Author: Penelope Applegate PM
Nick and Jess have forged a sort of strange yet comfortable friendship as roommates. When they meet up in the kitchen late at night, they face a huge shift that threatens the comfort of their current arrangement.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Humor - Nick M. & Jess D. - Chapters: 6 - Words: 4,226 - Reviews: 36 - Favs: 27 - Follows: 69 - Updated: 12-14-12 - Published: 08-26-12 - id: 8468600
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
She stares in deep concentration at the ceiling, her jumbled thoughts too overwhelming to allow her to slip into unconsciousness. She finally gives in with a frustrated sigh and throws her covers back, swinging her feet over the side of her bed. Blindly, she fumbles her way into the kitchen in search of a calming cup of tea. To her surprise, however, she finds that she is not alone.
"Nick," she greets him softly.
"Hey." He looks down into his mug, stirring his tea indolently as if his thoughts are focused elsewhere.
"Can't sleep?" she says stupidly, mentally kicking herself for stating the obviously obvious.
He doesn't answer immediately, and she almost wonders if he didn't even hear her. Suddenly, he breaks the silence as she reaches into the cupboard for her own mug. "I'm going to die alone," he whispers.
"What?" She puts the mug down on the counter and turns to him uncertainly.
"I'm going to die alone. I'm going to die a law-school-drop-out bartending failure with no girlfriend, no life, no nothing, no..." he laments, his voice slowly trailing away into nothing.
Her brows twitch in confusion and her eyes involuntarily shift to the right as if the walls might provide some clarity. "Wait... what?"
She pauses, searching in vain for the right words to say. "But..." She bites at her lip. "I thought you were done with her, after all she did...?"
"I was. I am. I..."
This makes her angry. She can't even explain why. But the anger bubbles up in her chest like hot lava until it explodes in her throat and inevitably reaches her lips. "You're stupid."
"Excuse me?" His head swivels to face her, his eyebrows furrowed indignantly.
"You're stupid. You're the biggest, stupidest idiot I've ever met. I can't even believe - you're stupid!"
"ME, stupid?!" He jumps to his feet and takes two steps towards her.
"You're a dumb... stupid... idiotface! You backsliding backslider!"
"Wait - what? Me?! Do I really have to bring up Paul and Asian-Jess?" he explodes, throwing his hands into the air.
"You..." Her face is scrunched into an angry glare, and she can't even find the words to express how deeply he infuriates her. "The difference, Nick, the difference between me and you is that I moved on. And Paul didn't hurt me like Caroline hurt you. I mean, he cheated on his girlfriend, but - whatever. And I'm not stuck on Paul. I don't need Paul and his stupid ugly crying face!"
"Great for you, Jess," he sneers sardonically. "I'm glad you got past the cheating ugly crier."
"And that's why you're stupid!" she says, jabbing him in the chest with her pointer finger. "Because you realized how stupid you were, and you said you moved on, but you didn't!"
"Why does that make you so angry?!" he yelled as he clenched his fists at his side.
"YOU make me angry!"
"Why do I make you angry?!"
"Because-!" She realizes, suddenly, she has no good answer for his question. She doesn't even know why. Or maybe, she doesn't want to know why. Instead of stopping to ponder these irritating questions, she pushes him away and growls in frustration before stomping past him.
"Where are you going?" he calls after her.
"Shut up, Nick," she snaps defiantly.
And then there is a hand on her arm. And she is being pulled backwards. And then she is facing Nick, and his face is getting closer and closer and then-
"Ow!" she shrieks as his nose slams ungracefully into hers.
"Oh my... Jess, I'm sorry! Are you okay?"
As she peers up at him from under her bangs, she realizes her heart is racing faster than it ever has before. "What are you doing, Nick?" she whispers with more than a small degree of suspicion.
"It's you," he says with unnerving certainty.
His intense stare makes her breath catch in her throat. "What's me?"
"You, Jess." His quiet answer makes the situation no clearer. And then his lips are touching hers, and her mind goes blank. And his breath is on her face and his warm lips are pressing ever so gently against hers and his hand is sliding into her hair and her head is spinning and...
She pulls away abruptly. "Why?"
"Why?" he echoes blankly as if he's just surfaced from the depths of the ocean and hasn't had a chance to catch his breath or collect his thoughts.
"Why?" she repeats, staring up at him expectantly.
And then he smiles, and her knees go a little bit weak. "Because we have butt shaking arguments. Because you pretended to be a roadrunner and actually chased away a coyote. Because you drive me crazy. Because you care. Because..." She swallows hard, afraid of what he might say next.
"Because...?" she prods in a weak whisper.
"I love you, Jess."
Her eyes go wide, and she feels the color drain from her face. He loves me. And for some reason, it is the most terrifying thing she has ever heard. Before she realizes what she is doing, she turns on her heel and all but runs from him, back to the safety of her room, ignoring his pitifully plea, and slams the door behind her.
She locks the door and slides to the floor.
He loves me. He loves me. He loves me.
Her fingers drift to her lips as she remembers the way it felt to kiss him and the way her heart raced when he looked deep into her eyes and... confessed his love.
Oh my God... what have we done?
I don't see their first kiss being all dramatic and sweet and sappy.
I kinda see it being weird and strange and awkward just like every other wonderful, lovable, amazing moment on the show :)
Maybe a one-shot. Maybe not. Thoughts?