Disclaimer: I do not own JONAS or Polar Bearing.
A/N: I offered to write maybe-joleisaa a story of her choosing if she would write me a story with a happy ending. So she sent me a prompt asking for a Joe/Macy where the two of them would get to know each other because of something crazy only the two of them would do and find that they had more in common that they suspected. Well, that's not exactly what she said, but hopefully it was close to what she meant because that's what I wrote. I think it was supposed to be a little goofier. This is a crazy long one-shot for me. In fact, it is longer than any of my previous one shots OR stories with two or three chapters. And not just because of the stupid, rambling author's note.
Dedication: For maybe-joleissa – I hope it is not disappointing,
Macy still couldn't believe that she was spending a week of her winter break on tour with JONAS. Honestly, sometimes she actually had to pinch herself to be sure she wasn't dreaming. Her best friend Stella Malone was like a magic genie, fairy godmother and Santa Claus all rolled up in one – with better clothes. Somehow she had been able to convince the Lucas brothers and Macy's parents that Macy should go along on JONAS' short tour of the east coast between Christmas and New Year's because Stella was "tired of being the only girl in a bus filled with testosterone and smelly socks".
She had been to sound checks, photo shoots, concerts and meet and greets, and she could honestly say that it had been the best five days of her life. She had seen the Lucas boys in action, and they were even more amazing than she had expected. But what was really amazing was that she was getting to know them as people; so far she had played Guitar Hero and Wii Sports with Kevin and debated the merits of the designated hitter with Nick all without having a fan girl moment. It was a huge step for her. She just wished she had been able to get to know Joe a little better, but he was always hanging out with Stella and she hadn't wanted to intrude.
And really, two out of three wasn't bad.
As she sat curled up on a bench watching the scenery go past on the way to their last destination before home, she heard Joe call out, "Guys you have to read this!"
He sounded so excited that his brothers and Stella immediately rushed to the computer. He was pointing to the tourist site for a small coastal town near the arena. "They have a Polar Bearing Club! I've always wanted to do that!"
"I like polar bears," Kevin said happily. "Especially with hats and scarves like in those TV commercials around Christmas. I want to join. Is it at the zoo?"
"Not actual polar bears, Kev," Joe said sounding a little exasperated. "It's when people get up really early, preferably in the winter, and go jump in some freezing cold water like the ocean or a frozen lake."
"Or our shower at home after Joe's hogged all the hot water," Nick said dryly, earning himself a glare from his brother.
"Why on earth would anyone want to do that?" Stella asked in disbelief.
"Cause it's crazy and fun," Macy said quickly. "I did it at summer camp a few times, and it was a blast."
She almost blushed when Joe turned and looked at her with his eyes full of admiration. "You've done it before?"
"In the summer," she clarified. "It was in the mountains so it was pretty cold, but nothing major."
He glanced back down at the screen in front of him before looking up at the group and grinning. "They're meeting at five tomorrow morning. You guys wanna go with me?"
"Hell would literally have to freeze over before I'd do that Joseph," Stella said firmly.
"A simple no would have worked, Stell," he replied.
"I don't think so. A simple 'no' wouldn't have communicated the depth of my feeling on the subject," she returned with a sickeningly sweet smile.
Joe turned to his brothers, "How about you two? You in?"
"If there were real polar bears, I'd have gone," Kevin said. "Or penguins. Or even walruses."
Nick shook his head, "Sorry, Joe. I am going to stay nice and warm in my cozy bunk until I absolutely have to get up."
"Spoil sports," Joe pouted before turning to Macy. "How about you, Mace? You're my last hope. Come with me?"
As he looked at her with his big brown eyes, she was aware that she probably would have gone anywhere he asked right then – off a bridge, to the moon, anywhere. "Sure Joe. I don't have a suit with me, though. I wasn't expecting a trip to the beach in December when I packed."
He grinned at her and said, "Not a problem. We'll find you a suit somewhere. Or else you can just borrow some shorts and a t-shirt." He walked over and gave her a huge hug, picking her up and swinging her around. "I'm so excited!"
Macy felt a little breathless after Joe put her down and wondered just what had she gotten herself into.
Thanks to the fashion industry's quirky habit of releasing spring/summer wear immediately after Christmas, it was surprisingly easy to find a swim suit. In fact, Macy was really glad she wasn't in the market for a sweater because even though it was freezing outside, the mall didn't have anything heavier than a long-sleeved t-shirt. Macy mentally added that to her list of grievances against the fashion world – right after stiletto heels and strapless dresses.
The next morning when her phone started to beep at 4:30 a.m. to let her know it was time to get up, she seriously considered just turning the alarm off, rolling over and going back to sleep. But then she remembered how excited Joe had been about the entire idea and forced herself to get up. As she stumbled around the bus in the dark trying to put on her bathing suit without waking Stella, all she could think about was how pissed she was going to be if she didn't get to see Joe Lucas without his shirt on. She didn't even care that it was wrong to objectify him like that or that he was practically dating her best friend. At that point she needed the image of him standing bare-chested in front of her as motivation to keep from falling back into her nice, warm bunk.
After pulling on her sneakers, she stumbled out into the living area to find Joe wide awake and waiting for her. His face lit up when he saw her and his enthusiasm was contagious. She even managed to smile back at him.
"You ready to go?"
"Sure," she said sleepily.
He held up a set up keys. "One of the guys in the band is letting us use his cars. Think you can handle being navigator? We're only like three miles away."
"I'll do my best to keep my eyes open. Other than that, I make no promises."
"Fair enough," Joe replied. "Let's go!"
Fortunately the directions only required them to make one turn, so she was able to fulfill her navigation duties while still half asleep. She stumbled down the beach towards a small group of people gathered on the edge of the ocean. As she got closer, she realized that someone had set up a bright camping lantern, which allowed her a glimpse of other polar bears. She saw that there were all different types of people standing together, including one guy who she was pretty sure was old enough to be her grandfather.
Joe bounded up to the strangers and began talking right away while Macy stood off to the side waiting for someone to give her a sign that they were going to begin. Normally she would have been over there chatting too, but it had been a long week and she was saving her energy for the swim. She knew from past experience that the cold could sap your strength on contact.
"Adam says they'll start in about five minutes. He's gonna blow a whistle, and we'll all just run in," Joe said kicking off his shoes. "I can't believe we're doing this! Have I mentioned how awesome you are for coming with me?"
Macy smiled. "I'm happy to be here. I swear I'm more excited than I look; I'm just still trying to wake up."
"Won't be a problem when you hit the ocean," he said cheekily. "That blast of cold water should wake you right up." He looked back over towards the group before adding, "It looks like we'd better get ready."
Macy bent over to take off her shoes, and when she stood up she came face to face with something straight out of a fan girl fantasy – Joe Lucas in his bathing suit. She gulped nervously, all of a sudden much more alert than she had been only moments before. Afraid to be caught staring, she quickly began taking off her coat and sweats so that soon they were both standing in the freezing cold on a beach in just their suits.
Soon a whistle blasted through the early morning air, and Macy felt Joe grab her hand to pull her towards the water like he was afraid she would back out at the last second. She couldn't believe that Joe Lucas was holding her hand and her fingers were so numb she could barely feel anything. As he ran, he let out some sort of weird war cry that made her start to laugh. And then her bare skin made contact with the freezing water, and she gasped. Joe let go of her hand to dive under the water, and she bit her lip before following after him.
The water felt like daggers on her skin, but at the same time there was something exhilarating about being out there. Her senses were alert and she felt totally alive. She enjoyed the sensation, but quickly realized that she needed to get out of the water and get warm. She had never felt that cold before, and she was afraid that if she waited too long, she wouldn't be able to make her muscles move anymore.
Macy dragged herself out of the water, shivering with cold but happy. She was pretty sure that if she wasn't careful she was going to bite her tongue because she couldn't stop her teeth from chattering. The beach towel she wrapped around her body did nothing to stop the cold.
Joe exited the water after her, laughing in exhilaration. She watched as he shook his curly hair and grabbed a towel with his shaking fingers. Quickly drying off, he pulled a sweatshirt over his head before he noticed her struggling next to him.
"Oh, my god, Mace!" He squinted trying to see her better in the faint light provided by the lantern. "You're blue!" He grabbed the towel out of her numb hands and shoved her sweatshirt on her. He then wrapped his arms around her. If they had been in a bad romance novel, she wouldn't have felt the cold anymore because just being close to him would have flooded her body with warmth. But it was real life, and she was still standing outside in the middle of winter in a wet bathing suit.
"I…I need to change," she stuttered. She was actually beginning to worry about hypothermia if she didn't get warm quickly.
"Oh, right," Joe said pulling away. He picked up her bag and tennis shoes and pointed towards a light in the distance. "The guys said that the diner over there is open and that we could go change there and get some coffee and breakfast."
She didn't say anything; she just started moving towards the light that promised warmth and coffee. She didn't even take a good look at the inside of the restaurant before heading into the ladies' room to change. It felt so good to get out of the wet bathing suit and into her warm sweats and parka. She was still shivering a little as she exited the bathroom, but she was already feeling one hundred percent better.
She saw Joe huddled in a booth and headed over. He had found a blanket somewhere and had wrapped it around his body. When she approached, he scooted over and gestured for her to sit next to him. As soon as she sat down, he draped half of the blanket around her. Normally she would have freaked out at the idea of snuggling with Joe Lucas, but all she was thinking about was getting warm.
"Coffee?" he asked.
"Please!" A sudden thought occurred to her, "And hot chocolate too."
He smirked at her. "Not a mocha?"
"Nope. I want a hot chocolate with lots of whipped cream. The coffee taste just spoils the chocolately goodness. In fact, chocolate is pretty much perfect all on its own and should never be mixed with anything else."
He stared at her in shock. Expecting him to make fun of her she added, "I know most people think that's weird."
"No," he said slowly, "I completely agree with you. I've just never met anyone else who felt that way."
He nodded before asking, "How do you feel about yogurt?"
"Frozen or regular?"
"Only eat it if it is the kind with the fruit at the bottom. I like to stir it up before I eat it."
Joe narrowed his eyes, "Has Stella been passing you information?"
"No," Macy said, confused. "Why?"
"Because I refuse to eat yogurt unless it has the fruit at the bottom. Drives my mom crazy."
"Weird," Macy said slowly. The two of them sat in silence under the blanket until the waitress came and took their orders – two coffees, two hot chocolates, two orders of blueberry pancakes. Joe finally broke the silence by asking, "Sean Connery or Roger Moore?"
"Is there even a choice there?" Macy scoffed. "Connery. Giants or Jets?"
"Jets," Joe said. "I like to go with the less obvious choice most of the time."
"Which is why I root for the Browns," Macy said.
"Nice," he replied smiling. "Best Star Wars movie?"
"Empire Strikes Back? Favorite Beatles song?"
"That's probably in my top five, but not my favorite. That's got to be 'Hello, Goodbye'."
He looked skeptical but conceded, "At least you picked one of Paul's."
Bantering with Joe had finally made her forget about being cold. She was having fun talking with him, and it had nothing to do with JONAS. It was just the two of them chatting like old friends.
"Thanks for coming with me this morning," he said as the waitress dropped off four mugs at their table.
"Of course," she said, like getting up in the middle of the night and almost freezing to death had been no big deal. "I was happy to do it." She paused for a moment before adding, "And I had fun."
He raised an eye brow, obviously thinking she was lying. "I did!" She insisted. "Sure it was cold, but it was still fun." She hesitated before adding, "Although, this part where we're warm and talking is probably my favorite."
Giving her a look she couldn't quite decipher he replied, "Mine too, actually."
Something in his voice made her heart flutter in her chest, and she quickly grabbed her hot chocolate so she wouldn't have to respond, knowing that anything that came out of her mouth at that moment would be horribly embarrassing. They sat in companionable silence until their pancakes arrived.
"So did you have fun this week?" Joe asked with his mouth full of food. Normally that would have grossed her out, but somehow the Lucas charisma managed to make even questionable table manners seem charming.
Swallowing, she replied, "It was amazing! Getting to see you guys in action was fantastic. And I loved hanging out on the bus."
"Yeah, Nick and Kevin and I were talking about how you really seemed to have mellowed around us. It's been almost six days, and we're relatively bruise free."
She felt a glow of pride at his words. The Lucas brothers of JONAS had talked about her – and in a good way. "I don't think you should count when I dropped that can of soda on Nick's foot. It was my first day on the bus, and I didn't have my road legs yet."
"You know like sea legs on a ship. But it's a moving bus driving on a road. So road legs."
Joe shook his head before taking another bite of pancakes. When they were both almost done, he looked out the window and gasped. Throwing some money down on the table he turned to her and said, "If we hurry, we should be able to see the sun come up."
He tossed the blanket at one of the guys from the beach on the way out of the diner and told him that there would be tickets for the concert waiting for him at will call. Then grinning at Macy, he took off towards a nearby sand dune, calling out, "Bet I can beat you to the top!"
Laughing, she took off after him. He had a small head start, but she easily passed him, saying a silent thank you to her basketball coach for all those running drills they'd been doing recently. As she reached the crest of the dune, she stared in awe as the horizon that had been dark only a few moments before began to fill with color and light.
She felt Joe come up from behind and wrap his arms around her. As much as she wanted to stay there like that, she knew he was only holding her to keep her warm, so she said quietly, "You don't have to worry about keeping me warm anymore."
"I don't want you to feel like you have to hold me or anything to keep me warm. I'm fine now."
He was silent for a moment before asking, "What if I just want to stand here and watch the sun rise with you like this. Is that okay?"
"That's definitely okay," she whispered.
A million different thoughts began bouncing around inside her head. She wondered what he was thinking and what Stella would do if she saw them standing like that. But she decided to just stop thinking and enjoy the moment. Taking a deep breath, she relaxed into his embrace, leaning her weight against his chest. She felt his arms tighten around her and smiled as the golden sun rose above the horizon.
It was a moment she would never forget.