This was written for Bluesuzanne(blueandblack)'s epic D R A B B L E C O N T E S T over at LJ comm Sort of Beautiful. There were over fifty drabbles anonymously submitted, and this one was voted FIRST PLACE! It was also selected as mod's #1 choice by blueandblack herself. :D

I was so surprised, not to mention ridiculously happy when I found out. I might have spazzed a little, not gonna lie. Lol.

The prompt for the drabble contest was, "Meet me on your best behaviour, meet me at your worst." As I mentioned, there were TONS of drabbles submitted, so please, everyone! Go to SOB and check out the others! Leave reviews! Love them! You'll be amazed at how many supremely talented J/B authors we have in this community.


HAIL MARY PASS

Jacob doesn't want to feel optimistic, he's sick to death of it, really. He'd rather not interpret this simple, curt, almost businesslike invitation as anything more than what it probably is. But that's the thing with rock-bottom: his only option is... well... up.

"Bells..."

A hesitant, open hand appears between them, an offering, and he thinks maybe, maybe this will be enough--

But she slips right by him, head lowered, eyes averted (because if she doesn't see it, it isn't real), leaving him staring at his slowly withering fingers.

"I called because I wanted you to have this." Her voice pops up behind him in the driveway. "I won't need it anymore. Not after tomorr-" She falters, frowns; he's still facing the house. "Jake?"

"I had to write it down," he mumbles distractedly, smoothing Plan B between his sweaty palms.

Her response is automatic, "Write what down?"

He turns around, and the paper he's holding isn't the first thing she notices.

His hands are shaking. A lot.

"Actually," he slurs out, nodding towards the alibi at her fingertips, "that motorcycle's on here somewhere…"

"Jake..." She's worried. "What are you-"

"Ice cream," he interrupts, pausing to acknowledge her confusion before swallowing hard and continuing, "Chocolate. Takeout pizza. Roasted marshmallows. Um... those annoying, hard-to-open nut things you love so much..."

"Pistachios?"

He snaps his fingers loudly, "Yes."

She jokes lamely, "And this iiiis... your grocery list?"

He halts her with a raised hand. "Getting flat-drunk on your 21st birthday." He looks up, eyes solemn, pitch-black, "Having a 21st birthday…"

She starts to understand, takes a small step back.

"Riding your…" he pauses, gestures towards the bike again, "Riding your motorcycle. Feeling that thrill..."

She decides she doesn't want to hear any more... but his legs are too damned long; he corners her against the garage door and ruthlessly persists, "Going to the beach on a sunny day. Going anywhere on a sunny day. Meeting friends for drinks... or coffee..."

"Jacob. Stop it," she snaps, like he's a puppy chewing on her shoes.

"No," he growls back, "You've made your decision? Then you should already know what you're losing." His eyes return to the trembling page, "Crying at sad movies. Throwing dinner parties. Sleeping in 'til noon on Sundays... "

He barrels on, and on, and on. The list is surprisingly long and deliberately painful, but it's not until he reaches Charlie and Renee that it starts to work. Her sobs sink into him like bullets, and he stops short with a shuddering breath of his own.

He crushes the page into her limp hand and walks away, steps resolutely off the end of her driveway and into rock-bottomless-pit.

She doesn't read it right away (because if she doesn't see it, it isn't real), but she knows she will eventually... just like she knows that the one word he couldn't bring himself to say aloud will be enough to make the paper in her right hand entirely outweigh the rock on her left.


Much love to the fantastic girls at Sort of Beautiful! *hugs everyone*