Fandom: Lords of Dogtown
Pairing: Jay Adams/Kathy Alva
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Summary: How I wish you were here.
I hardly ever write for movie fandoms but I saw this movie for the first time after not watching it in a couple of years and I forgot how much I loved it and how incredible Heath Ledger and Emile Hirsch are in it. I really don't expect anyone to read this just because I'm not sure if anyone has seen Lords of Dogtown but this popped in my head and I wanted to write it - something random for sure.
There was a time when she loved him more than anything. When she would do anything for him. Go with him anywhere. She used to be able to tell him anything and they would stay up after getting home from their night out and hiding underneath the sheets on their bed, lying on their sides and facing one another – smelling ocean and sand through their open windows – they would smile and laugh and talk in whispers as if they were worried about waking someone.
She can’t remember the last time they did that.
They haven’t done a lot of things.
He is never there when she wakes up and when she comes home from work – she’s gotten a job as a waitress to pay the rent – or a night out with Blanca and Thunder Monkey, he either won’t be there or he’ll be passed out on the couch, empty beer bottles littering the table in front of him.
She doesn’t know why he’s sticking around.
But at the same time, she doesn’t know what she’ll do if he leaves.
Jay Adams is the craziest boy she has ever met. Even now, after everything that’s happened, after everything that’s changed – almost all for the worst – he still is even if he doesn’t act like it. He was always the first one in their neighborhood to leap before looking no matter how far the ground was below and she sometimes looks at him now and it’s almost as if he’s leaped and is still falling, waiting for that ground to come rushing up to meet him.
Skip sees him more than she does. He’s gotten Jay a job at the surf shop, shaping and sanding boards. Before work, they’ll go surfing and after work, they hang out at parties, drinking beers and smoking joints and laughing about old jokes and stories because they have no new ones to tell.
She runs into him at one of these parties and they stare at one another, for a split second, forgetting that they’re together and living together and supposed to be loving one another but then he smiles at her and says her name as he slides his arms around her waist and rest his chin on her shoulder like he always used to. She smiles and feels like it’s one of the best nights of her life.
But then Jimi Hendrix starts playing and he starts dancing in front of her and she remembers when they were both younger and falling for each other the first time and Jay was still Jay.
She doesn’t mean to but she starts to cry. Either he really doesn’t notice or he pretends not to.
Tony calls and asks her to come to a competition with him in Seattle.
“Everyone will be there,” he says and they both think the same thing at the same time.
Everyone except Jay.
When she agrees and tells Jay, he’s standing in the bathroom, staring at his reflection in the mirror and he doesn’t even seem to be able to see anything else.
“I’m going to go see Tony,” she tells him.
He nods then and mutters a “Have fun” almost as if he forgets that Tony no longer lives down the street from him.
She’s terrified that when she comes back in a couple of days, he’ll be gone.
She packs her bag anyway.
The last time she went to a skating competition, Jay had done his aerial move, stunning everyone before throwing them all into an excited frenzy. No one had been able to work a crowd like Jay, not even Stacy or her brother. But then he had walked out and that was it. Whatever hadn’t changed, changed then and she is just so sick of it. She wishes everything, for once, would just stop changing and stay still for a minute.
Tony’s changed now, too. Instead of running off to find the hottest girl in the crowd, once he’s done with his set, he comes up and gives Kathy a hug. The smirk is still cocky as ever though when he gets a score of 9s and 10s and knowing he has time before the next competition, he takes her hand and leads them out into a quiet hallway of the pavilion. He leans against one wall and she leans against the other.
“How is he?” He asks and she shrugs because really, what can she say?
“Ever since Sid…” she trails off and Tony nods, not knowing everything but knowing enough.
“Is he…” he scratches the back of his head. “I’m heading to Portland after this. There’s a huge competition in Portland. I want you to come with me.”
She smiles a little and it almost hurts her mouth. “I can’t… Jay… he’s not good on his own.”
Tony opens his mouth to say something to that but he changes his mind and glances away, back down the hallway towards the double doors that will lead them back. “So… how’s Blanca?”
“She’s good,” she smiles now more naturally at the mention of her best friend and Tony’s ex-girlfriend. “She’s been dating this new guy… she’s happy.”
She doesn’t say it to be cruel. She says it because it’s true and Tony needs to know that.
He nods, understanding, and glances down at the floor before back at her. “I should come and visit more. I miss it there.”
“No, you don’t,” she laughs and he smiles and for a moment, everything’s okay.
Jay shaves his head again and she hates that zipper tattoo on his head. He seems to know this and wears that black fedora hat of his now more times than not. It’s a look that’s completely Jay – his shoes, blue jeans with holes in the knees, no shirt and that hat.
She runs her hands down his chest and he kisses her, pressing her up against the nearest wall. He tastes like burnt hamburger and pot and her fingers curl over his shoulders, her mouth opening for him, and his body is tight against hers.
“You don’t touch my anywhere,” she whispers and he stares at her.
“I’m touching you right now,” he says but then he pushes himself off of her and the wall and he turns, leaving the room. A moment later, he leaves the apartment, the door slamming behind him.
She slides down to the floor and hugs her knees to her chest. She doesn’t chase after him.
And she pretends that she doesn’t care when he doesn’t come back that night.
“What’s this?” She demands, holding up a bag of white powder she has found in their bedroom.
He is sitting on the couch, staring at the television, and doesn’t even move his eyes to glance over at her. “Nothing.”
She throws it at him and she’s the one to storm out now.
He doesn’t chase after her either.
He comes to the restaurant the next day and sits down at the counter, tapping a corner of the laminated menu against the Formica countertop and watching her. She gets him a cup of Coke and places his usual order of French fries without talking to him. He stays for her entire shift.
When she punches out and unties the green apron around her waist, she is prepared to walk out still without talking but he gets up and snatches her wrist, stopping her. They stare at one another and when he pulls her into a hug, she doesn’t pull away. She hates herself for not pulling away.
They go to the beach where he tries to teach her how to surf but she has never been able to get the hang of it, falling off her board over and over again and he grins, teasing her, and she laughs, splashing water at him.
The sun is bright and warm on her skin and when his hands frame her face, she is still laughing as he kisses her.
Everyone used to call him the Boy King of Venice Beach and when he is in a rare good mood and is skating, surrounded by friends and a joint being passed around, she sees why. He pulls people in. He’s always been able to. People have just gravitated towards him and want to be near him and when he’s smiling and joking and tossing out jokes, the world around him just seems better.
He is the best skater out of them and they all know it – even Tony – but while they’re off, being sponsored and making money, he has always hated having to skate how people tell him to and sucking the fun out of something he loves so much.
Sponsors approach her with promises and reminders that Jay can have it all if he wants if she would just talk to him but that’s the problem. He doesn’t want it and she can’t force him. So instead, they both work and struggle to pay the rent and he gets high every night before passing out. She’s eighteen years old and she wonders if this is how every girl her age lives.
One morning, she hears him get out of the bed and takes his surf board from where it’s propped up against the dresser. She doesn’t say a word as she gets up, too. He tugs on his wet suit and she’s in panties and his Zephyr tee-shirt and they go down to the beach together, silently. She sits in the sand, the sun barely above the horizon, as he and Skip catch the morning waves together.
She watches him, her chin resting on one of her knees, and she can hear him laughing as after a wave crashes down on top of him and he pops above the surface moments later. He sounds so happy. So carefree. He never sounds like that with her and she realizes that he won’t. She isn’t the ocean or a skateboard and all she is to him is a reminder of things in a life he doesn’t have anymore. She understands now and she knows that this is the last time she’ll watch him surf.
The saltwater breeze is cool against her cheeks and she realizes that they’re wet with tears.
She closes her eyes and tilts her face up towards the sun, it growing warmer as it rises higher.
Tony had called to tell her that he would be in Phoenix for a competition. She’ll head there tomorrow. Jay won’t miss her.
But she knows that she’ll miss him even though he’s been gone a long time now.