Author's Note: Just a quick little something I wrote to unwind between assignments. Decided to do some more Tom and Jackie related stuff because apparently I can't be depressing until it's officially Christmas time. Oh well...when I get in the mood to be depressing again you'll be sure to know. Until then, enjoy mildly thoughtful drabble.
Jackie stretched her arms over her head enjoying the feeling of her muscles pulling after having not moved for hours. Last night's events were fresh in her mind, and she couldn't help but smile as she turned to look at the man who slumbered peacefully beside her on the bed. It made her happy to see Tom so contented, and the memories she had of him so angry, so confused, and so unsure of himself seemed like they were a lifetime ago.
Through some twist of events she'd grown fonder of him than she'd ever thought she would, but she wasn't complaining. The feeling was mutual. Tom was her friend. Tom was more than that. He wasn't a boyfriend though. She really couldn't call him that. That title…it carried with it the implication of temporary. Boyfriends don't stay boyfriends forever. They usually became ex-boyfriends or husbands, no one stayed a boyfriend forever, but Tom…there just really wasn't a plan. Things were fine how they were. It worked. If other people couldn't grasp it, that was their problem.
Still, that didn't exactly answer the question of what Tom was. Tom was…he was just…different. Tom was special. Anyone that took the time to get to know him would say the same thing of him for a list of possible reasons.
Dark pasts didn't always produce eternally dark people. That was just an old, worn out, plot devise that everyone seemed to like these days. Dark past. Dark people. Lots and lots of pointless brooding. Fun for the whole family.
She couldn't kid herself though. Jackie knew Tom well, or at least she liked to think she did. She knew of his moods and the darkness that he harbored deep within himself. Memories of a night she'd been told about but could never truly understand locked up somewhere in his mind. A topic he clammed up about no matter the situation. Still, there was just Tom. Tom, the all too human. The all too forward. The all too flawed. The person that slept beside her had all that in him, but somehow he had room enough within himself to also be loving and at times overtly caring. Most of the time it didn't seem like he could hurt a fly.
Most of the time, but not always.
How could it be that that painfully shy guy was the same man she knew in the nighttime with his secrets and his weird ways? He was different in the nighttime. More adept to it she supposed. It was only natural given his history but always a bit hard to deal with. He'd complained about how he disliked the darkness from time to time, but Tom always seemed calmer within the shade. Allowing it to hide him from the light that exposed him.
It was confusing in a funny sort of way as long as one didn't try to think on it too long. Tom had a duality to him that was ever present. He had the proper name for it to. Tom, meaning twin. Maybe she was dealing with two entirely different people. She wouldn't be surprised. The way Tom switched between moods regularly was enough for one to think he had multiple personalities. No, just a mild case of manic-depressive personality disorder with a side order of schizophrenia. Nothing too bad… Still, flaws and all he was Tom. And what was Tom? Well, quite simply, Tom was just Tom. There was no getting around that fact. At least, as far as Jackie could tell there wasn't.
He grew on you in his own way. Completely frustrating, undeniably dangerous, and painfully sweet in uneven rotation. Ups and downs more frequent than those of the average teen.
Jackie shrugged the thoughts away. It was much too early to start delving into the endless shades of gray that made up the world. If she tried she knew she'd be thinking for ages. People much smarter that she had tried to figure out the world and gone crazy. No sense in taking an unnecessary risk. She rolled over onto her side, toward the bathroom, away from Tom. Maybe then she'd be able to clear her mind.
"What's the matter? I stink or something?"
"Hm?" Jackie replied, twisting the upper half of her body awkwardly in the process. Tom didn't look like he'd moved, but he was looking at her now, no longer asleep. "You up already?"
"Duh," he replied, emphasis heavy on the vowel and exaggeration on the word as a whole impossible to deny. "Don't sound so surprised. You're up too."
"Yeah, but you're usually not," Jackie retorted. Someone has an attitude today. "I half suspect you'd sleep forever sometimes if I didn't wake ya."
Tom just shrugged, reaching out a hand to poke the woman's side, the gesture affectionate and teasing. "Hey, if the system works it works." Tom paused, and Jackie took the opportunity to roll back over onto her other side to face him.
"Something on your mind? You always get a funny look on your face when you're thinking." she asked with a somewhat mocking tone.
"What do you do?" Tom replied, apparently unphased by the innocent teasing he received.
"Huh? What do you mean?"
"When you're awake and I'm not…what d'ya do? Anything I should know?"
"I just think. Nothing special."
Jackie bit her cheek and leaned her head more into her pillow. "Well…I was actually just thinking about you."
"About me?" Tom sounded taken aback, his teeth slightly bared and his brows arched. "Only good things I hope." The man's tone was delving into dangerous, and the woman new it would be best if she treaded lightly.
"Mostly," Jackie shrugged.
"What do you mean 'mostly', Jac?"
"Oh, I dunno…nothing bad. I don't think bad things, just…interesting things. That's all. I think you're interesting."
Tom didn't respond right away, and despite herself Jackie felt herself hold onto a breath as he stared blankly for what seemed entirely too long. Usually when he did that the wheels just kept on turning, but one could never tell in what direction because Tom gave no hints.
"That's good," he finally answered, his tone flat, whatever trouble that had been going on his mind seeming to have blown over. "I like being thought about."
"Once people stop thinking about you, you might as well not even exist." Jackie gave Tom a look. She didn't quite understand the point he was trying to make. "The only thing that makes people matter is what other people think of them, what people remember of them. They say the only person whose opinion matters is your own, but I think that's bullshit. Being thought about by others means being remembered, and if you never made anyone remember you and think of you in life then when you go you might as well have not existed. Get it?"
"I think so…" Jackie replied. "Kind of a depressing thought though…don't ya think?"
"If there's one thing I know how to do it's be depressing," Tom grinned. It was lopsided and sarcastic, but that was just sort of how he smiled, and it made Jackie feel better. Maybe he was joking. Maybe he wasn't, but at least he was making some sort of effort in a positive direction. It was more that she could say for some of his other moods. If it had been one of those moods things would have gotten more than a little uncomfortable for all involved.
"I'd say that's a fair observation."
"I agree with you for agreeing with me." Tom's smile faded slightly, and his expression became generally less enthused. "I'm still tired you know…"
"Then go back to sleep, stupid."
Tom stuck his tongue out for a moment, but before Jackie could reply he was out cold with a smug expression on his face. Whatever, he's allowed to win from time to time. Jackie pulled her legs up close to her body, momentarily craving warmth and casting a halfway longing glance at Tom who was essentially curled up in himself on top of the covers. Normally he was more inclined to share his warmth, but this morning it would seem he was feeling selfish.
The woman looked down at herself and hugged her shoulders lightly. She hadn't been tired before, but watching Tom was making her sleepy. He slept so soundly it was contagious.
Shaking her head and blinking a few times Jackie forced herself to sit up. If she fell back asleep now she'd never get up. And if that happened who would pester Tom to wake up and be a productive member of society? No one, and she was not ok with that.
Still, the bathroom felt so far away, and it was fucking Saturday anyway. Whatever, the world could wait. Jackie lay back down on the bed and closed her eyes. She was more tired than she thought she was, and it didn't take long for her mind to start to go murky.
How had she gotten to this place? This point? A lot of people would question the choices she'd made to get to where she was resting at that moment, next to a "freak", but she didn't give much of damn. She had her friends, and they had her. Fuck the rest.
Jackie moved closer to Tom, taking as much warmth as she could get and closed her eyes.
Interesting. All he is really is interesting. Interesting and then some.
And whoever said that interesting was bad?