A/N: So, I just got introduced to the wonderful world that is Jericho! Seriously, I think I must have lived under a rock when all these great TV shows were around. I didn't get into Supernatural until the fourth season was out, as I'd never heard of it! And I've literally just got into Scrubs and Buffy *head desk* I am culturally deprived.
And then, I find out that this show never even finished season 2…grrr.
So, I recently watched Heart of Winter with my flatmate (Halleylahli (Livejournal) or askliterategabriel (Tumblr) if you know her! She's awesome!), and we got talking as to how Jake and Stanley are clearly meant to be together! I mean, Jake even tells Stanley that he meant to call him! So, you know, I said I'd write a fic for her, where they are sort of together, as there doesn't seem to be any anywhere! Obviously, this is kind of an AU. It has some dialogue etc, from the episode, but most of it's mine. You should know what's mine and what's not, if not, feel free to ask =D. This is also my first Jericho fic (obviously! My others are Supernatural, Charmed and Harry Potter), and my first ever fic involving a relationship. So, it'd be awesome if you could review….
Disclaimer: If only… No, I don't own ANYONE or ANYTHING remotely related to Jericho. Not even the box sets. I had to buy this episode off of Itunes…
P.S. Anyone know what the proper name is for Jake/Stanley? Stake? *sniggers* Janley? *shrugs* Meh. Oh, and this is currently a one-shot. Might be willing to expand…
"My grandmother went faster than this, and she didn't even have a car." Mimi sighed in frustration, rolling her eyes as Stanley simply smirked and continued to drive the slowest car known to man...
"We have to take it easy; we only have half a tank." Jake grinned, glancing at Mimi as she threw her head back and let out a deep sigh.
Stanley turned his head round to face Mimi and sighed, "Hopefully we'll make it to Flint Springs."
"Hopefully? What do you mean, hopefully?" Jake's smirk fell off his face and he moved forward so that he could look at Stanley.
"It's got a river, its prime white tail terrain." Stanley mentally counted to ten, waiting for Mimi's predictable reaction. 10…9…8….
"You know, this is crazy." She whined. And there it was. "I told you that I can't hunt. Now you want me to kill Bambi."
"Look, you have to learn alright?" Stanley sighed in exasperation, fighting the urge to bang his head repeatedly off the steering wheel, "Everyone's doing their part, Bonnie's been out twice."
"Well good for fricking Bonnie. Bonnie grew up on a farm. The closet I ever got to the outdoors was the Ralph Lauren section at Neiman Marcus." She griped, blowing warm air into her frozen hands, rubbing them furiously together.
"There you go, bargain hunting. Same thing, but with a gun." Stanley smirked.
"Bargains, at Neimans? Sometimes I forget the biggest designer in your closet is Wrangler." Mimi snapped, her cheeks going red as she realised he was just teasing.
Jake couldn't contain any longer and he chuckled, grinning at the two of them as if they were arguing simply for his own amusement.
"Wh-what are you laughing at?" Stanley glanced around, inwardly smirking at Jake's laugh. He hadn't heard in a long while. Not since before Jake left all those years ago.
"Well, I've never seen you in a domestic squabble before." Jake grinned playfully.
"Knock it off." Stanley chuckled back.
"This isn't squabbling." Mimi interjected crossly, folding her arms and glaring at Stanley when he turned to her with an Oh, really? look plastered on his grinning face.
Jake banged his head against the icy window as Mimi and Stanley continued to 'squabble'. He shouted out in shock when they saw some local dogs – with tags – burrowing through piles of trash in search of food. After a brief exploration of the area, they returned to the slightly warmer truck and drove for a short while before meeting a black jeep that was parked across the way, blocking the whole road. After sizing it up for a brief second, Stanley turned the car around and headed back in the other direction, before they realised that they were being followed by the jeep. Panicking, Jake rolled down the window and stuck the upper half of his body out of it and fired two shots at the truck before there was a grinding, scraping noise, they were flying and screaming and suddenly, his world was filled with darkness.
The first thing Mimi felt when she opened her eyes was pain. Agonising pain that filled her entire body. Then she realised that she could see the gas pedal above her head. And that she was lying on the ground with the gas pedal above her head, and there was broken glass shattered around her. She looked forwards and saw a motionless Stanley sprawled out only feet in front of her. She pulled herself up using the steering wheel, calling out Stanley's name. When he didn't answer, she turned around and saw Jake lying close to her, and she dragged herself out of the car and over to him, calling out his name, gasping when she saw the blood on his face and his leg jammed under the jeep, crying out with relief when his eyes sprung open and he asked, "What happened?"
"Jake! Stanley's not moving!" She cried out, moving forward to help Jake sit up. Just as she was about to help him up, an engine rumbled in the distance, and the two of them peered over the upturned jeep, and there was the black jeep, quickly approaching them.
"Oh…my god, go hide. Go!" Jake commanded, cursing as she refused, saying Stanley's name. "He'll be fine! Go hide! Go hide!"
She stumbled into the bushes, throwing herself down on the ground, and Jake grabbed the closest things he could find, throwing them at her – a couple bottles of water and a flashlight. He frantically tried to reach the gun, his fingertips practically skimming it, but he realised that as the doors of the jeep slammed shut, and many footsteps approached, that he would not reach it in time. Therefore, he did what anyone would have done in that situation, and pretended to be dead. He held his breath and he felt and heard the men nearby, trying not to cringe as he felt hands rubbing up and down his body, tugging his jacket off his un-cooperating arms. The blast of frozen air threw itself at him and he fought not to shiver until they'd left. The doors of the jeep slammed shut, and the engine sounded until suddenly, it was quiet.
"Mimi!" he roared out, his voice echoing in the icy wilderness.
"Stanley, are you ok?" Mimi demanded, shaking him awake.
"Yeah," he groaned as he tried to sit up, grabbing onto Mimi and she helped him up off the ground. He placed his left leg on the ground, nearly collapsing when pain tore through it. "I think I busted my ankle."
Mimi helped him limp over to where Jake was lying, shivering on the ground, and he asked Mimi to get the shovels, the jacks, anything to help his best friend get out.
"They took everything." Mimi said solemnly, as horror flashed across Stanley's handsome face.
The trio argued momentarily and then it was eventually decided that Mimi would head back to Jericho, promising that she'd be careful and move off the road the minute she heard an engine. Staggering away, repeating Stanley's directions over and over and she disappeared in the distance.
Stanley watched her go until she was a small dot on the horizon before limping back over to Jake. "Come on. It ain't so bad, alright? Hey, we've been through worse. Remember the time we got stuck on the roof of the town hall in the middle of a lighting storm?"
Jake shivered, rubbing his frozen hands together furiously. "You were so afraid the lightning was going to blow up the fire works."
Stanley chuckled, "You squealed like a little girl, wanting to jump off that roof."
"That was you." Jake grinned, shivering, "Your voice hadn't changed yet."
"Please. I had you beat by like six months." He pulled a bottle of water out of his pocket, "Drink some water." He was about to hand it to Jake, but stopped "It's frozen right through."
"What? Stanley…" Jake's eyes went wide as a few specks of snow started to fall around them, "I saw an abandoned cabin about a quarter of a mile up the road. You need to get inside."
"No." He stated angrily. "I'm not leaving you. You wouldn't leave me, right?"
"No! Mimi will be back soon, ok? We'll be fine, Jake." Stanley stated firmly as Jake closed his eyes in defeat. "We'll be fine, Jake."
"Jake?" Stanley spun around when there was no reply, and the only sound was the slight whooshing of the wind, causing his floppy fringe to flap in front of his fluttering eyes. "Jake?" He glanced over, and saw that Jake's eyes were closed, and although he was violently shivering, he was otherwise unmoving. "Jake!"
He limped over to him, dragging his injured leg behind him as he lowered himself onto the frozen group, the cold seeping into his bones. He lay down on the ground, curling his body around Jake's shorter one; dragging the slim body into his arms, pulling them tightly around the shaking man, and, in a rare moment of affection, he curled further around Jake, stretching his head slightly forward and pressed his lips onto a frozen forehead. It was quiet for a few moments, until a low rumbling appeared and the two men were illuminated by a luminous yellow light, highlighting the now worsening blizzard.
The vehicle drew to a stop, and doors slammed shut and a female's voice called out, "Jake! Jake! Its mom and dad, honey! Stanley…are you alright?" Gail gasped as she saw them.
"You need to get in the truck and get warm, pal." Johnston ordered softly, trying to prise Stanley away from his youngest son.
"Where's Mimi?" he panicked, worried in case his friend hadn't made it back.
"I'm right here, Stanley, I'm right here," she comforted, stretching out her arms and tightening her grip as Stanley fell into them, exhausted. She led him back to the jeep as he cried out for Jake.
"He'll be ok, Stanley. He'll be ok. Gail and Johnston are with him now, he'll be ok."
Johnston gazed down at his youngest boy, who was continuously shivering, his hands trembling as his teeth chattered. He was struggling to keep awake, Johnston noticed, and it seemed the weather was getting worse. Jake's dark hair was plastered in glass and pure white snow, and the ground surrounding them was covered in a blanket of snow.
"Jake? You'll be home real soon," he said, rubbing his son's chest, "But you gotta stay with me now, come on…"
Jake's tired voice sounded out, filled with exhaustion, "Dad, leave me alone."
"I'm not going anywhere," Johnston stated firmly. He may have never got on well with Jake, especially recently, but he loved his boy. He wouldn't under any circumstances leave him here to die. "But you gotta hang on. They'll be here soon, son."
Jake gazed up at him, with wide eyes blinking quickly as he murmured, "Dad, m'sorry…"
"Son, you've got nothing to be sorry about-"
Jake shook his head from side to side, as furiously as his frozen, aching body would allow and he closed his eyes in defeat, hoping and begging for the darkness to finally claim him.
"Open your eyes, Jake, come on now," he ordered, sighing with relief when Jake's eyes fluttered open. "Look at me. Look at me, Jake."
He frowned as Jake's eyes fluttered and a haunted expression came across his face, and he whispered, "I can see her."
"See who?" Johnston's frown deepened slightly.
"What…girl, Jake, I think you're hallucinating, son, I-"
"No. Listen to me." There was a brief moment of silence as Jake struggled to find the right words. Eventually he murmured softly, "When I was in Iraq, there was a girl," he closed his eyes and gulped, before they opened again and he continued in a thick voice, "She couldn't have been more than…ten or twelve and-"
"Ssssh." Johnston admonished, not wanting to hear the rest. He had wondered where Jake had gone during his five years away from Jericho, and had assumed that he'd come to him when he was ready to talk. He had never, never in his wildest dreams, even thought that Jake had gone to Iraq. Had he been fighting? He sighed, "Don't talk now, son, save your energy. We can talk when we get…home." Home. Jake had come back, hadn't he? Sure, it'd been five years later, but he'd came home.
Jake's eyes widened further, catching Johnston's attention as he blurted out, in a voice implying the looming threat of falling tears, "I killed her, Dad."
Johnston winced, knowing that Jake had to harbour some deep, dark secret. After all, he was a Green. But he'd never expected this…that his son, his youngest child…had committed murder…
"I killed a little girl," Jake stuttered out in a broken voice, tears swimming in his shining eyes. He closed his eyes in shame, wanting to die, wanting to never wake up and was surprised to feel his dad stroking his head with a glove covered hand and he screwed up his face as his dad kissed him on the forehead.
It seemed like only seconds later, but it could have been minutes or perhaps over an hour, when the sound of an engine in the distance roused Johnston from his thoughts. With a quick glance down at Jake, he focused his narrowed eyes on the approaching vehicle. Noticing the flashing lights – Gail's signal – he shouted out, "Hurry up!" as the truck ground to a halt, and a stampede of footsteps pounded towards them, led by Gail and Eric, the former calling out her youngest son's name.
Jake's eyes fluttered open again, and it was clear he wouldn't hold on much longer, and it was with this terrifying thought in mind that Eric ordered the other men to help lift the truck off of his brother, the paramedics twisting in through the group of men to attend the injured man.
"He's better off here than at the med centre," April explained to Gail and Johnston as she drew the many blankets around Jake's trembling shoulders, "It's warmer here."
"Here, honey." Gail interrupted, as Jake turned slowly to look at her. She had a mug of steaming hot tea in her hand, and she placed it under his chapped lips as he took a tentative sip. "How are his injuries?"
"Well, the cut on his head isn't very deep and neither one of his legs were broken. He's very lucky." April said, sounding very much in awe of her brother-in-law's survival.
"I'm…freezing." Jake stuttered out, turning away from the cup.
Gail stood up, squeezing his need and said, "I'm going to get you some more blankets."
"You're still hypothermic," April explained, as Jake was about to ask why he couldn't warm up, "It's just going to take a few hours for your body to stabilise." She looked up and saw Johnston approaching, an odd look in his eyes and he looked at his son.
"Can we have a minute?"
She nodded, "Sure," and stood up, leaving the living room as Johnston sat down on the armchair next to Jake and gazed at him. The tension filled the air, and Jake wished his legs worked, he wanted to leave, walk out the door and never come back. He couldn't deal with this right now. Or ever. When the silence became unbearable, and his body resumed its shaking, he turned to his dad, and gasped out, "Dad…what I told you out there," he gulped as his shaking exacerbated, "Please forget it." He looked into his dad's eyes, pleading with his own, "Please."
Johnston bit his lip, looking at his tortured son, before replying softly, "Afraid I can't do that." He flinched; wanting to reach out to Jake as he started sniffling. He took a deep breath, before bending down closer to him and murmured, "I've seen a lot of things in my time, Jake. I've been to war. I know what war can do. I know what men can do…terrible…terrible things. I know what I did." He struggled not to cry as Jake let out a shuddering gasp. "You can talk to me."
Jake shoulders started to shake, and he screwed up his face before burrowing in the mountain of blankets he was enveloped in. Johnston frowned before reaching out and stroking his boy's head, tugging his fingers through chocolate locks in an attempt to comfort him, as heart wrenching sobs escaped from Jake's mouth. He kissed him on the head as he continued to cry, trying not to cry himself as he said, "When you're ready, son. When you're ready."
Jake let out a quiet wail and turned slightly, allowing Johnston to throw his arms around his son, giving him the only hug he ever remembered. "It's ok Jake, let it out. I'm here for you, son."
"M'so sorry, dad…" he coughed out wetly.
"It's ok, son, its ok."
Eventually, the sobbing stopped so that all that remained was the odd wet hiccup, and Jake slowly swayed from his seated position on the armchair in front of the roaring fireplace.
"Tired, son?" Johnston asked quietly, as Jake slowly nodded. "What do you say you go to sleep then?" He stood up, his joints cracking as he did. He stretched out, then bent down slightly to clutch around Jake's chest, slowly pulling the boy onto his feet and he led him over to the sofa, and placed him on it. Jake's eyes were already closing, so Johnston carefully, but slowly, placed a couple of cushions under Jake's head, and arranged the blankets around him so that he was comfortable enough. He smoothed some hair of his boy's face, kissed him on the forehead, before quietly leaving the room, as Jake dropped off into an exhausted sleep.
Gail looked down fondly at her sleeping son, her youngest boy who she was closest to, even more so than Eric…especially now that he was with April. She hadn't seen her youngest in nearly five years, but that didn't mean she didn't think about him. Her mind would constantly wonder, thoughts of him would spontaneously pop into her head and the worry would unfold, swirling in the pit of her stomach, a wave of nausea threatening to flow as the possibilities of what had happened to him filled her mind.
Even now, that he was grown up, he still looked so young. When they'd found him earlier, led there by Mimi, she felt like she'd gone back in time…Jake looked so young and innocent with his hood up, his face burrowed into the collar so that all that was visible was a piercing set of deep brown eyes. Now, however, his face was bruised, and although they'd cleaned the blood off of his tanned face, traces of it still lingered around his eyes. She sighed with worry -after all, she was his mother, it was in her nature - and she bent down to stroke a stray hair off his face. She sighed again.
Her thoughts brought Stanley to the forefront of her mind. She was glad that Jake hadn't been alone out there. Glad that he'd had Stanley to keep him company. Stanley was one of the Green's closest family friends, had been Jake's best friend for as long as she could remember. She smiled sadly as she recalled how they'd found the boys earlier – Stanley's gangly body wrapped tightly around Jake's smaller, skinnier one, Stanley's arms clutching Jake's frozen body to his chest, his slightly blue lips frozen in a kiss on his icy forehead. She stroked Jake's forehead again, jumping as a movement echoed behind her and she turned, seeing Stanley hovering in the doorway, shivering but looking much healthier than he had been a couple of hours previously.
"Hey," She murmured, a smile appearing on her tired face.
"Hey," Stanley smiled slightly, shifting awkwardly from one foot to another as he looked anywhere but at the woman in front of him.
Gail fought the urge to break out in a grin as a reddish tinge broke out onto Stanley's pale cheeks. "Are you ok?"
"Yeah…thanks." He trailed off, then his eyes widened dramatically and his mouth fell into a thin line as he noticed Jake sleeping on the sofa. "Is he ok?"
"Just exhausted, he'd not been sleeping well before the crash either. April said he just needed to rest." She stroked his face again. "I'm glad he's alive…the both of you. Thank you for staying with him."
"He's…he's my best friend. I wouldn't have left him. He'd of done the same thing for me."
"He loves you." Gail continued in a soft voice, not noticing or deliberately not reacting to Stanley's quiet gasp. It wasn't clear in what context this love for him was, and neither of them wanted to ask.
"Did April say when he might wake up?"
"Not too much longer I think. He was tired and I don't think he was that well to begin with. He was doing too much, with Johnston being ill and Eric and I helping out at the office." She sighed and Stanley imitated her as he looked back down at Jake.
"He was. He'd be the one that went on the errands to the other towns to scavenge for supplies. He'd be the one who would help rescue the refugees…he'd…" Stanley's raised voice suddenly ground to a halt, and the reason why was clear, as Jake's shining eyes fluttered open and he groaned.
"Oh, honey! Thank god!" Gail laughed, "We were so worried!"
Jake fought to keep his eyes open as they glanced around the room, eventually settling on his smiling and teary-eyed mom, "Sta…nley?" he coughed, his eyes fluttering shut again.
"Stanley's fine, baby. He's right here." Gail stroked her thumb across Jake's cheek.
"Come…here…" he coughed out as Gail motioned for Stanley.
"I'll just go check on your father, Jake." She murmured softly, leaving the room, glancing back to see Stanley perch himself on the edge of the sofa beside Jake's head and look down at his with a worried smile on his face, as Jake's eyes fluttered open again and gazed up at him.
"Hey." Stanley smiled softly as Jake looked up at him. His smile slightly faded as he looked at Jake's injuries, the continuous fluttering of his eyelids, the chattering of his teeth and the shuddering of his slim body that was burrowed under layers upon layers of thick blankets.
Jake opened his mouth, and then closed it, finally settling on a soft smile. His eyes closed slightly and he pushed his head into Stanley's palm as the other man slowly brushed his fingers through his chocolate locks. He let out a slight groan of contentment causing Stanley to flash a grin. "You ok, Jake?"
"Mmhmm." He cleared his throat as his eyes sprung open, impossibly wide as he realised how close Stanley was. "What-"
"Ssssh. It's ok. I was so worried about you, Jake. Don't ever do that to me again." He sighed.
"Didn't…mean…too," he sighed too, burrowing his head into Stanley's side.
Stanley smirked at the sleepy Jake, who was adorable but he wouldn't ever admit that out loud. Seeing that Jake's eyes were closed and his breathing had grown heavier, Stanley slowly lifted his legs up on to the sofa, wincing as the movement worsened the pain in his injured leg. Once he'd controlled the pain, he slowly slid his hands under Jake's head, slowly feeling for lumps and bumps and placing it on his lap, continuing to pull his fingers through the chocolate locks, massaging the younger man's scalp.
"M'not…a dog." A quiet voice sounded out, causing Stanley to grin yet again; a common occurrence around Jake these days.
"Of course not," he sniggered childishly, "Your big puppy eyes, your slightly bushy hair and how you're burrowing into my hand like a dog…can't see why anyone would think that."
"I'd…hit you…if…" he sighed in frustration when he couldn't get the words out right.
"It's ok; I know what you mean, Jake."
"Thank…you for…staying…m'sorry." He yawned, the movement clearly showing his crashed, still slightly blue lips.
"Sorry? Sorry for what, Jake?" Stanley stopped his movements, glancing down at Jake with furrowed eyebrows.
"For…crash…shouldn't have...shot them…m'sorry."
"Mmm. M'sorry I left…I had to…couldn't stay…trouble…" he broke off into a violent coughing fit.
Tears filled Stanley's eyes as he resumed stroking Jake's head with one hand, the other slowly rubbing Jake's chest until the coughs finally stopped. "It's ok, Jake. I know. You came back though, that's what matters, right? You came back, Jake."
Jake nodded slowly, a slight cheeky grin escaping from his chapped, frozen lips as he looked up at Stanley. "Couldn't leave…forever…missed you and mom."
"I know, Jake. I missed you too."
"Missed dad n'Eric too…couldn't tell them…bad fight…trouble…m'sorry." He muttered into Stanley's side.
"Hey, wake up, Jake. What fight? What happened?"
"M'sorry…I…" His eyes suddenly flew open and he looked to be in another time, another place as his eyes took on a haunted look and his lips started trembling.
"Jake? Jake! Talk to me man! What's wrong?"
"I…I can see her..."
"Who, Jake? There's no one here…just me and you."
"The girl. The girl from Iraq."
"….you were in Iraq?"
"She…I killed her, Stanley. My fault…they…" Tears started flowing down his cheeks, Stanley attempting to brush them away as they fell, but even he was not quick enough.
"No…you don't…m'murderer, Stanley. You don't want to…go….m'bad person."
"You're not a bad person, Jake. You're the bravest man I know. You helped to save Jericho. You helped make it possible for us to get back on our feet. You helped save Mimi's life out at the crash by making her hide. You're a good man, Jake."
"No." Jake let out an anguished moan, despair filling his worsening sobs. He tried frantically to push himself out of Stanley's arms, but the man simply tightened his grip.
"Leave me alone." Jake sobbed out his first full sentence since the crash. "Stan-"
"No, Jake. There was a reason for it, there's always a reason. You had to do it, I believe in you. You're a good person, Jake, that's why you're my best friend. I love you, man."
Jake's ramblings were now incoherent through the tears and he simply burrowed his frozen body into Stanley's side as the man gripped tighter. His entire body shook with the sobs, the tears soaking Stanley's clothes. This was unnoticed by Stanley as he tried to console Jake, unnoticed too was the audience of the remaining Greens hovering outside the living room door, tears flowing down their faces as they clutched at each other.
Gail gave them a few moments, long enough for them to fall asleep; Stanley sitting up, his legs stretched along the sofa, head propped up against the armrest; Jake curled up beside him, his head on his chest, only a tuft of brown hair visible as the rest of him was buried under blankets. Gail crept closer to the two of them, snagging a nearby blanket and placing around Stanley's shoulders before smoothing out Jake's and kissing him on the forehead. She brushed away the remaining tear tracks on his cheeks, smiling softly as he let out a deep breath causing his fringe to flutter slightly.
She didn't mind at all concerning the scene in front of her; neither did Johnston or Eric who'd followed her in and were smiling down at the sleeping couple. Jake could be with anyone, as long as he was happy, that's all that mattered. And the bonus here? Well, that it was Stanley of course. Gail trusted him with her life, knew Jake thought the same. Hell, Jake had suffered through that particular scenario only a few hours ago, and was sleeping next to the man who'd kept him alive. And after the shocking…chilling…truth her sobbing boy had cried out to him…the fact that he was still willing to be with him, well, that said it all. Gail smiled softly at the boys before leaving the room, following instantly by her husband and oldest son. Perhaps she'd sit and have a nice conversation with Johnston tonight, or maybe spend some time with Eric. She'd love to spend more time with Jake, but right now, he couldn't be in a better place.
A/N: So, there you go. My first Jericho fic.
Hope you enjoyed it, and thanks to everyone who's been favouriting my other stuff!