Rise and Fall

Chapter 20: From Yesterday

Everyone seemed to clear out after that. Old Samos went with young Samos to younger's place to get cleaned up, Daxter went to spend more time with Tess, and Tristan and Torn went to go get more supplies for the Hideout leaving Jak and I alone together. We settled on my bed with Jak against the wall and me leaning back onto his chest.

After a relaxed silence I finally said, "Tell me about where you're from."

"You're going to think I'm completely crazy" he chuckled lightly.

"Nah," I laughed quietly "Please?"

"I grew up in a place called Sandover," Jak began, settling into a comfortable position "Sandover is what is now known as Dead Town. Back then it was a quiet little village on the beach. I lived with Samos in his hut up on the hill and his daughter, Kiera. I don't remember my actual parents, Samos raised me. Daxter was a human back then. He'd turned into an Ottsel about a month before we arrived in Haven after falling in a pool of dark eco."

"No way?" I asked shocked.

Jak laughed and nodded, "We were sneaking around a dangerous place called Misty Island and a lurker attacked us and he fell in."

"There were lurkers back then?"

"Yeah but they weren't nice and talkative like Brutter," Jak explained "They were monsters that attacked villages and burned houses and killed many people back then. Sandover managed to avoid most attacks. Every few years some lurkers would come but they were usually easily taken care of."

"Kiera said you all arrived here through a rift?" I asked back at Jak over my shoulder "How'd that come to be?"

"It's a long story really be the short version is that we defeated these two siblings that were crazy from dark eco contamination and wanted to flood the world with the stuff and after the battle we unlocked this large door that held a Rift Ring and Rift Rider in it" Jak sighed quietly, the breath tickling my neck "When we managed to get it back to Sandover and set up we activated it. We had no idea it would bring us here."

"Do you want to go back?" I mumbled and I wasn't quite sure the blonde had heard me.

"I'm not sure," he stated honestly "It's my home but at the same time after everything that's happened I don't see myself returning to the carefree life I used to have. I'm not really a huge fan of Haven but without the Baron I think this place will get much better."

I nodded in agreement, "My mom use to tell me about the way things were before Baron Praxis took over. Maybe things will be like that again."

"What did she tell you?"

I smiled, "She said the streets were always clean, the people looked happier, the houses were still cramped but not rundown like they are now. King Damas and his queen were fair rulers. They cared about their citizens and what made them happy. And then the metalheads started attacking and things just went downhill from there. In the middle of all the chaos of trying to win a war, the king was over thrown by Praxis. All they guards that didn't surrender were executed like my real father."

"Tell me about your family" Jak urged, hugging his arms around me.

"I don't remember my real father because he died not long after my mom got pregnant with me" I stated "Knowing she couldn't take care of me and herself without a husband my mom found another man, Sig. They weren't in love when they married; it was just a 'for purposes only' kind of marriage to start with. But they grew to love each other over time and Sig was a good father. Sig was actually a part of the King's Royal Guard. How he managed to escape death I have no idea but he was banished to the Wasteland when the KG finally found him. If the Baron ever found out he was back in the city he'd be executed on the spot."

Jak nodded, not really sure what to say before finally asking, "How'd you come to meet Torn?"

"After Sig was banished to the Wasteland, Erol came after my mom and I," sighing lightly, I continued my story "I was twelve at the time. He killed my mom and took me to the fortress to be experimented on. Torn was still working for the KG then. I was in prison for two years before Torn escaped with me. He'd already been talking to the Shadow and they let us join the Underground. I wasn't allowed to fight until I turned 16 but Torn's been training me for the past two years."

"There's a lot we didn't know about each other" Jak laughed.

"Yeah, you're right" I agreed, turning around to face him.

Jak cupped my face with both this hands before gently pressing his lips to mine. I relaxed and wove my arms around his neck. He removed his hands from my face and slid them down my back before resting on my waist. The blonde pulled me closer to him and continued to kiss me. It felt nice just to be held and kissed at the moment.

The door to the Hideout opened and we pulled away from each other quickly. The two Samos' walked into the Hideout so deep in conversation they didn't even notice us there until Jak spoke up.

"What's wrong, Samos?" Jak questioned, standing up from the bed.

"The Baron is still up to his old tricks" the older one stated.

The young Samos turned to Jak, "The Underground got word that several Krimzon Blast Bots are zeroing in on the Hideout here. They suspect that Jenny is here, healing and unable to defend herself. They want her dead."

My eyes widened at the realization.

The older sage looked over at me before turning back to Jak, "They're armored bombs which seek all targets. If any of the Blast Bots reach this place, we're dead!"

"Ahh, what are you worried about old man," the younger said sounding annoyed "You're almost dead anyway."

"Well, if you'd taken better care of yourself, I wouldn't be in the state I am now!"

Young Samos rolled his eyes, "Take out those Blast Bots before they reach the hideout, Jak. They have proximity defense, so do be careful."

Jak turned to leave and both shouted, "Good hunting!"

As Jak went to pass me I stood, though a little wobbly, "I'm coming with you."

Jak's eyebrows pulled together as he looked over at me, "Jenn, you can barely stand. It would be best if you just stayed here."

I couldn't help rolling my eyes, "What? And wait to get blown up?"

Jak winked and gave me a smirk, "You say that like you actually expect them to reach here."

I couldn't help the smile that came as Jak walked out of the Hideout.

The young Samos turned to me, "How are you feeling, Jenny?"

"Better every minute" I said with a small smile.

"I need to go see my daughter," the older sage said "See you later, Jennifer."

I sat back on my bed curling my feet up under me. I pulled out my pistols and began to disassemble them. One of the first things Torn had taught me was how to take apart, clean, and put back together certain guns. I sat in peace with the parts strewn across my bed. I took each piece and gently cleaned them before beginning to put each gun back together. I took a while and by the time I was finished, Jak was walking back into the Hideout.

"I took care of the Blast Bots but I gotta run," Jak said as he walked back in "The Class Race is today. Jenny, you coming?"

"Hell yes!" I said and began quickly strapping on my holsters and boots.

I still felt a little wobbly but I managed to make it outside and on to Jak's zoomer without falling over. I climbed on the small zoomer behind Jak and wrapped my arms around his waist so I wouldn't fall off. The blonde smirked and took off towards the Hip Hog to get Daxter before heading to the Stadium.

As we entered Kiera's garage Jak looked around for the mechanic. Daxter jumped off Jak's shoulder and ran to the back to look for Kiera. I stepped into the garage and crossed my arms over my chest.

"Well, if it isn't the Dark Eco Freaks!"

My eyes widened and I froze when I heard the voice behind me. Jak wiped around to see and grabbed my arm pulling me behind him.

"Where's Kiera?" he asked, seemingly calm.

"Don't worry, I'm keeping a close eye on her," Erol laughed as he circled Jak and I like a vulture "You're the talk of the town, Jak. You give the people hope… pathetic. I would have enjoyed killing you in prison, but now, it'll be so much more fun to take you on the track, in front of the entire city. I can hear the roar of the crowd now… as everyone sees their hope die" Erol turned to look at me "And once Jak's out of the way you'll be back in prison and working for us."

Behind us I heard two sets of footsteps.

"It's good to have you back daddy" Kiera said.

"Yes, it's nice to be free again."

"You know, Kiera LOVES a winner," Erol whispered to Jak "Someday she'll be MY mechanic."

"Stay away from her!"

The maniac walked away laughing and I felt like I would pass out. I clutched Jak's shoulder trying to steady myself as he turned to look at Kiera.

"Ah, Erol's the best racer I've ever seen" she sighed dreamily as she watched him leave.

"He's not what you think" Jak stated gently.

"And you're a good judge of character?" Kiera snapped "HA! Look at you! People say you get angry and… change. Besides the Jak I knew wouldn't be working for a guy like Krew."

I could see Jak tense and he growled, "I need Krew's connections to fight the Baron! Without my… You know what? Do it your way, and I'll do it mine. Just don't come crying to me when the walls fall down."

Jak stormed away. I looked at Kiera with disgust before following the blonde hero out of the garage. Over head the sound of the computer announcer said "Attention all drivers, the Class Two races will begin soon."

I followed Jak as quickly as I could but before I could catch up with him he was on his zoomer taking off. I quickly found another and began to follow behind. The Stadium section was crowded so it was hard to keep up with Jak but somehow I managed. The hero landed to the entrance to Haven Forest and went up the ramp.

I ran to catch up but by the time I entered the forest Jak had already disappeared. Sighing in frustration, I began to search the forest for the man. Eventually, I found him sitting on a log near a large pond. His elbows were on his knees and his face rested in his hands.

I knelt in front of him and placed my hand on his shoulder, "Jak?"

"I can't believe she's being like this" Jak groaned.

"She'll get over it," I stated "If she's really your friend she'll understand eventually. Just give her some time."

"Yeah I guess" he said looking up to meet my eyes.

I smiled and pressed my lips against his. He wrapped his arms around me and pulled me into his lap. His hand ran up and down my sides as the kiss deepened. Jak slipped backwards off the log landing on the soft grass behind him never breaking the kiss and pulling me down on top of him. The blonde's lips left mine and trailed down my neck.

"We should head back to the stadium," I laughed lightly "Just to see the end of the race and to find Daxter."

Jak groaned, "But I'm having fun here."

I rolled my eyes with a smirk and stood, "Come on, Jak."

Jak gave me a mock glare but stood and followed me towards the exit. As we were reaching the warp gate, Jak stepped close to me and pinched my butt. I yelped in surprise, turning around quickly and hitting him on the shoulder. The blue eyed man laughed and ran through the warp gate. I followed after him. We climbed on a zoomer and took off back towards the Stadium.

We snuck in the gates and stood at the back. As the racers came around the corner to the finish line for the last couple of laps my eyes widened and I gasped.

"Dax is racing!" I shouted over the cheers of the other citizens.

Daxter was a good bit ahead of the other drivers as he came around for the last lap. He past the finish line with his arms in the air as he won the race. Daxter took off towards the garage, I supposed, and Jak and I struggled to get through the crowds to reach the garage in order to congratulate our friend.

Finally we managed to get through and headed into Kiera's garage.

Daxter was talking to Tess and looked up as we walked in, "Hey there, we, ah, showed those Class 2 losers a thing or two, huh?"

Jak knelt in front of the orange rodent, "I saw. You drifted a little high in the turns a few times, but, you hung in there. I proud of you, Dax."

The tapped knuckled and Dax said "Really?"

"Yeah," Jak encouraged "You did great."

"No!" Dax said loudly jumping onto the man's shoulder as he stood "WE did great! Right, partner?"

Jak glanced over at Kiera who'd been standing in the corner but the woman had looked away. I shook my head and followed Jak out of the garage.

The sky outside was getting dark as the sun set.

"We should head back to the Underground," I stated "It's getting late."

Jak and Daxter nodded in agreement and we headed back to the Hideout. When we went inside Torn and the young Samos were talking and pointing at some maps on the table. I pulled off all my effects and laid down on my bed. Daxter climbed on the bunk above mine as Jak slipped in behind me. He put his arm around my waist, pulling me against his back. It wasn't long before I was completely asleep.

A/N: Here's Chapter 20! Whoop! Please review!