Disclaimer: All regular Growing Pains characters belong to their respective owners. Jackie you can blame me for.
Season: 8th kinda like a virtual season.
Archiving: Sure, give me a head's up first. You can find my email on my profile. Thanks!
Summary: Luke and Jackie must learn to deal with seeing each other date again. Is it really over...or can they reach a compromise?
"What do you mean....you can't go?"
"I can't. I just...Luke, trust me one day you will realize I am doing the right thing here. I just can't go with you."
"Do you not...love me? Is that it, Jackie?"
"No...no, that's not it at all. It's just–"
"Just...I get it. Yeah, thanks." Bitter voice. "I can understand where you're coming from. I'm not good enough, that's it."
"No!" She protested, but Luke only shrugged. "If you don't mind." Luke said turning to Jackie. "I have some packing to do." His face was expressionless as he stared at her. She nodded, sucking in a deep breath, one that stung...a lot.
"Y...yeah." Jackie half-walked, half-stumbled towards the door, hurrying out.
Two Months Later
"Luke is coming for a visit!!!" Ben Seaver declared as he hung up the phone and looked at his three sisters, Carol, Chrissy and Jackie. All three girls turned to look up from the television.
"Oh?" Carol, the oldest at nineteen rose. "That's great!" She exclaimed. "Mom and Dad–and Mike, are gonna love this!"
"Yay!" Declared Chrissy, raising and hoping around all excited. "I can show Luke my new paintings, and give him one." She said, nodding. "Oh, I'm gonna go do that now!" Chrissy skipped towards the stairs, disappearing up them. Jackie managed a smile.
"Yeah...it'll be...great to see Luke again." She said. And it would, it really would. Even after all the hardship of their relationship, they were still...well...she wanted to be his friend. She really did. Ben smiled. "It's the best news I've heard since we've moved to this crap hole town." he said brightening for the first time that year. "Luke is coming back! Oh man, I'm so happy!" He beamed at his sisters. Carol returned the grin. "Yeah, hey I'm gonna call Mike." She said making her way to the phone. Mike, their older brother still lived in Long Island with his friend Richard Sta Bone, commonly called Boner. He had returned from the Marines.
"Mike already knows Carol." Ben said. "Luke called from his place–he's at Mike's now. He's gonna stay the night with Mike and Boner, and Mike's gonna bring him up." he said. "Twenty four hours and my best friend will be here." he grinned. "Hey dad!!!" Ben headed towards his father's office.
"Well." Carol remarked, after hanging up the phone and turning to Jackie. "You're certainly quiet about this. I figured you'd be the happiest."
Jackie shrugged. "I said it was great that he was coming back, didn't I?" she asked defensively, as she always was around Carol. Carol eyed her little sister suspiciously. She, like the rest of the family had no idea why Jackie and Luke had broken up. They seemed to have that perfect relationship, like she had with Bobby once in high school. Carol sighed, remembering Bobby. She had changed him for the better when they started dating. Made him more studious. And Luke...well, Luke had changed Jackie from the vain, airheaded girl she had been into someone who was....more mature.
Carol had thought her younger sister was whacked for breaking up with Luke.
She still did.
"Well. Suck it up Jackie, cause weather or not you can deal with your 'ex boyfriend' being here, Luke is coming back. And treat him like part of the family will ya? Cause he is you know."
Jackie glared. "Carol." she began. "I won't treat Luke any different than I had when he was living with us back on Long Island." she assured her. "You could at least be civil to me."
Carol ha'd. "I am! Lotta good it does me, you never listen."
"Because you think you can tell me what to do, and you can't!" Jackie said back. She glared. It seemed like she and Carol could never get along anymore. Not since she broke up with Luke, anyways. But Carol wouldn't understand why she did.
No one would.
Probably not even Mike. Her big brother, the one she got along with best, didn't know either. And Jackie was determined that no one would ever know.
Because, for once, she had done the right thing.
So....why did it hurt so much?
Luke smiled. "Hey I think I see Ben!" he said, pointing, seeing a familiar looking blonde-haired kid. "Yeah, that is him! Hey Benny!" Luke called, waving like a maniac to a friend he had missed a lot. Mike grinned and patted him on the back. "Mom is at work, but she'll be home at dinner tonight." he promised gazing at a boy he felt was a son to him. And a friend. Someone he'd do anything for.
"Luke!" Ben exclaimed as the two neared Mike and Luke. All guys grinned at each other. Carol and Chrissy were waiting for their chance to greet Luke, and out of the corner of his eye he saw a familiar figure with them, gulping slightly.
She looked as nervous as he suddenly felt. Could....they do this? Well, they'd have to right? And besides, it had been a year. A year for them both to grow...
"Luke! Luke! Luke!" Said Chrissy, pulling him out of the past and hugging his leg. Luke smiled reached down and picked her up. "Hey Chris!" he said. He'd been the only one in the Seaver family to shorten Chrissy's name to Chris.
She smiled at him. Her hair was shorter, which was something he didn't think she'd do. She wore less make up now, but that was a good thing.
"Hey Jacks." Luke said. "How's...things?"
"Pretty good." Jackie said, adverting her eyes. She smiled, meeting his gaze once, then watched Chrissy as she was babbling to Luke about the paintings she'd made for him. "And I got one of a tree house that I want Daddy to make for me, but he says he can't read my blue prints." Chrissy told him.
Luke chuckled. "Well...maybe I can help ya with that Chris."
"Can you?" Chrissy asked excitedly.
"Sure, I can give it my best go." Luke promised and kissed her forehead. Chrissy was made happy. "Well guys." Mike said. "Luke and I are ready to head to the new house." Luke noticed how Mike refrained from calling it "home." He probably, like Luke did, think of his home as 15 Robin Hood Lane. It just....seemed right.
"Oh. What's your new house like?" Luke asked falling into step with the kids.
"Big." Said Ben. "Well, bigger. We have lots of space." he said to Luke, suggestively Jackie thought. "Extra rooms.."
Luke grinned, getting the picture Ben was painting for him. He slapped his best buddy on the back. "Wow Benny, what's the school like? I can't picture you in it...I mean, all the fun we had tormenting Principal DeWitt."
Ben grinned. "Yeah I'm gonna miss the macadamia." he agreed with a chuckle. "This new school...well...Jackie?"
Jackie had been lost in her own thoughts, half listening to Carol telling her about her latest date with Dwight.
"And we went to the Medieval Fair, where Dwight bought me this dress..."
"Jackie?" Ben waved a hand in front of her face. "Earth to Jackie Seaver...anyone home?" Jackie flushed. "Sorry." she said. "I um, zoned." She looked at Ben and Luke. "What about what?"
"New school." Said Mike. "Luke wants to know what it's like." he grinned, his eyes flicking over to Luke, who seemed as normal as could be, even though Mike knew the full story. His throat constricted, and he hated...really hated George Brower. If I ever see that guy again, my fist has a message for his nose. Mike thought with a smirk. But that could come later. Luke was back where he belonged, with his family.
And nothing was ever going to take him away again. Nothing. Mike vowed.
"Oh." Jackie was saying as they neared Carol's car. "It's....different." she said. "Kids are into debate teams and all that." she nodded. "Not like it is back home in Long Island, that's for sure."
"Ah but you still made the Cheerleading Team." Ben said. Jackie rolled her eyes and shrugged. "Gotta have something to do in my spare time." she mumbled in response and opened the car door. Carol got in the driver's side, Mike in passenger after getting Chrissy buckled in. Ben looked at Jackie. "I call door!" he said. The middle seat in Carol's car had a hump...and Jackie was the one who got stuck in it. Luke chuckled at them, sliding in next to Chrissy...and also, next to her.
Remind me to kill ya later Ben.
Carol started the car. "Ok everyone shut up and let me drive so I can get us home. How does that sound?"
Luke looked up, startled. Home. With his family...even if he and Jackie weren't on the best of terms right now, sooner or later they would be. Because they had started out friends, and truth be told, Luke missed her. They could do this.
And Carol's words rang true. Even if 'home' wasn't 15 Robin Hood Lane, home was with the Seavers, with his family wherever they were. Ok, so maybe things hadn't worked out great with his dad....things were dark there, but that was ok. Now he was back where he belonged.
And he was never going to leave them.
TO BE CONTINUED