The Letter

AN: hey guys! Well, this is my first, and honestly, last ADJL fic. I just had sudden inspiration to take charge of the Jake and Rose situation after the ski trip, since my hopeless romantic sense wasn't satisfied with that ending :P well, hope ya like!

Disclaimer: ADJL ain't mine, but I really wish Spud was. (SPUD IS FRICKEN GENIUS:P)

Jake sighed as he slid down in his seat on the bus, resting his head on the cold, metal frame of the window. The bus echoed with hundreds of teen voices, talking about things like the food at the ski lodge, the temperature that 60 percent of the female population deemed as below freezing, who was caught snuggling up to Brad on the ski lift. For a second, Jake almost wished he could have the same thoughts running through his head instead of his upsetting little discovery. Trixie had warned him it was Rose. Hell, even Spud caught that. So why didn't he? Why couldn't he make that connection that was, apparently, pretty damn obvious? How could he tell her the truth now? How could he ever talk to her again?

". . .Is this seat taken?" Jake jumped, startled a bit as he heard her quiet voice. Rose laughed to herself in her cute, little way, and he bit his lip to keep himself from smiling. He loved that laugh. He loved the way she smiled, the way she delicately placed her bag at her feet as she sat beside him, the way her golden hair fell on her face ever so gently, careful not to hide her brilliant blue eyes. He sighed, not daring to meet her gaze as he whispered, "Actually, Rose. . . it is." She tilted her head. "Hm?"

"The seat. . . it's taken. Sorry, Rose." Her smile faded. "Oh." She paused a moment before standing again. "It's ok. We can talk back home, I guess." She said cheerfully, obviously disappointed. He nodded. "Um. . . sure. Once we're home." She smiled and turned as she walked down the aisle, and Jake counted three of his own heartbeats before he jumped out of his seat and turned around, calling out after her. "Rose, wait!" she turned her head, surprised. ". . .Jake?" he walked up the aisle of the bus after her, coming close enough to her so she could hear him say "It's ok. You can sit with me." She looked at him puzzlingly. "But you said. . ."

"I lied." He blurted. "Please, just. . . it's ok." She exchanged glances with her friend before walking back to the seat with him, and he shot curt glances in the direction of his classmates, showing that there was nothing to see, unless they had some strange interest in loosing their teeth and/or a possible limb.

"Jake. . . are you alright? You look upset." He paused, scratching the back of his head nervously as he stared at the back of the seat in front of him. "Rose. . . we really need to talk."

That's when he told her everything.

She'd honestly thought it was all a dream, at first. Maybe Jake was hallucinating. Yeah, that's it. He saw a mirage or something, and he just happened to think it was her. Still. . . it sounded like a pretty accurate mirage. Too accurate. She might not have minded him knowing her secret . . . in fact, she might have even liked sharing something so important with him. Like their own little secret that no one else knew. . .

. . . only, he had a secret, too. And his secret made hers seem not quite so little anymore.

Of course, they agreed not to rat each other out to their families; however, they also agreed that it might not be such a good idea to hang out together anymore. Since then, two long, miserable weeks had passed, and Jake barely gave her so much as a "hey" in the morning anymore. But sometimes, she still stared at him in class, and she'd catch him staring right back, and they'd just sit there until one of them looked away. . . and it was always Rose who did. And he'd look so hurt as he averted his gaze and went on doodling in his notebook or fiddling with his pen; anything to keep him from looking at her again. That's what killed her more than anything; just knowing that it really was over. And this time, there was no turning back.

During one such awkward moment, Trixie watched just long enough for them to set up their unspoken dare to look away and for Rose to accept it before Trixie promptly grabbed Jake's notebook and scribbled a note, slamming the pen down as she handed it back to him. He looked at her skeptically before lowering his eyes to read it. Damn, Jake, would you just talk to her already? You're so hot for that girl, you're fricken condensating! Jake's immediate reaction was to see if he was indeed sweating as hard as she made it out to be before he smacked himself in the head for being so slow. He picked the pen back up to write, and handed it back to her in such a way that implied he was done talking about it. Look, it don't matter no more.

And why's that, Jake? Just cause she knows a few moves? Jake rolled his eyes before writing 'drop it' in big letters across the page, and snatched the pen out of Trixie's hand just as she was about to answer. He underlined his previous message so hard that it almost tore the paper, staring Trixie in the eyes so menacingly that she sighed, accepting defeat. With that, he dropped the pen in the notebook and slammed it shut.

Trixie lowered her eyes and focused on her hands for one long, uncomfortable moment. Then, she took a quick peek at him as she opened the notebook, taking her hands away from it as if that was all she had intended to do. There, of course, was a certain method that had to be used when reasoning with someone like Jake, and it was something you learned pretty damn fast when your best friends list contained both Sir Sulks-A-Lot and New York's biggest idiot on a stick. Naturally, that method included what you might call "testing his patience". As Jake was a seasoned victim of this process, he cast a sideways glance towards her; enough to show his interest, but not enough to make it seem as if she'd gotten the better of him. Alright, so round one to Jake. No big. Slowly, she reached for the pen and took it in her rightful hand, dragging the action out as if she was still pondering what exactly it was she wanted to ask him. She could see his poker face crackling right before her very eyes. He cleared his throat and shifted in his seat, tapping his fingers against the desk as if he was indifferent as to whether or not she wrote anything more. Of course, once Trixie played like she didn't feel so much like asking him anymore, he gave in completely. Trixie's undefeated record still stands.

She looked serious for a moment before she finally wrote what she was thinking, and Jake blinked at her solemnity before casting a cautious glance down at what she'd written.

Look, do you love her, or what?

Jake paused, and the air caught in his throat. His eyelids grew heavy with sorrow for a moment, and he gazed back at Rose, not caring if she saw him do it or not; not even thinking about it. He just sat there, studying her distant expression while Trixie sat in guilt, having second thoughts about asking him something like that. Then, with an angry gleam in his eye that looked almost desperate, he snatched the notebook back and wrote, hiding every single word from Trixie as he scribbled on, looking as if suppressing his tears was becoming harder with every waking moment. In fact, he was so fixated on what he had to say before he lost his composure and completely broke down that he jumped as the bell rang. He stopped, staring down at the page, feeling Trixie's anxiety beside him. He closed his eyes, exhaled slowly, and shoved the notebook in Trixie's direction, bolting out of the room without even bothering to look her in the eye. Trixie bit her lip as the class started filing out of the room, catching a glimpse of Rose's disheartening expression before daring herself to read what he wrote.

Love her? Love her! What the hell is love anyway! Could you tell me that, Trix, because no one ever seems to know the answer to that! I sure as hell don't! All I know is she's the most gorgeous, beautiful, smart, warm girl I ever met, and I blew it. I blew it out of the fricken trumpet! She didn't need to know, Trixie. She didn't need to know that I knew, either, and I TOLD HER ANYWAY. How the hell could I be that stupid! She won't even talk to me anymore, won't even look me in the eye, and I still can't get her out of my fricken head! And all that doesn't even matter, cause I'm not worth the pity no more. I hurt her, Trix. I hurt her real bad. And that's what hurts more than any of it.

Trixie sniffed, staring breathlessly at Jake's scrawled handwriting with blurred vision as realization hit her. He loved her. He really, really loved her. Knowing something had to be done, Trixie tore out their little conversation from Jake's notebook along with a fresh piece of paper and began to write. Math class would just have to wait.

Last bell. Finally.

Rose just couldn't wait to get her hands on the TV remote and a gallon of chocolate chip ice cream; the ultimate moping kit. Today was Tuesday, and had it been two weeks earlier, it would have been her favorite day of the school week, since Jake was in every single one of her classes. However, things had shifted a bit. Tuesdays were to be dreaded, just because she knew she'd sit there all day, staring at what she can't have. She just couldn't stand it. Just when she picked herself up and thought she was over him, a Tuesday would rear its ugly head in the middle of her week and prove her wrong. She'd thought of asking the office for a new schedule, but she'd need to give them a good enough reason to get them to switch her classes. What was she supposed to say! "My family's arch-enemy is in all of my classes and I'm madly in love with him." Oh, sure. All she'd get for that one is a blank stare from the secretary and possibly a suggestion to lay off the Shakespeare.

She sighed out of frustration and swiveled her lock around to the right combination, opening her locker to find something dropped on top of her books. Baffled, she reached for the folded notebook pages and opened it, looking down at it curiously.


Look, I know you probably don't want nothing to do with Jake no more, but I think you need to see this. – Trixie

Rose bit her lip, fiddling the corner of Trixie's letter between her fingers. Read it Rose. Just read it. And just as she was about to turn the page, she put it right back. "No. I can't." she whispered. "I can't." Read it, Rose! You know you want to! "No, no! I can't!" she fought desperately with herself, feeling the tears fall down her cheeks as she trembled. She stopped, feeling everyone's eyes on her, and leaned inside of her locker so no one could see her. Then, with one, final breath, she turned the page, shaking as she read what she saw in front of her.

You're so hot for that girl, you're fricken condensating!

Look, it don't matter no more.

"Yes it does!" she whimpered. "It does, it does. . ." she bit her lip, forcing herself to continue reading. Jake's words pierced through her so hard that she felt like collapsing, which was becoming more and more likely to happen which each word she read, but nothing felt more agonizing than his last words.

I hurt her, Trix. I hurt her real bad. And that's what hurts more than any of it.

"Oh my God." She breathed. She gasped for air, not even sure she could bring herself to read it again to confirm she'd read it right in the first place. She thought for sure that he'd completely forgotten about her by now; she just knew it. That was the whole reason that she even tried to let him go in the first place.

But. . . if he hadn't given her up . . . then why should she give him up?

Without even bothering to close her locker, Rose rushed out of the school just in time to see Jake throwing on his helmet. Then, just as he was starting to leave on his skateboard, she called out his name, and he hit a metal gate as a consequence of looking back, falling back off the board. Rose ran to him as fast as she could, the notes clutched in her hand. "Jake! Are you alright?"

"Oh, me? Just peachy." He replied with a hint of sarcasm as he stood, dusting himself off. "So what's this? Now you're suddenly talking to me?"

"Jake. . ."

"No, Rose. I can't do this no more." He looked at her, and his face softened at the sight of her tears. Damn poker face; it cracked every time. "Look, Rose, . . ." He shook his head as he spoke softly. "It's over. We can't. We just can't, Rose. Not even if we wanted to."

"Why not?"

"You know why not! So just stop asking stupid questions already, Rose! They're not helping anything!"

"Oh, so is that all I am to you! Just a mass of stupid questions constantly being thrown in your direction!"

"Damn straight, that's what you are!" He boomed back, staring her straight in the eyes. He shook his head as he averted his gaze, turning around to pick up his board so she couldn't see him cry. She swallowed hard, the tears pouring down her cheeks. "That's not what you told Trixie." She whispered, hoping he'd say something. Anything. Please, dear God, just let him say something. Jake turned around slowly, finally recognizing the crumpled mass of notebook paper in her gentle hands. His fist clenched as he gritted his teeth, one, single tear falling down his cheek. Rose stopped. "Where'd you get that?" He forced through his teeth. "Trixie." She whispered. "She said I needed to see it. And I did, Jake. . . I needed to see it so bad." She whimpered, finally covering her eyes to cry. Her shoulders shook and her voice moaned as she cried ever so delicately. "I thought it was over, Jake. I kept telling myself that I had to let go, for my family's sake. But. . . but I can't. . . I can't. . ." Jake bit his lip, finally reaching his hand out to touch her, holding her close as she sobbed. "Hey. . . Don't cry. . . Please, Rose. . . Just don't cry. . ." However, her argument wasn't even in the form of words, and she still won. He was slowly coaxed into crying right along with her; standing in the middle of the street, just holding her while they bawled hysterically. . .

. . . And it was the best feeling either of them had had in two, long, miserable weeks.

"Maybe. . ." Jake started feebly. "Maybe there's a few things we still need to talk about." Rose nodded desperately. "Umhm."

"So my place, maybe?" he asked shyly. She giggled, looking into his eyes as she hugged him. "Umhm."

Thanks guys! Hope ya liked it! Please review!