The Morals Of Meg Girls
by Katta

"This doesn't make sense," Scott said, scowling at the TV set. "So she peels an apple the same way his wife did. Is that supposed to have some greater meaning?"

"That they're meant for each other?" Jean suggested. She had never seen the film before and was quite enjoying herself, but she could still see Scott's point. What irritated her a little was that she didn't particularly want to see his point. She wanted to enjoy the film. But of course, showing Scott a romantic comedy was just asking for trouble.

"Meant for each other," he said with disdain. "They haven't even met."

"Shush." She wasn't going to let him ruin this for her. Most of the time she was grounded firmly in reality, forced to it by her double profession as a doctor and an X-Man. Now for once she had time to sit down and get involved in some old-fashioned escapism, and she was going to embrace every ridiculous romantic idea. Besides, the film was both well acted and well paced. Scott had no reason to complain.

Of course, that didn't stop him.

"Do you know what's worse than stupid, sappy melodrama? When it's quoting older stupid, sappy melodrama."

That was when she realised that if she allowed herself to be troubled by his interfering, the result would only be that both of them would watch the film without being able to enjoy it. If, on the other hand, she refused to take the comments seriously, she could enjoy them and the film at the same time. Definitely a better option.

"Can't someone take that annoying kid out of existence?"

"Advocating euthanasia now, are you?" she asked, rising from the sofa. "I want some popcorn. Do you?"

"Yes, please."

She wasn't sure if the "yes please" was for the popcorn or the euthanasia, or both. Knowing him, probably both. And no matter how much he hated the film, he would always stay glued to his chair, determined not to miss a single moment. Nothing would make him happier than if he managed to spot a mistake to top it all. He always spotted them where there were any, too. It didn't matter if it was cameras reflected in windows or anachronisms in historical movies, he'd still find them. Scott hated inaccuracy. When they first met, she had wondered how he could ever enjoy watching anything. Then she realised that the ranting was part of the fun for him. She wasn't even sure what he'd do if he saw a perfect film. Possibly fall asleep.

She started smiling while waiting for the micro pop to finish and continued to smile all the way back to the TV. Rosie O'Donell was explaining her view of life to Meg Ryan again. They were really good on screen together. Meg was talented enough to actually work with her own sweetness, instead of just letting Rosie's snark dominate the scene completely.

When she was younger, she'd always found the Meg girls incredibly boring. The knowledge that she was one had been a source of endless irritation to her, and she'd practised in front of the mirror to get the way with words that the Rosie girls had. It never worked, and now she was old enough to actually appreciate the charms of a Meg girl if she was played well. Now that she no longer was one.

She tried to imagine Meg Ryan as a mutant. It turned out like something from a black-and-white comedy: "Oh, will you look at that, the dishes just washed themselves!" Old-fashioned and cute.

Well, she appreciated that, and she watched with joyful anticipation as the two main characters came closer and closer to meeting. Caught up in the story as she was, it took her a while to notice that Scott's scowl had turned into a grimace of disgust.

"What's wrong?" she asked, wondering if there was something uneatable among the pop corn that she had failed to notice.

"I don't believe this girl. 'Oh, honey, I'm sorry, but you're so dull I'm going to run off on a romantic notion and get involved with some guy I've never even met.' Is that the morals they want to show?"

Of course, if it was old-fashioned she wanted, she didn't have to look far. And how typical of Scott to sympathise with the second lover. She told him as much, and he shrugged, his face softening a little.

"It's Bill Pullman."

"And what's the world coming to if you can't like Bill Pullman's character, right?"

His face remained stern, but the dimples deepened. "He's the only one with any ethics."

The problem was, she realised as Annie and Sam finally met at the Empire State Building and the movie reached its happy ending, that the Bill Pullman type of guy was always doomed to be the second lover. Second or third. The guy who is dumped, or cheated on, or settled with, because they can't compete with the Dead Wife speech, and they're too nice to take their skeletons out of the closet. Too nice to be quite suitable for romantic comedies, where the Meg girl must be contrasted against something a bit more complicated.

But her Meg girl days were long gone, and she was too old not to know that complications come aplenty without people looking for more.

She wasn't sure if she was overanalysing things, and so she didn't say anything until they had turned off the television and were getting ready for bed. He had taken longer in the bathroom than she, and she lay in bed with a novel, hearing him brush his teeth. That sound was a lot more important to her than it theoretically should be. Finally she tossed the blankets aside and joined him in the bathroom, letting her arms slip around his waist.


"Uh-huh?" he said, still moving his toothbrush.

"I just wanted to tell you... You're not dull, and I'm not running off on some romantic notion." She gave that a moments thought and added, "I'm not even all that romantic."

The brushing stopped, and his mirror image gave her a foamy grin.

"I know."


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