Category: dan x amy

The Long and Winding Road

Better late than never – Chapter Nine.

I hope you all enjoy – I hope you want to scream at me – I hope you’re excited for the next chapter.  (I am also sorry it took so long, but this chapter changed a lot in the telling).

When you talk about Dan constantly sucking up Amy’s emotional energy and not wanting to be ignored by her, what di you mean? Do you have any examples?

Dear anon,

Good question. Before getting into my explanation, I want to quote from @cleolinda’s brilliant Twilight recaps, because I think it may help frame what I’m saying:

“So anyway, Bella’s like, “I’m not going to the dance at all, I’m going to Seattle for the day because… I said so,” and Edward’s like, WHY? WHY IS SHE GOING THERE? WHAT IS IN SEATTLE? IS SHE LYING? IS SHE GIVING UP MIKE FOR JESSICA’S SAKE? DOES SHE WISH SHE COULD BE WITH MIKE INSTEAD? I MUST PENETRATE HER MIIIIIIIIIIND!!! THE MONSTER MUST KNOOOOOOOOOW!!!!!!1!”

It’s not that I think Dan is consciously sets out to suck up Amy’s attention – as calculated as he is, I don’t think he’s aware that he’s doing it.

See for instance 1.06 when he thinks Amy might be pregnant – there is absolutely no reason why he needs to be asking her a million questions about who the Daddy is and crowding in on her and literally breathing down her neck about it. He’s her colleague – the contents of her uterus are emphatically not his business. And yet.

Or in the episode where they go to bargain with the racists, (is it 1.05?) and Dan gets so caught up in sniping with Amy Selina has to shout at him to get his attention. Or even their interactions in 1.01 – look how persistently Dan provokes Amy as soon as he arrives in the office. Sure, he probably doesn’t have much else to do, but pissing off Selina’s most trusted staff member is probably not the best way to begin his time in her office, and yet he can’t seem to resist.

Or look at the way he interacts with her in Fishing and Detroit in season 3 – he keeps sniping at her and taunting her, because, Amy being Amy, she reliably puffs up and gets annoyed with him and talks to him on the phone instead of her actual boyfriend.

Or 2.06, when Amy dares to go on a date with a man who isn’t him – taking her attention away – Dan’s reaction is to get drunk and morose in a corner, and then, the next night, to engage in pissy one-up-man-ship with Ed so that Amy will see who the Real Man is.

Or 4.10, when he makes a point of wanting Amy to keep working with him, and is visibly disappointed when she leaves the broadcast. Or even the interview in 6.03 could be read this way – he throws a hand grenade into Buddy’s relationship with her, precisely because he doesn’t like Amy’s performance of devotion to another man.

Not to mention the fact that whenever Amy’s chief emotional relationship – with Selina – seems to be wavering, in season 2 and season 4 and season 6, Dan is all too happy to swoop in and pick up the pieces, ensuring he can have Amy all to himself. (This is what I have sometimes referred to as the “non-romantic love triangle”).

It’s why his dismissiveness of her in the final season just sits so, so oddly with the rest of his characterisation. It’s not an inherently positive quality in their relationship after all (when writing this I thought a lot about the Grey Rock as a strategy Amy should have used with Dan, which says nothing good about him), and there were definitely ways to break them up despite his ongoing need for Amy’s attention and emotional energy.

But honestly, Dan’s need for Amy is such a consistent part of his character that I think you can see it in every episode in which they interact, up until season 7.

The Long and Winding Road

Better late than never:

Chapter Eight

Sorry this took longer than I was hoping, but please enjoy. And thank you for all the song recommendations, they were massively helpful – I hope you all enjoy how I’ve used them in this chapter.

The Long and Winding Road: Chapter Seven

This is a bit of a wham chapter (but in a good way!), so hopefully you will all enjoy.

As always, if the politics are confusing, let me know (though I’m hoping not).

thatgirljazz:

“They need each other.” – Reid Scott

Requested by @wecouldstillbegreat

when can we expect the new chapter now that you’re in Berlin?

Dear anon,

Please enjoy: Chapter Six

Please note, this chapter contains lots and lots of information about political processes and rules and decisions and so on.  Hopefully I’ve written it all out clearly enough that it makes sense to you all, but do ask if any of it is confusing.

And hopefully, like me, you’ll all be looking forward to the next chapter.

The Long and Winding Road, Chapter Five

I’d say enjoy, but there is some ugly stuff in this chapter, particularly from Selina. (If it’s any consolation, my original version of this plotline was much darker, so it could have been worse).

This is one of the first chapters where I take a wildly different interpretation of things than the show – hopefully it will make sense to all of you what I’m doing, but let me know if not.

The next chapter will wrap a lot of “familiar from the show” stuff up and then we will be heading into the unknown, for the really good stuff.  Coincidentally, the end of the next chapter is when you might start to be able to guess where I’m heading with all of this (I think) (if I’m playing fair).

The Long and Winding Road: Chapter Four

A note: this chapter corrects one of Veep’s many offences against a coherent space-time continuum. Season 5 of Veep has Bill Erickson go through being charged, tried, imprisoned and released following appeal all in the stretch of the maybe five weeks between the general election and Jonah’s December campaign for Congress.

I think that is very silly, so in this chapter Bill is waiting to stand trial for the charges related to the data breach. I mention this, because it does become a plot point.

Enjoy everyone – and hopefully it won’t feel as difficult to read as it did to write!

I hope you don’t mind getting more questions! I don’t know if you already answered this before but I wanted to know what do you think drew Dan and Amy to one another and what defines their connection?

I never mind getting questions, anon! In fact I’m always happy to receive them, even if I don’t answer as quickly as I’d like. (And I can definitely talk about non-Veep things from time to time, I promise).

As for Dan and Amy… I think there’s always been something paradoxical about it. Because sure there was always a physical attraction and an intellectual connection – and those things are important, but alone they wouldn’t develop into such an persistent relationship. It’s not as though either of them ever wanted to develop an intimate relationship with the other – it sort of evolved when they weren’t looking.

For Amy, in some ways I’ve always thought it’s actually a more superficial connection, in that a big part of Dan’s appeal has always seemed to be that she got to be herself around him. She constantly received negative feedback about her personality – she wasn’t warm or maternal or flirtatious enough – from her family and her boyfriends and co-workers… but Dan didn’t care. In fact, he liked those qualities in her, appreciated them and encouraged them.

She was constantly being told she wasn’t good enough – and while Dan never said the words, the way he treated her made it more than clear that he liked her exactly the way she was. That would be a very powerful draw even without the sizzling sexual tension. But it also means that a substantial part of her attraction to him was less about Dan the person and more about everyone else dumping ugly gendered expectations on her. (Please note, one of the aspects of Mandel’s writing that I truly loathe is the way women are implicitly judged for not performing feminity well enough – it really stood out to me, for instance, in 6.08 that we were encouraged to despise Selina for having had abortions and not being an eager mother. Fuck, and I cannot stress this enough, that).

The show never depicted Amy with another man who liked her personality and was able to keep up with her intellectually – though I think it’s at least implied that Bill had those qualities – but I think that if Amy had met someone like that, who didn’t come with all of Dan’s baggage, she probably would have fallen for him pretty easily. (Especially after season 5’s clusterfuck).

Whereas as perverse as it sounds, I really do think Dan had a more…persistent need for Amy than she did for him. Now, I think a substantial element of his feelings for her were driven by ego – Amy was smart and tough and ruthless, and knew exactly what kind of person he was, and yet even so, he, the great Dan Egan, was able to reduce her to jelly by smiling at her the right way. What greater demonstration of his wondrous powers of attraction could there be.

But it wasn’t only ego. If it had been, he would have gotten over his need for Amy’s approval and affection much, much sooner than he did. Reid Scott described Amy as “sweet” (which I still think is hilarious), and I think that speaks to something that Dan probably never acknowledged to himself, which is that Amy reliably brought out a human quality in him no one else did. Of course, eventually, he wrestles with that better self and wins – destroying their relationship and his political career in the process – but I think it’s fair to say it wouldn’t have been a struggle if any other woman had been involved.

In other words, though he would deny it till his last breath, Dan didn’t just want to have sex with Amy – he wanted to suck up all her attention just for himself, he wanted to make her smile, make her laugh, make her feel better when she was sad. He didn’t have that human connection with anyone else in his life – and I can’t help but think there was an element of protectiveness in it. Because she was ruthless and dark (even more so than he was in some ways – after season 5, I can’t see Dan running Jonah’s campaign for president, and not just because Jonah was a joke) and at the same time, she was a marshmallow. And he sort of…got off on the fact that he brought that out in her, and also felt a pull to protect her and shield her, because he had no softness whatsoever himself.

It was Amy’s blend of vulnerability and toughness that drew him in – if she’d been purely ambitious the way Selina was, I think he’d have gotten bored very, very quickly.

Of course, Dan would never have realised this about himself, because he very carefully walled off any feelings he had about Amy somewhere he didn’t have to look at them – while constructing elaborate political rationales for why she should spend all her time with him and no one else for the good of his career. Just because those excuses were transparent to everyone else doesn’t mean Dan didn’t believe them (or, tell himself he believed them).

But in large part, I think that’s why Dan never appears to have had an emotionally meaningful relationship with any other woman – I really don’t think he was capable of being drawn to anyone else in the way he was drawn to Amy, because her combination of vulnerability and competence, bitchiness and sweetness, arrogance and insecurity, and razor sharp intellect is just so rare.

There are a lot more men out there who could accept Amy’s personality than there are women who replicate it and can tolerate Dan’s after all.

As vitriolic as they were with each other, at their best, Dan and Amy both liked and loved each other – it’s just that, unlike Leslie and Ben, they also despised virtually everyone else. (I’ve been rewatching Parks & Rec of late which is why the comparison sprang to mind).

If Amy and Dan had a big blow up, how would Dan try to get into Amy’s good graces again? Would he ever apologize to her?

Apologies for taking so long to answer – last week was a busy one in work, and I generally prioritise fic writing over tumblr (which I think meets with general approval).

As a general rule, I think it’s a safe assumption that Dan would not apologise. He has a very “blame the victim” attitude to people he’s wronged – kind of like Littlefinger’s “I did warn you not to trust me” – so it seems more likely to me that he would adopt a kind of “it’s your fault you’re upset because you should have known I would do this” posture.

What’s more, if 5.03 is anything to go by, Dan really doesn’t like being confronted with his fuck-ups, and especially not when they’re about something he actually cares about. He’s hateful to Amy precisely because he’s angry with himself for screwing things up, and even more angry with her for being visibly hurt and pissed off instead of letting him forget it ever happened. It’s hard to imagine him getting anywhere near as pissed off if Brie or Sophie or Carol or any of the other women he’s ever been involved with refused to accept his non-apology – he’d shrug and move on.

But, to be clear, I have no doubt that Dan has faked apologies to numerous girlfriends over the years – so I’m sure he’s capable of saying the words. Saying the words and meaning them is another thing entirely.

Now, I wouldn’t rule it out entirely – but I think Dan would only abase himself (in his view) by apologising if he truly felt he had no other option, and if his attachment to Amy had developed to the point where he couldn’t tolerate having her leave him. Obviously, he never reaches that point in the show. In season 5 he’s in denial that he’s done any lasting to their relationship, and in season 7 he’s devolved far past the point of caring about any other human being.

But even for season 4 Dan, I think a spoken apology would still be a final resort – essentially an act of desperation. Especially as apologising to Amy in a way she would expect would involve exposing all his (limited) emotional vulnerabilities, in a way rattling off an apology to another woman never would – hence why he refuses to apologise in season 5, despite the fact that it almost certainly would have worked. (Of course, Dan doesn’t know this about himself, being wilfully obtuse about his own feelings, but there’s a reason he resists the obvious solution to his problem).

As always, he’s very like Selina. When Selina wanted to apologise to Gary in 6.08, she certainly didn’t say the words or acknowledge wrong doing – though she clearly knew she’d crossed a line – but she made a gesture. She and Gary went for barbecue, just the two of them, as a way for her to demonstrate she was sorry, without ever saying so.

In other words, I think it’s highly likely that the morning after their fight in 5.03, Dan bought Amy an almond croissant or something. He doesn’t have Amy’s resentful tendencies after all – once he cooled down after their fight, he probably realised pretty quickly that he’d gone too far.

It’s just that, because Amy isn’t Gary, and because Dan had pushed her so much, she likely wasn’t willing to respond to any mere gesture. Hence his rather sullen demeanour with her in 5.04 and 5.05 – from his perspective he’s trying, and Amy insists on still being angry with him out of sheer stubbornness.