Author: NeoNails PM
Spoilers for Season Finale! There was a moment when it felt like her absolutely, unbelievably perfect night had just been flipped upside down on its head and emptied out. This was what happened after.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Humor - Jane Q. & Billy N. - Words: 2,294 - Reviews: 27 - Favs: 55 - Follows: 6 - Published: 03-08-12 - Status: Complete - id: 7907738
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Heyyy, JbD people. Okay, so there's not a whole lot of you (yet), but it's not like I was seriously going to wait to post this. I've been around the block for quite a while now (nearly 7 years!) so feel free to tell me what you think, no holding back. :)
I just watched the season finale (1.10 The End of the Line), so major spoilers ahead.
I thought it was adorable, personally, though I admit I'm surprised ABC Family jumped the gun so early.
(Oh, in case you guys can't tell, I'm a major Janie/Billy shipper. Jilly? Banie? I don't know. I just write the stuff. I don't make the cute morph names.)
It's a typical love story
Started out as friends
We met way back when
This is just a typical love story
The boy you never wanted just steals your heart
I never saw it comin' 'til I fell so hard
- "Love Story" by Katharine McPhee
There was a moment when it felt like her absolutely, unbelievably perfect night had just been flipped upside down on its head and emptied out, not unlike her suggestion for Donovan Decker's new designs. Except while that turned out so well she actually broke down in front of her big brother—her best in the world big brother—and earned actual praise from Gray, this didn't seem like a situation that would end well in any sense of the word.
How was it that just a few hours ago she had watched India, the lying, cheating—well, hopefully—rat get her skinny tuckus canned by Gray? And just a few hours before that she was doing her best to chew Nick out for doing the tongue-tango with Lulu—her archenemy!—on her heart? And maybe 12 hours previous to that she still thought Nick might be the end-all be-all of boyfriends while she suntanned with India?
And people thought high school alone was stressful. Try balancing that with a career in the world of fashion.
Jeremy had no idea what Billy had said to her, but she was never really good at hiding her emotions—did they offer lying classes at college?—so she bet he could probably connect the dots on his own. But in case he hadn't, she thought fast and raised a finger. "Umm, heyyy, Jeremy." The words came out awkwardly on her tongue, lodged heavily in the back of her throat. "Could you just—uh—just give us a minute?"
She didn't wait to hear Jeremy's response, because she had already turned on her heel and grabbed a handful of Billy's worn leather jacket. She hopped right off the catwalk without so much as stumbling in her stilettos, something she was definitely going to congratulate herself for later. And then she started booking it.
She didn't stop half-sprinting until they were out of the building and nearly around the corner when Billy stopped in his All Star-tracks and she was forced to stop along with him or eat pavement. "Janie, what was that back there?" he asked.
"What was that?" she asked, feeling her dark eyes go freakishly wide. "What was that?"
Billy blinked at her—okay, maybe her response didn't make complete sense—so she carried on. "The—the—the you're the one stuff! What was that?"
"I thought it was fairly obvious," he said, grinning like he was trying to turn this whole mess into some kind of joke. They were very far past joking.
"This is me, Billy," she said, waving her hands by her face. "Remember? You're going to need to be even more obvious than that. Spell it out for me."
She didn't notice this until just now, but Billy's usual fauxhawk looks kind of messier than usual, like he'd been spending too much time running his hands through it. The mother hen inside her wanted to fix it for him, but she knew that would be a distraction.
He opened his mouth, but no sound came out. He looked away from her and cursed, which only made her perfectly plucked brows arch even higher. "This was a lot easier when I was still in the car," he muttered under his breath.
She felt her lips part, but she couldn't actually decide if she wanted to say anything just yet. She had left Jeremy all alone on the catwalk…
"This is all Tommy's fault!" Billy suddenly exploded. She was so surprised by his outburst that she nearly took a step back away from him. "I mean, just about everything goes back to being all Tommy's fault, but, seriously, if he hadn't said anything I would probably still be sitting in your living room watching reruns of Spongebob while I waited to see if Ben was going to drag you home by your ear…"
He was talking so fast that she was having a hard time keeping up. And he made fun of her for talking too fast! "But then Tommy came into your house and told me that he was actually going to be a good brother for once and told him—the judge—did I mention that my judge was Lulu's dad? Yeah, that wasn't too much of a pants-wetting experience for me. Anyway, Tommy told me that he was taking the rap and is probably going to be in jail for like the next three years, but then he asked what I was doing in your house, all alone, and where were you. And then he asked a bunch of questions, but I didn't really get it at first, but the longer he talked, the more it just—I don't know, it made sense. And then I couldn't be in your house all alone without telling you."
This was her part to say something, but she was so busy staring at him with her mouth open she processed everything. They had known each other since they were practically infants, and to her memory this was the most Billy had ever said to her in one sitting. Err, standing.
Billy took her silence as a sign to continue rambling. "How ridiculous is that? Tommy figured something out that I couldn't see. Tommy. The world's biggest screw-up! Maybe it was just because we were always so close—I didn't want to see it. Plus, you were always so hung up on Nick, and then Lulu and I started doing, well, what Lulu and I were doing—it was just another excuse not to see it, I guess."
"But then he says all this crap to me and suddenly it's not like I can just stay in your house so I drive all the way here in the car—pretty impressive, considering the radio and that crazy talkshow chick—and I keep changing my mind and then as I'm sitting at this red light trying to figure out whether or not you'll bean me with one of your stilettos for telling you I'm in love with you the car dies, so then I have to run here—"
"Wait a minute, the car died?" She interrupted, finally stopping him when she found something in his rambling that her mind could physically latch on to. "What do you mean the car died?"
"I mean, caput," Billy said, making the 'kill' hand motion under his neck. "Dead. Wouldn't turn on, smoke coming out of everywhere, dead as a doornail. I had to sprint all the way—"
"You deserted the car?" she exclaimed, horror making her chest tighten and sink near her knees.
"Of course I deserted the car! I had to talk to you!" he said defensively, grabbing her by her bare shoulders. Letting out a bark of a laugh, he added, "And it's not like anyone's gonna want to boost that heap."
Somehow his assurance didn't quite make it to her ears. "Did you say you were in love with me?" she whispered.
Billy ignored her in favor of continuing where she'd last interrupted him. "Tommy totally saw it before I did. I don't know how I missed it, especially today. I had to leave Ben's Sex Ed class because I came this close to punching out Nick—I gave him one rule, don't break Janie's heart, and yet apparently that's just too difficult for the dumb jock to handle—and the only reason I didn't punch him anyway was just 'cuz I knew how disappointed you would be in me. And Ben, too, for that matter."
With her platform stilettos, she came up to perfect eye line with Billy, but she found that staring into his eyes was making everything worse for her, not better. He didn't seem to have that problem. "I swear, in the car I had this whole great speech worked up but then I started talking and now I can't remember most of it—" Billy stopped talking abruptly and released her shoulders excitedly. "Oh! I remember the one part. Good. This was the important part. Lulu was right."
For the first time, he stepped back away from her, a triumphant grin on his face. "Lulu was… right?" she repeated slowly. That didn't seem to really line up with the conversation at hand.
"Yes," he said with a definitive nod. "About the camping trip. And the sinking ship." He took a big step forward and this time was so close they were nose to nose. "And no matter who's on the ship, I'm always going to choose you."
She felt like she had stepped into the ending scene of a 90s romantic comedy. Any moment, music from like Barenaked Ladies or Sixpence None the Richer was going to start and the credits would roll…
Nope. Still very much reality.
Billy sighed, his head dipping down a little bit and giving her a better view of his crazy styled hair. "But if you want to go back to that blonde dude that you work with… I totally understand. I'm always going to be your best friend, no matter what. Even though I must point out that it's technically illegal as you are not 18 yet. And jailbait."
She smiled at his dumb joke and studied his face. She'd had those eyes memorized since birth, and she was there for his first piercing—and his most recent, now that she thought about it—and he was there for every significant moment of her life in return. She had seen every expression and emotion to ever grace his face, and yet still nothing had prepared her for this.
And yet… she wasn't as surprised as she expected she'd be.
Billy broke away from her, giving her the room to leave if she so chose. But she didn't, so before she could lose her nerve her neatly manicured fingers closed around Billy's wrist. "Don't go," she said quietly, nearly falling out of her heels. "I didn't—I mean, I don't want to leave you." At his hopeful look, her eyes turned downcast. "Not before we had the chance to talk."
Immediately that hopefulness disappeared. "Just—give me a second." Her fingers loosened, slipping down to gently clasp his hand. "If you're think you were bad at this, I'm going to be completely awful, so—"
The lack of height disparity definitely worked to her advantage, because all she had to do was lean forward and close her eyes and then they were kissing. She could say quite honestly that she never imagined there would come a day where she kissed Billy, but that didn't mean she hadn't thought about it a time or two.
She had expected Billy to hesitate more, maybe even pull away from her. She would've understood if he did—she did kind of act like an impulsive lunatic. But instead of pulling away he pulled her closer, burying his hand in her curly hair.
To say the world stopped or the earth shifted when he kissed her back would be a lie. There weren't any of those mythical fireworks, either. But it certainly was… nice. Possibly even nicer than those times when Nick kissed her, because Billy seemed to instinctively know when to tilt his head and let her deepen the kiss without any signals. His free hand moved to her hip, drawing her in and bunching in the black and white fabric of her skirt and making the crinoline layer underneath crinkle.
They parted, just to take a breath, and he whispered his favorite pet name for her and if her eyes weren't already shut they definitely would've slid close again. "Are you still going to go back to that designer guy?"
Her hands were wrapped around the collar of his ratty leather jacket, and she couldn't imagine the work it would take to make her fingers let go. All she wanted to do for the rest of the night was see just how much nicer her best friend's kisses could get. "What guy?" she whispered, smiling to herself at her very 90s rom-com reply.
Billy grinned so widely she was afraid his face was going to split in two for a second. "Now that's something a guy likes to hear," he quipped, and then leaned down for one more kiss.
And it was definitely nicer than the first.