Work Header

Folding Caution (The Time to Remember Remix)

Work Text:

She stands outside the door to Polly's office for ten minutes before leaving, the flashdrive Annabelle gave her burning a hole in her pocket. She wants to forget Taylor, forget her stupid face and the way she smells and how she likes her toast burnt black and covered with peanut butter. But she knows it won't work. If anything she'll just be learning everything again in a few months and she was the head of the fucking Emos so it's all sorts of pathetic that she keeps repeating this stupid story without remembering anything.

In the end she grabs hold of her ovaries and womans up. Millions of people get through breakups without medical procedures that erase their memories. Andrea can too. Emos are supposed to embrace pain and all she's been doing is running away from it.

She goes on holiday. Three months in Europe to try and get over Taylor. It works about as well as she expected, but she's got more than enough photos to start putting together a new show. She's deep in the process of editing her files when Annabelle shows up at her door. She wants to open the door just to slam it in her face, but she also knows that despite everything Annabelle did her a favor. She still doesn't let her in though, instead she leans against the door jam and gives Annabelle her best unimpressed look, “Yeah?”

Annabelle smiles back, shy and nervous, and nothing like the girl Andrea knew by the time she left St. Trinian's. It's disconcerting. As she watches Annabelle seems to shake herself and it's like the Head Girl Andrea heard stories of settles down over her, it's fascinating and makes Andrea's fingers itch for her camera in an attempt to catch it all. The smile is bright and friendly and incredibly fake in a way the shy and nervous one hadn't been, “I'm re-opening my father's gallery, well, my gallery now, and I'm terribly out of touch with the current artist crowd. I was hoping you could point me in the right direction.”

Andrea blinks back at that and steps away from the door, gesturing Annabelle into her loft. She grabs some water from the fridge and they sit down next to each other on the couch, “I get a spot in the show?”

“Of course,” Annabelle says as she takes the water. She pulls a folder from her bag and starts pulling out papers, “Let me show you the space I have.”

Somehow Andrea goes from suggesting a few names to helping set up the entire show, her own pieces getting the best place. It's a good opening show for the gallery and it makes Andrea laugh like she hasn't since things went bad with Taylor. The end of the first night of the show finds the two of them sitting in the back office drinking bad champagne while listening to the current pop favorites on the radios. Annabelle finishes off her glass and stares at the ceiling, her laughter suddenly silenced, “Did I know Kelly at St. Trinian's?”

The questions gives Andrea the shivers because she knows why Annabelle is asking, the same reason she wants to ask if she knew Taylor at school. It scares her sometimes how much she's not sure she knows anymore, the last year especially is all fuzzy. She knows she helped steal 'The Girl with a Pearl Earring', but she doesn't remember much about it. She nods before realizing Annabelle can't see her, “Yeah, yeah you did.”

“I thought so,” Annabelle says tightly, a grim smile on her face. “I ran into Anoushka a few months back and something she said...”

Annabelle trails off and they sit in silence finishing the champagne. They don't talk about it after that, the lost past they share, but occasionally they'll share memories of things that happened during their one shared year at St. Trinian's. If nothing else Andrea now knows why Annabelle decided to re-open the gallery.

After the show closes Andrea ends up staying in touch with Annabelle. She has her own projects, but she ends up at the gallery more often than not, watching as Annabelle does the accounts or sorts out her next show. Sometimes she wonders what it all means, but she's afraid to ask. She's had one relationship on repeat since she left St. Trinian's and there isn't anything in that forgotten script that'll help her out here. Annabelle smiles when she walks in the door though and Andrea knows she threw out everything she'd kept from Polly's office. She's still not sure what it means, but it makes her feel good inside, warm and happy. It's feels precarious though, like she's balancing on a pile of things she doesn't even know the name of, and she's terribly afraid of upsetting it all.

Of course it comes crashing down the next time Andrea has a show at the gallery. It's opening night and Taylor walks in the door, Polly and Kelly at her side with Peaches and Chloe walking behind them. They all seem to see Andrea at the same time and it takes everything she has not to turn and run away. Instead she smiles until her face hurts as she gets introduced to Taylor. The rest of the night is a blur, faces and conversations she doesn't quite remember beyond Taylor flirting with her outrageously. It hurts because she can see herself slipping back into Taylor's life and maybe doing it right this time. She knows what not to do at least and it would be so easy.

Everything comes to a standstill and snaps back into focus as she looks across the room to see Peaches and Chloe standing in a corner with Annabelle. They look like they're trying to keep the glasses of champagne from her and Andrea could kick herself. She doesn't say anything to Taylor, just walks away and prepares to once again grab hold of her ovaries and woman up. Just because she's an Emo doesn't mean she needs to be stupidly self destructive, not when she has something good right in front of her stupid face.

Annabelle tries to smile as she walks over, but her eyes keep slipping past her to where Taylor is still standing. Andrea smiles for her, takes her heart in her hands, and kisses her right on the lips. When she pulls back Annabelle's eyes are wide and she keeps looking back towards Taylor, “Really?”

Andrea smiles as wide as she can and leans in for another kiss, “Really.”