Title: Compass Points (Back to You)
Summary: He'll do whatever he has to, to make sure she always comes back;
Notes: This is a companion piece to Wanderlust written from Hamilton's POV. Honestly, I don't know where the story came from other than my disgruntled musings about how YA did have nearly enough of JAM moments. Please Read and Respond. I am much more encouraged to write when I see people are actually taking the time to say what the loved (or hated).
Compass Points(Back To You)
* * *
Back to me, I know that it comes back to me
Doesn't it scare you...
Your will is not as strong as it use to be.
He remembers the day he found it.
The knapsack Jake kept hidden under her bed. She had told him she had forgotten her graphing calculator for calculus in her room and asked him to pick it up for her. Like a dutiful boyfriend he had heeded her request and retrieved her calculator from her desk just as she had asked. On the way out of the room however, it had slipped from his hands and fell underneath the bed; right next to the knapsack she kept hidden.
He wouldn't have even noticed it except for the fact that when he kneeled down to grab the calculator his hand accidently brushed against the knapsack. In a moment of weakness and curiosity he pulled it out and stared at it as he sat on the floor. Instantly he was reminded of the day exactly one week ago, when he had snuck to her room just after dawn. But when he arrived at her door she was nowhere to be found. Justifiably, he was worried but resigned himself to waiting her out. Much to his relief she returned forty-five minutes later fully dressed and curiously clutching the knapsack.
The moment she spotted him she seemed briefly surprised but the surprised look on her face quickly disappeared and was replaced with a genuine smile right before she opened the door to her room pulled him in then kicked the door shut and kissed him like her life depended on it. Within a few moments all thought of her disappearance, the knapsack and her sudden reappearance were forgotten and replaced with thoughts of the way her bare skin felt under his fingertips and whispered declarations of love. He couldn't explain her actions that morning, and in the rush of the moment and he completely forgot to ask her about where she had been but as he stared down at the knapsack he had an overwhelming sense of awareness;
She had been running away.
Sitting back on his haunches he let the realization sink in before he opened the knapsack to confirm his suspicion. Inside he found everything he knew he would: her journal, her Sarah McLachlan CD's the shoes that she had worn out on their first date, some of her more feminine clothing, and her favorite strawberry flavored lip-gloss. After taking a moment to gently finger the articles in question, he closed the knapsack up and slid it back under the bed where he found it. Rising to his feet he picked up the calculator Jake had asked him to retrieve and exited the room without sparking a second glance.
That night as he lay in bed he felt the initial anger he had carried throughout the day slowly ebb away until there was nothing left but fear and longing. Fear because he knew that if Jake wanted to give up her charade and leave Rawley forever there was nothing he could do to stop her and longing because he wanted to be the one who she ran to when she wanted to run away. While staring up at his ceiling he came to the conclusion that if Jake wanted to run, she would; and the only thing he could do if she did, was give her enough reasons to want to come back.
Getting up from his bed he walked over to his closet and pulled out a small box he kept hidden underneath a loose floorboard. Opening the box, he pulled out a picture of Jake riding her motorcycle; he looked at it for a moment before flipping it over and using a marker he found in the box to neatly write a caption on the back.
"The first time I saw you."
Flipping the picture over again he stared at it once more before carefully putting the photo in to his Spanish book and going to sleep.
* * *
The next morning when he went to Jake's room to talk to her before class, he made sure he slipped the photo into her knapsack while she was in the bathroom. It wasn't until later in the day during Finn's poetry class that Hamilton was reminded of another memento that he could give Jake. After begging his mother to barrow the car for twenty minutes Kate finally relented and granted him permission as long as he promised to drive carefully and bring back some milk. Happily Hamilton gave his word he would and set off to Carson. In Carson he was bought Macy Gray's CD and framed the movie stub from the first time they went to the drive-in. On the back of the frame he wrote another small note.
"The first time I realized how much I wanted you."
After he returned home from Carson he went over to Jake's. She was immediately suspicious of him because he had spent most of the day missing but quickly got over than when Hamilton apologized to her with kisses and chocolate. Hamilton stayed in her room until she fell asleep and then proceeded to hide the CD and framed movie stub in her knapsack with her other belongings.
Over the next few weeks he did things like this, whenever they would share a special moment together. He would write her love letters, and gather little keepsakes that he would later hide in her knapsack; like breadcrumbs. He even included an old compass he had received in Boy Scouts that had his name on it and always pointed north as well as a tiny bottle of white sand that he had picked on the day they decided to ditch class together and spend it on the beach. Over time it got to the point where her knapsack held more items that he put in than she did, but still he wanted to make sure she knew how he felt. So every morning he would arrive at her dorm room with the sinking feeling that maybe this time she would be gone but somehow she was still there.
On seldom occasions he would arrive to her dorm room before she did; loosely clutching her knapsack. On those days she would always wear that same surprised expression she had on the first day he caught her, and she would always pull him in to her room with searing kiss. Sometimes she would cry and on those days he would hold her just a little bit tighter. But if she had any indication of all the extra items that he snuck into her knapsack she never let on. So he kept writing and kept leaving treasures from their life together, knowing that one day, she might actually make it somewhere else and that no matter how far she went she would always have enough of him and their life together to help her find her way back.