I'm so excited that there are more than 11 stories for Jericho now!!! (lol but it still feels good to say that I was the first!!!) This first half of the season has been just amazing. But I can't wait till February for it to come back!!! And I've realized that this story is definitely Jake/Emily…wasn't really sure before. So, sorry if you were wanting Jake and Heather (I still can't decide which couple I want more in the show…).

Sorry for keeping you guys waiting…writer's block and life were keeping me from getting anything done…school just ran away with me. I hope this chapter is apology enough. I didn't have it Beta'ed, so sorry if it stinks!

PS: I'm using a song in this chapter, "Stay With Me" from Danity Kane. Awesome song. Tell me what you think, about how it flows with the story. (You're gonna have to listen to it during or read the lyrics beforehand to get the effect)


Chapter 3: Stay With Me

April walked Emily through the steps of testing Stanley for radiation poisoning, instructing her to give him some iodine. After that, all that they could do was wait. Stanley had curled himself up in a corner, wrapped in a blanket and away from the others. He eyed Jake worriedly, familiar with the agony poorly concealed in his best friend's eyes. He did, after all, know one Jake Green better than most. Reading his pain was something he was an expert at, just like Bonnie.

"Jake, how are you feeling?" Emily murmured softly, kneeling before his pale, hunched figure. He slowly looked up at her, and she felt concern flood her. He was paler than she'd ever seen him, and his eyes were unfocused and full of pain. "Jake?"

"I'm…I'm okay, Em. Keep an eye on Stanley…don't…don't worry about me," he insisted faintly. Emily placed her hand against his neck gently, wishing they had some kind of cool washcloth to fight some of his fever. "I'm fine."

"Jake, stop saying that. You're not fine. You've got a fever, the bleeding won't stop, and it's still pouring! We have to figure out a way to get you to the clinic…you can't stay down here!" Trying to push her tears away, Emily stood and began to pace. Bonnie caught her quickly, hugging her.

"It's going to be okay," the deaf girl murmured softly.

Jake watched them sadly, wishing more than anything that he could take Emily's pain away. He'd made her cry too many times to count…and it just seemed like the harder he tried to protect her, the more he hurt her. He tried to fight the heavy, numb feeling threatening to overcome his body, but his eyelids still began to droop.

Stanley watched his best friend grow paler and paler, until it seemed like he was translucent. Jake's hazel eyes became smaller and smaller, until they were completely hidden behind his eyelids and eyelashes. "Jake?" he called tentatively, knowing he had to keep him awake. "Jake!"

Emily spun, and rushed back to Jake immediately. "Jake, Jake c'mon, open your eyes. Please, babe. Don't fall asleep on me; April said you need to stay awake, ok? You promised me you'd be able to stay awake." An agonizing moment passed without response. "Jake!" she pleaded with tears sliding down her cheeks. She cupped his face, stroking his jaw to encourage him to stay conscious.

A gentle flutter was the only sign he gave at first; slowly, Jake looked up into Emily's eyes. Fresh tears spilled over her lashes, and she rested her forehead against his. "Sorry," he breathed.

Emily had to laugh a bit. "Just don't scare me like that again, okay?"

Jake nodded, and she sat back against the wall a step below him. She had to take a moment to regain her composure. She'd never realized before how much she still needed Jake Green in her life. Losing him would bring her entire world down around her.

When she looked up at him again, he was watching her through half-lidded eyes. A pained half-smile came to her lips and her eyes filled with a mix of fear for him and relief that he was still alive. No matter how much she told herself that it was his fault that her brother was dead, she couldn't actually believe it…she couldn't bring herself to hate him. In fact, looking over his pale, shaking form, and knowing he had gotten hurt saving her, she realized that she might actually be falling in love with Jake once more.

With that thought, she reached up and took his hand, intertwining their fingers. His eyes met hers, surprise nearly overcoming the pain in their watery depths. She smiled at him again through her tears, and gently leaned forward to kiss the back of his hand, willing his pain to vanish.

The group sat in silence for a moment, only Jake's labored breathing audible in the cold cellar. Emily glanced at the engagement ring around her finger, and felt guilt overwhelm her. She didn't even know if Roger was alive…but with everything that had happened in the past day alone, she didn't know if she could ever be with him again. The world had changed around her…hell, she'd changed more in the span of a few seconds than she'd changed in her entire life.

Her eyes met Jake's hesitantly, and realized he'd been watching her even after she looked away, waiting for an explanation to her display of affection. "Em—"

Emily reached up and placed a finger against his pale lips to silence him. "Jake, I know I have a lot of explaining to do…especially since you have no idea what exactly was behind that little…kiss." She hesitated, taking a shaky breath. "I don't know if I love Roger anymore. I mean…I love him, I'm just not…in love with him. So…I need you to stick around a little bit longer, so that you can help me figure out what's going on in this scary little mind of mine. I need you in my life…you once told me you would always be here. Now that you've finally come back, please just…stay with me."

Jake tugged on her hand weakly, so she quickly complied. His free hand guided her face to his, and he pressed his lips to hers. Emily was so startled from the action that she didn't react at first, but quickly supported him as he began to sag against her. After a moment, she pulled back, and leaned her forehead against his.

Bill cleared his throat uneasily. "Um…I don't mean to interrupt…this, but the rain has stopped."

--

I think I might be drawing this to a close within the next few chapters. I'm not sure yet, I've got more ideas for different stories that I want to work on. Let me know what you think of this chapter!!!