whiterabbit1613: anderson cooper (anderson)

Title: TRANSATLANTICISM -- The New Year

Series: TRMS, AC360, CwKO, TDS, TCR

Rating: PG

Summary: Rachel is still a little daunted by the history between them. (Multi-pairing including implied A/K, J/S; 1500 words.)

Disclaimer: All television shows and other copyrighted material referred to in this work, and the characters, settings, and events thereof, are the properties of their respective owners. As this work is an interpretation of the original material and not for-profit, it constitutes fair use. Reference to real persons, places, or events are made in a fictional context, and are not intended to be libelous, defamatory, or in any way factual. Anderson Cooper 360, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, The Rachel Maddow Show, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are the creative property of their respective producers. The author of this work of fiction claims no ownership of any of these shows.

Notes: Thanks to the wonderful

[personal profile] peapods42 for reading this over. Originally posted at FakeNews_Fanfic on LJ.

 

 



1 The New Year


I wish the world was flat like the old days
Then I could travel just by folding a map
No more airplanes, or speed trains, or freeways
There'd be no distance that could hold us back.



 

      Rachel looks at herself in the mirror, really looks at her face for the first time in a year. It isn’t that she doesn’t recognize it; it is still hers, after all, even if more and more people seem to have an interest in it. It wears makeup and it smiles for the cameras and it doesn’t wear glasses on television, though her heart and her brain always will.

      “You ready yet?” Susan says, walking into the bathroom and sliding around Rachel to wash her hands in the sink. Their bodies touch ever-so-barely; Rachel still gets a shiver up her spine, and it makes her smile.

 

      Rachel, Keith and Chris Matthews have been tapped to cover the Times Square festivities this year, though Rachel privately wonders who would want to ring in the New Year with them. Susan drives as they make their way into the city, and for once Rachel’s glad for it, because it’s too much effort to fight through traffic and be retrospective at the same time.

      “You’re making resolutions, I would guess,” Susan says lightly. She brushes Rachel’s shoulder with a gentle hand, and Rachel turns away from the window to give her a smile.

      “You know me too well,” she replies, to which Susan laughs and shakes her head.

      “I will never know you well enough, Rachel Maddow.” Rachel doesn’t say anything; Susan knows she feels the same.


      When Rachel arrives she wonders if Keith has already been at the champagne, because his face is redder than usual, and he and Chris are laughing up a storm as the makeup team start dusting them down liberally. Their studio is open-air, so the two of them are bundled up in their winter coats and gloves, and even Rachel has to admit that Keith looks pretty classy with his white scarf and a smile on his lips.

      “Hey guys,” she says, and Keith’s face lights up when he sees her; immediately he’s across the room, kissing her on the cheek and turning to do the same to Susan.

      “It’s about time you showed up,” he says. “Get rid of that hat.”

      Rachel reluctantly removes the hat in question, and a crowd of hairstylists immediately descend upon her, fussing about the hat-hair. She opens her mouth to say “Nice to see you, too,” but inhales a cloud of hairspray and spends the next minute and a half coughing and making an unpleasant face as she’s shoved into a makeup chair.

      “I’ll leave you to their tender mercies,” Susan whispers with an amused look. She bends over to kiss Rachel, and for a moment Rachel is hyper-aware of Keith’s presence, before she gets over it and returns the touch. “Find me after the show?”

      “Yeah, I’ll call you. You do have your cell, right?”

      Susan waves and shows herself out. Keith has Rachel’s arm in a death grip before she can even process this fact. “You’re coming out with us after, right? Me and Andy and Jon and Stephen?”

      “Stephen’s in town?” Keith nods. “Excellent, that's one less phone call I'll have to make. Tracy and Evie are coming, I suppose?”

      “Of course. I have a superb bottle of Moet and Chandon set aside. It’s not New Year’s without some kind of ridiculously expensive liquor to toast with.” Keith’s face is flushed, and Rachel laughs.

      “Gee, twist my arm, why don’t you? Okay, you’ve convinced me.”

 

      Since they’re on the air, they don’t get to see the part where Jon and Stephen crash Anderson’s New Year’s special. They hear about it afterward, of course, when Anderson’s so drunk that he can barely talk about it without falling on the floor with laughter. For Stephen, telling a story is always an exercise in improv, so every time he makes to bound from his seat, Evie has to put a restraining hand on his arm to keep him in his place. Jon is practically crying with mirth as Stephen does his best impression of Anderson’s shocked face, leaning on Keith’s shoulder and gasping for air. Susan is charmed by Rachel’s new friends, and Rachel has a moment where she is blinded by her gratitude, and she blinks furiously to hold back a wave of completely illogical tears.

 

      Rachel wonders what it would have been like if she’d known these people ten (fifteen? twenty?) years ago, before they became who they are. She imagines Stephen, newly married, his face with the same glow it has now; Jon, handsome and cutting and oddly kind, his love for Stephen not yet tempered by his love for Tracey; Anderson, turning gray already, learning to be public in private and to be private in public; Keith, a sportscaster with a fondness for politics, instead of a pundit with a fondness for sports.

      And who would she have been? In the strictest sense of the word she would have been a teenager, or a college kid, impetuous and wild with her leather jacket. She probably would have fit in perfectly. But while she’s letting her imagination run free, she wonders what life would have been like if she and her friends shared a generation and a lifestyle. Where would they have been this evening?

      She hears glasses clinking together, a toast. She hears the explosions of fireworks and conversation blending into a murmur in the background, all these beloved voices a distraction from this moment of crystal-like vision. She sees a corner of the park, or the sliver of open space that passes for a communal garden in an apartment in the city, and they are all crammed inside it, her and people she’s never known, like Steve Carrell, with his arm wrapped around Stephen’s shoulder and looking oddly distant. She sees Anderson off in a corner, making a phone call and maybe wiping his eyes, then coming back to the party with a too-bright smile, climbing up on a table and grinding with an imaginary partner, wearing a grin that makes her believe the stories of a promiscuous youth he always relates with a shy, pained little look on his face. She sees Jon talking to Tracey and recognizes it as the awkward conversation of two people who have slept together once and are still wondering if it was the best or the worst idea they’ve ever had. She sees Keith, trying to keep up a conversation on baseball with Dan Abrams and Dan Patrick while shooting glances at Anderson that try to be shocked but are really just enthralled. She wonders when Keith will figure it out. She wonders who broke Andy’s heart, this time. She wonders who Jon will reach to kiss at midnight; who Stephen, Keith, Andy; who she.

      “Have you made your resolutions?” Keith asks, and it snaps her back to reality. She’s almost sad to go, except Keith is still Keith no matter where her thoughts wander, and his smile always incites an echo of the sentiment in her.

      “Nope,” she replies. “I never manage to keep them, anyway, so what’s the point?”

      “Fair enough.” Keith drinks from his glass of champagne.

      “You?”

      Keith shrugs and grins. “Stephen made me promise to lay off on ‘Papa Bear’.” Keith doesn’t mime the quotation marks, but Rachel can hear them in his voice.

      Stephen must have heard the conversation over his phone call to Steve, on the West Coast; Rachel wonders if she’s imagining the dampness of his eyes as he points an accusatory finger at Keith and bellows, “You haven’t made the Unbreakable Vow, yet, Olbermann!”

      Keith looks at Jon, seated to the other side of Stephen. “Remind me again why you thought it was a good idea to give him that damn DVD?”

      They dissolve into lighthearted bickering. Rachel is still a little daunted by the history between them. She doesn’t remember the more serious, Shakespearean Stephen that Jon does; she can’t visualize the progression of Keith’s hair from pepper to salt the way Anderson can; she never saw Jon’s sarcastic and prickly stand-up the way Keith did; she never danced in a club with Anderson like Stephen danced.

      But she wishes she could.






willwrite_fortea: (We have to keep going forward [SGA])

From: [personal profile] willwrite_fortea


awww so heart-wrenching.. it makes me want to write an AU with Rachel at the beginning of the PRT to soothe my poor heart strings..

its really a pity she wasn't there for a lot of their history.. bit of an outsider's POV now..
.

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