Scott Pilgrim Comicverse, Roxie/Ramona
Summary: Roxie could never really hate Ramona.
What Roxie liked about art - what drew her to it in the first place - was the fact that art was open to interpretation. Everything had a meaning, but sometimes that meaning was hidden. Guarded. Sometimes what you saw wasn't actually what was shown at all, and that was exactly as it should be.
Which is why it was a perfect profession for a ninja, haters be damned.
She didn't hear Ramona come in, exactly, but she knew she was there all the same. Roxie was a ninja. You can't just sneak up on a freaking ninja. So she set down her paints and wiped her hands on a rag.
"Looks good," Ramona said. Roxie just looked at the half finished canvas and shrugged dispassionately before finally turning around.
Looks good, Roxie thought, although she'd never say it. And Ramona did look good. Her hair was longer than Roxie had seen it before. It wasn't hard to figure out why (talk about obvious symbolism - Ramona was a lot of things, but subtle wasn't one of them), but it did look good on her. Not that Roxie cared.
"What're you doing here?" she asked. There were pleasantries they probably could have exchanged, sure, but last time she had seen Ramona had been humiliating (damn Pilgrim, that pussy) and she just wasn't up for it.
Ramona shrugged easily. She looked calmer than she had last time Roxie had seen her too. More content. Again, not hard to guess why. "I never did get to see your show in Toronto, so I thought I'd look you up."
Toronto. Right. "Where's Pilgrim?" Roxie asked.
Ramona shrugged again. "Toronto, I guess. I haven't talked to him in a while."
That made Roxie stop fiddling with her paints and look up. "Seriously?" she said. "I thought you two were like made for each other."
"I don't know if you've noticed, but I have about a hundred percent chance of breaking up with someone eventually. That's kinda how life works."
"So you broke up with him?"
"It was pretty much mutual."
"Right." Roxie didn't believe that for a second - not really - except that Ramona didn't look upset, like, at all. Wouldn't she be, at least a little bit? If he had made her cry, or she had had to watch him cry (Lord knows he would have bawled like a baby). "Well, he was a crappy boyfriend anyway," she muttered.
Ramona shrugged. "Yeah, but I was a pretty crappy girlfriend most of the time, so I guess it evened out."
Roxie didn't have anything to say to that. Or, truthfully, she had too much to say to that. Better to keep her mouth shut. It had taken Ramona long enough to come to that realization. Roxie wasn't perfect, but she wasn't bad enough to inspire seven exes to turn to evil for revenge - that was all Rammy. But even if she had figured out that she wasn't exactly faultless for all those failed relationships, it didn't do Roxie any good. Not one bit.
Why the hell was Roxie even thinking about this? It so wasn't her problem. Ramona had totally blown her off for that Pilgrim pussy last time, so screw 'em both. She did not care about Ramona's relationship issues anymore. Thus resolved, she turned and began cleaning up her supplies, resolutely ignoring Ramona. For all the good it did.
Ramona gave her about three seconds, then snorted and rolled her eyes. "Don't be like that. We're friends, aren't we?" She paused, cocked her head "Or are we not right now? I can never tell with you."
"Your boyfriend beat me up!" Roxie snapped, a flash of anger that she couldn't take out on her canvas. She wished, for a moment, that it was a sword in her hand instead of a brush, but that only ever made things worse, anyway.
"No duh!" Ramona snapped back, just as angrily. "Newsflash: sometimes when you attack people, they attack you back. Did you miss that part of ninja training?"
"Screw you!" Roxie spat. "Why are you even here?"
Ramona sighed, deflated. It wasn't what Roxie was expecting, and she was immediately put on guard. "I'm sorry," Ramona said, and Roxie stared at her. "This isn't really going how I thought it would. Look, I was a bitch. I was a bitch to you, and I was a bitch to pretty much everyone, but all those other guys were assholes so whatever. But you're..." Ramona trailed off, gestured vaguely. "I'm tired of being the bitch."
"Is that supposed to be news to me? Sorry, already intimately familiar with that fact." Roxie turned and began putting the paint away, giving Ramona only a fraction of her attention.
"Give me a break, will you? I'm being serious. I didn't mean to be a bitch. It just kind of happened."
"Some people just stumble into their life calling, I guess."
"God, why do I always forget how difficult you are?"
"Residual brain damage from the most recent ex?"
"I'm trying to apologize."
"You're doing a piss poor job."
"You're not making it easy." Frustrated, or maybe just bored, Ramona began working in tandem with Roxie, stoppering the tubes of paint and putting them away. Roxie abandoned the task and instead took her brushes to the sink and began rinsing them.
Silence reigned for several minutes, and if it was awkward, at least it wasn't entirely hostile. "I'm sorry I was a crappy girlfriend," Ramona said, suddenly, and Roxie looked up sharply at that. Ramona was sitting on her floor, surrounded by her paints, giving her a smile that was sweet, and, somehow, unburdened by everything that had happened between them. For a moment they could have been back in college, before everything had gone to hell. The nostalgia washed over her, and her every instinct told her to fight it.
It was the smile that made the difference. Ramona had come to Roxie when she was absorbed in being an artist. Ninjas understood subtly, but artists understood emotion, and Roxie suddenly understood that Ramona had already let go of the weight between them. She was here to give Roxie the chance to let go too. As much as she was afraid to believe it, it was genuine. So instead of biting back against that familiar feeling, Roxie paused, and let it settle over her. She remembered when it used to be good. She remembered why, after all this time, she could never really hate Ramona.
She finished washing out the brushes, set them on the counter, and wiped her hands on her pants. She was already covered in paint; another damp spot wouldn't matter. Finished, finally, and no longer having any excuse not to give Ramona her full attention, she turned and leaned casually against the counter. A wide, easy smile spread across her face. "Well, well, look who finally grew up."
Ramona smiled back, and Roxie could feel the weight dissipate between them. "Took long enough, right?"
"Damn straight." Roxie let her eyes wander over Ramona, her gaze unclouded with bitterness for the first time in a long time. She did look good. "So is this like a thing you're doing? Going back and apologizing to all your exes for turning them evil?"
Ramona made a face. "No way! Those guys were assholes. They can get over it on their own."
"Mmhm." Roxie took another long look, not bothering to disguise it. Ramona rolled her eyes, but she was still smiling. "You wanna come up for tea?"
Ramona quirked an eyebrow. "Are you talking like chamomile tea, or like 'tea' tea?"
Roxie shrugged easily. "Your call. I got plenty of both."
"Sure. Let's see what you got."
Later, as Roxie lay in bed and watched Ramona hunt for her shirt, she said, "You weren't the worst girlfriend ever, I guess."
Ramona found her shirt and said, "Thanks," as she began pulling it on.
"You were pretty bad though."
Ramona finished adjusting the shirt and glared at Roxie. "Thanks," she said again, her voice dripping with sarcasm. Roxie's in much too good a mood to snipe, so she just laughed. Ramona's expression eased, and she said, "Well, nowhere to go but up, I guess."
"Mmhm." Roxie watched as Ramona found her shoes, her belt, and her bag. She stayed quiet until Ramona opened the door. "Hey," she said then, and Ramona stoppedc. "Don't be a stranger."
"Like you could hide from me if you wanted to," Ramona said with a smirk.
"I taught you everything you know, bitch."
"'Bout time you learned some new tricks, then."
"Screw you," Roxie called, but Ramona's already slipped out. Roxie rolled her eyes, adjusted the pillows, and smiled.