Jesse drops down next to Walt on the fume-soaked couch during a break on one of their cooks. The new set-up is kind of a downgrade compared to Fring's lab, but Jesse figures when you take out a drug kingpin some sacrifices have to be made. But this isn't even like downgrading from a suite to a room with two queen beds; this is like going to the pay-per-hour motel where even the roaches won't set up shop.

Walt's made himself at home, beer cooler at his feet as he flips mindlessly through the channels on the TV. Jesse toys with the label on his own bottle. The condensation makes it easier to peel away the paper with his thumb.

"What happened to your neck?" Walt asks in a low voice, but Jesse jumps at the sound anyway. Because nothing happened to his neck, unless you count Saul mouthing kisses over the curve of his throat the night before.

Jesse rubs a hand over the spot as if he's wiping away some sort of residue. "Did I get it?"

Walt lifts an eyebrow. "It's still there."

Fuck. "Maybe it's a bug bite," Jesse says, still trying to bullshit his way out of this conversation. "I mean, we're not exactly killin' the bugs in here." He gestures to their little makeshift lab they've got going on.

But Walt isn't buying Jesse's poor story. He gives Jesse a skeptical, appraising look. "Or maybe you got lucky."

Jesse scoffs. "Perv."

Walt doesn't say anything else about it until they're finished with the cook, standing outside for a breath of fresh air. Jesse opts to dig his cigarettes out of his pocket and pop one between his lips. He takes a matchbook out for a light. That's when Walt nails him with, "Saul Goodman?"

The cigarette almost falls out of Jesse's mouth. "What?"

Walt nods in the direction of Jesse's hand. Jesse tries to figure out what the fuck Walt's looking at, then it hits him: the matchbook came from Saul's office, emblazoned with his name and phone number.

Jesse shrugs, still playing casual, but there's a bit of a quake to his voice that wasn't there before. "I couldn't find my lighter."

"Those weren't there the last time we met with him," Walt says.

"What, are you Mr. Memory all of a sudden?" Jesse snaps, taking a puff off the cigarette. If he ever needed to calm his jittery nerves...

Walt shrugs and looks off into the distance. "It's just peculiar, is all."

Jesse rolls his eyes. "Whatever, man." He pops open his driver's door and grabs the soda cup out of the cupholder. He's tossing the last few remnants of liquid onto the grass when Walt says, "I thought you hated sushi."

Jesse freezes. The cup he's holding is from a sushi restaurant he'd had an early lunch at with Saul before today's cook. Fuck, he screwed up again. Christ, is Jesse really this awful at hiding things, or is Walt just really fucking observant today?

Jesse squints when the sun hits his eyes. "They got other stuff," he says with a shrug.

A tremor of calmness crosses over Walt's face, but there's a slight twist of rage at the corner of his mouth that Jesse's finely attuned to. Jesse gulps and takes a step back on instinct. Walt advances on him. "Are you seeing Saul?" he accuses, the word laced with a burst of emotions.

"Wh—what? Me? And Saul? No way, dude! What are you smoking?" Jesse tries to take solace that they're out in the open, and Walt probably won't hit him or yell at him too loudly, but it's hard to see the silver lining when Walt's glaring at him like this.

"The matches, your sudden affinity for sushi, your hickey..."

"Man, even Sherlock Holmes would not connect those three things together," Jesse says, because, really? "Take the paranoia down a notch."

Walt closes the distance between them but gives Jesse enough space so it looks as if they're having a pleasant, friendly conversation. "I don't think I'm being paranoid, Jesse. You show up late to our cooks almost habitually, and you always seem to have somewhere important to be when we're finished. And Saul, of course, is uncharacteristically busy when I try to get ahold of him. It's almost as if you two are involved in something."

"No way, dude. You're reaching."

Walt tilts his head the way a dog does when it hears a strange sound. "I wonder what Andrea would say."

That one hits Jesse like a cattle prod. He grits his teeth, his muscles locked in rage. "Fuck you. You were the one who told me to break up with her in the first place."

"Me? I didn't—I didn't tell you to break up with her," Walt says, as if the words sound outlandish and ridiculous in that order. "All I said was that if she loves you she'd understand."

Jesse sneers at him. "You have no right to judge what I do or who I do it with. You ain't my father, so step off."

"But I am your business partner, Jesse, and if I think you're making a stupid decision I can certainly let you know."

"I can't believe you! Why do you even care? It doesn't mean anything." He blurts out the words before his brain can really process them. But since Walt's so sure he knows what's going on, maybe his satisfaction over goading Jesse into a confession will screw with his bullshit detector.

"So, what, it's just about sex? Is that it?"

"Yeah, it's just a bit of fun, y'know?" Jesse says with a half-hearted shrug. "Nothing serious."

"Since when do you go to lunch with someone you're just seeing for sex?" Walt asks, pointing at the empty cup.

Caught. Jesse huffs a breath through his nostrils and glances away. "Sex makes you hungry," he mumbles, trying to save the lie. But he's already screwed a thousand times over.

Walt shakes his head like he's disappointed in all of Jesse's life choices. "Saul Goodman? Really? You could pick anyone you wanted, and you pick him?" He makes a face that's halfway between confused and disgusted.

Jesse rubs a hand over his tattooed arm, stares at his feet. Walt always makes him feel like a guilty student in the principal's office being scolded for something. Too young and too dumb. Like he's just a never-ending string of fuck-ups and problems. But Saul makes him feel special and worthwhile and listens to him ramble about nothing and everything.

"You don't mean anything to him, Jesse," Walt snarls and, as if he's picked the thought out of Jesse's head, he adds, "Saul will fuck anything that moves. He doesn't think you're special. To him you're just another junkie loser bound to fall off the wagon."

Jesse's heart shatters like Walt's words are a sledgehammer to his chest, striking at his deepest, darkest fear that he's nothing at all. "Fuck you. You don't know shit about him." This shouldn't be something he has to defend, least of all to his fucking business partner. Only his parents have the right to give him grief about his romantic entanglements.

"I know enough," Walt says, then his voice goes weirdly soft for a moment. "I don't want you to get hurt. If you knew the things he's done, what he did to Brock..."

Jesse's heart drops like a stone. "What?"

Walt bites his lips together, as if he realizes he's said too much. "Saul never told you?" Then he chuckles at Jesse's disbelief. "Of course he didn't. Why be honest when you're just screwing around, right?"

Jesse wants to argue back that they're not just screwing around, but his head's spinning out of control from Walt's revelation. Could Saul have been the one who poisoned Brock? But why? It doesn't make sense. To make Jesse think Gus did it?

Just when Jesse had put this all behind him, too focused on the new tragedy of Drew Sharp, he's smacked down from his blind side.

Jesse's cell phone chirps a familiar sound—the golden ring chime from the Sonic games: Saul's text alert sound. Jesse's assigned everyone in his contacts their own special ringtone so he can tell who's texting or calling him without taking out his phone.

Walt gives him a meaningful look, as if to say, "Are you going to answer that?" but Jesse's too stunned to think clearly. Jesse stumbles back, mumbles, "I have to go," before climbing into his car and shutting the door.

He sucks down the rest of the cigarette on the drive home, which gives him some much-needed clarity. Jesse suspects this is all some sort of ruse, that Saul had nothing to do with Brock's poisoning, and Walt's just trying to throw a wrench into their relationship. That makes so much more sense than the alternative.

And even if Saul can look him in the eye and admit to it, well, Jesse will just deal with that later. But now he just needs to talk to him.

When Jesse reaches his house, he almost gasps out loud. Saul's Cadillac is parked out front, thoughtfully positioned along the curb so Jesse can park in the driveway. Jesse digs his phone out of his pocket and sees the text from Saul:

I'm out of sugar, and your place is closer than the store.

This is what Jesse gets for giving Saul a key. He shakes his head with a slight smile and goes inside.

Saul's lounging on the couch like he owns the damn place, TV remote in hand as he flips channels. Jesse scoffs and tosses his keys onto the coffee table near Saul's feet. "Wow, just make yourself at home, huh? I thought you needed sugar."

Saul stands up and lays his hands on Jesse's hips, tugging him closer. "You just brought it," he says before covering Jesse's mouth with his own.

Jesse snickers despite himself. "Homo." How could Saul, this wonderful man whose touch makes Jesse's heart and soul swell with longing, be involved in what happened to Brock? Saul's given him the most stability he's had in a long time; why poke at it and shatter the happiness Jesse has here?

Saul pulls back a little and wrinkles his nose. "You smell like a meth lab."

"Gee, I wonder why?"

Saul claims Jesse's mouth again—he's always loved Jesse's smart-ass streak—before he says, "What do you wanna do for dinner tonight? I've got pizza coupons."

Jesse smiles, but it withers and fades under the weight of the elephant in the room. Saul watches Jesse's face with curiosity. Jesse can't just let this go. He has to find out the truth, for better or worse. He couldn't really connect with Andrea, couldn't share his guilt, his fears, or his life with her, always afraid she would judge him for the things he's done. Jesse knows that pain, and he doesn't want to be a source of that for Saul. If Saul played a part in Brock's poisoning, he needs to know he can confide in Jesse.

Jesse swallows back the lump in his throat. "I have to ask you something first."

"Yeah? What is it?"

Jesse tries to get the words out, but first he has to control the quake in his voice. After a deep breath, he says, "Mr. White told me to ask you about Brock."

Saul's eyes widen, and his mouth opens in shock. "What?" Jesse tries to read his face, figure out if he's faking surprise. But Jesse's never been great at that. "Did he seriously...?"

Jesse nods. "He said you had something to do with it. So... did you?"

Saul's quiet for a moment, then he scoffs weakly. "I can't believe he actually said that. Did you tell him about us?"

"No, he just sorta figured it out."

"God, he must be desperate," Saul says with a sad shake of his head.

"What're you talkin' about?"

"Well, in order for him to be the only person in your world, he's gotta get rid of everybody else, right? He did it with Andrea and Gus. I'm sure there's others who've conveniently disappeared once they get too close to you."

Jesse's brow creases, but he feels a gust of relief. Maybe Walt just made something up in hopes of driving a wedge between him and Saul.

Saul's next words stop Jesse's heart: "But—but he's not wrong, and I just—God, I wish I'd known..."

"Known what?" Jesse whispers through unmoving lips.

Saul breathes out a deep sigh and starts pacing. "What he was planning. All he did was ask me to have Huell lift the ricin cigarette off of you. I had no idea what his end-game was or that the kid would end up in the hospital. It was all part of his plan to get you on his side to whack Gus, which still doesn't make any goddamn sense, by the way—"

Jesse doesn't hear the rest of Saul's explanation. His lungs stop working. He drops onto the arm of the couch and starts drowning.

Jesse's boyfriend, the one person he thought he could trust, the one person bound by a confidentiality clause, helped Walter White poison Brock.

His chest shudders with jagged breaths. The world shuts down around him, even though Saul's still talking, moving closer to Jesse and laying a hand on his shoulder. All Jesse can focus on through the haze is the fact that he is truly and utterly alone. No one to trust. No one who won't lie to his face and stab him in the back when he's not looking.

Tears flood his eyes, and he makes a pathetic sniffling sound. "Why didn't you tell me?" he hears himself ask, because there has to be a reasonable explanation, right?

"Is there ever really a good time to say, 'hey, I helped poison your ex's kid?' That seems like a tough sell."

"So, what, were you just gonna keep this secret forever?"

Saul throws his hands up in a shrug. "It doesn't seem like it's benefitting either of us here, does it?"

Jesse's still trying to flail his way to the surface when a horrifying thought hits him like a surprise left hook. "How do I know you're not lying now?"

The look on Saul's face is absolutely tragic.

"How do I know you didn't actually poison Brock and you're just tryin' to pin the blame on Mr. White?"

"Jesse..." Saul shakes his head. "That doesn't even make sense."

"It makes more sense than Mr. White doin' it!" Jesse wails. "Andrea and Brock knew you 'cause you showed up all the time with the money. They'd be comfortable around you and let their guard down. You could've—you could've done it easier than Mr. White, 'cause the only time they ever saw him was when we were arguing. They wouldn't trust him." Jesse wipes his face with a hand, smudging salty tears over his cheeks.

He can still see Saul through his blurry eyes, and Saul's face doesn't look the least bit guilty. He looks devastated, as if Jesse's accusation has broken his heart. "And now you don't trust me," he says, mostly to himself. Saul curves a hand around Jesse's cheek and tilts his face so he can meet his eyes. "Jesse, I swear, all I did was have Huell take the cigarette. That's as far as it goes. If you don't believe me, that's fine. I'll back off. I'll leave you alone."

Jesse's heart breaks anew at the thought of life without Saul.

"But this is exactly what he wants, y'know."

Jesse blinks back the clouds. "What'd'you mean?"

"Remember what I said about him takin' out everyone in your life so he can be the only person you've got?" Jesse manages a nod. "He was the one who brought this whole thing up, right? So of course he's gonna hide behind that act of good will and try to pin the blame on me. But how would he know about it if I poisoned Brock? Like I told him about it 'cause we're pals?"

Jesse thinks that one over for a moment. His brain's still dizzy from the onslaught of emotions, but the proverbial veil is being lifted, details coming into sharper focus.

Saul keeps talking. "Since I never told you about my role in it, he's hoping that secrecy is gonna make you second-guess everything I say. Boy, does he know how to push your buttons. What else did he say about me? Did he throw any colorful statements about my mother in there?"

"He said I don't mean anything to you." They're just words, but they still slice through Jesse's heart like a reaper's scythe. He wraps his arms around his middle, as if trying to hold himself together.

"And you believed him?" Saul sits beside Jesse on the arm of the couch, no longer towering over him. "Jesse, you're the most important person in my life," Saul says in the gentlest voice Jesse's ever heard. "You make me feel alive."

Jesse's throat goes tight, and he squeezes his eyes shut, forcing out the tears that have welled up there. The last person to speak so candidly and emotionally to him was Jane.

"I've kept my mouth shut about this 'cause I didn't wanna scare you off, but it looks like it's sink or swim here, so, yeah, I'm in love with you, Jesse."

Jesse's head whirls to look at him. "You're in love with me?" He couldn't stop smiling if he had a gun to his head. Saul loves him; the thought makes all the crap life's dumped on him in the past year worth it if only because it brought him to Saul.

"I think the sun shines outta your ass." Saul would know; he's been, uh, intimately aquainted with Jesse's ass. "And if you're even half as crazy about me as I am for you, I think we can make this work, and you can have your sweet revenge on ol' Walt."

Jesse lifts an eyebrow. "Huh?"

"He can't kill me; he needs me too much. So all he can do is try to get you not to trust me," Saul explains.

Jesse clenches his fists and breathes out hard through his nostrils. How does Walter White keep getting away with this kind of shit?

Because Jesse lets him.

Saul, as if reading his mind, says, "But if you stick with me"—he reaches out and lays a hand over Jesse's—"he won't stand a chance."

Jesse squeezes Saul's fingers in his own. He's never letting go, no matter what Saul may or may not have done. Because Saul loves Jesse, and if Saul can handle the ghosts of Jane and Gale and Drew Sharp, Jesse can live with the truth about Brock if it means living with Saul too.