Author's Note: I'm sure people getting my author alert will be upset that I'm not updating my two other as-yet-unfinished- fanfics… sorry about that. Actually, I started this one-shot right after Jumper came out and never finished it. Feeling like I just need to start finishing things, I decided to finish this up so I can get started on finishing my other stories.
So here it is, my Jumper one-shot. The best thing about the movie in my opinion is Jamie Bell as Griffin… ^_^ I really believe they need to make another Jumper movie… and have it be all about Griffin's character, especially since he just kinda 'disappears' at the end of the movie, no pun intended.
By the time the electrical current was finally cut off, Griffin was exhausted and dizzy, barely having strength to hang on so that he wouldn't be falling through the openings in the tower he was trapped in.
Unable to put together a clear thought, let alone jump, the jumper focused on getting down. There was nothing he wanted more than to feel the ground under his feet and not feel like everything was spinning.
Rice was going to pay… if that bugger wasn't dead already.
An uncontrollable need to get out of there seemed to almost drown him. He needed to collect his thoughts. To decide what had to be done, what he had to do… He needed to jump away but couldn't, not right now.
Still disoriented, Griffin slowly, hand over hand, one carefully placed foot after another, descended the tower. Slowly his mind fought its way through the electrical haze still pulsing around and felt that soon he would be able to just put together a coherent thought.
Suddenly, without warning, one of the metal wirings bent and losing his footing and grip, he slid the rest of the way down the tower. This would have been fine except that one of the broken metal bars at the bottom of the tower caught inside his jacket and made a gash up the left side of his ribs.
The shock of the blinding pain up his side caused Griffin to gasp.
Even as his body fell through the tower suspended meters above the ground, Griffin frantically found his mind going automatic, his survival instincts reacting without thought and taking over.
He needed to go somewhere safe.
His senses were overloaded with sudden recollections: the smell of wet paint, the strains of classical music… the touches from soft fingertips, the taste of chocolate from her lips…
Within the blink of an eye, Griffin found himself landing on wooden flooring. He hissed in pain as he landed on his side. Rolling onto his back, he blearily looked around and knew immediately where he was.
How could he forget?
Stupid, stupid, stupid! Just what the bloody hell are you thinking, you idiot?!
Staring up at the high ceiling of the studio for a moment, he turned his head to survey his surroundings, hoping that she wasn't home.
Which would be stupid considering she lived there.
Their eyes met across the studio space where she was working on a painting. Her eyes widened as she immediately recognized him.
In a split second she jumped to kneel down beside him, the shock in her eyes replaced with fear and worry.
"Do we need to get out of here?" she whispered.
Griffin found he was unable to answer, just soaking in the fact that she was right there next to him. He smelled the wet paint, he heard the strains of classical music as it played from the speakers set up high in the ceilings.
He wished he could feel her soft fingertips, taste her lips once more…
You bloody idiot!
With a start, he put a stop to his thoughts. He shouldn't be here, he had no right. He had to get out of here… he was endangering her…
She must have seen something in his face that told her that he was about to jump. She grabbed onto the openings of his jacket, a harsh, stubborn look coming over her features.
"Don't you dare jump out of here after jumping in here like this. After the way you left, I want an explanation and if I have to follow you all over the world to find out, believe me I will."
As she emphasized her words tugging on his jacket, he gritted his teeth from the pain. Noticing this, she looked down and slowly opened his jacket.
She paled as she saw the bloodied gash in his side, Griffin's t-shirt now soaked a dull red. Her mouth opened once before clamping shut with a harsh expression on her face.
"Get off the floor, come on."
Groaning, Griffin did as he was told, eyes closed shut and trusting her completely to help him up which she did. He was brought over to the couch and made to sit down. As he fought nausea stealing over him, he heard her run off to the kitchen and there was the sound of running water for a few moments. He felt her footsteps come near him and when he finally was able to open his eyes against the haze of pain, she was kneeling down in front of him, looking at him with worried eyes. There was a stack of towels, wet and dry, now on the coffee table and in her hands were a glass of water and some pills which she offered to him.
As he took the offered items and took the pills, she spoke. "I know this is gonna hurt but you're going to have to take your jacket and shirt off."
For the first time since jumping into her apartment, Griffin spoke, his words dripping with his usual sarcasm as she took back the now half empty glass of water. "I just got here. You certainly work fast now that – "
He was cut off as she simply began helping him out of his jacket. Gritting his teeth, Griffin silently shrugged out of the jacket. The t-shirt was going to be a bit more of a problem however. Unable to lift his arms, Griffin just let her cut the shirt off even as he fought the pain raging throughout his body and into his head. It was only when she pressed a cold, wet rag against wound did he finally succumb to unconsciousness.
When Griffin woke up, he was laying full length on the couch, his head propped up by a pillow, his body covered with a light blanket. He carefully assessed his body and was pleased to note that the pain had toned down immensely. He also noted as he lifted the blanket to look at his injury that he was still shirtless though his torso was tightly bandaged, a little blood seeping through but nothing to worry about.
Lifting his head up, he saw that she was back where he had seen her when he had first arrived. He studied her as she painted with concentration, a little pout to her lips and a furrow between her eyebrows. He was sad to note that she had cut her hair, her dark auburn hair now framing her face in soft waves instead of the waves rolling all the way down her back; he also noted that he liked the fact that he could now admire the lines of her neck which he always loved about her.
She had lost some weight; not too much but enough for Griffin to wonder if she was yet again missing meals as she got caught up in her work. He had never let her skip meals…. Never.
But who was he to stay, if it was just to make sure she ate her regularly? She was a grown woman, she didn't need him. And for sure he wasn't stupid enough to double her chances of getting in trouble by sticking around. Especially with his line of 'work'.
He considered getting out of there right then and there but decided against it. He knew her well enough to know that he wouldn't get very far before she caught up with him.
Testing his strength, he carefully sat up which did not go unnoticed by her.
"How're you feeling?"
"Better, thanks to you."
Griffin stood up completely, unsteady on his feet but unable to fight the overwhelming urge of getting close to her. He jumped to stand right behind her and she neither flinched nor acted surprised, still not looking at him as she concentrated on her painting.
God, how he had forgotten the heady feeling he got whenever he was near her. With her only two feet away from him, her back to him, he looked with longing at the back of her neck, her shoulders, the slim of her back and the delicate curves of her hips.
He wanted to pull her to him, but he couldn't. This was supposed to have ended long ago though he knew in the recesses of his heart and mind it would never end for him.
"You shouldn't be standing," she said, her tone flat. Griffin cocked his head slightly at the tone, knowing her well enough to realize that something was not quite right. Her hand, holding the paintbrush, moved towards the table to mix some paints when he saw that her hand was slightly shaking.
Hesitantly he spoke. "I'm fine."
"You need stitches." This time Griffin heard the slight quiver in her voice.
Griffin snorted. "I've had worse and you know it."
Suddenly, her hand which had still been mixing some paints slammed the brush down. She spun around to face him and Griffin grimaced at the fury evident in her face.
"You cocky little idiot! You can't just jump back here into my life and pretend everything's ok; you were almost bleeding to death… again!"
Against all sense, Griffin's temper also began to rise, his instinct to retaliate taking over as he bit back, "Well, excuse me for deciding to jump back here! If I had known – "
"That's just it, I know you!" she interrupted. "You would never have jumped back here on your own volition after your high and mighty words when you left. Which means, and obviously, you were in really bad shape, which means you were off playing 'hero to the world' again!"
"I thought that was established when I left!" Griffin shouted back. "So why are you mad at me, you know why I left!"
"That doesn't mean I agree with that STUPID decision you made!" With that she jumped.
Griffin heaved an angry sigh as he looked around to see where she had gone before hearing heavy footsteps coming from her bedroom. Pausing before making a decision to follow, he went through her jump scar into her bedroom to see her pacing the floor. She glared at him, her green grey eyes stormy with anger.
"We promised that – "
"No, those rules don't apply anymore. I can follow you after a fight, or whenever I damn well please," Griffin interrupted with a snarl. "Besides, how mature was that."
"Mature? Mature?!" She stomped right up to him, her face inches from his and intimidating though she stood a few inches shorter than him. "That's classic coming from someone whose line of work is playing superhero!"
Griffin was hit with a sense of déjà vu, knowing this argument by heart as it had been fought over so many, countless times. This didn't stop him, however, from continuing on full speed, unwilling to let her win though he knew that neither one had ever won this argument. They had both always lost.
"I'm making the world a safer plays for people like us! I'm protecting not just me but you and everybody else for heaven's sake!"
"I didn't need or want protecting," she said, jabbing a finger into his chest avoiding the bandages. "I've been keeping quiet for quite a while, thank you very much."
Griffin grabbed her wrist, revealing the long, white scar running from wrist almost down to her elbow. "And you always do such a great job… but that doesn't stop them from finding and trying to kill you!"
She tried pulling her hand away but Griffin kept a tight grip on her. "That doesn't mean you have to have to go make it any easier for them," she said coldly. "Someday you're just not going to be fast enough."
She stopped struggling and they both stared at each other, stubborn and unwilling to back down. Both breathed deeply from the loud fight, tempers still simmering on the surface.
Griffin inwardly seethed. This was really why he left. Not because of their disagreements on his quest to kill all Paladins. It was because she was so downright stubborn! It was because she never backed down and was constantly telling him what he should and shouldn't do! It was because he couldn't stand the fact that she was one of the few people in the world who could make him lose his head and do things for her with just one look from those eyes or a touch from her soft hands…
It was because he loved her and he couldn't bear to lose her like he'd lost everyone else.
Slowly he let go of her wrist, defeated with the thought that perhaps it was best that he made her hate him. He backed away.
"I'm sorry I came back. But I have to do this." This meaning fight the Paladins, this meaning leaving her…
Her shoulders suddenly sagged as her eyes shifted from anger to pain and sadness. "You don't have to." She reached out to him, her eyes begging. "Stay with me."
Conflicted, Griffin stopped moving away. She must have read the indecision in his eyes as she moved to take his hand in hers. He waited for her to try convince him to stay, for her to tell him that he didn't need to fight the Paladins, that they could hide away forever. The same words he had heard before over and over again like a broken record. They had not convinced him before, and he was determined that it wouldn't now.
"Aren't I enough?" she whispered.
Her words caused Griffin to cringe; it hurt him more than he thought imaginable. Those words, so softly spoken, held so much sad accusation that he wanted to kill himself for being the cause of her pain. Didn't she understand that because he loved her he had to leave?
She squeezed his hand. "Don't waste your life on the assumption you're going to make a perfect world… even if you think you're doing it for me." She gave him a small, hesitant smile. "I'd rather have my life back with you, it was perfect enough for me."
Griffin shook his head, smiling bitterly. "How could it have been perfect? Perfect would have been… can be your marrying someone like that art museum director," he bit out. He hated that guy with a vengeance, even for all that the guy had helped her out with her career. And though he hated to admit it, Griffin knew that someone like him could make your life perfect… just as she deserved.
She opened her mouth in shock as a flash of annoyed anger showed in her eyes. "Alan Masterson?! You have got to be out of your mind, I can't believe you still think that I would be happier with him!"
"Well wouldn't you?!"
In frustration she sighed and looked down at the ground as if to compose her next words which at the moment Griffin didn't really care to hear. He needed to get out of there.
But before he could decide where to jump to, regardless if she'd follow him or not, she lifted her eyes to meet his, staying him where he was.
"For the last time, stop trying to decide my life for me," she said, her tone once more calm. Her tense stance relaxed so abruptly that it took Griffin off guard, just as much as the fact that she suddenly closed the gap between them and gently took his face in her hands.
"As I said, my life was fine just the way it was with you, because this was perfect." And with that she gently kissed him.
It was quick, not giving him enough time to react back but its effects were instantaneous. Even as she already pulled away his eyes closed, savoring the fleeting intimacy. He knew without a doubt that there was no denying that he still loved her, she still loved him.
Stubbornly he tried to will himself to leave because it was the right thing to do. He needed to get out of there because…
He didn't know why he had to leave anymore. All he knew was that he missed her, he loved her, and the world could take care of itself for a little while longer without him.
With that decision, he pulled her up against him, his hands securely around her waist. Her arms automatically went around his neck, their action familiar to the both of them.
"Maybe I can stay for a while…"
Her face crumbled a little bit and Griffin shook his head, speaking before she could. "I can't promise anything right now, you know that. Please understand."
She sighed and for a moment he thought she was going to argue with him. Instead she nodded. "I don't understand… but that's ok." She laid her head against his chest. "As long as you promise to never leave without saying good-bye."
"That I can do."
And with that he freed one hand to lift up her face to his so that he could this time kiss her properly. And she was right.
This was perfect.
Author's Note: I know, incredibly sappy but hopefully it was enjoyable. ^_^ I didn't the give the girl a name; thought to keep her anonymous.