Summary: Lastly, Jack hated the way May made him feel thirteen when she was seventeen and he was twenty eight and the fact that she plagued his mind and his dreams was so, so wrong on more reasons he could count on both hands.
A/N: Apologies if anyone squicks.
The first thing Jack noticed when May glided off the boat was that she looked so horribly out place, like an angel would if they had been stripped of their wings and forced to meander grassy grounds instead of cloudy skies.
She was wearing summer swathed skin (bronze sheen, tiny freckles) despite the fact it was oh so bitter, icy and winter. Her eyes were dancing like tropical storms, all misty, electric and alive yet the snowflakes around them were twirling around the beach to a different melody.
It was almost as if she was a mirage, with her stilted figure and endless legs gripping to the pier, shimmering in and out of Jacks focus through the haze of snowfall.
"Jack!" May chimed through puffs of her cigarette and Jacks eyes narrowed at the swirls of smoke marring the air. Repulsed, Jack gently grabbed the dainty, impeccably manicured hand May was smoking from and held it away from her lips and in the minute, moment, second his hand grazed hers a spark erupted between them, as if there was a current of electricity sizzling in her veins, and he hated himself for it, for his body's unwarranted reaction, for feeling the way he did about her.
He also hated those god damn freckles smattering her skin because all he wanted to do was kiss them and give them the affection they deserved with his mouth. He hated those god damn long legs of hers because he still dreamt dreams of them being wrapped around his waist, despite the fact that she had been away exploring the world (without him) for the last six months.
Lastly, Jack hated the way May made him feel thirteen when she was seventeen and he was twenty eight and the fact that she plagued his mind and his dreams was so, so wrong on more reasons he could count on both hands.
May ignored her flushing cheeks and shot an irritated, under the eye lash glance at the cigarette as it disintegrated into a mess of ember, ash and smoke before eyeing the man in front of her as he spoke.
"Smoking now, are we? Not the most charming of habits, I must say." Jack stated, with an eye brow cocked and a tightrope mouth to highlight his disapproval.
Dark eyes flashing like warning lights she replied, "Treating me like a child still, Jack?"
Thoughtlessly he replied, "Maybe I was going to say how lucky you are that you are charming enough to make up for it." The flirtatiousness of his words skirted around his mouth like venom and poisoned his conscience but they had tumbled out before he could stop them. After all, he had teetered on this cliff face since May had started wearing bikini's on Beach Day and dancing at The Goddess Festival so stumbling and tumbling occasionally was understandable, wasn't it?
At least he told himself that.
May paused. "You weren't going to say that."
May was right and she knew it. Jack, oh warm eyed and tousled hair Jack, would never cross what he deemed the 'moral line' separating the platonic them and the them them. He was far too afraid of the repercussions of the town, most notably Barley and Stu.
He nodded and she smiled slyly before adding, "You forget I know you better then you know yourself."
An awkward silence stirred between them once her words fluttered away in the icy breeze and neither of them quite knew how to fill it, albeit the fact that both their minds knew to differing extents and levels of acceptance that it was undeniably and irrevocably true.
Eventually, Jack murmured, "You just left. I woke up and you were gone. I had to hear from Barley that you had run off to Paris."
"I'd say I'm sorry, but I'm really not." May placed her hands on either side of Jacks shoulders and as she relished the way his warmth seemed to seep into her shivering body, a sigh fell from her lips. "I needed to see the world and travel, meet new people and fall in love."
Jacks breath slammed in his throat and he clamped his teeth together firmly, as if to detonate the gasp that threatened to spill from his lips. Not sure if he wanted to hear the answer or not and knowing he had no right to know, Jack asked, "And did you? Fall in love?"
"I fell in love with Paris. The food, the people, the lights and the culture, it's all so breath taking Jack." Her whole resolve ignited with excitement and if Paris's lights were even half as bright as May's eyes were in that moment, Jack thought he could see why.
"You didn't think a letter would have been nice? A simple 'hello I'm still alive' would have sufficed."
Jack didn't want to admit, even to himself, how much he had missed May. How when she left, the world had turned to shades of black and white because she wasn't there, all fireworks and vibrant colours, to ignite his day. He couldn't admit that the reason why the first thing he did each morning was check his letterbox had nothing to do important Mineral Town news.
"I wanted to but I couldn't."
"There's this saying about actions and how they speak louder than words."
And just like that, in a blink-and-would-miss-it moment, she had kissed him and was letting her mouth, her tongue and her teeth say all the things Jack was too afraid to accept.
But it was May and he could see the ghost of the eleven year old who wanted to play house tucked away in the furrows of her brows and the glint in her star stained eyes so he pulled away.
"Don't, not now. Don't ruin the moment. I know you're terrified of what people will say if they find out but please."
The ground was holding his stare now. "I'm scared that this." He reached out gently and grabbed her tiny hand again. "Will send me to hell and I'm scared that once I start" He began tracing tiny circles on the back of her wrist , "I won't stop and I'm scared that such a pretty girl is wasting herself on me." He pressed his lips gently on the back of her hand.
She rolled her eyes. "We haven't been burned by fireballs or struck by lightning so I doubt you're damned. As far as not stopping, well I can't say I mind and I think I can be judge of who I 'waste' my time on."
"But I'm old." Shamed burned behind his words and in the simmer of his eyes.
"I don't give a damn about the age difference." May replied, lacing her fingers through his. "And besides, there was this couple I met in Paris. There was a thirteen year age difference between them yet I've never seen a couple so in love or so perfectly suited. Sound familiar?"
"You're Dad and Stu, they'll kill me."
Amused: "Stu, as in Elli's brother?"
Sarcastic: "No the other Stu we know."
"Stu's dating this girl from The Valley, I think her names Kate. So if that's all your concerns I'd like to begin where your conscience interrupted."
"And here I was thinking my great set of morals was one of my many fantastic qualities."
"Just like your modesty?" She teased into his ear before whispering, "And for the record, your morals have been keeping us apart so they suck." The word us ghosted feather light around Jacks ear and he liked the way it lingered because it had sounded so lovely when it had fallen from Mays lips.
"May, are you corrupting me?" Jack asked in faux horror, flashing the girl (no, woman) before him a pearly grin.
"You better believe it."
And finally – finally – Jack kissed her, and as smoky lips met his he knew that if this was a movie time would be slowed and the camera would be swirling around them despite the fact that this was the beginning of his forever, not the end of.
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