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23 February 2011 @ 08:36 pm
Fic: Never Gonna Be Like All Those Fools (Clueless, Cher/Josh)  
Title: Never Gonna Be Like All Those Fools
Fandom/ Pairing: Clueless, Cher/Josh
Rating: R
Word Count: 1917
Summary: When she glances up out of the corner of her eye he’s looking back at her, patient, like maybe he was just waiting for her to notice all this time.
Author's Note: Oh, I don’t know. I’ve been thinking about this since the porn battle. The heart wants what it wants.



Dionne and Murray get into another knock-down, drag-out on the ride home from Mr. Hall and Miss Geist’s wedding reception, which is how Cher winds up spending the first half of her summer trying, with limited success, to find Dee a new boyfriend.

“I don’t understand it,” she complains to Josh one Saturday, over gelato at this new place on Sunset. Well, Josh got gelato. Cher is trying to lose five pounds, so she just asked for an extra spoon. “It’s like every single Baldwin in Beverly Hills just packed up and left for three months. Present company excluded,” she adds hastily. “But I mean, I certainly can’t introduce her to any of your friends.”

“That’s a fact,” Josh mutters.

Cher ignores him. “I mean, none of them are even remotely acceptable for Dionne. They’re all eco-nerd philosophy majors with questionable hygiene.”

“Showering wastes water,” Josh points out, but he’s smiling. He nudges her hand away from his paper cup. “Oh, come on. I told you I’d get you your own.”

“I don’t want my own,” she says, digging out a massive spoonful. “Gelato is full of calories.”

Josh gives her this look like he suspects her logic is dubious at best, but he lets her have what she wants. He’s interning for the summer at some law firm Daddy hooked him up with, and it’s kind of equally hilarious and charming to see him come home in his suit every day, messenger bag slung over his shoulder. It feels old fashioned, like Nick at Nite kind of stuff. Not that Cher has any intention of spending her life vacuuming and waiting for her man to walk through the front door at night--God, as if. It’s just sort of nice, is all.

“Has it ever occurred to you,” he asks now, pushing his lame mall-kiosk sunglasses up on his nose, “that Dionne might want to be in charge of her own romantic destiny?”

Well, duh. Of course it’s occurred to her. She learned a lesson or two about meddling last year, and it’s not like she’s a total bonehead or something. But left to her own devices, Dionne picks guys like, well, Murray, and anyway it’s not like Josh is asking for serious. It’s only a game he and Cher like to play.

“Nope,” she says primly, and finishes off the rest of his gelato. He puts his arm around her waist as they walk to the car.

*

In July Daddy has to spend two nights in San Francisco for work, so Cher packs his blood-pressure medicine up in his Louis Vuitton and sends him on his way. “No funny business,” he says sternly, before he goes. “I mean it, Josh. I love you like you are my own son, and I even loved your mother for a time, but so help me if I get even a whiff of funny business I will not hesitate to shoot you in your face.”

“Uh,” Josh says. He looks like he wishes someone would smother him with the oriental carpet. “Noted.”

“And you,” he says, turning on Cher. “You’re staying at Dionne’s while I’m gone.”

“Well, duh,” Cher says, although in actuality Daddy has nothing to worry about. Aside from the occasional PG-13 gropefest (Cher, to her surprise, does enjoy the occasional gropefest, assuming the groper knows what he’s doing--and this particular groper really, really does), things between her and Josh are still idling along in neutral. It’s almost insulting. “I had Lucy pick up a few new pairs of those Armani socks you like. And don’t forget to take your supplements!”

Daddy grimaces. “I mean it,” is all he says.

Cher smiles winningly. “So do I.”

*

Cher’s become a much better driver over the summer, and she only clips the curb once on the way over to Dionne’s. She’s almost to La Cienega, bopping along with Gwen Stefani on the tape deck, when the phone rings. “Dee?” she says, once she’s dug her mobile out of her handbag and pulled up the antenna with her teeth. “What up?”

“Don’t bug out,” Dionne says, in a voice like she totally thinks Cher’s going to. “But I think I’m back together with Murray.”

It turns out that not only are Dionne and Murray dating again, they’re still in the process of making up at this very moment, so does Cher mind if Dee takes a rain check? “Um,” Cher says, trying not to let Dee hear how she’s two seconds away from spewing at the very notion of whatever “in the process of making up” might mean. “No problem.” So much for the sisterhood. At least now she can stop wracking her brain for potential Romeos to sweep Dee off her platforms.

Once she hangs up, Cher flips the cassette back to side A and considers her options. She could stay the night at Tai’s, but frankly Tai’s mom is kind of a basket case in a way Cher finds incredibly stressful. Christian’s in Chicago with his dad. In the end she stops for a bag of Twizzlers, which are fat-free, and goes home.

The house is empty when she gets there--Lucy is off for the weekend, and Josh was supposed to go hear some undoubtedly suicidal singer-songwriter at a coffeehouse by the University. She changes into some shorts and a tank top and settles herself down in front of a Road Rules marathon, which is where she is two hours later when Josh turns up at her bedroom door, looking confused. “Dionne and Murray hopped the first RV back to Humpsville,” she explains.

“In a turn of events shocking to exactly no one,” he says, and nods at the TV . “If the Winnie’s a-rockin...”

Cher grins, she can’t help it. “I’m sorry, was that a Road Rules joke?”

Josh shrugs. “I like to keep up with what the kids are watching.” He hovers in her doorway like a goofball for another minute, hands curved around the jamb. He hardly ever comes up to this part of the house, let alone in her bedroom, which Cher guesses is the only way he can still live here without it getting totally intense and weird. Sometimes Josh looks at her like he’s frankly terrified, like he honestly has no idea what to make of her at all. Sometimes Cher doesn’t know what to make of him, either.

“You can come in here, you know,” she says finally, holding out the near-empty bag of Twizzlers for an instant before she realizes how uber-mortifying that is. Is this really what it’s come to? She needs to lure him in with candy like the witch in Hansel and Gretel? “You don’t have to lurk out there like a...creepy, lurking thing.”

Josh smiles all awkwardly, but he comes in and sits on the bed beside her. “You heard the man,” he says, a hint of warning in his voice. “No funny business.”

Oh, God. “You worried I might take advantage of you?”

“No,” Josh says immediately, in a tone she doesn’t entirely understand. He takes her Twizzler-sticky fingers and laces them with his and they watch in silence for a while, Cher’s cheek resting on his shoulder. She likes how he smells, coffee and boy. When she glances up out of the corner of her eye he’s looking back at her, patient, like maybe he was just waiting for her to notice all this time. She tilts her chin up, an invitation, until his lips come down on hers.

Josh is a good kisser--way better than she thought he’d be back when she used to wonder about stuff like that, which was occasionally. He knows what to do with his tongue. He pushes her back into the pillows, just a little, and she reaches up to tug at his curly dark hair. Her heart pounds like the inside of a dancehall. “No funny business,” she murmurs into his mouth.

“None,” Josh mutters back. One hand cups her face and the other splays over her rib cage, creeping higher until his thumb brushes her nipple through her shirt. Cher breathes in. Her legs open a little bit, like an instinct, and she pulls him closer until he’s nearly on top of her, supporting his weight on his knees. He’s hard; she can feel it. He groans low and quiet. “Cher,” he says.

“I want to,” she says, reaching up inside his button-down, her palms flat against the broad expanse of his back. Josh is deceivingly solid. “Do you not want to?”

He looks at her like she’s totally mental. “Are you kidding?” he asks. “I...yeah. I really want to.” He swallows; she sees his Adam’s apple move inside his throat. “But I also don’t want to be some gross guy that waits until the second we’re alone and then, like, jumps you.”

Is she kidding? Is he? “Josh,” she says, and her voice sounds a little panicky, and after everything she’s wearing boxers with little ponies on them and no makeup, and she wants this so much, and it’s Josh. It’s Josh. “I do not think you’re gross.” She considers, feels his heart tapping away beneath her palms. “You’ve done it before, right?”

“Yeah, Cher.” He half-smiles in that shy way he has, glancing down. “I’ve done it before.”

“Well, then,” she says. “Show me how.”

Josh doesn’t say anything for a moment, then: “Cher,” again, quiet. Cher’s used to guys looking at her like she’s beautiful but she’s always sort of unprepared when Josh does it, like the first moment it dawned on her that deep down he didn’t actually think she was a completely ridiculous person. It makes her feel strange and open, weirdly. It makes her feel glad. Josh takes a deep breath. “We’re gonna go slow, okay? We’re gonna go so slow.”

So they do go slow, steady: his thumb in the cup of her hipbone, his mouth in the crease of her thigh. He waits until she’s ready--and she’s ready, restless, moving--before he slides his fingers inside her, and--oh, wow. Cher gasps, her grip tightening on his shoulders. It’s not like she’s never touched herself before--she’s a modern woman, is she not?--but it’s. Um. Different. Wow. Yeah.

“Come up here,” Josh says finally, and his voice is softer than she’s ever heard it. “It’ll be better if you’re on top.”

Cher nods, concentrating. It takes her a minute to coordinate, bracing herself on his chest for balance. Josh holds her steady around her waist. She shifts around a minute, trying to get comfortable, and she doesn’t totally understand what the big deal is, it doesn’t really hurt but it doesn’t feel particularly mind-blowing either, not like before when he was using his--oh. Cher’s eyes fly open as he finds her with his thumb, and Josh grins. “You okay?” he asks.

“Yeah,” she says, and smiles. Her hair falls forward, a veil around their faces. “Yeah, I’m good.”

Afterward--after her breathing has evened, his whispered love you in her ear--they lie in her bed and talk for a while, his fingertips up and down her arm. She wants to go shopping in the morning. He says he’ll make her eggs. The AC swishes, near silent--the glow of the TV, the sounds of home.
 
 
 
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( 62 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
lowriseflare: dirty dancinglowriseflare on February 24th, 2011 03:49 am (UTC)
Hee, so glad you liked!
ambassador of kwan: Movies→ [clueless]abvj on February 24th, 2011 02:28 am (UTC)
I was wondering where you ran off to, but now it doesn't matter because you came back with gifts!

THIS IS SO DAMN GOOD. Seriously, I loved them so much back in the day and this is bringing it all back to the surface. I love that it just sort of happens -- it's not planned or thought out like it was with Christian, it's just one thing leading to another and so, so good.

Also, your voices are spot on. Every single one of them. I envy your abilities.

Knew I kept this icon for a reason. I'm probably going to end up reccing this - if you don't mind, of course.
lowriseflare: good wifelowriseflare on February 24th, 2011 03:52 am (UTC)
Oh man, rec away, dude! Thanks so much. This was so, so much fun to write.
Jingledunce: Clueless Fine Family Funjesshelga on February 24th, 2011 03:00 am (UTC)
Oh, my goodness.

Wow.

So Cher's internal voice? Perfect and hilarious. Their sexytimes? Perfect and really lovely in a true-love-hormonal-kidlets way. CHER'S DAD?! Oh, my gosh, and that she was listening to her tape deck and watching Road Rules? It's just so full of wonderful details and so fun and perfect and sexy.

Tron Battle is probably sadder having not known this entry.
lowriseflarelowriseflare on February 24th, 2011 04:01 am (UTC)
'Cause I'm keepin' it real! 'Cause I'm keepin' it real.
I HAVE SERIOUSLY BEEN THINKING ABOUT CLUELESS SINCE WE TALKED ABOUT IT, I COULDN'T STOP. Also I'm pretty sure this is the only time in my life I have ever found Paul Rudd sexy? So glad you liked :)

(Also, I'm caught up on Southland now except for this week, and I kind of want Sammy/Nate's wife fic? Where they've fallen into this twisted kind of domesticity and they're both so broken and sad? I'M THE WORST.)
[see icon] - jesshelga on February 24th, 2011 04:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: [see icon] - lowriseflare on February 24th, 2011 06:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: [see icon] - jesshelga on February 24th, 2011 06:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: [see icon] - lowriseflare on February 24th, 2011 09:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: [see icon] - jesshelga on February 24th, 2011 10:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Spamster: Clueless: Haiti-inscashewdani on February 24th, 2011 04:24 am (UTC)
You are the wind beneath my wings.
lowriseflare: you've got maillowriseflare on February 24th, 2011 02:00 pm (UTC)
Hee, THIS WAS SO MUCH FUN TO WRITE.
Jess: Leslie Ann Iconfearlessfan on February 24th, 2011 04:38 am (UTC)
Oh, I loved this! LOVED!
lowriseflare: dirty dancinglowriseflare on February 24th, 2011 02:00 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much, dude!
lightning rod for criticism: cary grant: hi there hot stuffannakovsky on February 24th, 2011 04:52 am (UTC)
Oh God, Clueless! I love that movie so ridiculously hard, and when I saw this fic posted I wanted to jump up and down with joy and it's so GOOD. Your Cher voice is amazing, and I love this quiet weird tentative relationship they have, and her dad is perfect, and just, Josssssssssh, how are they so perfect???? This gave me so many feelings! YOU SHOULD WRITE FIC FOR ROMCOMS ALL THE TIME. THERE SHOULD BE A COMMUNITY AND IT SHOULD BE FULL OF AMAZING FIC.
lowriseflare: you've got maillowriseflare on February 24th, 2011 02:06 pm (UTC)
THERE SHOULD BE A COMMUNITY AND IT SHOULD BE FULL OF AMAZING FIC

Let's do it! I don't know the first thing about making a comm, but I am so game as long as you promise to write that Never Been Kissed fic you talked about. I'm all eyeing my dvds now, like, "Hmm, what other movies need sex added to them?"

AUGH, JOSH, YOU ARE STILL MY PERFECT EX-STEPBROTHER/BOYFRIEND.
(no subject) - kindness_says on February 25th, 2011 03:06 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lowriseflare on February 25th, 2011 04:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kindness_says on February 25th, 2011 04:41 am (UTC) (Expand)
leigh57: Giles thumbs upleigh57 on February 24th, 2011 03:22 pm (UTC)
So, I've seen Clueless exactly once (in the theatre!), but I remember enough of it to be (yet again) ridiculously impressed at how you can nail anybody's headvoice. If I could learn to do that, I would be exultant like an exultant thing that is exultant!

Completely adorable, yet also strangely HOT:)
lowriseflare: dirty dancinglowriseflare on February 24th, 2011 06:38 pm (UTC)
Hee, thanks dude! I had so much fun writing it! And it went so fast! I like writing fic so much more when the ship isn't ripping my insides to confetti.
still inflicting all that ethan frome damage?: movie: fuzzy penempressearwig on February 24th, 2011 10:55 pm (UTC)
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's pretty much all I've got, except that I would read a million more words of fic about them.
lowriseflare: you've got maillowriseflare on February 25th, 2011 03:44 am (UTC)
!!!!!!!!

MAN, me too! I wish everybody would write some now.
and here in spain i am a spaniardpark_hye_in on February 24th, 2011 11:17 pm (UTC)
YOU ARE A MAGICAL PERSON.

some writers present characterizations radically different from what i see in my head, some challenge the source, some intrigue me and push me to think of things i've never considered before -- all things i really appreciate. but sometimes i just want to read about the characters i love, in the way that i already love them, you know? and somehow you manage, more than anyone else i've come across in fandom, to put forward these visions of things that fit so seamlessly into what i already feel. every one of your stories has been, for me, an organic extension of canon.

it would be cool if it was just one fandom, but as you've done it for multiple, diverse fandoms, there's only one explanation: magic. (as much as i like this story specifically, take this as a compliment on your entire body of work, because i've been meaning to say it for a while! i love your stuff, man.)
lowriseflare: dirty dancinglowriseflare on February 25th, 2011 03:50 am (UTC)
OH MAN, this is like, maybe the nicest feedback I have ever gotten in my whole fic life? Thank you so, so much. I just have such a good time doing this, my weird little hobby, and I just enjoy TV and movies so much more if I can get in there and mess around myself a little bit, and a lot of the fun and challenge for me is trying to get the tone as close as I can. So I'm really glad you enjoy it, too.
howlinchickhowl: hotcandyhowlinchickhowl on February 25th, 2011 02:34 am (UTC)
Hi, So I kind of love you for being possibly the only person alive who could write Clueless fic in a non-awful way. I mean, I've never read any, I assume there isn't any, but if there were, I probably wouldn't want to read it, but there you are, and I know I find your writing in equal parts moving and charming and funny and accurate and most most excellent, so I read, because it's clearly not going to be bad, and it was ace.

So yeah, it's Clueless fic, and it shouldn't work, but it does. And it was so very them, and the 90's touches were fantastic. For some reason I was totally fixated on her pulling her phone arial out with her teeth while she was driving, it was like, in my head I went "THIS!"

Soooooooo yeah, as always, job well done, please keep writing, anything, I will read it all.
lowriseflare: eli/gracelowriseflare on February 25th, 2011 03:51 am (UTC)
Heeee, thank you so much! I had a BLAST with the 90s stuff, man. Such fun.
mcshepylovemcshepylove on February 26th, 2011 05:17 am (UTC)
How marvelous. Wish you wrote more often!
lowriseflare: hansonlowriseflare on February 28th, 2011 02:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
anranr on February 27th, 2011 04:07 am (UTC)
This is all kinds of brilliant awesomeness. Loved it! :)
lowriseflare: dirty dancinglowriseflare on February 28th, 2011 02:36 pm (UTC)
Hee, thank you!
Paynesgrey: glee-britpaynesgrey on May 24th, 2011 06:41 pm (UTC)
This was WONDERFUL. I loved this. I never thought I'd ever read Clueless fanfiction, but wow, this was such an awesome surprise. Well done, and your Cher voice fits her perfectly.
lowriseflare: dirty dancinglowriseflare on June 5th, 2011 10:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! That's so nice to hear.
fickery: Alicefickery on May 24th, 2011 07:16 pm (UTC)
Here via het_reccers. This is the fic I never even knew I needed until now. Sweet and romantic and like everyone else I loved the tapedeck and mobile phone antenna and Road Rules. And the gelato-has-no-calories-if-it's-not-mine and the fat-free licorice. And I loved that she still hasn't really stopped matchmaking; that feels very in-character to me. And Josh is still so adorably chivalrous. Lovely fic. :)

If you do set up a community for rom-coms I hope you'll announce in het_reccers because I'd definitely be interested!
lowriseflare: greeklowriseflare on June 5th, 2011 10:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! I had a lot of fun with the details.
Noor: u & idarklight90 on May 24th, 2011 07:43 pm (UTC)
Such a lovely oneshot. I loved this movie when it first came out back then. I even watched the TV series. I've never read fanfiction for it but this really sets me in the mood for some more.

Cher's perfectly in-character, as are her interactions with Josh. The love scene is certainly a great coda to the movie, given that they go their separate ways in the TV version. I like that the sex isn't mindblowingly perfect; it makes for a more believable first time which is quite sweet on its own. The homeliness of the last line is also a lovely way to end it.
lowriseflarelowriseflare on June 5th, 2011 10:38 pm (UTC)
Oh man, I never knew they broke up on the TV show! BUMMER.

So glad you liked this :)
phdelicious: DC_wingsphdelicious on May 24th, 2011 11:34 pm (UTC)
Another from het_reccers. My HS years were bracketed by "Clueless" and "10 Things". I have a huge soft spot for this movie and I think you nailed their voices exactly.
lowriseflare: you've got maillowriseflare on June 5th, 2011 10:39 pm (UTC)
OOH, now you have me wanting to write "10 Things" fic! So glad you liked this.
Kinseykinseyjo on May 25th, 2011 02:34 am (UTC)
wtfbbq. this ALWAYS happens to me. i read a one-off fic that is SO FREAKING AMAZING AS THIS ONE and then i'm all "woo, new fandom!"

DAMN YOU.

DAMN YOU AND YOUR PERFECT!FIC.

Also, if you had to have an exstepbrotherboyfriend, Josh would be the one to have. And yet Paul Rudd? never really done it for me in ANY OTHER MOVIE.

swoon. i'm in love with this. i might be in love with you. i'll get back to you on that.
lowriseflare: dirty dancinglowriseflare on June 5th, 2011 10:46 pm (UTC)
Oh man, I'm so glad you liked this! And DUDE, isn't the Paul Rudd thing such a mystery? In this movie and in this movie only, I say.
Julia (The one with many names): FFXIII - Sazh/Vanille: BFFscutebunny43 on May 25th, 2011 03:55 am (UTC)
HAY GUESS WHO ELSE IS FROM het_reccers? Yup, me! Oh my gosh *flings hands up in air* Do you have any idea how badly I've wanted somebody to write Josh/Cher fic? Like...I don't even have words! AND THEN SOMEBODY DID! And that somebody was you, and it's so good! All the 90s details made me hella nostalgic, I miss the 90s so much! *SIGH!*

So, like, I think you should make a sequel or something, that would be very nice ^_^

*eyeballs own Josh/Cher fic and pokes it with a stick*
lowriseflare: hansonlowriseflare on June 5th, 2011 10:46 pm (UTC)
OH MAN, you should totally write some! I'd read the hell out of that.
asugarasugar on May 25th, 2011 05:14 am (UTC)
Wow I had no idea how much I wanted and needed this story as the perfect continuation of the movie. Fantastic job. I wish there was more! Thank you for sharing this.
lowriseflarelowriseflare on June 5th, 2011 10:47 pm (UTC)
Thank YOU so much for reading!
thisoldhighway: power girlthisoldhighway on May 26th, 2011 12:10 am (UTC)
DUDE. So so made of awesome. This was my fave, because it just explains so much about Cher and Josh:

"When she glances up out of the corner of her eye he’s looking back at her, patient, like maybe he was just waiting for her to notice all this time."
lowriseflarelowriseflare on June 5th, 2011 10:47 pm (UTC)
Aw, thank you! So glad you dug this.
izzy_the_hutt: Moonlightingizzy_the_hutt on June 20th, 2011 07:16 am (UTC)
Found this through a desperate attempt to find Clueless fic...man. Wow. You really captured the voices of the characters. I could hear Alicia Silverstone and Paul Rudd saying this dialogue. And it was quite funny/sweet as well. Impressive...most impressive.
lowriseflarelowriseflare on July 6th, 2011 02:16 pm (UTC)
Oh man, thank you so much!
Blindmouseblindmouse on July 3rd, 2011 12:29 am (UTC)
This was really sweet :) I liked your Cher voice a lot.
lowriseflarelowriseflare on July 6th, 2011 02:15 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
daredevil muffin-y geniusmonanotlisa on October 28th, 2012 10:01 am (UTC)
The heart did want! Thank you for delivering.
RivkaTrivkat on November 2nd, 2012 05:59 pm (UTC)
Great story--I loved the voices, and especially Cher's mix of self-assurance and uncertainty, perfectly her.
abi z: het — woman on topazephirin on November 3rd, 2012 03:01 am (UTC)
Aw, this is adorable, and the voices are perfect! I had forgotten how much I missed these characters—I need to watch the movie again. :)
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