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Sorkin Fest: A Celebration of Genius
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People Don't Like Funny Girls 
25th-May-2008 09:05 pm
Stop talking!
Title: People Don't Like Funny Girls
Author: sillyg
Prompt: Harriet, people don't like funny girls
Fandom: Studio 60
Rating: R - for heavy drinking?
Pairing: Matt/Harry w/ hints of Jordan/Danny
Notes: 1. Yes, I know I'm late...
2. This is my first Studio 60 fic - FYI
3. Timeline - Basically between Ep. 1 and Ep. 4 - Jordan doesn't know she's pregnant yet or she obviously wouldn't be drinking with Harriet but alcohol is important to this story so I'm going with she just doesn't know yet.
4. Special thanks to lieueitak for her fabulous beta. :)
Disclaimer: They don't belong to me!


The heavy leather bag dropped onto the bar stool next to her. Harriet looked up at Jordan and almost laughed at the look on her face.

"You sure you want to be here right now?"

Jordan grimaced, "So you saw it?"

"Everyone saw it." Harriet sipped her wine and rolled her eyes.

"Yeah, I kind of figured. But at this point, who cares if I get drunk?"

"Agreed! Join me, new friend, and we will drown ourselves together."

"Poison of choice?"

"Normally, gin; I love a good gin and tonic. Tonight though I'm opting for red wine."

"Any particular reason?"

"Well,” Harriet paused and contemplated her wine glass just long enough that Jordan guessed she was at least two or three glasses deep already, “my ex is now my boss. I'm figuring my heart is going to need some bolstering, and they say red wine is good for the heart."

Jordan laughed hoarsely at Harriet's logic and nodded at the bartender. "Scotch, neat, top shelf, and another glass of red for my friend. So we're drinking for your health and my sanity?"

"Right."

The bartender brought over a tumbler of amber liquor and a large glass of Bordeaux and set them in front of the ladies. They clinked glasses and took appreciative sips and returned to staring at the neat rows of expensive vodkas in front of them.

"I've never liked vodka." Harriet wrinkled her nose and swiped an olive from the bartender’s glass just over the lip of the bar.

"Really?"

"It tastes like rubbing alcohol."

"Ah, Harry, you have never had good vodka."

"Spoken like a woman with a mug shot for drunk driving."

"Ouch.” Jordan paused for a second, “Wait, did I deserve that?"

"No."

"Okay." Jordan returned her attention to her scotch.

Harriet watched the rich red wine swirl around her glass and turned to Jordan. "You know what's really fucked up about this whole thing?"

"The poetic justice of it all?"

"What poetic justice?"

"I don't know. It just felt right to say." Harriet nodded her head and smirked at the quip.

"We're going to be friends."

"Yeah?"

"Yeah. I need more girlfriends."

"I've never had girlfriends. Girls don't like me." Jordan tried to pout but ended up shaking her head at her own melodrama and sipped her scotch.

"I like you."

"Yeah, but you're weird."

"Truth!"

"Why is that?"

"Why is what?"

"Why are you weird?"

"Because." Harriet took a long, slow sip of wine.

"So you know why you're weird?"

"Oh yeah." Silence fell between them and Harriet smiled softly at the bar in front of her.

"Care to share with the rest of the class or is it an inside joke that only the boys would understand?"

"The boys?"

"Yeah, your boys, Matt and Danny? Remember them? Kind of sexy in that dorky, movie-geek kind of way?"

Jordan drained her scotch and met the bartender's eye, silently ordering another drink in that way that only a true drinker can – at home in any bar, speaking a universal language with every barkeep – and turned her body to face Harriet, devoting her entire attention to the other woman. Harriet's hair fell forward as she slid her wine glass back and forth between her thumb and forefingers, hiding her face from Jordan's gaze.

"Ah, my boys." Harriet drained her glass and waved the bartender over. "Tequila, lime, salt. Thank you." She turned to Jordan, who laughed and quirked an eyebrow at her order.

"Well, if we're going there, I'm going to need something a lot stronger than red wine."

Harry licked her wrist, took the shot and bit the lime, grimacing as she put it down before beginning. "My boys. I guess they are. And yes, they get it. Well, Danny gets it. Matt can't see past me to get it but Danny gets it. It's why it works."

"Too many pronouns, Harry. I need some proper nouns, thank you."

"You asked why I'm weird and then you brought up the boys – my rock and a hard place. It's hard to go there without a lot of pronouns. The only people who really get it are the people in the story."

"Your rock and a hard place?"

"Matt and Danny. Well, actually, Danny and Matt."

"So," she drained her second scotch and figuring their conversation would only get more incoherent longer Harry tried to explain it, Jordan decided to just roll with it. "Danny is your rock? And Matt is your hard place? I don't get it."

"Matthew and I are a proverbial lost cause. He thinks I'm his muse. The industry thinks I'm not funny unless he's my writer. Danny, ah Danny, my Danny, he discovered me, you know?"

"Really?"

"Yeah, I was working with the Groundlings. He came in and saw me and invited me in to audition. He found me and brought me home to this crazy, ramshackle domicile at Studio 60, and then he brought me to Matt. He's my rock. He gets me in a way that not even Matt gets me."

"I don't see it."

Harriet smiled and took a sip of her third glass of red wine. Mixing tequila and red wine was a bad idea but she didn't really care. It was easier to explain this ridiculousness drunk than sober. "Ah, but you will." Her eyes got big and she nodded sagely into her wine glass.

"Will what?"

"You'll see it. I can tell. He's a good man, Danny." She laid her hand on Jordan's arm, "I mean, he's a mess. They both are," She laughed and met Jordan's eye, "but you'll see it."

"Do you know something I don't?"

"It's not that I know something you don't. It's that I know the look in Danny's eye when he sees something he wants. And he had that look tonight."

"I don't get it."

"You will."

"You're drunk."

"Yes. But I only understand my weirdness when I'm drunk, so, if you want the story, you're going to have to deal with it."

"Okay."

"So, Danny gets me an audition and, after my first sketch gets airtime – I didn't write it, but it was the first time I was on syndicated-television in a main character role in a sketch, so it was a big deal – they take me out after the show. Matt goes to the bar to get us drinks, and Danny and I are dissecting the skit when I question why a joke didn't get a laugh. He looks up at me and says, 'Harriet, people don't like funny girls.'" Harriet pauses like this is perfectly clear and understandable.

"I don't get it."

Harriet raised an eyebrow, and she leaned towards Jordan conspiratorially, "I didn't either at first. But it sunk in later. When I didn't get laughs at a table read but one of the guys did for the same joke. When I brought something I wrote to Wes and he shot it down. People don't like funny girls." And she stopped again as though this made it all crystal clear.

"People don't like funny girls?"

"No, my appeal lays in my cute ass and Matt's jokes coming out of my mouth."

"Oh Harriet, I hope you know that's not true." Jordan’s hand landed softly on the other woman’s arm and rested there for a moment.

"It's not to the people who matter. Part of the reason Danny is my rock is because he gets me. He knows that I can take something that Matt is trying to make funny, say it out loud, and it is funny. Girls are funny. People just don't want us to be. They'd rather credit Matt's writing genius or Danny's production or Cal's direction. It's not about my talent. It's what they give me to do. Danny sees through it. It's why he's so good. It's why he can amplify Matt's writing. It's why they make a great pair. Danny recognizes raw talent and morphs it into beauty. He is an artist who doesn't want to be one."

"That makes no sense."

"I know." She smiled as she sipped her wine again and winked at the bartender.

"So, you know why you're weird."

"Jordan? You're drunk."

"Harriet?"

"Yeah?"

"You're drunk too."

"I know. The story doesn't make sense when I tell it sober. Trust me, I've tried. Simon and Tom think I'm a loon. But I am Natasha to their Boris so it's okay."

"You don't really think people don't like funny girls, do you?"

Harriet's eyes welled briefly with tears and Jordan thought that maybe, maybe she'd gone too far. "Harriet?"

Softly, Harriet quipped, "You know, my mother thought I was a funny girl? And her opinion was the only one I ever cared about until I met Danny and Matt. So, you see, I know that in reality it's not true, but in Hollywood it is. People don't want their girls to be funny. Sexy, yes. Smart, sure. Funny, no. Someday, it'll be different. Someday, I'll go to a comedy club and bring in a girl for an audition and Danny will see it. Because Danny's not Hollywood. Danny's something else."

"Jeez, Harry, if I didn't know better from the gossip magazines I'd think you had a crush on Danny."

"Nah. Danny and I see eye to eye on too many things for there to be anything deeper between us. He connects with women he has to figure out and who have to figure him out. I told you, he's my rock. Matt's my hard place, and I'm happy caught between them because, no matter how far apart we get, Danny will always bounce me back to Matt when it's time."

"How do you know?"

"I don't,” Harriet paused and looked at Jordan with surprising lucidity. “But I have faith that we will always come back to each other. It's part of the incongruity in my character – humor and faith – people don't understand it. I know in my heart that behind the jokes and the mania, Matt is the man I will always come back to in my heart and my head and my soul. Because Matt brings out the funny in me, accepting and embracing every aspect of who I am, never even acknowledging to himself that people don't like funny girls."
Comments 
26th-May-2008 11:44 pm (UTC)
Oh! This is gorgeous. Lovely!
26th-May-2008 11:55 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I've never written Studio60 fic before so I was nervous but I'm rather happy with the way it turned out. I'm glad you liked it!
27th-May-2008 04:19 am (UTC)
Congratulations on participating in Sorkin Fest! Thanks again for your interest and support. :D

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