then his eyes shutter and the mask returns. You should have known it wasn't going to be that easy. Nothing ever is with Jimmy but that's part of what draws you to him.
It's the quirks and the moods and the uncertainty of it all, almost as much as his intelligence and quick wit and sharp tongue, that keep you coming back time after time.
His habit of slagging off his 'girlfriend' in public to keep up the pretense, his insistence on always topping (not that you really mind that part, he's got a single-minded determination when he puts his mind to something that really works to your advantage), and the filthy words spoken in that posh tone of voice.
The smirk he can't hide whenever he thinks he's been exceedingly clever or managed to shock someone speechless, that ridiculous laugh of his that he refuses to be ashamed of and a million other outrageous mannerisms and airs that drive you right up the wall but you know you can't live without.
It's the whole damn package and he makes you work for it but at the end of the day it's worth it. It's always been worth it for Jimmy.
Despite the whiskey and regret eddying in your brain you know what you have to do. If it's groveling Jimmy Carr wants then groveling he will get.
In your mind you step forward, sink down on one knee with a hand over your heart and pour your soul out. You lay it all bare without a qualm or a quiver.
If these last few days have taught you anything, it's that cheap alcohol is not an option - no matter how drunk you start out - and that you are literally lost without him. A mere shadow of a man, lacking purpose and direction, stumbling through a world left flat and grey without him.
In reality you trip over your own feet and practically pitch yourself into his lap. Your foreheads meet with a sickening thump and the world starts to reel more than it already was.
He's swearing up a blue streak but you're too busy trying not to be sick all over him to do much of anything at the moment, despite how much you want to start crying. Your luck is shit right now and that is as it should be really.
Jimmy left without taking a single thing with him, even a change of clothes - and isn't it hysterical that he still manages to look stylish and put together in the same suit three days running and you look shit no matter how long you stay in the shower hoping that when you come out it'll have been nothing more than a bad dream – but he still managed to take everything that mattered with him.
The balance of the universe is off and nothing is going to be okay or make sense or work out for you until Jimmy is back where he belongs, at your side, in your life.
“You absolute pillock,” he breathes softly and this time you're thankful his tone sounds nothing like it ought to.
By rights he should be furious with you but instead he sounds equal parts resigned and amused. You think for a second that you ought to resent it, you're not a misbehaving puppy, after all, but he's carding his fingers through your hair and you melt against him.
“Are you coming home?” you ask desperately, terrified of the answer despite his apparently thawing attitude.
“Are you done acting like a right twat?” he demands snidely but his hands remain gentle on your aching head and you dare to hope.
"I missed you," you reply inanely.
It falls far short of the soul-baring declaration you had planned earlier but it's all you can manage with your head threatening to split in two. It seems to do the trick though because he gives a short sharp bark of amusement and buries his face in your hair.
You wonder if he notices it smells like his shampoo. You used half the bottle trying to comfort yourself with his scent. God, you're a fucking sap when it comes to Jimmy.
“I missed you, too,” he whispers.
And it's all the declaration you're going to get but you've realized something in the last few days. You don't really need all the sickly sweet declarations and public displays of affection that you thought you had to have to be happy.
All you need is him and this and a kiss that tastes of sour whiskey and hurts because you've both been too worked up to shave recently and its absolutely fucking brilliant.
If you could stay here in this moment for the rest of your life you would die a happy man.
Sometime later he shakes you and you realize that you've been happily breathing in the scent of him, snuffling into the crook of his neck like an overlarge dog and he hasn't complained about the indignity of it all.
And isn't that a sign in and of itself? The constantly prim and always proper (in a sense) Jimmy Carr allowing you to despoil his normally painfully precise demeanor.
It seems like a small thing but you'll take anything you can get and treasure it all the more for its rarity.
"Seriously," he says and you look up in confusion. "How did you get in? Because they locked up most of this place when everyone left for the hols. They even locked the fucking door to the room with the coffee and crisps."
You can't help it. You start laughing at the faintly disgruntled look on his face, as if this were some nefarious plot on their part to discomfit him.
Eventually he joins in, not so stuck up that he can't laugh at himself.
Maybe the universe has been just as out of whack on his end without you in it. Maybe he needs you just as much as you need him.
And maybe that's the sign you were looking for all along.