What do you think dan and Amy’s backstory is like?
Cough *chapter nine of Behind the Scenes* cough (url: https://archiveofourown.org/works/7983187/chapters/20686855).
I am in two minds on whether the show is ever going to fill us in on that – on the one hand, I think most of us can work out the broad strokes just from seeing how they interact, and on the other, it really would be extremely revealing about both of them, so…who knows.
What the show tells us is that the relationship was comparatively short – Amy describes as a week, or as three dates (which I think is intended to convey to us that it fell apart after the FIRST time they slept together). Amy’s mother says that Dan broke her heart and, while Amy’s family are uniformly terrible, I suspect she’s probably right about that. In fact, Amy being Amy, I think she probably threw herself back into her career and didn’t really process the break-up or what her feelings meant. It also seems like to me that Dan had met at least Amy’s parents, somehow, given how familiar they are with him.
While my fic may well be way off what actually happened between them (I am not a psychic), there are a couple of things that I am pretty certain about.
1. Dan did something – who knows what – that made Amy think he was never actually attracted to her in any way, and was faking EVERYTHING. I’m pretty certain about this one, because it’s the only way Amy’s prolonged and visible insecurity about Dan’s sexual interest in her makes sense – he really HASN’T been subtle, and yet she consistently lacks confidence (in her sexual appeal, not her professional skills) around him.
2. Dan developed a minor case of the feelings. Not to the point of being in love with her necessarily, but I think it’s clear he had a soft spot for Amy even from the beginning of the show. Which is why I’m ALSO sure that he kept hanging around her after the relationship ended, cock-blocking everyone he could, and preventing Amy from ever really getting over him. (In other words, as is so often the case with Dan’s feelings, he acted like a huge dick).
3. The break-up was not…clean. Amy’s noticeably bitter about what happened, and it’s hard to think that could spring from something as normal as being ghosted. I’m convinced there was some element of betrayal, Dan abusing her trust somehow, and that’s the source of Amy’s bitterness.
4. She thought he really liked her, and probably hadn’t ever considered the possibility of being used for professional advancement (and, whatever the show might say, there’s no reason she should have – Dan’s behaviour is not NORMAL). In the long run, being used for sex probably would have been less damaging to Amy’s confidence and faith in her own judgement – lots of people have fallen into that particular trap.
5. Dan has no real idea of the impact it had. If he did, he’d be better at handling Amy’s insecurities.