Title: Good Old Days
Fandom: Total Drama Island
Notes: For June fic-a-day.
Honestly, even after a decade they should have realized that Chris would never let them go as long as there was any chance that he might be able to make a profit off of them. Of course
they'd all find letters in their mailboxes one day informing them that they were all expected to show up for a TDI ten years later where are they now special, and of course their old contracts would be waved over their heads once more.
If she were still the person she'd been at sixteen Courtney would have fought against it tooth and nail and she was certain that she would have won, but at twenty-six it just didn't seem worth it. He was only asking for one day of their time; she'd lose more by taking him to court over it than she would by just sucking it up and going.
She didn't even see any of the other former contestants for half the day. It was all spent on interviews about what she'd done during the past ten years, about where she was in her life now. It felt like a waste of time--with twenty-two people to get through there was no chance that they'd use even a fraction of that footage in the special--but at least they weren't trying to convince her to wrestle a bear or anything crazy like that the way they always had on the show itself.
When the interviews where finally over with she was led to a nicely decorated banquet hall and told to mingle. Finally she started to see the other contestants, some already there some showing up as their own interviews ended. Courtney felt awkward and out of place among them; it was a bunch of people that she hadn't liked when she'd known them and had never kept in touch with to find out if she'd get along with them better in their normal day-to-day lives. Bridgette might have been nice to see but she wasn't there yet, and neither was...
She wouldn't think about that.
She made her way to the food table and started filling up a plate just to give herself something to do aside from talking to everyone. Owen was there, unsurprisingly, but she ignored him. She ignored everyone. She wasn't paying attention to them, wasn't looking for anyone. No.
She was so busy not looking for anyone that she didn't even notice him coming up beside her, his hair now black where she'd still been not-searching for green. "Hey, looking good, Princess," he greeted her, and though the words were the same type of thing he always would have said his voice was hesitant in a way she'd never heard him be before.
He was closely studying her face. She couldn't quite bring herself to look right at his.
"Well, I take care of myself. More that I can say for some
people." She glanced pointedly at Owen then her eyes darted back to Duncan, skimming around his edges just before she could meet his eyes. "You look... what did you do to your hair?"
He laughed, and suddenly it felt a little easier to be standing there beside him after so many years. "Woulda thought you'd approve," he said, running his hand through hair that was too normal, too plain. "Blame my little brother. He started losing his hair at twenty
, and I decided to stop fucking with mine. Not worth the risk. So, what've you been up to? I've heard people think you'll make it to Parliament before too long."
In her surprise her eyes flew up to meet his before she could stop herself. They looked too kind. All of her last memories of him were of angry screaming fights, of everything falling apart no matter how hard she tried pulling them back together because for a smart girl she'd been a remarkably stupid sixteen-year-old when it came to other people and had only finally learned that you couldn't chart out romance the way she had her future when it was years too late to matter. He couldn't look at her that kindly. "You paid attention to that?" she asked, and her voice sounded high and thin to her own ears, not the carefully measured politicians tones that she'd worked so hard to perfect.
"Eh, I've Googled you once or twice. When something made me think of it. It also told me that right now you're not--" He cut himself off with a snort, shook his head, looked away. "Nah, you don't want to hear it. Never mind."
"No, tell me! Whatever it is, I want to hear... I don't..." She grabbed him by the sleeve without thinking, already seeing him drawing away again, not wanting another ten years to go by without ever trying to make things. "Duncan, I'm sorry,
" she blurted out, her eyes burning like she was sixteen again, memories of so many stupid
fights, so many times she escalated what should have been a minor disagreement because she'd clung to her pride like her life depended on it and couldn't ever admit she was wrong, dancing across her mind. "I know I never said it back then. So many things back were my fault, and even when I could see it I was too... too proud
to ever admit it so I just dug in my teeth harder and made things worse. And by the time I finally grew up enough to realize what a... well, what a bitch
I'd been we hadn't talked in years and I felt like it had been too long to just call up out of nowhere and apologize, but... I always wanted to." She swallowed. She met his eyes again. And when she smiled at him she was surprised at how real it felt. "My life's never been as fun
as it was back then with you again. I just never noticed it while you were still around. And I'm sorry about that as well."
He pulled his sleeve out of her hand and for a minute she thought he was just going to walk away, then he grabbed her hand in the same too-tight grasp he'd always used when they were sixteen and said, "Listen, Google told me you aren't seeing anyone right now. So do you maybe wanna grab a cup of coffee after this stupid thing is over, maybe talk about old times?"
She laughed, and nodded, and the teenager inside her almost wanted to cry because after ten years she'd finally managed to put things right. "Sure. But not old times, we screwed up old times too much. How about new times?"
"Okay, Princess. It's a deal."