Rating: PG

Summary: Jake has something she wants to share with Hamilton.

Notes: A while ago I wrote a YA Fic called 'Compass Points'. I received a decent amount of feedback from various people saying how much they loved the story but one comment by Bioshiva07 stood out. Bioshiva had commented that she loved that piece because it really touched on the fact that "Hamilton understands and loves Jake more than Jake loves him." The comment really got me thinking because while I can admit that Hamilton is much more adept at expressing his feelings for and to Jake, I wouldn't say that Jake loves Ham any less than He loves her. I think she deals with a lot personal issues which make it difficult for her to express how much she cares for the people she loves most. That is not to say that Jake has her own way of conveying her feelings. After coming to such a revelation I started brainstorming on which ways Jake would use to express her feelings to Hammie then I heard Paramore's 'The Only Exception' or rather watched the video and Viola!

The Only Exception was born.

While I do admit that I did struggle a bit to find meaningful ways in which a teenage female could express her feelings to a male (without engaging in a sexual act or being cliché), I think once I stopped trying to force it and started thinking about 'how Jake feels for Ham' I was able to establish the perfect example (at least in my view) of how Jake would express her feelings for Hamilton. With that said I want to dedicate this fic to Bioshiva07, without whom this fic would be possible.

Bioshiva07 I hope you like it.

Without any further Ado I present:

The Only Exception (AKA For What It's Worth)

When I was young, I saw my daddy cry and curse at the wind.

He broke his own heart and I watched as he tried to, reassemble it

And my momma swore, she would never let herself forget.

And that was the day, I promised I would never sing of love

It does not exist.

But darling you are the only exception.

"Come with me."

It came out as a whisper; maybe even less than that.

Yet somehow he heard it.

Jake watched in darkness as Hamilton blinked a few times in confusion and rolled toward her. Unable to stop herself, she gently brushed the few stray hairs that had fallen in front of his eyes as he finally opened his eyes to gaze at her. Jake remained kneeling next to his bed watching him fight the lull of drowsiness and leave his quiet slumber. Once he had his bearings he hazarded a glance at his open window. Judging by the view outside, dawn was still a long ways away, turning to look at the clock I could see the time clearly said 2:42AM. Turning back to where Jake rested he wore a questioning look on his face. Sighing softly Jake stood and offered her hand to him.


She didn't have to ask twice.

It took some effort, but Jake managed to help Hamilton get dressed and quietly down the stairs of his parent's home even with his crutches. Although it had been weeks, her heart still broke to see him struggle with them; yet she knew that she was infinitely luckier that he only suffered a broken leg after his car accident as the alternative was much too somber to actively consider.

40 minutes later found Jake and Hamilton driving down a curvy country road in Jake's Jeep Wrangler. Around them the scenery changed from New Rawley to Carson, to Boston and beyond; from small town to big town and back again. In the distance, just above the horizon, the moon hung full in bright while stars speckled the sky. Back in the car Jake sat in the driver's seat and Hamilton lackadaisically reclined in the passenger seat. He remained somewhere between awake and dreaming as he watched her.

In the background a soft tune played from the radio and settled the car in a comfortable stillness.

As she drove, Jacqueline observed Hamilton as he watched her. She knew he wanted to ask her questions; knew he wanted to know 'where they were going', 'what they were doing', and 'what she was planning', but she also knew he was patient enough to wait her out. Sometimes the knowledge of that scared her; today it just made her smile. She could smile because today she had woken up with a newfound sense of urgency and determination.

Turning back to glance at him she smiled brightly as she continued on down the road, in the background music played:

"You are the only exception..."

The stars were still out when Jake pulled the car over near a small embankment surrounded by trees a little while later.

Carefully, Jake unbuckled her own seatbelt before climbing out and walking toward the back of the jeep and pulling out Hamilton's crutches. After she had successfully handed them off to him she returned to the back of the truck to pull out a backpack and flashlight while Hamilton worked himself out of the car and onto his crutches. Jake turned back to him just as he ambled his way toward her with a playful look on his face.

"You know Jake, if you wanted to have your way with me you could have just said so; you didn't have to bring me out to-"

Hamilton paused to take a look at their surroundings.

"…The middle of nowhere."

Her heart caught in her throat as he came to stand in front of her and purposefully leaned forward on his crutches so there was only a hairs breath between them and his eyes sparkled with mischief… Suppressing a shudder, she clutched her backpack even tighter to her chest as she smiled and tried to shake off the butterflies that rose in the pit of her stomach. Putting her backpack on, she stepped back from him and turned on her flashlight.

"Knock it off Flemming; we gotta get moving if we are going to make it in time."

Undaunted Hamilton peered off in the distance behind her before looking back to her.

"Make it in time for what?"

Smiling secretly Jake rolled her eyes and started walking toward the tree line her reply echoed through the trees.

"You'll see."

Together they walked up a tree lined hill. Jake made sure to clear the way of any debris that might block his path while Hamilton sauntered behind her on crutches. They walked in a comfortable silence, so comfortable that it was easy to forget about the tension between them. Easy to forget that they were no longer together and that Hamilton was now dating Kelsey Whitmore.

Well almost.

After all, she still had to witness them, holding hands in the courtyard and making out in the quad while she stood by in her full "boy" attire. But they had come a long way from the initial breakup and had even managed to recapture much of the same type of friendship they shared in her early days here at the academy… awkward sexual tension and all (yippee!). Shaking herself out of her reprieve Jake checked her watch one more time before turning back to Hamilton.

"Hurry! We're going to miss it."

Smiling sardonically Hamilton didn't miss a beat as he sped up to keep up with her.

"Miss what?"

Jake, oh so, secretive as always didn't respond, she just picked up her pace. It wasn't long before they both came to a clearing overlooking a valley. The view was breathtaking as sunrise's first light was just peaking over the valley; but that's not what grabbed Hamilton's attention upon reaching the clearing. Rather, it was the fleet of brightly colored 80 foot hot air balloons that lay partially inflated across the clearing that immediately grabbed his attention first.

Jake watched him attentively as he took in the sight and waited for him to respond. She was hoping that he would be elated that she had committed to memory exactly what his unfulfilled 8th birthday wish was, and recreated it for his 18th. Instead, she found herself watching a carefully guarded visage as they stood together silently before he answered carefully.

"You remembered?"

The surprise in his voice unnerved her. Of course she remembered. Clearing her throat awkwardly she tried to shake off his surprised-rebuff by playing up her excitement.

"Sure! Come on, lets get in!"

Before she could take a step forward Hamilton gently grabbed her arm to stop her. All pretenses of shock and surprise gone from his visage; in its place stood nothing but unabated need.


And she instantly remembered the last time he looked at her like that (or used her full name at that rate).

It was 4 months ago, the day she broke up with him because she thought she was doing the right thing; letting him go. She was going to go to school somewhere new and forget this whole sham of a life and he was not going to have to lie to his family and friends anymore or sacrifice his happiness just to protect her secret. Only, after all was said and done she couldn't bring herself to leave if it meant never seeing him. So she stayed or rather 'Jake' stayed, but only on exception that she would give him up; let Hamilton have the normal high school life he always wanted. And that was the line she drew because it was the only way they could have what they both want.

But it didn't change the way she felt on the inside.

Glancing down she noted his hand still gripped her arm, in what amounted to the longest amount of physical contact that they had had in 4 months.

"I just wanted to do something nice."

She tried to keep her voice as even as possible as she spoke, even though she was shaking inside.

"…Because you're my best friend."

She didn't know why she needed to add that last part. She just did. Looking at his reaction she could see it had the opposite effect of its intent, as unshed tears quickly sprung to his eyes. Gripping her arm a little more tightly Hamilton barely constrained his emotion as he looked at her."

"Why, Jake?

And they both knew he wasn't just talking about today.

"Because, I love you … and I wanted you to have what you want."

Jake couldn't stop the tears from falling as she spoke. Taking a deep breath Hamilton released her hand to look at the hot air balloons which were now almost all inflated and watched silently before turning back to her and smiling.

"Jake ... you're what I always wanted."

And somehow, that made all the difference.


There it is folks, Hope you liked it! Please leave a Review if you did (or did not) maybe I'll be inspired to write another!