Title: A Turning Point
Series: First Fic of the Surrender series
Author: Fictional Reality's Domino and Kipli
Fandom: Ghost Hunters
Word Count: 11,600
Summary: A simple fight has big ramifications for Jason and Grant.
Disclaimer: Not our 'verse, we just play with them.
Beta: Thank you to Mareel for indulging us and beta'ing! :)
Notes: Set during case number one of Season 2 Episode 19 ( /watch?vYFQbm1ZOKgo ) of a fairly unremarkable New Jersey home, where any close observer will notice something shifts things off balance between Jason and Grant. Specifically when Jay disappears without explanation during the investigation. heh Not only is this Kipli's first Ghost Hunter fic period, but also our first fic co-authored by the two of us. So feedback, as always, is adored. Since we'd love a push to get the next stages of their relationship written. ;)
A Turning Point
Something is different. And yeah, it's something different other than being in Jersey.
The drive up was fine. The walkthrough. Hell even a moment ago in the master bedroom.
But as I move us across the hall, into the guest room, things just seem to shift towards the right slightly. Off the mark. One step out of the norm. Which for G isn't exactly the norm to begin with. We walk into the next room, carefully moving through the doorway, with the thermal imaging camera tethering the two of us together, as usual. I can hear the camera and sound guy behind us.
And although this house has some amazing claims, I'm beginning to get the feeling that there's nothing here. Not tonight anyway. Definitely not in the room we just left, which sadly was the room with the most reported activity. Didn't bode well for the rest of the evening.
Then again I'm not exactly sure what's going on with Grant, either. The man hangs back away from me, dragging his feet, as we come into the next room. "Nothing so far on thermal. Waste of time with this thing probably. We should do some EVP work while we're here. Before we head downstairs and--" As I step into the middle of the room, the cord goes taut, surprising me, jerking the camera in my hands. I glance back, expecting the cord to be caught on some random piece of furniture, but instead I end up twisting all the way around, seeing Grant frowning at me from just inside the room. His pouty frown. "What?" I toss a glance back over my shoulder. Nope. No man in a top hat behind me. I look back over to him.
"What's the rush? We just got here, dude. I want to give the first room another minute or two. We were only in there for like two seconds."
I blink at the tone in his voice more than the request to go back. "G. No need to give me the damn evil eye. Nothing was happening. I figured we could move on." Then again I probably could have held back the snap in my voice too.
Because of course Grant scowls at my reply. "Nothing was happening because we weren't there long enough. Now lets go back and actually spend a few minutes in there," he waves his hand, signaling for us to return to the master bedroom.
I can hear the camera and sound guy shift to let us back out of the room. "We were there plenty long enough," I heave the sigh at him. "Nothing happened because there's nothing in there." Why does he care so much about us hanging out in that empty bedroom? "But fine." I move to head past him, back out into the hall.
Only he doesn't move out of the way as he continues on with his tirade. "So there's nothing because you say there's nothing? Since when do we move on so quickly from the most active room of an investigation, Jay?"
Okay now he's getting on my damn nerves. "Since it's ridiculous to spend the whole night in a room with no activity whatsoever. And no. It's not because I said so. It's because the homeowner deserves an investigation of her entire house, not just us sitting around in her bedroom all night, waiting for something to happen."
He laughs at me, but it's a mocking laughter. "So now we're spending the whole night in the master bedroom, according to you, just because I wanted a few more minutes in there. Give me a break." He waves his hand dismissively. "Whatever, dude. You're the boss, please lead me to where the activity actually is."
Oh for the love of... "G! Give me a damn break, man." I snap the words at him, hearing the crew behind Grant shuffle just a little uncomfortably. I can get kind of loud. When I want to. The sarcastic deference to me is goddamned annoying. For so many reasons. I push past everyone, back into the hallway, and drag Grant with me by the thermal imaging cord back into the master bedroom. I jerk him into the middle of the room before spinning around. "There. Happy now?"
"First of all, you know better than pulling from the friggin' cord." I do wince as he takes a quick moment to check the connections. "Second of all, this is not about me, we're doing an investigation here. A couple of minutes more, that's all I asked. But you just think you always have all the damn answers, don't you? Fine. Lets move onto somewhere else. You call the shots."
"That's because I am usually right," I mutter under my breath, before shaking my head at him. When we argue, we definitely argue. I say a little more loudly this time, tossing a mocking glance back at the crew, "Sound any more sarcastic and you'll be my second wife."
He blinks, staying silent for a moment at my comment. "At least my wife gets laid," he suddenly snaps back at me.
It's my turn to gawk at him, instantly blushing red in the dark, as his line sinks in. Does he really think he's getting the short end of the deal on this? I barely see my wife. But any day of the week, I'd rather spend it with him than with her. As much as I love her. He is my damn world. I set my jaw, deciding not to answer him, the room going silent, as I go back to sweeping the room with the thermal camera. After a long moment of not wondering why the hell he would pretend to be jealous of my wife, knowing full well he was teasing back at me, I mutter to him, "What would you like to do next, G?"
He focuses on the screen he's holding, answering my question a moment later. "I want to see if we can debunk the footsteps she was talking about. We can move to the other room and see if we can figure it out." I just nod at him and we move out of the room and into the hall. "You know what? Lets do something, real quick. If one of us goes in that room, the other one walks around up here and see if that makes the floor creak. I'll just sit in there, you walk around."
Could he gloss over everything any more easily? I bite my tongue and watch him disappear off into the other room, before I do like a good little boy and walk the floors for him. They definitely creak like hell as I walk down the hall. He calls out that he can hear me. Well no shit he can hear me. The doors are all open. The floor is like dry tinder rubbing together. I just bite my tongue and slip back into the guest bedroom, tossing the cameraman a glare to stay the hell out as I stew. Why the hell did he have to push that joke so far?
Two more minutes, that's all I wanted in the master bedroom. I'm not even sure what I meant when I snapped back at him for calling me his second wife. It certainly was a comparison I was not expecting to hear, especially in the mocking tone he used to say it. Now there's tension between us, something that rarely happens and, when it does, it doesn't last long. He's pissed off. I know better than anyone else when something bothers Jay, even if he tries to not let it show.
We're finally done with the master bedroom. We didn't see a thing, after all. Maybe something would come up once we went through the evidence. We agree on what to do next, definitely let Steve and Brian check it out and do some EVP. I'm barely done agreeing with what Jason thinks we should do next when he's already heading downstairs to the first floor. "Jay!" I call out for him hoping to stop him before he gets downstairs, but he ignores me and just races out of the house. I follow as fast as I can, almost running into Donna in the process. "Sorry," I pat her on the arm and rush out of the house, spotting Jason as he opens the driver side door to our SUV. "Jay!" I call out before he can climb in. "Where are you going?"
He finally looks up, seeing me without the camera crew, and slams the door shut again before he can climb inside, turning back towards me. "Out. For a drive. If that's all right with the little missus."
"What?" I ask in a higher pitched tone. "What the frig is your problem, Jay?" I shake my head, letting go his last remark. For now. "We're in the middle of an investigation. You can't just go out for a drive! Aren't you supposed to be the one who is always right, Mr. Bossman?"
"What's my problem?" He marches up to me, staring me down. "We've always had equal footing in this, G. And you know I'd never put you down, never discount your input. But you go and you piss and moan at me, in front of the camera crew no less! How do you think I'll react?"
"And you know I'm someone who doesn't get angry easily. We're just starting an investigation and you immediately discard the most active room in the whole house. You're a great investigator, Jay, and you know it." I sigh and wave my hands in the air once. "You're the best investigator. You're the founder of this group, and I get that. I'm not saying you discount my input, but... sometimes you're just not happy unless everything goes your way. Two minutes, Jay. That's all I was asking, and suddenly I'm your second wife." I mutter the last two words, looking down at the ground for a moment before looking up at him again.
He lets out a long sigh, giving a slightly less annoyed grunt as he finally says, "I'm sorry about the crack about you being my second wife. I just... Shit, man, I get enough passive aggressive attacks at home. I don't need it with you too. And you should've just spoken up, G, before I dragged our asses out of that first room."
"Yeah," I nod, glancing away for a moment. "I'm sorry too, man. And anyway, Reanna doesn't get laid that often. So I'm not getting any from either of my marriages," I joke, trying to lift the mood a little bit, but for some reason that comment just sounds wrong, even if it is intended to be a joke.
He turns red again as I look back up. Before he chuckles nervously, "Sucks to be you, dude. You'd better have a talk with your spouses."
"I guess I should," I shrug and shove both hands in my pockets "it's kind of hard when I hardly see one of the two of them, though." At least we're not fighting anymore, but this is certainly the most awkward conversation I've ever had with Jason.
"You could always see me less," he says with a serious glance.
I look at him almost in disbelief. "You know that's not what I want. I'd rather spend my time with you. You know that, don't you?"
He shrugs, looking nervous again. "I know. But I mean, I don't want to cut into your sex life either, ya know?" He gives a nervous chuckle. "No need to give Reanna more reasons to want to kill me." Then he cocks his head some at me. "You'd really rather spend your time with me?"
I can't help but smile at his little question. "Of course I would. I already do and I don't want that to change. Ever." I can feel myself blush this time, and I'm not actually sure why. I'm telling him the truth, he's my best friend, there is no one I would rather spend my time with, except for my sons.
He glances down, scuffing at the driveway with his shoe. "Never planning on it to, G. Cause there's only one person I ever really want to hang with either..." Then he gives a genuine laugh, "No wonder the wives get jealous. We so inseparable that we can't even manage a good fight for more than five minutes."
I laugh, "Your wife hates me. My wife hates you. It's quite simple now that you mention it." I give a couple of steps closer to him, both hands still in my pockets. "I mean, Reanna actually thinks I love you more than I love her, dude."
He gives me a long look after my last words, before he finally speaks, muttering, "Kris has complained about the same thing..." He scoots his way closer to me as we stand out in the cold night air beside the van. "You think there's any truth in it, G?"
I can't believe this conversation is happening, but what I truly can't believe is that I actually have to think about it for a moment, think if I love my best friend more than I love my wife. And somehow, I already know the answer. Oddly enough, it's not the answer I was expecting to come up with, but at the same time it doesn't surprise me. My head is full of contradictions right now, except for my answer. I'm pretty sure of that one. I whisper to him, "Yeah. I think so."
His gaze is locked onto mine as I answer him. Where did the electricity in the air come from? He comes in that one more step closer, moving into my personal space. "You could've asked for a lay sooner, ya know."
I know I'm blushing, I must be bright red right now. How could I not? This is something I definitely wasn't expecting. Does he mean that? Is he playing a prank on me? The look in his eyes tells me he means it, but somehow it all seems too convenient. We have a fight and now we're confessing we have feelings for each other? After so many years? I know I mean it, but does he? "Jay," I give him a more serious look "I'm not joking."
Something seems to snap in him as I speak. He leans in closer as he whispers quickly, "Neither am I." His hand comes up to cup the back of my head, just as he breaks the remaining distance and kisses me. Hard and firm and definitely in control.
It's a slightly wet kiss since he catches me by surprise, and his lips are parted, too. My hands find the front of his jacket and I pull him closer, finally returning the kiss after freezing for a moment. He obviously has the control of the kiss, but deciding to make a move of my own I slowly glide my tongue past his lips and along his tongue. I can't help it, a moan escapes me the moment my tongue touches his, and I melt into the kiss. I'm kissing my best friend. Taking in the scent of the already familiar cologne he uses. It smells so good being this close to him. The scent fills my nose.
It seems, though, that just at the moment I moan and sink against him, giving into the kiss, that Jay stiffens and pulls away. His hand jerks back out of my hair, he takes a quick step back, and finally his lips pull from mine. He's blushing red now too, breathing heavily against my still tingling lips, before he sharply swears, "Fuck." He takes another step back and places a hand between us, waving it dismissively, almost apologetically. "I--I shouldn't have... Fuck!" He stumbles back further, reaching for the car door again.
"Jay," I follow him, quickening my pace as he pulls open the door and gets inside, starting the engine. "Jay, wait!" I hit against the car window with palm of my hand. "Jay! Where are you going?"
He calls back at me through the closed window, "I've fucked up enough for the evening, G." And shifts the SUV into gear, tearing off out of the drive.
"Jay!" I still call out, though I know he can't hear me. And if he can, he's not going to stop anyway. I only stand there, watching as he drives off, not moving from that spot until I watch the tail lights disappear. I hang my head and cover my face with both hands for a moment. I know nobody is watching but I still feel ashamed somehow. Was it something I did? Was it the moan? Pulling him closer? Touching his tongue? I sigh and take a last look at the road before getting back to the house. They will wonder what happened, ask where Jason is. It doesn't matter, they are not getting any answers from me. We have an investigation to wrap. And I have enough things in my mind.
I pull out and I'm not even sure where I'm going, I just drive. Away. Fast.
"Fuck!" I swear loudly again into the silent cabin and slam both my palms against the upper curve of the steering wheel. "Fuck fuck fuck!"
I shouldn't have kissed him. I shouldn't have touched him. One kiss for what? Fucking over the best friendship, the best connection you've ever had with another living being?
He wasn't supposed to like it! He was supposed to stop me. He was supposed to hit me. He was supposed to call me a fag. He wasn't supposed to moan, pull me close, flick his tongue into my mouth.
I can still hear that breathy moan. I can still feel his hands on my coat, his heat down my front. I can still taste him.
For fuck's sake, you're not supposed to kiss your best friend, Jason. Straight Guy Lessons 101. Do not make out with your buddies. Your married buddies. Your married buddies that mean the fucking world to you, no matter what the hell you do together.
This wasn't going to help with the late night dreaming of him, was it? Hell, that might be all I have, from now on, after that little trip down cuckoo lane. How are we just going back to the way things were? How is this not fucking up everything?
I just wanted to see if he was really flirting with me... Because he couldn't be really flirting with me. I just wanted to disprove it once and for all and stop the thoughts from seeping up on me.
Now I've just fucked it all up.
We can't go back. How can we go back? We can't. We're screwed. He's going to want to talk about it. He always wants to talk about it.
Why did he have to moan like that?
I drive around for a long time, aimlessly going in circles, passing the same Denny's about five times in my wide circles around and around town. And as much as I think about it, as much as I stress on it, nothing comes to me. No saving grace. Nothing to blame it on. I'm just thoroughly fucked.
Finally the late hour gets to me and I head towards the hotel. It's not too late, though, to sneak in before everyone else gets back. If they stayed there. Grant would have covered my ass, I'm sure, and kept everyone focused. I park the SUV and sneak up to my room without running into another soul. It was early morning, nearly the crack of dawn, so I guess I shouldn't be so surprised. I shut the door, lock it, and immediately collapse down onto my bed with a heavy sigh.
I wonder how long I can avoid him.
No sooner does the thought enter my head, do I hear a soft but purposeful knock on the door.
"Jay," I can hear him speak on the other side of the door "I know you're there. I've been waiting for you to finally show up. I need to talk to you."
"Too tired to talk," I snap a little too harshly towards the door, toeing off my shoes and rolling onto my back on the bed. He's been waiting for me? Is he going to tell me off already?
There's a moment of silence before I hear him speak again. "Come on, Jay. We need to talk. I'm not leaving until you open this door, man." His tone of voice nearly makes me move up off the bed. He doesn't sound pissed. But fuck... I'm too damn tired to cope with this shit. I can't deal with the best thing in my life crashing and burning at three am.
I call back out to him, reaching to turn off the light in my room. "Go to bed, G."
As I roll back over on the bed, I swear I can hear the sound of cloth sliding across my front door, before everything goes quiet.
He didn't open the door. I'm not sure how much time went by from the last moment he spoke, to the moment I fell asleep. It was cold out here in the hallway, but I was going to stick to my word and not move from here until he opened the door. I pulled down my sweatshirt sleeves, covering my hands from the cold, then pulled my legs against my chest as I decided to wait for Jason. I'm not sure if hours go by or if he just decides to get up after a minute and finally open the door. Just all of the sudden I fall back as the door opens, immediately waking up as my head hits the carpet and everything seems to shake for a second. When the movement stops, I spot Jay looking down at me. "Hey," I sit up, bringing a hand to the back of my head for a moment before I get back on my feet.
He's staring at me, eyes wide in surprise. "Did you sleep out here?" Not that he looks like he slept very well himself.
"I told you I wasn't leaving until you opened the door, man." I wrap my arms around myself, rubbing at my upper arms, still feeling too cold and cramped from sleeping out here. "We need to talk, Jay. You know it."
His expression instantly turns blank, as he steps completely out of his room, shutting the door behind him. He sidesteps past me, immediately heading down the hallway. "Talk? What's there to talk about?"
"Oh come on, man! Are you serious?" I follow him down the hallway, just hoping he will give me a moment to talk. I feel like I've offended him somehow, and then it hits me. What if he was just messing around last night? I don't understand how anyone would mess like that with their best friend, but maybe he wasn't serious. Maybe he wasn't expecting for me to like it and return the kiss. "Oh Jesus," I cover my face with one hand at the realization. That's why he doesn't want to talk to me. That's why he's avoiding me. I've fucked things up.
At my exclamation, of a non-made up swear no less, he stops and looks back at me over his shoulder. His look softens a little. "G..." Finally he turns and faces me completely. "Last night... I don't want to fuck this up, dude. I can't..." He shrugs his shoulders dramatically as he gives a wave with his hand. "Nothing happened last night, G! I didn't fuck everything over. Everything's fine. And we can go back to hanging out twenty-four-seven, all right? All right." And he turns away from me to march back down the hall.
I stand in the hallway until I see him disappear into Steve's room. Nothing happened, everything is fine. As much as I would like to believe that, I know I can't. I know I fucked up, he didn't. He was joking. Sure he kissed me, but I'm the one who turned everything into a disaster. I should have known he wasn't serious. Instead, I french-kissed my best friend. No wonder he ran away the very moment the kiss ended. I am lucky he's still talking to me. I turn around and slowly walk to my own room. The temperature change is evident as I walk in, so warm and cozy. I lock the door and toe off my shoes, crawling up on the bed and pulling up the covers.
"What the frig, Grant?" I shake my head at myself and let out a long sigh. I close my eyes and soon end up falling asleep.
I hide out with Steve and Brian as long as I can take the awkward silence and nervous glances. Anything is better than dealing with Grant.
I don't really listen to the audio recordings. I just shut my eyes and lean back.
There's no way we're going back to normal. No way. I've ruined everything. All just to prove to myself that he couldn't possibly be interested. Well did you stop to fucking think about the possibility that he really was? Of course not! Because you always labeled it as insane ravings of a man not getting enough from his own wife. Grant was straight and happy and married. Only he kissed me back. He moaned. He pressed himself against me.
I can't stop thinking about that moment.
We are going to have to talk about this. Fuck I hate it when Grant is right.
I harass Steve and Brian, just to attempt to lighten my mood, as I finally give up on focusing on the audio tapes and leave them to the rest of the evidence. But I can't lift my mood. Junk food and bad daytime television doesn't do a thing for me either as I hole up once more in my room. The day drags on forever and my thoughts just circle around and around. Not really watching the television screen.
I decline invitations to go out, both to the local restaurant and the local bar, though I think extra long about the second invitation. Instead I stay in, stuff my face a little longer, think about tracking Grant down, before giving up on the idea of leaving my room period for the day and curl up in an attempt to sleep.
There's no way I can take another day of this limbo. There's no way we're suddenly snapping back into place. Fuck.
The next morning, dressed but once again locked up in my room, I just stare blankly at the knock on the door mid-morning as the crew informs me that they're ready to shoot the findings scene. Steve and Brian went through that quick. The image of Grant and I silently sitting in our SUV together on the ride home sends a shudder through me.
I open the door to find Grant, arms folded across his chest, almost hugging himself, back a step behind the crew. Fuck this is going to be fun too. I toss a long glance at him, as I shut my door and follow everyone down to Steve's room, before attempting to pull myself back together. Don't fall apart on camera, fuck don't fall apart in front of Brian.
Grant seems to do better at putting on an act. At least, I think it's an act. He comes into the room with me, heaving a sigh as he sits down and asks for the findings. I just sit and try not to look at, well, anything. I stare down at the table, tossing glances at Steve, at Grant, but mostly I inspect the table.
God is it good to have Grant near again. Even if he's ignoring me as much as I'm ignoring him. Just to have him close by is something else. I swear he could lift me out of just about any of the deepest, darkest places.
As Brian states that we'll hear a snap and a pop, I can't help voicing the lame joke that comes to mind, hoping to ease this mess between us. "Why you leavin' Crackle out?" I watch too much Sunday morning television with my kids. I toss a glance at Grant, though he doesn't react, before looking back down at the table. And then I hear this little snort come from him. My heart skip, my heart actually fucking skips, to have him react positively to that lame ass joke. Maybe he won't hate me forever.
The findings themselves are nothing to write home about. Both EVPs are garbled, though a little creepy. Grant actually makes eye contact with me as we go over the EVPs a few more times. I can't begin to describe the feel of catching glances at each other. I would swear he looks coy if not for the ache in his eyes. I wonder if he slept as much as I did the last few nights. Fuck I can't believe he fell asleep curled up outside my door...
As soon as we call for a copy of the evidence, as little as it is, and head out the door, I tap Grant on the arm and toss him a direct look. I wave my hand for him to follow me, as I head back down the hall for my room.
He hesitates for a moment before following me, both of us coming to a stop when we get to my room. "What's up?" he asks, clearly avoiding meeting my gaze.
Time to bite the damn bullet, Jay. "I... I need to come clean, G. It's been eating away at me and I have to say it. As much as I'd like to gloss over all of this." I shift in my spot standing in front of him, glancing down, studying the carpeting this time. "I... I didn't think you'd like the kiss. Hell I didn't think you'd let me do it. I figured you'd give me a good shove, take a crack at my dome. I didn't..." I sigh and rub at the back of my neck with one hand. "I wasn't playing around. I wasn't joking. But I wasn't prepared for you to like it. Or, well, for you to let me... let me..." I swallow hard, chancing a glance over at him. "I'm scared to death this is going to ruin everything."
"Jay, I... I thought you weren't talking to me because..." he shakes his head, looking confused "I actually thought you had been kidding all along. I was so sure I had fucked things up by kissing you back."
My heart races at his words, and before I can think better of the question, focus on what I really wanted to get across and attempt to fix, I ask him softly, "Did you mean to kiss me back?"
"Of course I did," he answers almost immediately "that's all I wanted at that moment."
He meant that moan. He meant that flick of his tongue. He liked it. "And now?"
He takes a step closer to me, though not stepping into my personal space. "I would kiss you again, and mean it."
I am so fucking tempted to take him up on the offer. But I have to mutter to him, quiet and serious, "And Reanna? What about her? If we don't pretend it didn't happen, if we keep going, if I pin you back against the wall here, we're not just chancing our friendship..." I let out a sigh, looking as lost as I'm feeling. "What about that?"
"Would you like to keep... going?" He lowers his voice as he changes the subject to his wife. "I don't know about Reanna. I need to talk to her either way, but... I don't think she'll be surprised. I'm not saying she will be happy, just certainly not surprised."
"It's all I've thought about for the last two days," I tell him honestly. I glance down as he speaks about talking to his wife no matter how this goes down. I snort as he says she won't be surprised. "I don't think either of them will be surprised..." I shuffle my feet again, looking back up at him. "We probably... we probably should think on it. Really think and... talk later. Some time. But I just. Know that I meant it, G. I wouldn't fuck around with you on this."
"We probably should," he nods his agreement. "And I know, Jay. I wouldn't mess around with you either." He actually chuckles, "I hope Kris won't try and beat you up with a broom, man."
I laugh, giving him the first genuine smile in a far too long. "Dude, I'll be lucky if it's a broom. I better lock up the shotguns." I meet his gaze, the unsettled ease in his brown eyes, before glancing back down, shuffling in front of him nervously once more. "Later then. I guess."
"Later," he gives a nod and turns around, opening the door and quickly walking a few rooms down the hallway and into his own. I watch after him a moment. Not that we're exactly... normal again. But hell, talking is always better than not.
Kris will kill me...
I drop myself on the bed and simply stare at the ceiling. The thought of him pinning me back against the wall, kissing me again, it's just so opposite to what I thought was actually happening between us. He doesn't hate me for kissing him back. He didn't hate kissing me. But then, Reanna and Kris come to mind again. Knowing Kris, I just hope Jay will pick the right moment to tell her. Then again, I don't think there will be a moment that is right for something like that. As for Reanna, I know I can't do this to her, but we have spent so much time apart lately that we are like strangers now. I don't know what she does with her free time, I don't know her friends. When I am home, I spend all my time with the boys.
I've been married for almost a decade, but I've known Jason for longer than that. It's still surreal to think of that kiss we shared, after so many years of him being my best friend, the one person that completely knows me and gets me, the one I spend all my time with. It felt right to kiss him. If it didn't sound so sappy, I would dare to say that sparks flew when we kissed. Then again, I'm quite the sappy guy. After all, I proposed to my wife at the Empire State building.
I take a look at my watch and get up with a grunt. Soon we'll have to leave for the reveal. I don't think I've ever been this distracted during a case. I grab my jacket and pull it on, sitting back on the bed to wait for the knock on the door from the crew, letting me know it's time to leave.
As soon as we head back home, I'm telling Reanna what happened. I need space. I'll have to find an apartment, perhaps. At least in the meantime, while she has some time to think. I don't even know what's going to happen between Jay and I. Maybe nothing will happen. Maybe everything will go back to normal, but I really doubt it. No matter how this goes down, all I do know right now is that my marriage has come to an end. Even if things go back to normal, I can't be with her anymore, not when I know I don't love her anymore. Not like I used to. I just want to find a way for the boys to go through this well when all of this goes down. But that might not be possible either.
The knock on the door finally comes and I head out of my room. The ride was going to be interesting, especially with the cameras in the van, but I believe for that same reason things don't seem to be so awkward, even if it's not the same as always. The reveal goes even more smoothly than the ride, and it is almost like always. Explain what we did, present the evidence, explain the evidence, try to make the homeowner feel better, safe, and let her know she can call us if she needs us.
I stand on the sidewalk, both hands in my jacket pockets as the crew gets their equipment back in their van. Only two nights ago I was standing right here before Jason kissed me. As if on cue, he walks out of the house once he's done talking to the homeowner himself. It is until then that I get inside the SUV, snapping on my seatbelt as he hops in himself. Usually, filming the last scene as we head back 'home' from a case is quick and goes smoothly. Tonight isn't the exception, except when it's time for the first bump. I look at the offered fist, hesitating only a second before doing the fist bump, immediately turning my gaze back out the window. The rest of the ride is quiet, not only because the cameras are on, but I'm pretty sure he's still thinking about everything, just as I am.
I am grateful when we get back to the hotel. The crew disperses as we walk into the lobby, and I take the chance to finally speak, taking a step closer to Jay. "Do you wanna hang out for a bit?" I shrug, trying to keep it casual, if that's at all possible right now.
He clears his throat in front of me and nods. "Sure. If you want." Then smiles a little at me as he adds, "Your place or mine?"
"Well," I shrug "my room is kind of a mess. Didn't sleep well so I crashed after housekeeping had already cleaned, but we can go there." I return the smile, looking away for a moment, almost shyly, before we head to the elevators.
When we get to my room, I walk in and turn on the lights, letting Jay close the door behind him. I pull off my jacket and toss it to the couch. "Do you want something? I'm ordering some food," I grab the phone and call for room service.
Jay takes in the room, shrugging off his own jacket, as he teases, "Oh yeah, it's a real pig sty in here, G. How do you live in this filth." He smirks at me, before flopping down onto the couch with a sigh. "I wouldn't say no to a burger."
"Cool," I order two burgers and fries, along with two sodas. I put the phone away and debate whether I should sit next to him on the couch, or on the bed. I go with sitting on the bed. I pull off my shoes, tossing them aside. "Just adding to the filth in the room," I chuckle and glance around the room for a moment, not saying anything else. This isn't exactly uncomfortable, just... a little bit awkward.
He shifts to rest one arm along the back of the couch. His gaze seems to--no definitely slides down me, in a way I don't think he's ever looked at me before. Then he shifts again on the couch, gaze snapping back up to my face. "Did you... I mean, I know you thought about it, but just..." He trails off, blushing a little, unable to find the words he's looking for.
I narrow my gaze as I try to figure out what he was trying to say, though I know what he's talking about. "Thought about us?" I ask but answer before he can even confirm that's what he was asking. "I did, of course I did. To be honest, I'm not sure when it started, but it's been a while." I look down at my hands on my lap before looking up at him again. "Did you?"
"Of course," he answers immediately. I can hear him shift forward on the couch, dropping his voice a little, as he says softly, "G. If you're in this. All in. One hundred percent. Ready to back away more than a few steps from Reanna. Then you know I'll follow. Where you go, I go. And I definitely... I know I can't give you up and I know we can't go back to the way things were, so... that's where I stand."
I smile, wider than I have in the past two days. This is truly all I care about. I get up from the bed and take a seat next to him on the couch. "One hundred percent, Jay. I can't give you up either, you know? I will talk to Reanna as soon as we return." I look down at his hands, reaching to take one in mine for the first time. This is all so new and amazing. I take his hand innocently, not threading our fingers, just feeling his hand in mine. I chuckle to myself, still surprised by all of this, by how sudden it is, how different, and I wouldn't change it for the world.
He squeezes my hand, brushing his thumb over the back it. At my chuckle, he cocks his head at me, grinning wide. "Yup. This is going to be so friggin' weird." He shifts to lean back against the couch, pressing his thigh against mine. "But nice. Really nice..."
"Really, really nice," he has the cutest smile and, somehow, now I can let myself appreciate all those little details I have always liked, like his dimples when he smiles like that. I try to resist the urge to kiss them, but I can't, not now that I'm holding his hand, that we have decided to give this a try. I lean and press a kiss to just one cheek, close to his mouth. "Sorry, I just had to." I smile at him, though I don't think I have stopped smiling during in last five minutes.
"Nothing to be sorry about..." he whispers back to me, though he blushes at me. It's almost surreal as he turns his head a little more, brushes his lips against mine. A feather soft touch. His gaze locks with mine and he breathes against my lips, "Only kisses tonight... always... till things are squared away... agreed?"
"Of course. Totally agree." I brush my own lips back against his, taking in this moment. I study his gaze for a moment before I slowly close my eyes, leaning to press a soft open mouthed kiss on his lips, followed by another. I once again pull him close to me by his shirt as I brush my tongue past his lips, gliding it along his tongue.
He gives a deep hum in response to the kisses, his free hand coming up to cup the back of my neck, as he returns each kiss. He tilts his head to one side, brushing his own tongue against mine. After a moment of teasing, he actually suckles on my tongue, firmly sucking on it. His fingers slide up into the back of my hair, threading into the strands. I hold back a moan like the one that slipped a few nights ago, but I do hum into the kiss, especially at the feeling of his fingers in my hair. I part the kiss to catch some air, but I don't pull back, feeling his warm breath against my lips. I rest my forehead against his, keeping my eyes closed for another moment before meeting his gaze.
His eyes are a deep blue, staring back at me, closer than they've ever been. Close and staring right back into mine. His fingers twist in my hair, playing with it. "This is so... easy," he breathes against my lips, an interesting husky tone to his voice. "And yet so damn different." He slides his hand, the one not playing with my hair, down along and across my chest, as if to prove his point.
"It's perfect," I whisper against his lips, looking into his full, blue eyes for another moment before I lean again, kissing him one more time. It's a more confident kiss and I hum into it as I feel him still playing with my hair. I hadn't kissed another person in well over a decade.
Just as my own hands slide up to cup the back of his neck, his hand moves out of my hair, as he breaks the kiss. "One thing though," he sighs against my lips, pulling my hands off of him. "I am just a little wigged out by the feel of your ring against my neck." He gives a half grunt, half chuckle, as he blushes cutely in front of me. He shifts to tug his own wedding band off, giving it a long look, before pocketing it.
I pull back my own hands, tugging my own wedding band off. It will feel strange to not wear it from now on, but it is not precisely a bad thing. Only different. I reach to set the ring on the nightstand before turning to face Jay again, pulling him by the front of his shirt in an attempt to kiss him again. I stop before our lips meet, studying his eyes for another moment, before I finally press my lips to his once again. He gives a deep hum and instantly suckles on my lower lip, sending a shiver through me. But of course not even a couple of seconds go by, when there's a knock on the door. Should have seen that one coming. I rest my forehead against his, letting out a soft sigh, before pulling away from him and sliding to my feet to get the door. I step aside after opening it, letting the bellhop roll the cart in and leave it in front of the bed, before he swiftly walks out of the room and closes the door behind him.
"I suppose we didn't look like the types that wanted to talk," Jay jokes up at me with a grin, still flushed. He gives a grunt as he gets up, coming over to check on his burger, before sighing, "I suppose too much more of that and it might not have stayed with just kissing..." He glances over at me as he picks up his food and drink, grinning as he heads back over to the couch. "Not that I'm done kissing you for the evening."
I glance away shyly as I feel myself blush, picking up my own food and following him to the couch. "Good," I nod and pull my feet up underneath myself, setting the plate on my lap and my drink on the coffee table before taking a fry and eating it in two bites. "It's funny, man. I mean, did you ever think we would end up like this?" I ask with a smile, not able to hide the fact that I am excited about this. That even with all the crap that is coming our way when we tell our wives and then everyone else, this doesn't stop being fantastic.
"I dreamt about it," he says quietly, seriously. He tosses a look over at me over the top of his glass, before he looks away, poking at his burger. "But no, G. I didn't think it would happen. I didn't think... Hell, I figured the world would end, before it happened." He gives a chuckle at himself, setting his own drink aside, and picks up his burger for a bite.
I chuckle myself, taking another fry and giving it a bite. "Did you?" I eat the rest of the fry before making my question more clear, "I mean... did you really dream about it?" I give a bite to my hamburger, but my heart definitely skips a beat at the thought.
He takes his time swallowing down his bite, before he answers, his gaze finally meeting mine. He says simply, "Yeah. Yeah I did." He glances away again, focusing on eating his burger, not elaborating on that answer. I stay quiet but smile at his answer just as I continue eating my own burger.
At least now I know I wasn't the only one.
I still can't believe the level of ease to everything. Even if my heart nearly exploded more than a couple of times last night, every move, every admission, he took it all in amazing stride. Was it always that simple? Tell him to leave Reanna and he will? Tell him I want him and he wants me back? Fuck, why the hell didn't I do that sooner? Goddamned chicken, Jay. For no reason. The world didn't end. And he wants you.
We ate and we talked, flirted, kissed. It was a little nervous, a little shy for sure. But it was far more easy than any other first, well, date with anyone I've ever had. He has such liquid brown eyes. Especially from up close.
We ended the evening on a slightly... off note. Though once again it was good if not annoying to have something pull us apart. With how easy it was to kiss him... But I'm not about to really, truly cheat on my wife without ending things first. Kris deserves more. Much more. But at least I can give her that. If I survive the discussion. But no, we were interrupted by Reanna instead. Calling Grant before he usually went to bed. Good thing she couldn't see how beet red he was when he answered the cell. Since moments before he had been locking lips with me...
We finally broke apart after the call ended. Said our goodnights and agreed to attempt to act normal tomorrow on the ride home. It wasn't extremely late, no time out of the ordinary for sure, for me to be heading out of Grant's room and into my own when I finally left.
That night I stuck the wedding band in a zipped pouch in my duffel bag. It was as if I had shifted one weight off my shoulders, and set yet another worry on them in its place. Everything was good. More than good with Grant. With plenty of possibilities. But once we got home... things were going to get dicey. How do we even explain this? Do we mention each other? Do we just claim we both just want space? Or do we own up to our interest in one another?
We're going to need a code word to discuss this stuff in public. Hell discuss it on the long ride home with the cameras rolling.
Yet even with the uncertainty, I slept better that night than I did the last two days combined.
I swear I have a goddamned skip to my step as I walk over to Grant's room, duffel bag slung over my shoulder, ready to pick him up, grab a moment alone with him and then some coffee, before we make the trek home. I give the door a knock.
When it opens, I'm greeted with the widest of smile from Grant. He takes a step back, inviting me to come in. His own bag is already sitting on the bed and I set mine next to his, turning around to find him stepping up to me. He places his hands on my shoulders, reaching up to kiss me. It's a soft but lingering kiss on the lips, reaffirming what we decided on last night, before slowly pulling back from me, his brown eyes locking with mine. "Hey," he whispers, still with a smile.
I could get used to this. I smile back with a deep hum, wrapping my own arms around his waist. "Hey yourself." How is this so easy? I lean in to peck his lips myself, before asking softly, "Sleep all right?"
"Yeah," he wraps his arms behind my neck "did you?"
"Best night's sleep in a long while," I answer honestly. He feels amazingly good pressed against my front. I steal one more kiss, before I pull back, because if I stay put, I'll end up moving us to the couch again, and then we'd never leave when the crew came looking for us. I still keep one hand on his hip. Wanting to touch him. If only a little. "I was thinking. We should probably come up with a code word. So we can talk about this. If we want. On the ride back."
"A code word," he repeats, glancing away as he thinks about it for a moment, then meets my gaze again "could we talk about this with just one code word, though?"
I pause to think it over myself. "Well. I mean, we could call it something vague. Like 'the move' or something. Maybe." I give a sigh and shake my head, meeting his gaze. "It's not like I want to hide this, G. It's just... The wives deserve to be the first ones to know, is all."
"Oh, I know," he shrugs "calling it 'the move' sounds good to me. They won't think much of it, or at least I hope so."
I nod as he agrees with the code word. "Good. All right then. 'The move' it is." I give his side a squeeze before I let go of him, reaching for my bag again. "How about we snag some free coffee down in the lobby before we head out? Nothing like coffee that's been brewing for eight hours straight already to start the day." I give him a grin as I shoulder the bag.
"Sounds great," he reaches for his own bag and follows as I walk out of the room. As he closes the door he glances at me, looking away after only a moment, shyly smiling to himself. He has the most adorable smile. The way the ends of his lips curl up as he looks away. And finally I can let myself look. Let myself take in the sight of him beside me. And not feel like the creepy, staring best friend. But instead the new, well, boyfriend? God damn that's weird to think.
As we make our way down to the lobby, I itch to touch him. Just a small touch. Something simple. Well no one's around. No crew, no TAPS, no one. I reach to rest my hand against his lower back as we head towards the little breakfast offerings of the small hotel chain. And instantly hear from behind us, the moment my hand hits Grant's back, the sound of Steve's voice, "Hey guys."
Fuck. Real smooth, Jay. Real smooth. I try my best to make it look like I was just giving Grant a push to the side, as Steve walks past us, apparently not noticing the move, and heads straight for the coffee.
"What's up, man?" Grant doesn't react to my push, just grabs a plate and starts putting some food on it, a bit of everything to have with his coffee. I just snag a muffin, attempting to look as calm as Grant.
"Not much, not much." Steve fills up a cup of coffee before turning around to us. "How did talking with the homeowner go last night? Didn't see you guys when you got back."
I manage to answer him smoothly as I reach for a coffee mug of my own. "She took it well. Thankfully. Plus she knows we're just a phone call away if things get out of hand for her."
"We didn't tell her what we think the EVP says, though." Grant gives a cookie a bite and sets it back on his plate as he waits for me to prepare my coffee. He grabs a mug himself and fills it, adding cream and sugar before the three of us move to a nearby table.
I nod to Grant and follow after him and Steve to a table towards the back. "Right. Well she can draw her own conclusions. She was nervous enough in that house to begin with."
"Good call," Steve says, sitting down opposite us, before his gaze narrows on me as I reach for the sugar on the table. "Did you forget something this morning?"
I toss him a look, mind racing to figure out what he could mean, as I pull two packets of sugar out. "Forget what?"
Steve points over the rim of his coffee at my left hand holding my cup of coffee. "Your ring." Damn him and his cop eyes for details. At my instant flush, he tilts his head at me, looking thoughtful. "If you took it off last night, I'm sure it's still on the nightstand. Way too early for the cleaning--"
"I lost it," I cut him off, lamely, looking down at my coffee as I pour in the sugar.
"You lost it?"
"Where's Brian?" Grant interrupts and reaches for more sugar for his coffee. "He was already up when you left, wasn't he? I don't to wait for him all morning."
"He was in the shower when I came down here," Steve answers Grant immediately, turning to him, but in that... taking everything in, you can't distract me gaze that police officers get. Which instantly lands on Grant's hand as it reaches for the sugar. Oh god, I should have tossed him a few packets. "Wait, where's your ring?" The kid is just too damn smart and observant for his own good.
"Funny you should mention it," Grant pauses as if searching for the right words, but most likely trying to come up with a different excuse "I... actually lost it, too."
I move a hand up to cover my face as Steve blinks at Grant. Yeah. This is going well so far. "Both of you lost your wedding bands? Last night? The bands I've never seen you two without since the day I met you?" Steve's tone is the classic cop that doesn't believe the little old lady's story.
"Yup," I say as I slide my hand down off my face, reaching for the cup of coffee. "That's... that's what happened."
"That's the best story you two could come up with? Seriously?"
"Look, it just... it's kind of personal," Grant shrugs and picks at the muffin on his plate before taking a bite of another cookie.
Steve looks slightly contrite after Grant's comment, shrugging some. "Well yeah, sure, I mean, it's none of my business. It's just... weird that you two would lose your rings on the same night. That's all." He looks down as he swirls his spoon in his coffee. "Kind of... suspicious."
I groan as I set my coffee back down. "Fine. Yeah. There's something going on, Steve. But could you please not mention the lack of our wedding bands to anyone? Anyone like Brian for starters?"
"Sure. If you tell me what's going on."
I swear to God the little sneak hides a grin behind his coffee mug as he takes a sip.
"We decided to take them off last night," Grant speaks firmly at first, then lowering his voice some as he apparently tries to figure out how to word it "we want to speak to our wives so we can be... together. Well, we are together, just--you know."
Damn that was kind of sweet and adorable.
"Be together?" he repeats back at Grant.
"You heard him," I grumble at Steve. The kid is not that dense.
"But I don't..." He trails off as I reach over to brush my fingertips over the back of Grant's hand resting on the tabletop. Steve stares a moment. Blinks. Then gives a surprisingly calm, "Oh." And goes back to his coffee with a simple, "Cool."
Grant turns to look at me with a pleased smile, probably both at Steve's reaction and my fingertips brushing over the back of his hand. He turns to Steve again and speaks softly, "You really can't tell anyone, dude. Promise you won't, this is important."
He looks up to meet Grant's gaze honestly. "Yeah yeah. I promise." Then shakes his head at us. "I don't think anyone will be... upset."
I roll my eyes at that. Brian will have a field day, but I suppose he won't be upset. No, he'll be thrilled to have something to harass us over.
I give Steve a firm look. "We could give a shit what anyone else thinks. But Kris and Reanna, they deserve to hear it from us. Not anyone else. You got that?"
He holds his hands up in surrender. "Hey, yeah, sure. Promise. No one will hear a thing from me." Then reaches for his coffee, before pausing again, "You two really need to work on the cover story, though."
I give a laugh and start on my muffin finally. He does have a point.
Of course Steve had to be the one who found out first. But at least he is someone we can trust, unlike Brian. That aside, there's still nothing I can do to take Reanna and the boys out of my head. I really don't want to hurt her, but I can't be with her anymore. Even if Jay and I had ended up having a fallout, or if things had gone back to normal. It would just be impossible for me to go back to Reanna and pretend nothing happened. How do I tell her? How do I make her understand that I truly care for her and that I deeply loved her? I don't want her to hate me forever. I don't want my kids to hate me forever. I don't want her to keep them away from me, but Reanna wouldn't do that. I truly don't think she would do that.
The trip back home is long and quiet. Jay's eyes are focused on the road while I look out the window, lost in my thoughts. I am sure Jay is dreading his talk with Kris. I know he loves her, and she loves him in her own way, but I doubt that will stop her from throwing the microwave at him. I actually chuckle at the thought, she's the female version of Jay. I truly hope she takes it better than I am thinking she will, but I doubt it. For the sake of their kids, I hope it doesn't end horribly. Jay loves his children as much as I love mine, the last thing we want is to hurt them.
We really are doing this. We really are on our way home, ready to end years of marriage so we can be together. If I wasn't so crazy about him I would label this as insane, but the only insane thing would be staying with Reanna instead of leaving with Jason.
We're both still quiet as we drive into the TAPS parking lot with the van. I unstrap my seatbelt and push the door open, hopping out of the SUV and walking to open the back doors just as Steve parks the van. Things actually go smoothly as usual. We take out the equipment and carry it back inside, set everything back in place, Jay harasses Brian over something, Steve and Donna tease each other like a couple of kids. The only difference is that I feel like an outsider for a moment as I am completely lost in my thoughts. I snap out of it as I hear the third van with the crew pulling into the parking lot.
I take our bags from the back of the van before pushing the doors shut and locking the vehicle. I walk into the building and set our bags down, hanging the car keys on the key holder before turning around and almost running into Donna, again. She leans, giving me a hug and saying her goodbyes, looking almost desperate to leave this place and go back to her regular life. I know I should be helping the guys with the equipment, and even Jason is busy doing just that, but instead I only pace back and forth, watching everyone walk in and out of the place several times as they carry in the equipment.
"Later, Grant!" I once again snap out of my thoughts as the crew guys wave goodbye and walk out through the front door. Brian and Jay, who still seem to be arguing about something, come upstairs right after, but they shake hands and pat each other on the arm before Brian waves at me and also leaves. I lean back against the wall, letting out a long sigh as I see Jason walk up to me. I'm sure he understands, this is going to be hard for the two of us, but I still manage to give him a sincere smile. "Sorry," I apologize before he says anything. I don't usually just stand without helping put the equipment back in its place.
He tilts his head at me as he steps in closer, reaching to place his a hand on my hip. "For what? Being a little overwhelmed by it all?" He reaches up with his other hand to brush through my hair. Then drops his hand as he mutters, sounding a little stressed himself, "We can give it some time... not do this right away... if you want..."
"No," I shake my head and reach to pull him close by his jacket "I've waited long enough."
He grins his wide, dimpled grin at me with those words, as he mutters while he leans forward, "Definitely long enough..." He lightly brushes his lips against mine for a moment, before moving to really kiss me.
"This isn't going to be like the norm now, is it?"
Jay pulls his head back with a roll of his eyes as I flick my gaze over to Steve cocking his head at us.
"Because I have to say, I'm not sure I'm prepared to see that every time I round a corner."
I chuckle, "You may want to start getting used to it, Stevie." Somehow this feels right. Kissing Jay felt right since the first time he did it, but being close to him and not having to hide our feelings for each other in front of one of our closest friends definitely feels right.
"Hey. Not judging. Just saying. It's still a bit of a shock to the system." Though he says that with a little, acknowledging smile at us. He walks past Jay and gives him a pat on the shoulder. "Whatever you do. No nookie on my desk."
"You have a desk?" Jay harasses after him, as Steve calls back his goodbye to us, quickly disappearing out the back door. "When did he get a desk?"
I roll my eyes at Jay and give him a playful push, reaching to take his hand in mine. "Okay, that's enough out of you."
I let his hand go and grab my bag sitting next to his by the door. After locking up the place, we take the Roto-Rooter van to drive back home. Jay pulls out of the parking lot and takes the usual route to drop me off and then drive home himself. "Do you have a place to stay?" Is the first thing I ask after a moment of silence. Knowing Kris, I wouldn't be surprised if she kicked him out of the house tonight.
"The van?" he jokes with a grunt, then shrugs. "I don't know. A hotel room I guess." He tosses a glance over to me. "Want me to give you a call? After... everything settles?"
"Yeah," I answer immediately "please do that." I let out a long sigh and turn my head to look out the window once again.
It's not a long ride to my place, but it actually takes me a moment to realize we're there when Jay parks next to the driveway, keeping the engine on. I look down at my hands on my lap, then turn to face Jay. "Be careful, okay?" I can't help but grin at that, but you never know with Kris.
"You too, G. She's a wiry and crafty woman." He smiles at me, leaning over for the quickest of kisses, a squeeze to the back of my neck, before he pulls away with a sigh. "Everything will work out, Grant. I promise."
I look down and then meet his gaze again, nodding as I softly reply, "I know." It truly has to work out. No matter what happens, or how bad things can get for the next few days, or weeks, everything will work out. I climb down from the van and head to the back doors, pulling out my bag from the back of the van before shutting them closed. I walk back to the passenger door and smile at Jay, dying to steal yet another kiss from him, but who knows who is looking. Once Reanna finds out, then I truly won't care who looks at us and who doesn't.
I shut the door and finally walk down the driveway as I pull my keys out and make it to the front door, taking a last look back at the van as Jay drives off.
Everything will work out.
I know everything will work out.
It has to.