Note: Dear reader, if you're seeing this before June 1st, would you do me a huge favor? Logan (angellwings) is in a contest to win tickets to The Tony's. Can you please vote for her on the cbs website: www dot cbs dot com slash specials slash tony_awards slash upload slash video_player dot php?vid=7204 ... If that's too confusing, just look angellwings up on twitter and the link is there.
This fic is for VintageConspiracy, who was feeling down one day. And for suburbs, who loves Caitlyn. Sorry if I can't seem to do her justice. Consider this CR2 AU.
"True love begins when nothing is looked for in return."
- Antoine De Saint-Exupery
He found her on the docks, picking at upturned strands of wood.
"You're missing the party."
"How observant of you," she said, crinkling her nose as the evening sunlight shone in her eye.
She regretted her sarcasm when seeing the hurt on his face. Talking with Jason was hard for her sometimes. He was so… innocent. Pure, even. And she'd felt pretty hardened recently. Not Tess hard, mind you, but her own version of cynical and grumpy.
Jason kneeled beside her, then finally let his legs join hers over the dock's edge. He was never one to take a hint, even when all her body language had said he should leave,.
"Are you alright?"
"Fine," she said, frowning.
"It's just—"he faltered, pausing mid-thought. "I'm used to seeing you on the dance floor. You love to dance."
She snickered and then tried to pass it off as a cough. This was Jason after all, he didn't deserve her being rude. What could she say that was true without giving herself away?
"I just don't feel like dancing tonight, Jason."
He nodded and looked over at the lake. The sun was dying into the horizon-line, but not without painting orangey stripes on the water.
"Is it because of Nate? And that girl?"
Caitlyn's head shot up and she looked at him, utter shock on her face. Was she that obvious? That pathetic?
He smiled, bemused. If he'd had any doubts as to the source of her sour mood they surely disappeared after that reaction. Clearly he was much more aware of things than she'd given him credit for.
She sighed, taking in a long breath of air. "Does everyone know?" Was she the latest humiliation for the gossip-reel?
"No. I don't think so." And she knew he was telling the truth. He wasn't one to lie.
She nodded. "Good."
"Want to talk about it?"
"Are you sure? I'm a really great listener. How do you think Connect 3 has lasted this long when other bands with members half as emo as Shane have fizzled after their first fight?"
He smiled and so did she. It was probably the first time she'd ever heard him crack a joke that was legitimately funny. Apparently there was a lot she didn't know about Jason. And here she'd labeled herself the girl who gave everyone a chance. Why not give him one?
It's not like her week could get any worse…
"Let's just say that I should've known. Forbidden love: the girl from the wrong side of the tracks. She's always going to be more exciting than the girl next door. Even if the girl next door does have mad dance skills."
Caitlyn picked at the wood some more, until an entire chunk was missing from the plank. Oops.
"You can't fight epic romance, Jase. It's a losing battle. You probably won't even get to be a contender because no one will notice you long enough to care you're there."
She shifted positions to finally look him in the eyes, but he wouldn't meet hers. "I mean, seriously. Who wants a sidekick when there's a princess off in a tower across the pond?"
He didn't say anything, still didn't look at her face. But in a gesture that caught her by surprise he reached for her fingers, turning them in his hands and observing. "You've cut yourself. I think you have a splinter."
Her eyes widened and she tried to laugh off the tightness in her chest. "Um, it's allright. Nothing a little needle and warm water can't get rid of."
He didn't let go, but with intense precision squeezed her index finger until a sliver of wood and blood came out.
She winced, but didn't draw back.
Cupping his palm into the lake water, he rinsed off her hand and finally met her eyes. "There. Good as new."
She blinked. "Thanks."
Shuffling feet reverberated onto the deck planks, letting them know of the company that joined them from behind. But Caitlyn was having a hard time removing her gaze from the curly-haired boy in front of her. The one she'd never truly seen until today.
"There you are, Jase. Brown wants us to sing the last song." Nate looked from Caitlyn to Jason, his brow furrowing in confusion.
Jason just smiled and got up. But before leaving, he leaned close to Caitlyn and whispered something only she could hear.
"You know, maybe someone thinks of you as his forbidden love: as someone epic and amazing. Just something to think about."
And she did think about it, even as she stared after him—mouth open and jaw to the ground.