Disclaimer: I don't own a thing. Not even the computer I'm writing this on. All you'd get out of me is a weird DVD collection
AN: Just imagine Emily was nowhere in sight when they came back from Rogue River and instead a brown-haired Sleeping Beauty was waiting for her Prince Charming :)
Right where you belong
They came in time. The chance that Johnston will survive was now pretty big, thanks to the medicine. He could breathe free again. At least until the next catastrophe strikes.
Everybody went to bed. Gail and the doctor stayed with Johnston, April went to the bedroom and he had no idea where Eric went after their little chat.
He locked the doors and checked all the windows downstairs and was headed to his bedroom when a noise from the living room caught his attention. He carefully made his way there, the riffle in his hands but when he was finally able to see the source of the noise, he put it aside and a small smile graced his lips.
Curled up in the middle of his parent's couch with her hands under her head was no other then Heather Lisinski. He kneeled down next to the couch still smiling, their faces only inches apart and he tucked away the lock of hair covering her eyes.
"Heather, wake up." He whispered and caressed her cheek lightly. She stirred a little but didn't open her eyes. He tried once more but her eyelids didn't even flutter. Without thinking it over twice he scooped her in his arms and was heading up the stairs to his previous destination.
Her arms went around his neck and as she nuzzled deeper into his shoulder she sighed contently and breathed out a single word 'Jake'. He looked down but she was as fast asleep as before apparently talking in her sleep. This made the strange feeling at the pit of his stomach that appeared after the almost inaudible sound, grow even more. His name has never sound so sweet on anyone's lips. When that thought crossed his mind he shook his head lightly to get rid of those confusing things in it that he decided to blame on exhaustion.
When he reached his bedroom he turned slightly while walking in as for not to disturb his fragile cargo and then he slowly laid her down on his bed. He took of his jacket and then proceeded to take of her shoes. He debated on taking her pants off but was sure it would embarrass her so he just pulled the comforter away and put her under the covers. She, immediately, curled on her side with her back to him.
He spent about 10 seconds on thinking about taking the couch but he was exhausted and there was enough space for two in the bed. So he took off his shoes and the jeans and crawled under the sheets as well. He was out 40 seconds after his head hit the pillow.
She woke up to strange sounds feeling warmer then usually. She was only slowly coming out of her haze when she realize that her nose wasn't buried into something but rather someone and this caused her to abruptly open her eyes. In her line of vision was a grey t-shirt covering what was apparently a male chest. As she lifted her gaze her heartbeat tripled and she felt blush spread on her cheeks. Because the scent she was involuntarily breathing in – not that she complained, just like the face she was looking at belonged to Jake Green.
She needed time to digest this information therefore it took a while before she became aware of their precise position. Her head was resting on his arm as on a pillow and her left hand was tucked under it. Her other hand was resting on his chest just above his heart while his left arm laid on her hip. Their legs were entwined making their position even more intimate.
Her first instinct was to flee but as she tried to roll away his grip on her hip tightened and his right arm came around her shoulders bringing her even closer to him. She stilled immediately and searched his face for a sign that he was waking up. Which he wasn't.
She tilted her head back a little to get a better view at his face that looked younger and somewhat sweeter without the ever-present edges and worries of his lucid self. Her eyes were scanning his face as if trying to remember the shapes, shades and wrinkles. When her eyes settled on his lips – lips she tasted only a day before, she felt the blush creep up her cheeks again and it was all she could do to stop herself from reaching out and trace his bottom lip with her fingers.
She had no idea how long she was studying his face while lying in his embrace feeling safer then ever, when he stirred a little burying his face in her hair while his left hand slid from her hip and was now resting on her butt. She felt herself growing hot and not only from the blush creeping up her cheeks for who knows which time that morning.
She was suddenly aware of every single cell in her body including her right thumb that was currently caressing his chest. She stopped the movement abruptly. She almost didn't dare to breathe. She felt his arm move from her butt up her back to rest between her shoulder blades leaving a path of goose bumps behind. She heard him inhale deeply and stir a little. She knew he was waking up and the blush was back on her cheeks. Come to think of it – it never really left.
"I could get use to waking up like this." Came out muffled in slightly sleepy tone from somewhere above her head and she couldn't stop the shiver that ran through her. She hoped he didn't notice but her hopes were squashed by his next words.
"Are you cold?" he whispered and immediately started to rub gentle circles on her back.
"No." was all she said, her face buried in his chest again, he almost haven't heard her. She must have been telling the true cause he could feel her warmth through her shirt. The shiver didn't make that much sense that is until he spotted the blush on her neck. Then it suddenly made too much of a sense and though it kinda scared him a part of him found it totally endearing. The part residing at the left of his chest – to be precise. But before he could have investigated any further, someone knocked on the door and opened it.
"Jake, we have a prob-…" it was Eric stopping mid-sentence at the sight that greeted him. "I'm sorry." He turned on his heel.
"I'll be right there." Jake managed to say before the door closed. "That wasn't awkward at all." He turned to his companion who was scrambling out off the bed in a search for her shoes. "Hasn't happened to me since high school." His attempt at lighting up the mood lost completely on her since she hasn't even spared him a look before she fled the room without as much as a "bye".
He too put his clothes on quickly and went downstairs to find out about and try to solve yet another crisis coming crashing on the town.
Days later with another crisis behind them he could finally concentrate on himself and, more important on her. He had a lot of questions, the most urgent being about their kiss. But to be able to ask he needed to find her first. Which proved to be harder then one would think. If he was any paranoid he would say she was avoiding him. But he decided he would not go there. At least for now.
There was one place he could be sure to find her and now nothing was stopping him anymore from talking to her. Not even her stubbornness.
He waited in front of the school for the children to get out, to be sure she has no excuses before making his way to her classroom.
He found her quite easily in a colorful room, sitting on the ground sorting through some books. He stood there for a while, just observing her. And all the feelings from that morning a week ago or of that rather fateful afternoon were back full force. There was no denying it and he wasn't about to. Not with her. Not anymore. Not that he knew what the feelings were but he was set on finding out. Starting now.
"Hi." his voice was low but it startled her the same. When she looked up at him there was a mixture of feelings in her eyes some of which he couldn't really decipher but the most prominent was fear. His heart sunk low at that sight but he was on a mission here. "Long time, no see." He continued since she just sat there soundless with a deer-in-a-headlight look on her face. Her only response being the light blush on her cheeks. She was the most beautiful picture he ever laid his eyes on.
"We need to talk." Still no response. "About what happened a week ago." And now she looked ready to flee. "About the kiss." She wasn't frightened anymore she was scared and he had no idea why. But he needed to know. "Why did you kiss me?"
He was now kneeling in front of her studying her face, her gaze trained on her hands curled in her lap. It felt like forever before she answered.
"I was scared… I thought I might never see you again … I didn't know …. I couldn't … I thought … I just … I wanted to know…" her voice was barely a whisper and she didn't really make sense but he wasn't saying anything, waiting for her to say whatever it was she was trying to say.
"It was just that …" she took a deep breath and closed her eyes. "It might have been the last time I was ever going to see you again and I didn't want to pass the chance. I needed to know. I didn't want to spent the rest of my life not knowing what it was like …" she said it all in one breath and then finished almost inaudibly, "…to kiss you."
It took about two seconds for him to process the words. He should have been shocked since she pretty much all but declared her love for him but he wasn't. He was slightly surprised. He was pleased. But above all he was happy. He couldn't even remember the last time he felt this way, if ever.
"Good, I wouldn't want you to have to wonder for the rest of your life what it was like to kiss me." He teased with a smile on his lips. Smile she didn't see. Just like she apparently didn't hear the teasing tone in his voice because the next sound coming from her was a sob. It was only then that he realized how his words might have sounded to her and he could have kicked himself for his stupidity. He had to make it right and he had to do it fast.
So he sat down next to her, took her in his arms and set her in his lap. She put her arms around his neck quietly sobbing into his shoulder while he rubbed her back in soothing circles.
He had no idea how long it took for her to calm down. He wasn't really enjoying himself but he was strangely content with their position. Her sobbing ceased and she stopped shaking and it was his turn to speak.
"I missed you." She stiffened in his arms. "I haven't slept as good as last week for years. Or since." He brushed the hair off her face and then put a finger under her chin forcing her to look up. But she was still avoiding his eyes. "I never felt as safe as in your arms. Or so special or cared about for that matter." She shook involuntarily as he caressed her cheek with his thumb.
"And I'm glad you took the chance. It would have probably taken much longer and we would have wasted a lot of time if it was left to me." At this her eyes shot up to meet his. "And I might have never found out what you taste like." He kissed her cheek slowly and tasted the salt her tears left there. "You taste like every thing I was searching for and never really seemed to find." He brushed his lips to hers.
"You taste like peace." He said as he brought his lips to hers. "You taste like safety." He kissed her again. "You taste like home." This time he explored her mouth thoroughly and they were both panting hard when they parted, her eyes filled with hope and love he wasn't sure he deserved but wasn't about to question. He whispered one more thing before claiming her lips and her too in another kiss.
"You taste like happiness."