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J is for Jeopardy

Title: J is for Jeopardy
Fandom: Pretty Little Liars
Characters: Holden, Lucas.
Rating: G
Warnings: Spoilers through S3
Summary: When Aria admits that she's still seeing Ezra, Holden comes clean to his own parents about his martial arts, which goes as well as could be expected. He's dubious when his parents try to force other friendships on him, but soon realises he has more in common with Lucas than he thought.

This is ridiculous, Holden thought. He hadn’t had playdates since he was in the third grade, and back then he hadn’t minded too much, because it was Aria.

He barely remembered this Lucas Gottesman guy from when he’d lived in Rosewood before. Mostly, he remembered some annoying kid always trying to take pictures at the least opportune moments just so he could get them in the yearbook, and not seeming to realise just how little he was endearing himself to the freshman class. Now apparently the guy had decided to drop out of Rosewood High and be homeschooled, and his parents were worried about him completely lacking a social life, and were trying to encourage him to make new friendships. Lucky Holden.

Listening to Aria had probably been a mistake. After she’d decided to admit to her parents that she was still dating that Fitz guy, she’d encouraged Holden to tell the truth about what he was really doing when their parents thought they were dating. He hadn’t felt he had much of a choice now that he couldn’t rely on her as an alibi.

Big mistake. To say they’d taken it badly would be an understatement. They’d kept him under pretty much the same level of house arrest that Byron and Ella had kept Aria under when they’d first found out about her relationship, and were considering banning Holden from seeing Aria again because she’d known about it, until Holden had argued that she hadn’t known about his heart condition for most of the time and once she did she had tried to talk him out of fighting. In the end they had relented on that one, but were still trying to convince Holden that he needed more friendships anyway. Maybe if he had more of a social life now they were back in the US, he’d be able to develop more appropriate hobbies. Yes, they had actually said that.

This had better be worth it, Holden thought as he tapped on the door to Lucas’s room. Lucas hastily slammed his laptop shut, but not before Holden had noticed that he had some gambling site on his screen.

“You don’t have to hide that from me,” Holden began. “I don’t care what sites you visit.”

Lucas looked sheepish. “I thought you were my parents. They found out I was using these sites and don’t want me on there any more. Thing is, I know I shouldn’t be on there. I got into trouble not long ago and lost a lot of money that wasn’t even mine to lose, it was my friend Caleb’s. I don’t even know why he and Hanna are still talking to me.”

Holden knew Caleb and Hanna, sort of, because he had met them through Aria.

“And then my parents found out,” Lucas continued. “I left town for a while, trying to get the money to pay Caleb back, and I’d said I was staying with my cousin, but my parents talked to his parents and they said they hadn’t seen me in weeks. It’s a long story, but it all kind of came out after that.”

“Parents finding out about your hobbies they don’t approve of, I know that one,” Holden grimaced. “My parents just stopped me from taking part in a Korean martial art.”

Lucas frowned. “Why would they care about that?”

Holden had been hoping that this wouldn’t come up in conversation so early on, in fact he would have preferred it wouldn’t come up at all. “I have a heart condition,” he explained. “An abdominal aortic aneurysm. It could rupture at any time without warning, and my parents thought that the martial arts would be dangerous for me. I’d go to my fights when they thought I was seeing Aria, and once they knew, they went nuts. You’re putting your life in jeopardy there, Holden. But it could happen when I’m not doing anything at all. It could happen right now as I’m talking to you.”

Lucas flinched and drew back; Holden laughed. “Sorry. Didn’t mean to frighten you. But I really don’t have to be doing anything for it to happen. So I couldn’t understand why my parents got so angry about the martial arts. If it was going to happen, I’d rather it was when I was doing something I love instead of on the couch with my parents watching Dr. Phil.”

Lucas snorted. “Definitely not while watching Dr. Phil. But seriously, I’ve got to admire your guts. At least you were doing something more worthwhile than my gambling. You were doing something you really loved. I didn’t love gambling. I hated knowing that I was losing Caleb’s money when he was one of the few real friends I ever had. I was just trying to make the money that I used to make selling test answers to jackasses like Noel Kahn and Sean Ackard, just so I could fit in with them.”

Holden wrinkled his nose. “Why would you even want to?” He did remember those guys, Noel more than Sean, and he didn’t much like what he remembered.

“Because I wanted to be seen as more than Hermy the Hermaphrodite. That was what Alison DiLaurentis used to call me.”

Yes, that was it. Now that he had heard it again, Holden did remember.

“And I just wanted to shake that off by getting in with those guys. But they’d just pay for the test answers I was selling them, and then say something like Thanks, Larry and just walk off. Caleb was the closest thing that I had to a friend, and I realise now that I blew that one. I’ve done some things I’m not proud of, and I can’t tell you what they are. But it started because I wanted to be accepted at school, and now I realise that all I did was push real friends away.”

Holden didn’t know what Lucas was referring to. Maybe he would tell him, one day, when they had got to know each other better. “Well, I may not be one of the popular kids, but if you ever need a friend, you’ve got one.” He understood where Lucas was coming from. The adrenalin rush he probably felt when he was succeeding with his gambling, that was probably the same as Holden felt in his fights. It seemed to Holden that maybe he had been too quick to dismiss Lucas as a potential friend, and they had a lot more in common than they thought.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 5th, 2014 09:25 am (UTC)

Absolutely LOVE it!!!!

It's a shame we never got to see Lucas again.
Jun. 6th, 2014 08:48 pm (UTC)
Thanks, glad you liked this! I heard Lucas was supposed to be coming back in S5, hope he does. I know he and Holden never had a scene together in canon but I really think they could have been friends. Next up is K is for Karma which is about Jessica, then L is for Legend which is about how Caleb was about the only character not to have met Ali so all he has to go on is the way people talk about her, then how he reacts when he meets her. Trouble is I haven't watched Ravenswood so can I really write post-Ravenswood Caleb?
Jun. 6th, 2014 08:53 pm (UTC)
ouch, yeah, I had totally forgotten about him returning for Season 5!

I hope he'll have a scene with my Goddess Ali.

BTW, you can go to watchseries.lt and search for Ravenswood.

It's actually how I watch all my shows.

Sadly I'll be on vacation when PLL returns :(

Got "Toxic" the other day so I will probably be reading that PLL book while the show returns.

Jun. 6th, 2014 11:22 pm (UTC)
I really need to catch up on a lot of shows (I live in England and so am slightly behind on some anyway as I watch a lot at UK pace but I've just been away myself and wasn't able to catch up on anything). I will try and catch up with Ravenswood though.

I'm hoping some inspiration will strike me to write about Noel and Wren soon as they're about the only characters I don't have an idea for at the moment. (Although I'm wondering if anyone's actually going to want to read a fic about Ezra, but I still think I'll write him.) I think I know what I'm doing as far as S now.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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