To: Painapple- Thank you for the review! I'm glad you like the story. Don't let people bring you down, sweetie. They aren't worth your time. I don't know the struggle that you're going through, but I want you to know that I heart you. You just keep on keepin' on being the fabulous person that you are!

Ch 12

His arms gripped mine and he rose up on his toes, trying to bring himself closer to my height. I cupped his elbows and gently nudged him back.

"You're drunk, Jack." I told him. He violently sighed.

"Duh, Bunny. How else do you think I'd have the balls to do this? God you have no idea how nervous you make me. Yer a walkin' wet dream, man! You were hard as a rock in the truck, what happened? Were you just playin' around? 'Let's rub one off on the kid, he won't mind. He's just a slut anyways'!" Jack demanded. His eyes shone with hurt.

"No! No, Jack-"

"Then why? Am I to- too young?"

"No, your age doesn't matter to me-"

"Then why won't you kiss me? Just one and I'll never ask again!" Jack pushed the palms of his hands into his eyes. He was slumped against the door now, looking defeated. I felt the guilt pool in my chest. I reached for him and pulled the drunken boy to my chest.

"Jackie… You… you're special. To me. I care about ya, and don't want you to do something you'd regret." He tried to speak but I hushed him. "What happened earlier was great; you could feel how much I was enjoying myself. Your age has nothin' to do with this; you're a grown man and can make your own decisions. And you're not a slut; I never thought that about ya'. So don't you ever let me hear ya say that again." I growled and cupped his face. His eyes were red rimmed, his cheeks flushed. He furrowed his brows at me and bit his lip.

I crushed my mouth to his, drinking in his whine. His hands fisted at the color of my shirt as he pressed into me. My tongue pried open his lips to press against teeth and he rapidly opened for me. His tongue slid against mine. He tasted like a trash bucket of different liquors; not at all what I expected, but I had to remind myself that this wasn't the real Jack. Our mouths warred against each other, sloppy and wet. I nipped at his lips, quickly ending it before I lost my resolve, and pulled back. His breathing was ragged, and he swayed where he stood.

"Thank you." He whispered.

"Ya don't need to thank me. I've been wantin' to do that for quite a long time." I smiled at him.

"So can we do it again?" He tried to be sexy, and failed. He fell into me, legs finally giving out, passing out in a drunken stupor. I picked him up and opened the door he'd been leaning on, walking in and laying him down on top of the navy and grey striped comforter.

"Stay?" He mumbled. I crouched down and ran my fingers through his hair.

"Listen Frostbite, if you remember anything from tonight we'll talk about it when you're sober. I wanna do right by you, sweetheart." I pressed my lips to his forehead, breathing in his scent, before quietly walking to the door. I barely heard his 'mkay' before the light snoring filled the room.

Koz was glaring at the group of girls when I found him. He was nursing a glass filled with amber liquid.

"I think I'm gonna head out."

"So soon? Did you fix things with our young friend?" His question held nothing but friendly concern. Sometimes, when Kos isn't being a bastard, I think I should appreciate him more.

"I think so. He was so out of it he might not remember." I trailed off with a weak chuckle, rubbing my face.

"What happened, Aster?" He asked, placing a hand on my shoulder.

I sighed, and the dam holding back my horrible day broke. I told him about the move, how he acted before, during, and after the truck incident. I told him about the tattoo thing, and most recently- his birthday request. Koz sat silently and listened as I retold the tiff Jack and I had; how guilty I felt about selfishly going along with his demand. I poured out all my insecurities to him.

"What do I do, Koz? What do I say to him if I see him again?"

"Tell him the truth. He obviously means a lot to you, I've never seen you so at odds before. It's obvious he feels the same, so don't let him get away." He said comfortingly.

I scoffed. "Sounds too easy."

"When to halves fit together so perfectly, it is easy." He stood and left me to think on that as I drove home.

I fell into bed, not even bothering to climb under the blankets. Today has been a cluster fuck, but I needed to think about what I would say to Jack the next time I saw him. I gripped my hair and sighed. What would I say to him? Would I tell him how his smile brightened my day? How easy it was to be happy around him? Could I tell him how perfect he felt in my arms, or would I scare him off? I couldn't remember being so insecure, not even when that damn twink cleaned me out. I groaned and rolled to my stomach, in minutes I was asleep.

The next day I was distracted. The sprogs still had a great time; they wanted to show their ideas for the paint job that was quickly coming up. Their ideas were wildly colorful: every color dragon you could imagine, fairies with copious amounts of glitter, knights on valiant steeds, spaceships at full throttle, lions on the prowl. You name it- we had it. When the class ended Sophie came up to me and latched onto my leg.

"Did you have fun, Mr. Bunny?" She asked.

"Of course I did, why wouldn't I?"

"You didn't laugh a lot like normal." She frowned at me. Intuitive little sheila.

"I've just got a bit on my mind. Nothin' to worry your pretty head about." I gave her a smile and she nodded, skipping off to the lobby to wait for her mother.

Sandy came in to help with the clean-up. We had just finished when he patted my arm.

"Have you talked to Jack yet?" He asked.

"No. I… I want to give him time to think through the alcohol induced haze." I murmured.

"He's been texting me this morning. He's an insecure mess." The small man signed with a sad look.

That hit me right in the gut. The last thing I wanted to do was to make Jack feel like this. "Do you know if he's at home?" I asked.

Sandy nodded and smiled. "Emma's with Amy. They went to the beach." I ruffled his hair, and laughed when he swatted at me, then made my way to Jack.

I stood outside door number sixty-eight. My palms were moist, and sparrows were trying to escape my stomach. I took a deep steadying breath and knocked three times, then had the urge to press my ear against the wood. Steps sounded before I could decide, and the door suddenly opened. Jack stood before me in a light blue fluffy towel, wet hair, and nothing else. My brain stopped. I was speechless. God he was gorgeous.

"Aster… Hi. Um, what are you doing here?" He stuttered; the skin from his cheeks to his sternum blossomed pink.

His adam's apple bobbed as he swallowed. I followed it to his chest, slender muscle curved and dipped down to his abdomen. Slight abs showed as he breathed. I watched water droplets slide down his skin, and felt too warm in my clothes. My mind flashed me images of him underneath me: head thrown back, eyes closed, back arched and mouth open.

"-unny. Kangarro? Hello?" Jack was snapping his fingers in front of my face.

I shook my head to clear the images. "Yeah, mate. Sorry. Can I come in? We kind of need to talk."

He stood to the side and mad a sweeping gesture with his hand. I managed to catch his grumbled 'that's what you said last night.' I walked and stiffly sat on the arm of the sofa while he walked to his room to dress. He came back out in his too large hoodie and green plaid sleep pants then planted himself on the opposite end, knees under his chin.

"So." He started.

"So… I take it you remember some of what happened." I asked. He nodded. "How much?"

"I remember being hammered. Then you wanted to talk. I think we kinda argued, and then we kissed."

I nodded. At least he remembered the gist of what happened. I opened my mouth to speak but Jack cut me off, words flying from his mouth.

"Look, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to push you in to something like that. It doesn't have to mean anything; you can chalk it up to me being drunk. We can go back to how it was and just forget it ever happened. You're my best friend- I just… I- "

In his babbling he had buried his face in his knees. The poor boy thought I was going to hate him. I guess he didn't remember what was said. I got up to kneel in front of him on the floor.

"Jackie, stop. You didn't push anything on me. You don't have anything to be sorry for." I cooed to him.

"I practically guilted you in to making out with me! That's not cool." He groaned. I huffed a laugh.

"Nothing happened that I didn't want, ya drongo." I told him, bringing my hand up to stroke the back of his neck. I let that sink in for a tic before I continued. "The thing is, Jackie… I care about ya. In a more than platonic way. Have since ya helped me with the paint. You're breathtakin', Jack, absolutely bloody beautiful." He was staring at me, now, with a bewildered expression. "Do ya think I'd have been actin' like I did the day we moved you two if I didn't want somethin' more with ya?"

I smiled at him and leaned to rest my head against his. "You make things brighter for me. Make me smile more. What I feel for ya is so much more than just wanting a quick romp."

"I remember you said you wanted to do right by me…" his said; breath wafting over me. He smelled of spearmint again. This was my Jack.

"I do. I want to take you out, surprise you, make you happy. All the sappy shit that couples do, I want to do with you."

Jack rubbed his nose against mine. "You wanna date me?"

"Yes, I do."

"You want to be my boyfriend?"

"Very much."

He set his legs down, the insides of his thighs resting against mine. "You wanna kiss me?" He whispered, wrapping his arms around my neck. His cool fingers scratching along my scalp and gripping at the back of my head. I closed my eyes with a sigh.

"Like you wouldn' believe."

"Prove it."

I was never so happy to oblige. Our mouths moved together sweetly. This wasn't heady and hazed by drink like last night. Jack was cool, and tasted just like he smelled. His lips were soft under mine. I trailed my hands up his legs to settle at his waist. He licked at me and with smile I let him in. His tongue teased mine, short slides here and there; I snickered then blew into his mouth. He barked a laugh and glared.

"God you really know how to ruin a moment. Jerk."

"We'll have plenty of moments, sweetheart." I told him, getting up off my knees and settling beside him on the sofa. He instantly clung to me. I could get used to this.

"Hey, wanna watch a movie?" He asked. I nodded and leaned back.

He chose 'The Boondock Saints' and we watched most of it. Bits and pieces were spent tasting each other though. We ended up falling asleep before it ended, cuddled together on the couch. Jack nestled on my chest, breathing deeply with a tiny smile on his face. I couldn't recall a time I'd been happier. Jack was mine now, and I planned on keeping him. I'd have to thank Emma somehow when she got back, because none of this would have happened without her.

My muse for this story has left me, so this is the last chapter. Before you hate on me let me just say there are a few more ideas for this timeline I need to get out, so I will be posting them as they come as a series of snippets. I hope you enjoyed, and aren't too disappointed. J