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30 July 2007 @ 11:17 am
fic | d:tng | opposites repel | pt 1/? | no pairings | T  
Title: Opposites Repel
Author: lamaitresse
Part: 1/?
Fandom: Degrassi: The Next Generation
Characters: Ellie, Laura [OC]
Pairings: none (references to previous Jesse/Ellie)
Summary: Even from 790km away, Jesse can still ruin Ellie’s day.
Author’s Note: This is a somewhat AU, future-based fic that will feature many of the characters but focus mostly on Ellie and Alex. My inspiration for this fic comes from the 6 of Cups prompt over at fandom_arcana. It was supposed to be a oneshot but when I started, I realised I had way more ground I needed to cover. This is my first chapter fic in a long-ass time, so concrit would be greatly appreciated. It’s also my first time writing for Ellie and I really hope I’ve done her some justice. And FYI – this fic will contain femslash down the road, you have been warned. ;)
Disclaimer: I own nothing associated with the Degrassi franchise
Rating: T – for coarse language

Opposites Repel
Chapter I

“Arrrrrrrrrrgh!” Ellie Nash slammed down her phone, catching the attention of her assistant, Laura Sutton. “Lawyers,” she added testily when she saw Laura’s raised eyebrow.

“That Robertson murder story still giving you grief?” she asked.

Ellie scoffed. “I wish. That was my lawyer this time.”

“Ah,” Laura nodded.

“Yeah,” Ellie sighed. She leant back in her chair and put her feet up on the desk, letting out another frustrated growl. “This cross-border custody battle shit is, well, shit.”

“I can imagine,” Laura replied, although she really couldn’t. The bookish woman was married to her career, despite only ever amounting to a research assistant. She hadn’t had a date in years, much less been married. She stood and walked over to the coffee maker and poured them each a cup of stale, lukewarm coffee. Laura couldn’t help but smirk at the Tim Horton’s canister next to the machine. A little taste of home, her supervisor liked to call it.

Ellie took the cup gratefully, only to screw her face up in disgust after taking the first sip. “You know, in Canada, Timmy’s—”

“—brews a fresh pot every twenty minutes, I know.” Laura finished the sentence with an eye-roll. “What do you expect three hours after the intern’s gone home, anyways?” she added, good-naturedly.

Ellie looked up at the clock. Her jaw dropped when she realised it was now 7:08 PM. On a Friday, no less. “Safe to say I’ve missed the rush hour traffic,” she grumbled.

“What are you doing here so late anyways?” Laura asked. “It’s par for the course for me, but you?”

“Put the kids on the train back to Toronto this morning, now it’s time to play catch-up here.” Ellie said as she began shutting down her computer. She rested her elbows on the desk, running her hands through her long red hair. “I guess their dad wasted no time wringing them for information. He knows about the pitch to the network next week.”

“No way,” Laura deadpanned, eyebrow raising again. Laura’s eyebrow always creeped Ellie out. It reminded her of a girl she once knew.

She nodded, pursing her lips. “Courtney told him I was becoming a pitcher, bless her,” Ellie coughed back a bemused laugh. “Jesse’s claiming I’m putting my career over my kids. And now he’s demanding full custody again.” She slammed her fist down on the desk. “As if he has any sense of what it means to be a full-time parent. He missed his own son being born to go interview some has-been rocker for fuck’s sake! And he has the nerve to accuse me of putting my career first?”

“Ellie, go home,” Laura ordered firmly but gently. “You’ve been here ten hours. Take the weekend off, get some rest. Trust me when I say you look like you need it. I can finish up here.”

Ellie blew some stray hair from her eyes, the action causing her to suddenly regret quitting smoking. “Alright, alright,” she acquiesced, tossing her blackberry into her purse and fishing for her car keys. “See you Monday, five a.m.”

“And not a minute earlier!” Laura called out, watching the office door swing shut behind her boss. She shook her head, knowing full well Ellie would probably be back in the office tomorrow morning.

* * *

Ellie locked the door of her Manhattan apartment behind her and leant against it, exhaustion etched across her face. She scanned the living room, inwardly groaning at the children’s toys scattered over the floor. For a moment she felt relief that her three kids were back in Toronto for the next couple weeks. It meant the apartment might actually stay tidy and maybe, just maybe, it meant she might actually show up prepared for her pitch.

Then the guilt set in. Maybe Jesse was right. Maybe she really was a terrible mother. Was it so wrong, going after the career she’d always wanted? After all, he had his. Not to mention it would allow her to provide every possible luxury to her children. No matter what anyone said, those three children were her number one priority, but God did she hate it when Jesse caused her to question her own abilities as a mother.

She stepped over Mr. Potato Head and a few Barbies on her way to the kitchen. She reached behind the half empty boxes of pasta in the pantry and withdrew a bottle of red wine. Merlot, her favourite. She smiled, remembering her wedding reception seven years ago. She’d been five months pregnant with Stephen and only permitted one glass of wine. Rather than traditional champagne she’d insisted on Merlot. In her nerves and excitement, she’d barely managed a sip before she’d spilt the wine down herself. She remembered thinking it had reminded her of her teenaged years, when she’d enjoyed looking at the stark contrast of red-on-white.

Without realising it, she’d begun to absentmindedly finger some of the rougher scars on her arms. Ellie shook her head, trying to break free of the bittersweet trip down memory lane. She carried her glass – careful not to spill it this time – into the bathroom and began to draw herself a hot bath. She stripped down and slid in, all her stresses and worries melting away temporarily.

When the water finally began to cool, Ellie hoisted herself out of the tub and toweled off, wrapping herself in her bathrobe. She wandered into the living room, sorting through the day’s mail as she went. A large manila envelope caught her eye, mostly because it was addressed to Mrs. E. Stefanovic. Ellie glared at the envelope, wondering who the hell knew her well enough to send a letter but not well enough to know she’d changed her name back to Nash. She tossed it aside for later, too irritated to even care about the envelope’s contents. As she was about to get up from the couch she noticed the message waiting light flashing on the answering machine. She smiled and pressed play, figuring it was from her kids to say they’d arrived at Jesse’s safely.

“Hi, Mom, it’s Steve,” the message crackled. Ellie smiled when she heard her other two children, Mick and Courtney, call out “Hi, Mommy!” in the background. “We got here safe. Um, Dad says he wants to talk to you, he wants you to call him when you get this...” Ellie rolled her eyes. There was another crackle and Jesse’s voice rang out, furious.

“God, Eleanor, this is just like you. Why didn’t you tell me you were pitching your own show? A show that means you’ll be spending even less time taking care of my kids? You can forget about full custody, Ellie. There’s no way you’re—”

Ellie angrily ripped the machine from its socket. Whatever relaxing effect her soak in the tub had had, it was now completely washed away. She sighed, mentally willing herself to ignore her ex-husband’s antagonisation. She pointed the remote at the TV, tuning into some Miss Marple repeat. It wasn’t long before her eyelids began to droop and Ellie had drifted off to sleep. With any luck, tomorrow would be a better day.
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