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good times for a change

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After Andie goes off with The Appliance and it's all college plans and obnoxious coupledom (Duckie may have given her his blessing but certainly not his approval), Duckie just hangs around Trax a lot.

"Kiddo, don't you have somewhere to be?" Iona asks, penciled eyebrow raised. "You're here so much I feel like I'm going to have to start paying you."

She never questions why he only shows up when Andie isn't working, only why he's showing up at all. She never really bitches about it, though, or looks too miserable to see him and, by the end of the summer, he's on payroll.

 

 

 

 

Andie makes him hang out with her and The Appliance sometimes. Duckie does his best not to be too sullen and afterward all he wants to do is barf. He looks pathetic enough to garner a beer or two (or more) at the club; he ends up drunk, knocking on Iona's door. She receives him with a minimum of fuss and a slightly tight-lipped mouth.

It figures she'd sleep in gold lamé.

"Duck," she says, "I am not your mother."

"Call me Phillip," he says, draping himself dramatically on her couch. "If you were my mother, I'd have some serious Oedipal issues to consider. Although I do want to kill my dad, so."

Iona makes a clucking noise halfway between amusement and annoyance.

"Milady," Duckie says, watching Iona move in and out of the room, getting him a blanket and water. He sees with some interest she's also giving him a cookie, one of those store-bought, mass-produced, look-alike kind with the M&Ms stuck in them. "Dearest Andrea told me you were seeing a fine gentleman. Wherest hath he gone?"

She snorts. "Same way they all go." She shrugs, tossing the blanket over Duckie and then flopping onto the other end of the couch. "Not for me."

"C'est la vie," Duckie says, toasting her with his water glass. "Are you wearing false eyelashes?"

Iona bats them at him.

 

 

 

 

Duckie doesn't go away in the fall. For Duckie, everything stays the same.

He waves Andie off with a little sailor salute as she packs up her pink car with her pink things and drives pinkly off to her new dorm. Her school is miraculously, luckily, marvelously only about a half an hour from The Appliance's – isn't that a lovely coincidence? As though decreed by fate, Andie and Blandie will spend four more delightfully miserable years together and Duckie will gag to death eating his own hat.

He wonders bitterly if it'll ever come up that Blane's going to the nice, private, expensive college and Andie to a cheaper state equivalent.

God help him, those crazy kids will probably just make it work.

Duckie sleeps in his sunglasses and blasts Depeche Mode.

 

 

 

 

He's sorting the sale section despondently while Iona rants. He's become her new sounding board in Andie's absence.

"So he won't stop calling me – " She staples a lime green fan painted with pink flowers onto a crate of records. " – and, you know, what am I supposed to say? 'Sorry, John, you're boring.' I mean, maybe it's fun to look normal once in a while, but what a waste of eyelash glue – "

"Dearie," Duckie says, hopping up onto the counter. "Yuppies are your problem. Ain't there some New Wave pseudo-punk out there with your name on'm?"

"Phillip," she responds with a sigh, "you'd think so, wouldn't you?"

"Chin up." Duckie gives her chin a little tap before hopping back down to change the record. "The Temptations cure all ills."

They do a little shuffling kick-step together; a tiny, fluffy eighth grader watches them with saucer-eyes as she clutches an INXS album to her chest. Duckie dips Iona before sending her spinning into the door. He prances the eighth grader around the room once before swooping back to Iona, spinning her out and then back in dramatically.

"Marry me," he says, "or I shall perish."

"Call me when you're twenty-nine, baby doll." She smacks a watermelon pink kiss onto his cheek before settling her skirtful of electric blue tulle back behind the register. "Then we'll talk."

Iona puts on the Smiths next, which brings Duckie's Motown high right down. He collapses face-first onto the counter. "Love is a fickle mistress."

"Duck." Iona sighs. "I think it's fair to say that Andie's moved on. Maybe you should do yourself a favor and do the same."

Duckie pouts. "Darlin, tell me how."

To his satisfaction, she's got nothing to say to that.

 

 

 

 

Andie and The Appliance break up just in time for Christmas. She opens pink presents with red eyes. Duckie waits idly for them to get back together.

They don't.

For a while, Andie is back at Trax every weekend, tapping away at papers in the corner. Iona's happy. Duckie is too, at first, and then he's confused and then annoyed and confused again. Then Andie meets someone new (his name is Andy, Duckie, is that weird? [Yes.] It's why I said no at first – and he's a jock, you know, but he's so different – he's really sweet) and disappears again. Duckie minds less this time around.

 

 

 

 

"I only ever fall in love with men named Robert," Iona says dreamily as "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat" reverberates through the room. A kid Duckie knows from high school (Sidney, formerly of the black spiked hair and now of the platinum blonde) curls his lip in disdain.

Duckie pounds a hand over his chest. "Break my heart, why don't you. Let me have hope."

She grins at him, propping her head up on her hands, nails alternating lilac and fuchsia. She blinks with lavender lids. "Honey, persistence is your virtue."