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Our Just Friends Complex

By bubblewrappedkitty

Humor / Romance

Our Just Friends Complex

There she goes again,

The girl I'm in love with.

It's cool, we're just friends.

I look up from where I'm leaning against the nurses' station and spot her coming down the hall towards me. A smile slips onto my face. I've been in love with her for years now, at least most of the time, but mostly she is just one of my best friends. Relationships never worked for us. Just friends does.

We walk the halls at school.

We know it's casual.

It's cool, we're just…

"Hey Elliot," I say as she gets closer.

She smiles brightly. Wow, I love that smile. "Hey JD," she responds. "I'm going down to lunch. Coming?"

"Sure," I say and instantly fall into step beside her. This is habit for us by now, a natural part of the day that we never miss. We make our way down to the cafeteria, guessing about what will happen on tonight's episode of Grey's Anatomy.

I don't wanna lead you on,

But the truth is I've grown fond.

Nervously, I push a piece of limp broccoli around my plate. There's a familiar fluttery feeling in my chest as I listen to her telling me about some perverted old patient up on the fourth floor. It's been a long time since I've felt this way, but I think I know what it is even if it feels just a bit different than before. "Elliot?" I venture before I lose my nerve, and when I look up she's waiting for me to continue. "Elliot, I – I think – "

Elliot's expression instantly turns to panic at my hesitation. "Oh God, you think this dress makes my boobs look flat, don't you?" she gasps out frantically, wrapping herself in her labcoat. "I knew it, I knew I shouldn't have bought it. Mom always warned me never to wear dresses with patterned skirts and solid tops 'cause it'll make your boobs look even smaller than they already are, but did I listen to her? Noooo. Frick, I need to go change and – "

"No, no, Elliot, your boobs look great," I assure her quickly, cutting off her hysterical rant. It is amazing how many words she can get out in one breath, not to mention at that pitch. "Seriously, you look amazing," I press when she looks hesitant. Finally she relaxes and smiles.

"Really? You think so?"

"Of course," I insist honestly. "The dress is great, and you look hot."

Her smile grows even wider and she blushes slightly. "Thanks, JD," she says and reaches across to touch my arm. It feels like electricity runs over my skin as she does. "You're the best friend ever."

Friend. I force my smile to remain natural. "You know it," I say cockily. Ha, cockily, that's a funny word. The Todd would love it.

Elliot laughs and it takes me a moment to figure out why, thinking she had been reading my thoughts. "Oh, so what were you gonna say?" she asks.

"Oh, just that your dress looks great," I lie. Elliot beams again and we go back to our lunches.

Everyone knows it's meant to be,

Fallin' in love, just you and me,

Till the ends of time,

Till I'm on her mind,

It'll happen.

"Awh, Bambi." Carla's cooing brings me out of my head and I realize I'm back at the nurses' station, the lunch break over. I take my gaze off Elliot's retreating figure and turn to look at the latina nurse.

"What?" I ask in what I hope is an offhand voice.

"You're in love with her again, aren't you?" Carla accuses.

Oh no, her psychic powers have caught on to you! Chocolate Bear warned you about this. Must hide! "Pfft, no, of course not," I say, laughing. "Please, Carla, we're just friends."

"Oh don't you 'just friends' me," Carla says. Uh oh, now she's switching to angry Latina mode. Must tread carefully. "I saw the way you're looking at her. You love her again."

"No, Carla, really, we're just friends," I repeat and she raises an eyebrow dangerously. "We've tried relationships before, remember? It never works. We've just gotten back to being friends from the last time. I'm not messing that up again."

Carla's gaze switches to sympathetic so fast it makes me dizzy. "C'mon, Bambi, we all know you two are going to end up together eventually," she says in that voice that makes me want to call her 'Momma Bear.' "You've been chasing each other since you met. And think how much you've grown up since last time. Elliot's become a stronger, independent person, and you, you're a dad now. Maybe you're both finally mature enough for this."

"I don't know," I say. Oops, forgot I was pretending I didn't love Elliot. Curse you Carla and your magic powers. Sighing, I set my chin on my arms, folded on the countertop.

"Hey," Carla says and pushes against my forehead lightly until I'm looking up at her. "It's meant to be. You can't tell me you haven't thought about what it would be like."

I glance past her and my eyes slide out of focus as I sink into that familiar daydream I've been seeing more and more often lately.

I've been makin' lots of plans,

Like a picket fence and a rose garden.

I'll just keep on dreaming,

But it's cool 'cause we're just friends.

"There you go," Carla said, dragging me back. "That smile on your face should be all the answer you need."

I realize there is that dreamy, contented grin on my face that always gets comments from Dr. Cox that generally contain jibes about femininity and girlish daydreams. I quickly straighten up in case he chooses now to show up. "Damn you, Carla, and your super powers," I say aloud this time.

Carla only smiles. "You're welcome." And she goes right back to arranging folders on the desk. I think about picking the argument back up but decide against it. I'd only lose again. Carla's unbeatable. Instead I grab the nearest chart and head back to work before Dr. Cox shows up and I get stuck in one of those rants about my worthlessness that make me want to go home and eat a bucket of ice cream.

Small talk on IM,

Just one word sentences.

It's cool, we're just friends.

My pager beeps and I whip it out quickly, expecting a code. GA TONIGHT? Grinning, I type in a reply.

DUH

A few seconds later I get her response.

WHERE

JDIZZLECRIB

BRING

POPCORN

LOL OK

Tonight is the Grey's Anatomy season finale and, as we do every week, Elliot and I are getting together to watch it.

If I had my way,

We'd talk and talk all day.

"Karen, what are you grinning about?"

I jump and quickly close my hand around the pager, plunging it deep into my pocket. With my other hand I pick up the chart I'd been looking at before Elliot's page.

"Nothing, just going over Mr. Jameson's chart," I say, waving the chart for emphasis. To my horror, Dr. Cox snaps it out of my grip and his eyes pan over it.

"Oh, well there, Martha, I can see why you would be grinning about this," he says in that 'dear-God-could-you-really-be-so-stupid' tone. I seem to hear that a lot. "Ya know, terminal lung cancer is just the funniest thing eh-hever." And he gives some very obviously fake laughs, wiping a pretend tear away. Then his frowny face comes back so fast it gives me visual whiplash. "Stop chatting with your gal pals and get back to work." With that he storms off, hands in the pockets of his billowy labcoat.

Pulling the pager out, I quickly type, G2G DRCOX, and then head off to give Mr. Jameson the bad news.

I don't wanna lead you on…

I had just finished cleaning up my apartment when I hear the knock at my door. "Come in," I shout, as I place the final touches on the living room.

"I brought the popcorn," Elliot announces and I hear her go into the kitchen and open the microwave. By the time I walk into the kitchen the popcorn is popping loudly. Elliot is standing on her toes, rummaging through a cupboard and pulling out the large plastic bowl we use for popcorn. I let myself just admire her for a second. When she gets ahold of the bowl she turns around and spots me. "Wow, you look nice," she says.

Thank you mango body scrub. "Thanks," I say. "So do you."

"I'm just wearing jeans and a sweater, JD," she points out.

I shrug. "Doesn't matter, you look good anyway." Elliot blushes and turns to pull out one bag of popcorn, replacing it with another.

When both bags of popcorn are done and dumped into the bowl, we move into the living room. I watch her faces as she takes in the two lavender candles on the table and the bottle of red wine. "What's all this for?" she asks curiously.

"It's the season finale," I answer, trying to be casual. "You know, last Grey's Anatomy night until next season starts. I thought it should be special."

"Awh, that's so sweet," Elliot says. Score one for the J-Dawg! We make ourselves comfortable on the couch just in time for the show to start. Despite my nerves, it still ends up feeling like every other Grey's Anatomy night, only the episode is longer and more intense. We chat about the drama during commercials, munch our way guiltlessly through the bowl of popcorn, and drink the wine, which Elliot announces in surprise is her favorite kind. Two points!

The end of the episode leaves us both stunned silent for a few minutes. I mean seriously, did that all really just happen? Poor George and Izzie! Once we both recover, Elliot and I launch into a frenzied debate about it. As I watch Elliot fervently arguing that there is no way they could kill off Izzie, that fluttery feeling in my chest happens again.

But the truth is I've grown fond…

This is it. I have to try, and it may as well be now when I have scored so many points. That was the whole intention of making tonight special, after all.

"Elliot," I say. She doesn't hear me over her rambling. "Elliot?" Maybe this is a sign. Maybe I am wrong. Oh no, losing nerve, doubting self. Ah! "I love you!"

I don't realize that I shouted it until she is staring at me, stunned, her wine glass hovering halfway to her mouth. "What?"

Oh smooth move, Mr. Tact. Scream it at her, why don't you. "Elliot, I love you," I repeat, thankfully at a normal level this time. I watch her eyes go from my nice shirt to the candles to the wine and back to me. I see the comprehension dawn on her face. "I know we've tried before, but we've grown up so much since then, and I really think we're ready this time. I love you and I know now that I always will, and I really want to give us one more try."

"Oh JD, I – " Elliot pauses, looking uncertain and my heart falls. She fingers the wine glass anxiously and then sets it on the table, after finding a coaster of course. Damn you, Carla, I think hopelessly. I ruined it again. I knew I should have just stayed friends because now even that – hey, wait a second. Is she – she's kissing me! Upon realizing this, I kiss her back, setting aside my glass and cupping her face in my hands.

Everyone knows we're meant to be,

Fallin' in love, just you and me.

Till the ends of time.

Till I'm on her mind.

It'll happen.

"So wait," I mumble against her lips after a moment and she draws back. "That's a yes, right?"

"Yes, you dork," Elliot says, smacking my chest playfully. Grinning, I pull her into a hug and barely hear her speaking as she buries her face in my shoulder. "I love you too."

I've been makin' lots of plans,

Like a picket fence and a rose garden.

I'll just keep on dreamin',

But it's cool cause we're just friends.

I pace anxiously in the small room, adjusting and readjusting my tie every time I pass the mirror.

"Calm down, V-Bear, you look fine," Turk says from the corner where he is sitting, dressed in a similar suit.

"I know," I say. "I'm just nervous."

"Of course you are, Johnny," Dan says with a laugh.

"For good reason if you ask me," Dr. Cox puts in and all of us turn to glare.

"Dude," Turk says, "Not helping."

"Wasn't intending to, Gumball," Dr. Cox replies, flicking his nose and crossing his arms.

"Seriously, why'd you agree if you're just gonna be an ass and cause problems," Turk asks.

"Whitney wouldn't stop crying till I did," Dr. Cox says with a shrug.

"I was not crying!" I say indignantly. And I wasn't, really, but a few fake tears in the puppy eyes work wonders. Even against the bulletproof Dr. Cox.

"Whatever you say, Princess."

"Gentlemen," a man says from the doorway. "It's time."

"Alright, Vanilla Bear, let's do this," Turk says, putting a hand on my shoulder.

"We're with you, Little Brother," Dan adds, grasping my other shoulder. Dr. Cox stands up silently, but when I meet his eye he gives me that rare, encouraging nod.

Nodding as well, I take a deep breath and step out into the church.

Thinking about how,

We're gonna say our vows.

It's cool we're just friends.

I stand at the altar, trying not to fidget too much. Turk, Dan, and Dr. Cox were lined up behind me, and across from me I see Carla, Kim, and Jordan waiting in matching dresses, Jordan looking about ready to explode with annoyance at having to be there. It was actually easier to get Dr. Cox to agree than Jordan. Of course I knew it was because deep down Dr. Cox really cares about me.

My eyes scan out over the crowd in the pews. My mom and her most recent husband. Elliot's mom and brothers. Turk's parents with Izzy. Danni Sullivan, (yikes!), with Jack and Little JD. Dan's girlfriend of six months. Dr. Kelso and his wife, Enid. And weirdly enough, Janitor and his wife, Lady. He scowls when he sees me looking, pointing first at his eyes and then at me. I repress a shudder but thankfully the music starts and distracts me.

Everyone's eyes swivel to the back of the church and people stand. The doors swing open and Elliot enters on her father's arm. My heart catches in my chest for a moment at the sight. My God, she is beautiful.

I wait as her father hands her off to me and I feel like I am flying as we approach the altar together. She squeezes my hands softly and smiles before the priest starts talking. Sam, tottering slightly since he'd only started walking a few months ago, brought the rings and then fell into Kim's arms. We exchange the vows and rings, and finally a kiss.

"I now present, for the first time, Mr. and Mrs. John Michael Dorian."

As she walks down the aisle,

I see all our friends smile,

'Cause now we're more than friends.

"To JD and Elliot!"

The reception is a whirlwind of color and happiness. I dance with my wife. Wife. Wow, it feels cool to say that. Then she dances with her dad while I dance with my mom. Elliot dances with Dan. I dance with Mrs. Reid, who grabs my ass and winks, which is both flattering and terrifying. Elliot dances with Sammy. I dance with Kim, and Sam. Elliot dances with her brothers. I do the robot with Turk. We even get Dr. Cox to do the Macarena.

Everyone knows we're meant to me,

Fallin' in love, just you and me.

Till the end of time.

Till I'm on your mind.

It'll happen.

"Always knew you'd end up together," Dr. Kelso says, shaking my hand. That was about the eighth time I'd heard that tonight, and about the hundredth since we'd gotten engaged. Carla had made a point of saying, 'told you so,' at least once a day since we'd gotten together.

"So did we," Elliot says and leans in to kiss my cheek. "Just had to wait for the right time."

"Well it's about time, Stick," Jordan says, grinning. She had already changed out of her bridesmaids' dress and was holding Jennifer Dylan on her hip, while Dr. Cox and Jack trail behind her. Elliot and I only smile, well used to Jordan's behavior by now.

As they start to walk off, Elliot says, "Today has been perfect."

"Yeah," I agree. "Just wish Dad could have been here." Elliot squeezes my arm sympathetically.

"If you're worried, Jezabelle," Dr. Cox says, stopping and glancing back over his shoulder, then lowers his voice and continues, "he'd have been proud of you, kid." He hesitates and adds, "I am."

Oh – My – God! "Thanks," I say, fighting to stay calm and not explode with happiness. Dr. Cox just gives a gruff nod and heads off after Jordan again.

After he'd gone I turn back to Elliot. "You know, Mrs. Dorian, you were right," I say. "Today: perfect." She smiles and kisses me once again.

We've been making lots of plans,

Like a picket fence and a rose garden.

"Hey Sammy," Elliot says and she takes one of his hands and rests it on her round belly. "You feel that?"

Sam waits for a second and then lets out a squeal that dissolves into giggles, retreating back into my lap. Elliot and I grin. "That's your baby sister," Elliot explains.

"Only two more months," I say excitedly. I squeeze the arm around Elliot's shoulders and she smiles up at me.

One year ago I had stood up in church and married my best friend. Not C-Bear, the other best friend. Seven months ago I had found out I was going to be a father again. And a month ago Elliot and I had finalized the paperwork to begin building a house on my half-acre, where we would raise our family.

"I love you, JD."

"I love you too, Elliot."

Sam looks up at us both, pushing his lower lip out in that pout he learned from me. Wow, do I look that cute when I do that? Who am I kidding, of course I do. Smiling, I ruffle Sam's hair. "And I love you too, Sammy." I reach over to put my hand on Elliot's stomach, Sam joining me, and I feel a pressure against my palm. "And I love you too, little baby."

Suddenly Sam leans down and kisses Elliot's tummy. "Wuv 'oo, baby," he echoes me. Elliot looks teary eyed and I pull Sam into a hug, kissing his forehead. Sitting together on the couch, as a family, Elliot and I exchange a look that shows we're thinking the same thing.

I'll just keep on dreaming,

Keep on thinking,

Of when we used to be,

Just friends.

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