rysler

FIC: Provider (Fried Green Tomatoes)

Aug. 14th, 2006 | 11:17 pm
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Title: Provider
Author: rysler
Date: 8/14/2006
Source: Fried Green Tomatoes, movieverse, set a few months before the Whistlestop Cafe opens. Idgie/Ruth.

For shonn. Happy birthday, my friend.

* * *

Idgie inhaled. A musty sweet odor hung in the fall air. The trees had been picked and the grass had yellowed. A haze of autumn seedlings floated around her. She wore a hat pulled low to keep the fading, burning sun out of her eyes as she tried to decide between fishing or going over to her parents.

Either action would produce the night's meal, but she wasn't sure which would be more work. Or which, given the river currents, would take longer. She reached up to rub the back of her neck, and gasped when a hand touched her.

She hesitated, her elbow stuck high in the air. The fingers on her wrist were cold and she shivered. "Ruth?" Nothing was visible in front of her, and she'd heard no footfalls or rustling to warn her. Only Ruth could sneak up on her like that. Only Ruth considered it a pleasure to try.

Ruth chuckled right into Idgie's ear. She let go of Idgie's wrist. Idgie dropped her hand and said, "What're you doing?"

"Thinking," said Ruth.

Ruth's breath tickled Idgie's neck. Idgie turned around--or tried to--Ruth grabbed her arms to stop her. Ruth's bruises weren't all healed yet, and Idgie knew Ruth didn't like people looking at her. But she struggled anyway, and turned around in Ruth's arms. She faced Ruth, and smiled her widest smile. "You? Thinking? Were you reading the Bible, too? That's dangerous."

Ruth laughed. She knocked Idgie's hat off her head. "I have been thinking, Idgie Threadgoode, about our futures."

Idgie squinted. She was looking into the setting sun. Ruth had the presence of mind to stand turned away from the sun, and she was smirking at Idgie and the sunlight in her eyes.

"Our future?" Idgie tasted the words like she would suspicious bourbon, wondering if it was made in someone's bathtub, with the label too worn to be trusted.

"Well, we have to do something, Idgie. Money's running out, baby's on the way. Your family's been threatening to help out again. Bad enough that we're under their roof."

Idgie scratched her nose. "But Ruth… You're a lady. A lady in trouble, sure, but I just figured, once you were back on your feet, you'd go back to…"

"To what, Idgie? Did you think I'd get married again? I'm not a lady, Idgie. Not after what he--"

Idgie covered Ruth's mouth. She said, "You are. Everyone thinks so. Big George says so. Finest one he's ever seen. It doesn't matter what anyone's done to you. It's a just matter of what you do to them."

Ruth blew against Idgie's hand. Idgie withdrew and let her curled fingers settle on Ruth's shoulder. Free to speak, Ruth said, "Is that so?"

Idgie grinned and said, "You're the only lady I've ever met."

"You could meet more if you took a bath or two," Ruth countered.

"Didn't say I wanted to meet any more." Idgie said. She wrinkled her nose. "Hard enough to get you to play a decent hand of cards."

Ruth tossed her head. "Well, one lady. One tramp." She smiled.

Something in Ruth's eye twisted a response from Idgie that stayed in her gut. She swallowed, looking past Ruth and getting blinded by the sun. "I have to go. There's supper to catch." Idgie began walking blindly.

Ruth grabbed her arm, tugged her around, and said, "Don't worry about it. I'm making a pie." Ruth's grip was strong. Idgie yielded.

"But--" Idgie said, frowning.

"Stay in, tonight? I've hardly seen you since you brought me back to Alabama."

Idgie looked down, at Ruth's hand on her arm, and then back at Ruth's face.

"What is it, Idgie?"

Idgie looked away, at the haze settling over the Alabama trees. She'd been planning to say it, practicing her speech, hoping Ruth wouldn't figure out to ask. Her voice weaker than she thought it should be as she said, "I can't protect you, Ruth. I've got to face it. I couldn't help Buddy. I couldn't help you. I couldn't save you from Frank Bennett. I'm no good for it."

"Well, you don't know much about being a lady," said Ruth. She let go of Idgie and twisted closer to her.

Idgie laughed; a short, harsh laugh, and started to say something, but then Ruth's hand covered her mouth. Ruth was behind her, with her arm wrapped around Idgie's shoulders. Her fingers pressed gently against Idgie's lips. Idgie knew enough to be silent.

"A lady makes her own way in the world," said Ruth, whispering against Idgie's ear. "Doesn't accept help from man or woman, or brother or sister, or parent or friend or servant. I will decide my own fate from now on, Idgie Threadgoode."

Idgie squirmed. Ruth held her tighter. Idgie felt the swollen belly against her back. "I'll take care of you, Idgie," Ruth said.

Idgie bristled. She tried to worm out of Ruth's grasp.

Ruth said, "I'll at least take care of dinner."

"There ain't no way this is going to work," said Idgie. "I'm not--"

Ruth laughed. "You are such a contradiction."

Idgie said, "You read too much. And what about my own fate?"

"Well, then, decide fate," said Ruth. She pushed her face into Idgie's neck and inhaled. Idgie wondered if she could possibly smell any better than the fall air. Probably worse. But Ruth pressed a kiss against her neck anyway and held her tighter. Idgie pulled Ruth's hand back to her lips. She nuzzled Ruth's palm.

Ruth sighed.

"What's in our future, then?" Idgie asked. She felt Ruth smile against her.

Ruth said, "Food."

"Yeah?"

Ruth let go of her, and Idgie turned around. The sun had disappeared below the trees, and Idgie could look at Ruth easily in the grey-orange light.

Ruth said, "The best food you ever tasted."

"That so," said Idgie, cocking her head and leaning closer to Ruth.

Ruth smiled. She took Idgie's cheeks between her hands, and said, "That's so."

Idgie kissed her. She sank against Ruth's mouth and felt the wind blow Ruth's hair against her face. Fish would be better than pie for dinner, she thought, but Ruth's kisses were even sweeter. She caught a glimpse of their possible future--reading to the kid at bedtime, Sunday dinner with the Threadgoodes, games of cards and fried chicken and train rides to nowhere.

"Know what else we're having for supper?" Ruth mumbled against her mouth.

"What?"

"Beer."

Idgie grinned and kissed Ruth again.

"Lots and lots of beer."

"You know, if you can cook as good as you say, maybe you should. Pies and cakes and chicken and barbecue and fish and potatoes and--" Ruth's lips descended to silence Idgie, and then Ruth's tongue, slipping easily into Idgie's open mouth, solved all conversation.

END

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Comments {32}

shonn's user pictures

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From: shonn
Date: Aug. 15th, 2006 - 02:53 pm
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This is exactly what I hoped it would be. Thank you.

I have such a soft spot for this pairing. Idgie is special to me, and her portrayal is important to me on a level other characters rarely reach, which is why I hound you so much about writing her. You get her right. As much as most people are drawn to Ruth's softness, I am drawn to Idgie's.

I could not have had a better gift than this. Thank you.

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rysler's user pictures

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From: rysler
Date: Aug. 15th, 2006 - 09:17 pm
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Niiiiiiice icon.

I'm drawn to Ruth's hardness--her strength, her anger, her ability to be perfectly who she is, and yet, be who she's not at the same time. Maybe Idgie is soft by comparison.

I don't write this pairing much because I feel they're so well-covered... There's less exploration for me. I know Idgie, and I'm totally in love with her, and Ruth, and what more could there be to say?

But I did get a couple of ideas. ;)

I'm honored you like the voices. That's what I worry about most--whether Idgie is Idgie.

I'm so glad you liked it. Since it was two weeks late, I think you better go ahead and tell me what you want for Christmas, so I can get started.

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From: shonn
Date: Aug. 16th, 2006 - 01:37 pm
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From: rysler
Date: Aug. 16th, 2006 - 09:42 pm
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frogfrizz's user pictures

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From: frogfrizz
Date: Aug. 16th, 2006 - 07:20 am
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That you've written for one of my favorite movies... *sigh*

This should've been included in the film. All that subtext made me itch, really. I'm so glad someone wrote something that'd not only fill in the gaps, but expound on the characters and make 'em breathe. :) Thanks so much for writing! Truly enjoyed this.

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rysler's user pictures

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From: rysler
Date: Aug. 16th, 2006 - 09:47 pm
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Thank you! I love the movie, too. I pulled the DVD off my shelf to prep for the story. ::sigh:: Such a classic.

I'm really touched you thought I had something to add. Thank you. I love both women, it's good to do them justice. :)

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From: glazzal
Date: Aug. 16th, 2006 - 11:22 am
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Your characterization is beautiful! I've recently seen this film -- is there a fandom at all?

Oh, and some little errors in the text that may have come from transferring the words, and maybe a typo. Thought you might like to know, though they were no obstacle to enjoying the lovely prose. :)

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rysler's user pictures

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From: rysler
Date: Aug. 16th, 2006 - 09:56 pm
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I think there's a fandom... I'm not too sure. I've written one other Fried Green Tomatoes story.

And the typos, arghhh. I noticed it didn't post correctly and then I ran out of time. I'll take a whack at them now, and if you notice any problems after I've fixed the spacing, pleeeeease let me know. :)

And, thank you!

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From: glazzal
Date: Aug. 17th, 2006 - 01:00 pm
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From: rysler
Date: Aug. 18th, 2006 - 11:37 pm
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From: glazzal
Date: Aug. 19th, 2006 - 02:53 am
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From: rysler
Date: Aug. 20th, 2006 - 03:20 pm
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bodhi_chenrezig's user pictures

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From: bodhi_chenrezig
Date: Aug. 16th, 2006 - 01:07 pm
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oh wow - never read FGT fic before - but damn girrl. Damn.

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rysler's user pictures

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From: rysler
Date: Aug. 16th, 2006 - 09:57 pm
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::grin:: Thank you.

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vampirespider's user pictures

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From: vampirespider
Date: Aug. 16th, 2006 - 03:51 pm
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This is wonderful! You have a very, very good grasp of Ruth.

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rysler's user pictures

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From: rysler
Date: Aug. 16th, 2006 - 10:02 pm
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I love your icon. It's beautiful.

And thank you! I admit to being a little in love with Ruth.

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From: thelastgoodname
Date: Aug. 17th, 2006 - 01:07 am
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This is lovely.

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rysler's user pictures

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From: rysler
Date: Aug. 17th, 2006 - 01:15 am
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Thank you! I love hearing from you.

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From: anonymous
Date: Aug. 17th, 2006 - 01:29 am
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rysler's user pictures

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From: rysler
Date: Aug. 17th, 2006 - 02:53 am
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Thank you. It's really worth owning!

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From: _slutknot_
Date: Aug. 17th, 2006 - 02:04 am
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......
I love you.


Lots.

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rysler's user pictures

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From: rysler
Date: Aug. 17th, 2006 - 02:56 am
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Um...

::blushes:: Thank you.

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From: _slutknot_
Date: Aug. 17th, 2006 - 02:59 am
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From: anonymous
Date: Aug. 19th, 2006 - 10:23 pm
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rysler's user pictures

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From: rysler
Date: Aug. 20th, 2006 - 03:20 pm
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Thank you!

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From: anonymous
Date: Aug. 21st, 2006 - 09:19 pm
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rysler's user pictures

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From: rysler
Date: Aug. 21st, 2006 - 09:36 pm
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Thank you! I mean, you're welcome! Something.

I saw Kathy Reichs speak once, and she was brilliant, though I've not read any of her books yet. ;)

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ralst's user pictures

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From: ralst
Date: Nov. 13th, 2006 - 01:03 am
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Lovely characterisation. Their stubborness and love for each other really came through and, of course, Ruth won the argument.

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rysler's user pictures

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From: rysler
Date: Nov. 13th, 2006 - 02:06 am
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Thank you! ::beams:: Of course Ruth would win. She knows Idgie's in the palm of her hand.

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From: anonymous
Date: Nov. 16th, 2006 - 06:59 am
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Please write more about them! PLEASE PLEASE PLEEEAASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : )

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grdnofevrythng's user pictures

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From: grdnofevrythng
Date: Aug. 3rd, 2007 - 01:34 am
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That was just...perfection. FGT was my favorite movie when I was a child. I was always drawn to those two (that probably should have told me something...lol). I hope that you will write more.

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rysler's user pictures

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From: rysler
Date: Aug. 3rd, 2007 - 02:27 am
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Thank you! I'm very impressed you found this, after a year. And so glad you did. :) I'm glad you liked it. I have a couple other Fried Green Tomatoes stories, but it's not a world I explore as often as I should.

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From: anonymous
Date: Oct. 12th, 2008 - 04:52 pm
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This is really fantanstic!
Hope you can write more:)

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slamaina's user pictures

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From: slamaina
Date: Jun. 10th, 2011 - 05:54 pm
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I love the way you wrote this. In most of the FGT fanfic I have read (and that isn't a lot since there isn't a lot out there) it shows Idgie as the strong provider and Ruth needing someone strong to lean on. I like your strong Ruth. I would like to think that after the mistake of Frank she would find her strength.

Slam

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rysler's user pictures

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From: rysler
Date: Jun. 13th, 2011 - 07:27 pm
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Thank you! Isn't Fried Green Tomatoes amazing? I definitely think Ruth is who holds it all together. Idgie's too much of a rascal. I agree that she would find her strength.

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