I like Erica and all, but I MUCH rather Jay/Susannah, sorry.
Disclaimer: I do not own Summerland or any of the characters from it. If I DID own it, Susannah and Jay would get together, Braiden would figure out he doesnt need to swap spit with every girl he meets, Ava and Johnny would get married, and I would slap Derrick. Warnings: Um, AU and probably a bit of OOCness, but other then that, it shouldnt need anything else.
Pairing: Jay/moi... oh fine! Jay/Susannah, happy? Braiden/Sarah, Nikki/Cam, Ava/Johnny
Jay let out an enormous sigh as he trudged into the house, shoving the door closed behind him. Everyone was already sitting down to dinner and looked up when they heard the door.
"Hey Jay!" Derrick jumped up and ran over to Jay, grabbing his hands, shaking his arms to gain attention. "I tried the U-ramp today and only fell once!" Jay couldnt help the smile that started to creep onto his face.
"Good for you, buddy." he ruffled Derrick's hair and allowed the ten year old to lead him to the table. He sat down, slumping in his seat. Johnny glanced at him.
"Ok, who is she and what did she do?" he asked. "I come in depressed and you automatically assume it's woman trouble?" Jay asked. "Well, it usually is." Susannah said. Jay gently kicked her in the leg.
"Well it's not." he leaned forward and rested his chin on his hands and closed his eyes, drawing a deep breath.
"Then what?" Nikki asked. This wasnt like Jay, who was always grinning and seemed to always make things better for all of them with his good humor. Whatever it was, it was really upsetting him and everyone could feel it.
"I had to declare bankrupsey and the bank foreclosed on the surf shop." Jay finally said. Braiden choked, shocked.
"Why?" Ava asked.
"Because business hasnt really been good lately as it is and that kid I hired to help me out? Turns out he stole all the money I had when I had him deposit it." Susannah immediately got up and drew him into a hug.
"Oh honey! That's terrible!" she said. Jay had to smile as he hugged her back. Sometimes he wondered why he didnt just ask her out and get it over with. After all, they DID kiss at the beach party, even if it was just for pretend.
"Thanks Susannah." he murmured. "I think we should go find that punk, what's his name, Daniel? Well, I think we should go have a 'talk' with him." Susannah said, picking at a piece of hair hanging in Jay's face near his eye.
"Susannah, I dont think that'll be necessary..." Johnny said worriedly. Susannah 'talking' to someone usually ended with 'someone' having at least a black eye and it wasnt her.
"Thanks Susannah, but I tried to find him and he's nowhere to be found." Jay sighed. Ava rubbed his shoulder comfortingly. "I'm sorry Jay." she said.
"We all are." Nikki said giving Jay a hug too.
"Thanks you guys. But since I couldnt surf anymore, I put everything I had into that shop and now it's gone." Jay stood up. "Excuse me." he went back outside and to his room in the boathouse.
"I wish there was something we could do for him." Nikki said. "I know, me too." Braiden said. He couldn't believe this was happening to his best friend.
"It's not fair!" Derrick exclaimed. "Jay doesn't do anything to anyone and doesn't deserve this! Why does the stupid bank want to make him so miserable?" no one had an answer.
Later that night Jay was dozing on his bed, a beer in hand, listening to music. He was starting to close his eyes when he heard a gentle knock on the door.
"C'min." he muttered, taking another swig. Susannah stepped in, clasping her hands behind her back.
"Hey." she said. Jay sat up, rubbing his eyes.
"Hey, why don't you sit down?" he moved his legs to give her space to sit. "Beer?" "Sounds great." Susannah agreed. Jay pulled a bottle out of the cooler under his bed and handed it to her. She took a sip, watching him carefully. His eyes were bloodshot and his brown eyes seemed to lose the mischievious gleam they usually held. She moved her eyes from his face to his bare torso. She felt her heartbeat quicken as she admired his well-toned and tanned body. He had a lot of muscle from years of surfing and hard labor. "What are you going to do, Jay?" she finally asked. Jay shrugged.
"I dunno." he replied. "There's not much TO do. I guess I have to accept the facts and start looking for more work." Susannah couldnt stand seeing him so sad. She knew what the shop ment to him and how hard he must be taking this.
"You could work for Ava and me." she suggested. "We could use a good male model." Jay flicked his eyes upward and raised an eyebrow.
"Tell me you arent serious!" he exclaimed, making her laugh. "Susannah, tell me that was a joke!" Susannah slapped his knee.
"Yes it was. And I wish you could've seen your face." she laughed. Jay rolled his eyes good naturedly and mimmed a punch at her. "But seriously, what can a retired surfer do?" she asked.
"Dunno. Zero." Jay held his fingers in the shape of a zero. "But I posted an ad on the Net and we'll see what happens."
"Oh, Jay." Susananah started, but Jay rested his hand on her arm.
"Shh, Susannah. You talk way too much." Jay offered a half smile which she readily returned. His warm, strong hand on her arm made her shudder involuntarily. She hoped he didnt notice, but he did.
"Are you cold, Susannah?" Jay asked. He grabbed his denim jacket off the headboard and moved so he was sitting on the end of the bed next to her wrapped it around her shoulders. "There you go." Susannah could smell his soap and aftershave on the jacket and wished she could keep it. She loved how Jay was always to be the perfect gentleman, despite all his joking and teasing. "Thank you, Jay. You're really sweet, you know? You dont deserve all this." Susannah said.
Jay was a bit taken back at how affectionate she sounded. He'd never considered dating her because he was with Erica for so long and she was with her many men, but Erica got back together with Tanner and Susannah hadnt had a boyfriend in almost three years. "Thanks." Jay sighed. Susannah rested her head between his shoulder and the crook of his neck and wrapped her arms around his waist.
"Have you given any thought to what'll happens if you cant find any work around here and have to move?" she asked. Jay had thought about that and knew he couldnt leave all he'd come to love; his roommates, the kids. He cared a lot about all of them and couldn't love them anymore if he tried. He couldn't leave all them behind.
"I'll make a deal with you; if I can't find a job around here, I'll work as your model." he grinned. Susannah smiled back before resting her head back on his shoulder.
"Good. Because I wouldnt let you leave. I would tie you up and leave you in the garage." she declared. Jay snorted. He knew she would do exactly that.
Jay liked that Susannah was so fiesty and tough. She was never afraid to show her true feelings and wasnt afraid of anything. He was afraid to tell her how much he truely cared for her because he was afraid she wouldn't take him seriously and laugh at him. He couldn't handle anymore rejection after seeing Erica with her ex kissing on the beach. Even though they hadn't really been together for a long time, it still hurt.
"I wouldn't leave. I couldn't. Everything I know and love is right here: the beach, Erica, you guys, the kids, you..." Jay trailed off, shocked he said that outloud. He held his breath, not knowing how she would react.
"Me? You would miss...me?" Susannah said slowly. "Yeah." Jay figured he'd gone this far, might as well get on with it. "I would. Very much. Susannah, remember when we had that party and you told me to 'tie you to the mast'?" Susannah nodded, not really sure where this was going. "Well, that night, after you kissed me, I realized how much I truely care about you." Jay searched her eyes for any trace of ridicule.
"Jay I..." Susannah was surprised. She always though Jay was madly in love with Erica. It never crossed her mind he might like her as much as she liked him. "I...care about you too and I...really, really like you." Jay felt relieved she didnt make a joke out of it and thrilled she felt the same way. There was a pause where neither knew what to say. Then Jay said, "so what do we do now?"
"Um, well I was thinking maybe..." Susannah leaned forward and met his lips. "That." "Do we tell anyone?" Jay asked. Susannah shrugged and took a sip of beer.
"Doesn't matter. I don't think anyone really cares, except maybe Nikki." Jay smiled, knowing Nikki would be thrilled.
"Thanks, Susannah. This is the best I've felt in a month." and he ment it.
They sat together for a while, talking about different things until Susannah said she needed to go to bed. Jay was disappointed she was leaving, but told her good night and tried to get some sleep himself.
"What's Jay going to do?" Braiden asked. Everyone except for Susannah and Jay were up and eating breakfast.
"Well, he's going to have to find more work, that's for sure." Ava said.
"But what exactly can he do? He's a surfer who never finished high school with a knee injury that jeopardized his career. He doesnt have a lot of options." Johnny said. "The best he can do is hope for a job as a dish washer somewhere until he can find something better."
"Well, in the meantime he can skateboard with me at the park." Derrick said happily. He was upset Jay lost almost everything that ment something to him, but if he wasnt working, then in Derrick's mind, that was time Jay had to spend with him.
"I'd love to, Derrick!" a voice called from the doorway. Jay finished towel drying his hair and went to the fridge and got out the orange juice. He was grinning, something no one thought he'd be doing.
After a moment of silence, Johnny finally spoke up. "Well, you seem to be in a good mood." he said. "Catch some good waves or something?
"Oh, yeah. Great mood. Great waves," Jay replied distractedly. "Hey, is Susannah up yet?"
"Um, yeah." Ava answered, surprised. "She was getting a shower, but she should be done by now."
"Thanks Ava. I'm just going to see if she is, ok?" without waiting for an answer, he jogged up the stairs, leaving them all dumbfounded.
"What was THAT about?" Nikki asked. Johnny and Ava exchanged a look.
"A woman." they said in unison.
Jay found Susannah working on a design, so she didnt hear him when he came up behind her and wrapped his strong, tanned arms around her and rested his chin on her shoulder.
"Jay! I didn't hear you come up!" Susannah exclaimed. Jay chuckled in a low voice.
"I know. It isn't any fun if you hear me, luv." he said, his voice husky. Susannah felt his Australian accent melting her. Jay reached over and took the pencil out of her hand before pulling her to her feet. "C'mon. Let's eat." he said, leading her down the stairs and to the table. He pulled her chair out for her before sitting down himself.
"Hey Bradin, pass the pancakes please? Nikki, the syrup, if you would, luv." Jay said, completely unaware of the stares he was getting. Ava and Johnny exchanged a look.
"Um, Susannah? Can I speak to you for a minute, please?" Ava said. Susannah nodded and followed her out to the deck.
"What's up, Ava?" Susannah asked. Ava shook her head, grinning.
"I can't believe it! It's about time, if you ask me." she said. Susannah rolled her eyes. "You and Jay? When did this romance bloom?"
"Ava, there isn't a romance between us...at least not yet." Susannah sat down on the swing. "Last night I went to make sure he was ok and...oh, Ava! He wasn't wearing a shirt! I was weak!" Susannah buried her head into her arms. Ava sat down next to her. "Ava, WHY! Why does he have to look so good!" "It's ok, Susannah. You two are good for each other. But I want details!" Ava was glad their positions were reversed and she was the one asking Susannah for details.
"Ok, he was laying there, no shirt on, hot as ever. He offers me a beer and we start talking about what he's planning next. Then he put his jacket around me and said he couldn't leave everything he loved. He counted off you guys, the kids, Erica, the beach; then he said me. Just me..." "Wait. You mean a guy actually just came out and admitted he liked you just like that?" Ava asked. "Surprising isn't it?" Susannah smiled. "But he did, so I told him I liked him and we...kissed." Susannah sighed at the memory.
"Wow." Ava stated. "You just kissed, just like that?"
"Just like that." Susannah stood up. "Well, I need food." she turned to go inside, then paused. "oh, and we got a new male model." she said before going inside.
"Wait...who?" Ava asked, following. Inside Jay was the only one still eating at the table. Nikki was helping Johnny with the breakfast dishes and Braiden and Derrick was sitting next to Jay, chattering away.
"Derrick, you know Jay can't focus on more then one thing at a time! Let him finish eating before you rattle his brain." Susannah said, wrapping her arms around Jay's shoulders.
"Ha ha." Jay said around a mouthful of food. "I can too pay attention to more then one thing at a time! I had to learn, moving in here, because I'd never get anything done trying to work and listen to you at the same time." Susannah smacked his arm.
"Um...Ava?" Johnny said in an undertone. "Did I miss something?" Ava smiled and wrapped her arms around her fiance's waist.
"Yes, you did. But don't worry. Everything's going to be fine." she said. Three weeks later, she would hope she was right.
Ok, cliffy! If you like and I get enough reviews, I'll let you read into my mind and tell you what's going to happen next...