So Much For My Happy Ending
by alejandra

Part One: You were everything, everything that I wanted

Kelly totally thought Avril was a poser - "That fucking cunt doesn't even know who David Bowie is" - and so did Lij - "Didn't you see the new issue of Jane? Avril said, and I think I'm quoting here, Han, that Good Charlotte is punk. Good Charlotte!"

But Hannah kind of liked her. Good eye makeup. Now that she wasn't wearing those horrible ties anymore, she had okay fashion sense. Better than Lij's. Better than Dom, anyway, but that didn't take much. She had pink sneakers; Hannah had seen them.

A person who owned pink sneakers couldn't be all bad.

And Zack was always telling her, "Judge not lest ye be judged."

Besides, Kelly was always "hacked off and righteously angry" (said Lij) whenever anyone got more attention than she did. Which was, like, almost all the time. Hannah would never say it to her, obviously, but Avril deserved the attention. All Kelly'd done was cover "Papa Don't Preach" - Avril had, almost entirely, given voice to, like, Hannah's generation.

Except Hannah didn't spell boy with an i.

So when Hannah saw Avril at one of Lij's stupid New York parties, she went up to say hi. "I like the new single," said Hannah. "You wrote it yourself, right?"

And Avril kind of smiled and nodded and said yes and was demure and kind of sweet and not at all what Hannah was expecting.

They ended up squished together on an overstuffed armchair, drinking from the same glass of Diet Coke with gin and lime juice - well, Hannah was drinking; Avril kept just wetting her lips with the liquid and then licking them, but Hannah didn't want to make an issue of it - and people-watching. Jake had spent fifteen minutes arm wrestling with Tobey before they disappeared into a bathroom ("Either they're doing lines or they're blowing each other," Hannah whispered into Avril's ear, and she'd have sworn Avril blushed); Jen clung to Brad, even after he gently shook her off over and over again, and finally he just wrapped an arm around her - Hannah could see his lips shaping the word "craft" and Bean nodding vigorously; Robbie had shown up already drunk with an entourage and they were all dancing in the corner ("Give him another few drinks and he'll start singing Take That songs," said Hannah; "What's Take That?" asked Avril; "I'll make you a mix cd," said Hannah).

"There goes Dom," said Hannah as Dom launched himself through the air.

"What?" said Avril.

"Viggo," Hannah said, and nodded at the other side of the room a split second before Dom's legs wrapped around Viggo's waist.

"Viggo Mortensen?" said Avril, and accidentally swallowed some of the gin.

Hannah giggled, and covered her mouth with her hand.

"My favorite," said Avril, and took another sip. "This is pretty good, actually. That's, like, weird."

"I only drink things that are good," said Hannah solemnly.

"My favorite is Pippin," said Avril gravely.

"Is that a secret?" asked Hannah.

"Of course it is," said Avril. "But I'm telling you. You have to, like, vow to not tell anyone. I told my boyfriend, and he was all, 'Bah! Hobbits!' But they're cute. Except not your brother."

"My brother is totally gross." Hannah took the glass back from Avril and drained the rest. "Wanna meet him?"

"Meet who?"

"Billy, of course," said Hannah, and stood up, spilling Avril onto the floor. She scrambled up, wiping her hands on her cargo pants, and her eyes flashed. "Come on."

"No," said Avril. "I could never. I totally can't!"

"You can. He's actually a fan, I think." Hannah took her hand and started pulling her to the corner of the room where Billy sat with - Hannah squinted - Debbie Gibson? Weird. Never could tell who'd show up at one of Lij's stupid drinking parties.

"Hannah!" hissed Avril. "I'll die!"

"No, come on." Hannah tugged Avril across the room, until they stood in front of Billy.

"Hannah!" said Billy jovially. "Have you met Deborah?"

"Hi," said Debbie Gibson, smiling. Hannah smiled back, showed all her teeth.

"I love 'Only In My Dreams'," said Hannah, half to be mean and half because she really did. "This is Avril Levigne."

"Hello," said Avril, kind of belligerently, and Hannah grinned.

"Hi!" said Billy, and pumped Avril's hand. He didn't stand up; Hannah would bet five dollars, at least, that if he stood up, he'd fall over. On a small table next to him was a half-empty bottle of scotch - but Debbie held a goblet of wine.

"Hi," said Debbie. "Thanks," she added to Hannah.

"I loved Fellowship of the Ring," said Avril.

"Excuse me," said Debbie. "Billy, we'll catch up later, and you'll play me that riff?" At Billy's nod, she stood up, patted Hannah's shoulder - patronizing bitch - and walked away.

"You know what this party's missing?" said Hannah. "It's missing the New Kids On The Block."

"How d'you even remember the New Kids?" asked Billy. His accent was thick and blurry, and Hannah felt like she had to squint to figure out what he was saying. "You were a wee lass!"

Avril giggled.

Billy winked at her.

Hannah scowled. "They were Lij's favorite band when he was ten," she said, and didn't care that that was supposed to be, like, a state secret or whatever.

"Hah!" said Billy. He turned his head a bit. "You can sit, y'know," he said to Avril. She sat. It was funny, Hannah thought, that Avril, who was such a bitchy teenager to interviewers, was mushy at the sight of a Hobbit.

Of course, everyone went mushy when Billy turned on the charm. Which he always did when he was drunk. Unless he was sulking, like he had been last night, because Dom and Lij had gone off together to make animal noises in Lij's bedroom - ew - and Ali had gone back to Scotland the night before.

"I," declared Billy, "love that song."

"What song?" asked Hannah. She put a hand on her hip and eyed the bottle of scotch. If she was quick, she might be able to get it before Billy could do a ninja move on her.

"Her song, o'course," said Billy. He looked down at Avril, who was staring up at him. "Um. Howsit go?"

"Which song?" said Avril. Her cheeks were bright red. Hannah rolled her eyes.

"Y'know." Billy paused, took a sip from his glass, took a deep breath. "WE WERE MEANT TO BE, SUPPOSED TO BE, BUT WE LOST IT!"

Normally, Hannah knew, Billy could sing. Now he was hollering. Across the room, Dom shrieked and started applauding wildly. He was sitting on Viggo's shoulders, and Viggo was making his way across the room.

"All this time you were pretending," sang Avril back to Billy. So there was one of Kelly's accusations answered - Avril didn't lip synch. "So much for my happy ending."

"That's right," said Billy. He squinted. "Dom? That you all the way up there?"

"Viggo's right tall!" said Dom, and slithered down Viggo's back. Ew, Hobbit humping. They were cute and all, but ew. Just ew.

Hannah cringed.

"Hannah!" yelled Dom. "Hannah!" He laid a smacking kiss on her cheek, and she used the cover to grab Billy's scotch.

"DOM!" she yelled. "DOM!" and displayed the bottle to him. He grinned at her.

"Hannah," said Viggo gravely. He plucked the bottle from her and took a long drink from it, like it was water or something. She watched, and appreciated - oh yes, definitely appreciated - the way his throat moved when he swallowed. Like, very sixteen and lame-ass-poetry of her, or something, but still. Who couldn't appreciate Viggo?

He handed the bottle back and she drank from it immediately, to capture all of his spit from the mouth, and then handed it to Dom, who smirked at her. She glanced at Billy, and he was deep in conversation with Avril, and then they were singing again, and Billy was staring at Dom, and his voice was angry, but he was singing, and it was beautiful, and Hannah would never understand his weird Scottish obsession with pop music, but he was working it.

"All this time you were pretending," he sang, almost snarling; "So much for my happy ending."

And Avril was staring at him, like, totally the way Hannah stared at Viggo. She took the scotch back from Dom; Avril was definitely going to need some.


Part Two: We were meant to be, supposed to be

It was Debbie Gibson that gave Hannah the idea in the first place, but then it took like four weeks to get everything done. That was Hannah's own fault, because she involved Dom, and Dom always had to make everything more complicated. But how could she not involve Dom? She needed someone on the inside, someone Lij would never suspect - and she couldn't use Viggo, because then Lij would think Viggo wanted to, like, have sex with him or something.

Gross. So so so so so so gross.

Therefore it had to be Dom.

And it worked pretty well, because - well, because Lij got to the party and that was the part that mattered. The other part that mattered was how he started jumping up and down and screaming like the fairy that he was when Jordan Knight sang "Happy Birthday" to him, and out came all the other New Kids (except for Jon, who refused point blank, and Joe, who was off doing something annoying and stupid like another episode of Boston Public or something - and that was okay because Jordan was Lij's favorite and Donnie was Hannah's favorite and Avril and Kelly stopped fighting long enough to agree that Danny was their favorite, and they were all there) and they all sang "My Favorite Hobbit" to Lij.

That was the part that mattered.

Especially since it wasn't even Lij's birthday - it was an unbirthday party. So take that, haters - and Hannah was looking at Billy Boyd when she thought that. Billy had very uncharitably brought Ali with him to the party, which meant Avril spent the night behind her hair and Hannah spent the night telling Avril that the diet coke with lime was just plain when secretly it had gin in it.

It was definitely a secret until Avril stood on a table with Jordan and sang Joe's part of "If You Go Away" and then disappeared.

"Kelly!" Hannah tugged on her arm until she turned away from Tiffany.

"What the fuck?" said Kelly. She had a martini in one hand and a cigarette in the other and was wearing a pink and black tulle prom dress. Hannah stopped, admired it, and then looked at Tiffany.

"I loved 'Radio Romance'," Hannah said to Tiffany, who smiled. Then, to Kelly, "Have you seen Avril?"

"That fucking cunt? She's gone - after she took all the attention away from your brother. She's an attention fucking stealing whore!" said Kelly, but she didn't sound like she was actually angry, so Hannah rolled her eyes, nodded at Tiffany, and moved on to Dom.

"Dom!" she said, and Dom slung an arm around her shoulder and brought her into the circle of guys.

"The bloke of the hour!" said Dom.

"I'm not a bloke," said Hannah, and bit Dom's cheek. Cutest of the cute Hobbits, except for Billy. "Have you seen Avril?"

"Yeah, little bitty thing? She went off with Billy and Ali after the table with Jordan." Dom squeezed Hannah round the shoulders and licked her ear, and she smiled tightly and excused herself. Who wanted to stand in a circle with Nick Lachey and Kevin Whatshisname and that guy with the hair from NSync? Uh, not Hannah. Of course, Dom must have been in boy band heaven or whatever.

It would be pretty cool but also a little gross if Dom, like, slept with them all at once.

Hannah paused for a moment to consider that and was cornered by Donnie.

"Hannah Wood," said Donnie, and Hannah's heart skipped a beat. She'd talked with him on the phone four or five times - no publicist, no lawyers. She made a mental note that she hoped she'd remember when she sobered up to call Lij's entertainment lawyer over at Wolfram & Hart L.A. and thank her again for the number of Donnie's private line. Or maybe send her something nice, like an Ethros box or something. Everyone always needed another Ethros box.

"Donnie Wahlberg," replied Hannah, and kind of wished that she wasn't Elijah Wood's sister. Because she'd never needed to know how to flirt - people came to her and she picked the one she wanted. Now she wished she knew how to flirt and to know how to flirt, her brother would have had to be invisible. Or something.

Donnie was talking but Hannah couldn't quite focus on anything he was saying, and suddenly he was lighting something on fire.

"Awesome!" said Hannah.

"Thanks," said Donnie, and began juggling the flaming pop bottles. Beer bottles? Hannah blinked and her vision came back into focus, and Donnie was grinning at her.

Take that, Elijah Wood!

After Danny made Donnie put out the fires, and Hannah silently admired Danny's hair without the crazy long rat tail, Donnie and Danny were called away by Jordan to see if they all remembered their Christmas raps.

Hannah remembered the Christmas raps, because one Christmas Lij went around saying, "It's Christmas time - we're gonna celebrate it with a rhyme" so many times that their mother had actually rapped him on the head with a squash.

Then she ran into Viggo, who handed her a half-smoked cigarette and said something about dolphins.

"What?" said Hannah.

"I don't know," said Viggo. "Why are you asking me?" His jeans were ripped, and Hannah could see his hairy knees, and it was kind of hot.

"You started it," she said. She did not say "You are totally hot for an old guy" or even "You are totally hot for anyone" or even "You are hotter than David Bowie" but she did said, "Did Avril go this way?"

"Avril," Viggo said gravely, "goes her own way."

"Thanks," said Hannah, and Viggo kissed her nose.

"Fly free, little sister," he said, and wandered away - and Hannah watched him go and realized he was barefoot. So. Fucking. Crazy. But hot. But very very hot.

Hannah poked her head into bathrooms and private rooms and accidentally saw Rob Lowe giving Robbie Williams a blow job. That was either really sexy or really scary and she wasn't sure which - but it wasn't something she was going to forget quickly.

Hollywood - well, New York - could be totally surreal sometimes.

When she finally found Avril, it was upstairs, making out with Ali while Billy played a smallish guitar.

She took it back. People were surreal.

"Um, hello? Avril? You're kissing a girl," said Hannah from the doorway. Billy looked over. His eyes were puffy. Hannah knelt next to him and kissed his cheek. Avril groped Ali, who moaned. Billy was totally hard.

"You are so going to regret all of this," said Hannah. "I would love to take advantage of the situation - because, let's face it, I'm totally Lij's sister in all the ways that matter. But, uh, Billy? I think it's time for you and Ali to go home."

Billy smiled at her and suddenly it was all okay, which was funny, and Hannah leaned against the wall and slid down. "Would you like to sing along?" asked Billy, and strummed the guitar again. "We could do Stevie Nicks. Do you know - "

"I don't want to sing Stevie Nicks," snapped Hannah and put her face in her hands.

Billy patted her thigh. "Stop draggin my heart around!" he sang vehemently, and Hannah had the mental picture of him shaking Dom, beating him around the head, and scowling. Billy and Dom. When Billy and Dom turned into Dom and Lij, Hannah didn't much question it, because it wasn't her business - but she didn't like it either, as Lij had far too many people already and Dom needed someone like BIlly for balance.

And Ali was nice and all, but Billy really needed a girlfriend who wouldn't go around kissing teenaged pop stars.

By the time Hannah opened her eyes - and she might have slept a little bit, but she might not have - Billy and Ali were gone. At least someone was smart enough to take her advice. She wasn't just Lij's kid sister anymore - she was an actual, like, person. People needed to wise up to that fact.

Or, as Kelly would say, people needed to get a fucking clue al-the fuck-ready.

Avril was on the bed, staring at the ceiling, singing softly.

Hannah clambered onto the bed.

"Hi," she said.

"Hi," said Avril.

"So," she said.

"So," said Avril. "Did I ever tell you that when I was a little kid, I wasn't allowed to listen to music? Or dance? Or anything? My parents were strict."

"How did you get to be a pop star then?"

"Same as anyone else, I suppose. It just happened. It was a lot of work. My parents... it was complicated." Avril smiled, the real smile, not the one for magazine covers. Hannah was a pro at recognizing real smiles, from anyone. Like Brad's real smile showed all his laugh lines and all the wrinkles Jen kept telling him to have Botox'd out. Lij's real smile crinkled up his eyes until they almost disappeared, so he wasn't allowed to smile like that in public, because his eyes were what everyone loved about him.

"I'm sure," said Hannah, and felt kind of bad because she didn't mean to sound bitchy. All of Avril's lip gloss was gone, and her shirt was unbuttoned too far, and her nipples were poking out, and it all made Hannah kind of. Kind of infuriated, actually.

"Shut up," said Avril, and rolled toward her, and smiled again when they pressed against each other. "I wasn't ever allowed to do anything. But I know what gin tastes like." And she kind of lifted her mouth up and pushed it into Hannah's and she tasted funny, not like gin but like salt and tequila and musk. Hannah was tasting Ali, she realized abruptly, and it was weird.

It was totally surreal.

Hannah broke away. "This is totally surreal," she said.

"Who cares? Hurry up and kiss me again before we're both sober."

"I'm totally sober," said Hannah, but she kissed Avril again anyway, and Avril put a hand on her hip.

"I knew we'd be friends," said Avril. She ran her hand over Hannah's thigh, then back up, then down again, playing with the nap of Hannah's corduroy skirt. "You have pink sneakers."

"I hated you because of your stupid ties," confessed Hannah. Up close, she could see how Avril's eyeliner kind of caked in the little lines under her eyes, and in the vertical lines on her eyelids.

"Whatever, I was like fifteen. I'm way older now," said Avril. "I mean, we all go through, like, phases, right?"

"Right," said Hannah, and tried not to think about matching plaid with stripes, or brown with black and navy, and closed her eyes when Avril kissed her again.


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