Title: Clueless

Author: Harper

Rating: PG-13 (for the use of one bad, bad, naughty, bad word)

Fandom: South of Nowhere

Pairing: Spencer/Ashley

Disclaimer: I do not own South of Nowhere, hence I do not own the characters on South of Nowhere. I just watch it. I make no claim, no money, and mean no harm.

Archiving: This will be at www.realmoftheshadow.com/harper.htm with the rest of my drivel. Kim is kind enough to house it there.

Spoilers: Yes, for the episodes “Friends, Lovers, Brothers & Others” and “Put Out or Get Out”.

A/N: South of Nowhere is a show on Noggin, which I think is MTV’s network for teens. Despite the long-ago passage of my teens, I watch the show. There are gay kids on it, which I think is cool. Wish there had been some at my high school, particularly ones like Ashley. Spencer is her potentially not quite straight friend who Ashley clearly wants to be more than her friend. I want so too. This is really a tiny thing. Tiny. But, if you have anything you want to say, I’ll be at Xfjnky2@yahoo.com.

Spencer wasn’t nearly as clueless as she pretended to be.

She saw the way Ashley looked at her, with barely veiled longing. Longing and more than a little confusion, because as much as Ashley wanted her wanted her, she wanted a friend too. A for real friend, one she didn’t have to bombard with badass attitude to compensate for her internal little girl lost complex. And it was that confusion that made Spencer happy. Confusion meant that whatever Ashley was feeling was real.

As for what she herself was feeling… well, Spencer knew that too. Only, knowing it didn’t mean that she wanted to know it. Carrying on as if she was living in a perpetual state of careless oblivion gave her space. She wanted Ashley? She wanted to kiss her, wanted to take those slim fingers in her own and drag her friend somewhere semi-secluded and tease the scowl out of those deliciously pouty lips with a little bit of encouragement from her own? Well, that’s what Aiden and a flask of vodka were for. Not that she’d ever had either before, but the actual sense of oblivion that stole through her after she got past the bitter taste of the liquor was enough for her to forget about the possible consequences of yakking on her parent’s hardwood floor. It made it easier for her to pretend, too. Pretend that Aiden wasn’t a too cute, too slick boy who had absolutely no qualms about maneuvering her into the back of his sporty little Nissan X-terra, riding her newly found lack of inhibitions as far as he could take it. Pretend like she wouldn’t rather be kissing Ashley instead, and almost had. Pretend that she hadn’t almost leaned forward to test the theory she’d developed after countless hours of thought, the one that postulated that kissing Ashley would be like stepping into her own private corner of heaven. Pretend like she hadn’t trailed her finger down the impossibly soft skin of her friend’s neck, like she hadn’t seen the instantaneous explosion of black as Ashley’s pupils dilated, hadn’t seen the moment of blank panic and aching hope on the other girl’s face.

Seeming innocence let her go on a trial run while denying it all the while. Kelly was pretty and charming and obviously into her, and she might have denied that it was a date for as long as she could, but Spencer knew better. It was a date, which was exactly what she wanted. She wanted to see if she could do it, if she could go out with a girl, be with a girl and be obvious about it. She wanted to know if it was too much before she let the seductive part of her mind talk her into letting Ashley in on her big secret. What she hadn’t expected was the sense of betrayal that came with the dancing and the almost kiss and the hand creeping slowly up her thigh in the darkness. Despite the illogical conclusion that she was cheating on a girl she wasn’t even dating, Spencer cut the experiment short. She wasn’t going to experience all of those first times with Kelly. The first time she went out on a real date with a girl, the first time she danced with her like she didn’t care, it would be with the girl she really wanted. The first kiss would be with her too, and Spencer knew herself well enough to know that thoughts of anything past that would only make her blush. But, when she braved it, ignoring the rush of heat in her cheeks, she found Ashley there too, her hand replacing the memory of Kelly’s unwanted touch, of Aiden’s clumsy, too aggressive advances.

Spencer knew enough to know that Ashley was more than relieved to hear that the date hadn’t progressed in a very date-like fashion. The barely hidden jealousy burned through Spencer with far too comforting heat. She liked jealousy. She liked the thought of Ashley waiting up to see what had happened on her “date”, and the carefully neutral tone of her friend’s voice as she asked how the evening had gone.

She liked the fact that she could carelessly walk through her room wearing little more than the shortest of skirts and a teal bra and definitely ruffle her cooler-than-ice friend’s feathers.

She liked having the luxury of time. Knowing how she felt and what she wanted and acting on that were two different things. She didn’t want jaded, cynical eyes like Ashley’s. She didn’t want to feel the sting of parental disapproval and rejection. She wasn’t like Ashley, with her fuck’em all attitude and stockpile of witty comebacks. She didn’t want to put up with snide comments and sly looks.

She did want Ashley, though.

Until she figured out how to make the two halves meet, found some way to make desire outweigh fear, she’d let them all think she was hopelessly clueless. A farm girl from Ohio who wasn’t savvy enough to catch on to the flow of life in LA, or so it seemed.

Good thing her for once appropriately paranoid mom made Ashley sleep downstairs on the couch. Clueless wouldn’t protect her from the too intimate allure of the sound of Ashley breathing next to her, the teasing hint of soft skin possibly not-so-inadvertently brushing against her own and soulful dark eyes shining luminously in the darkness. After all, clueless only went so far.

Spencer knew that. She wasn’t stupid, either.

The End


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