Summary: Set directly after 1.22 - In Jiana/Dake we trust.
If you've read my other fics, you'll know I love surprises. ;) Jake/Diana, but deals with all.
Note: In the wake of what quickly became one of my favorite shows ever, I have produced yet another Dake story. I know some will be peeved (or simply pissed at me), for the fact that the next chapter in my other story has yet to be completed, but this story hit me hard and I had to get it down because I have ideas. And no one else has yet to write them for me. ;D
Disclaimer: This is only work and play of fan fiction. The places, or characters belonging to the show that are associated with this fic aren't mine.
Chapter One: Bittersweet Symphony
Something jolted her awake, making her head jerk upward, and her mind instantly concluded that it had fallen from laying against the car seat as she slept. Her eyes squinted against the bright morning sun that was soon to be covered by the grey clouds that were closing in. The golden light splayed across the dark green oak trees like liquid, which lined the abandoned highway they were on. The mist hovered over the grass, disappearing into the shadows beyond the forest walls.
Diana's head turned towards Grant. He was silent as he drove with a troubled look acrossed his features. His eyes, normally blue, looked bright green when mixed with the golden sun-light, and Diana felt herself let out a long breath. He must have heard it, looking at her then with only a slight opening of his eyes that showed his recognition. Those eyes, so soft and kind, and still undoubtedly troubled. Probably over the fact that yet again, she had to leave. And she knew now that he'd give up after this. After dropping her back off at Cassie's place, he'd leave and he'd be gone forever.
Better he leave now than for her to drag him into everything going on. Wrong place, wrong time, she thought to herself sadly.
They hadn't yet gotten to Vancouver before Diana's phone lit up for what seemed like the hundreth time, the vibrating feeling more and more violent the more the calls came in. The last one came from Jake, making her sigh, caving in to answer it. She knew they'd had to be desperate to make him be the one to call, and Cassie hadn't let Jake get through his sentence before her voice came on, angry and urgent.
Grant had started turning the car around before she'd even hung up on Cassie after hearing her series of plea's. And somehow, she could hear Cassie's tears through the phone. Something in Diana, something wild, had told her to hang up and tell Grant to keep going. To chuck her phone into the first body of water she came across, and forget it all until she decided to return. Until she felt ready.
But when would that ever be? She hadn't ever been one to run away from problems, much less her own, but it had kept sounding more and more tempting as the weeks progressed. All of it had gotten worse with John Blackwell's arrival.
Leaving had left her feeling slightly torn in two. On one hand, she wanted to stay. For herself and for Cassie. To build something that they'd both lost in their previous lives. And then on the other rested her need for freedom. For a break that would never come unless she fled.
As much as she wanted to go, being called back over the phone had placed a physical pull on her. Whether Cassie had done something, or she simply felt obligated, Diana couldn't tell. And she didn't want to be able to, truthfully.
Her head lolled against the seat, her eyes looking out the window, though she wasn't seeing any of the surroundings that they passed. A goodbye hung on the tip of her tongue, but only tears came. The hope that she'd find a way out. That someday she'd find peace within the chaos.
That she'd meet someone like Grant in another life, at another time.
She was close to home, and strangely, she felt no amount of relief or comfort. Chance Harbor had always been a place of solace in some way, but now...
A hand grabbed her own, and her eyes hit the side of his face, seeing the worry and question there. He didn't know what was going on, and he'd asked enough times and had gotten no answer that he'd given up. He'd accepted her not being able to say, but she knew he didn't like it. Her fingers closed around the warmth he offered, a single tear dropping from her eye that rolled down her face to her jaw, where she made no attempt at wiping it away.
There was no point when Grant knew she she was upset. Hiding herself even further than she'd had to for years now, and still going, seemed unbearable in thought. Even more so if she were actually to attempt at doing it.
Diana stared at the Blake's front door less than thirty minutes later, waiting for the moment Cassie felt her there. If she even would. The power that resided inside of herself, the power that ran through her veins, terrified her. A light thump came from beside her, her hair falling from its place to fall against her cheek as she looked at what he'd placed down. Her luggage. Her one bag she'd stuffed full without bothering to take any time in organizing any of it. She couldn't even remember what she'd really packed. Grant sighed as he straightened, looking at her with a hurt and equally angry expression. And she couldn't blame him in the least.
He shook his head, holding up a hand to cut her off.
"You don't need to say anything, Diana. In fact, it would be better if you didn't. I don't want to hear an apology or a goodbye from you. I don't think I could handle it."
She nodded in acceptance, looking away from him as tears once again gathered in her eyes. He was her only escape. He was her only out from the evil, from the world she'd found herself living in now. He was an escape out of a reality that was actually a living nightmare. And he was going to leave, and she wasn't going to stop him.
She wanted to tell him to run, but she knew that sentence couldn't end without saying, "and take me with you."
The obligation to her only family, Cassie, wasn't as strong as when she'd left the first time, the night before. But something about the way Jake sounded, and how Cassie hadn't let him finish his reasoning with Diana, rather yelling into the phone and obviously ripping it out of his hands... Her stomach had tightened, and there were no words or that familiar feeling of the beginning of an arguement. Not anything like what she'd felt when she'd first told them she was leaving, and stomped her way to the door. And Grant had known in her silence that she was shrinking into herself.
Cassie needed her. Not only as a friend, or a bound member of their circle, but as a sister. Because like Diana, Cassie had never truly been alone before.
Finally, the front door opened and Cassie stepped out, her face going from one emotion to the next. Her eyes read the same though, and Diana couldn't stand to look at them. Even at a distance, she knew what they said. "I'm sorry. I wish it could be different. Now hurry, we have witchy stuff to do."
Grant took Diana's face without warning and pressed his mouth against her own. Soft and filled with promises that would never make it to the light. Her hand lifted to hover over his, and he was pulling away before she could stop her mouth from trembling long enough to really kiss him back. His thumb wiped a tear, giving a kiss to her forehead before he pulled away, walking the few steps to his car door.
A small moan came, the sound meaning to begin the form of a word to protest, but she clamped her mouth shut, and her throat tightened against a sob.
She turned, watching him get into his car without looking back at her. Whether he was mad, or too hurt, or both, she didn't entirely know. But it didn't matter either way. His car pulled away, without even so much as a tap of the breaks.
Diana's head hung as she let out a small sound of everything inside of her at that moment. Everything that churned her stomach against the prospect of having to go into that house behind her and face everything she wanted to get away from. All that smothered her and made it hard for her to breathe.
Her hand reached for the suitcase that Grant had taken out of the trunk and sat down beside her. The last evidence of his existance, really. As she picked up her head, she sucked in a deep breath, letting the cold air freeze her throat and fill her lungs. Slowly, she carried her bag at her side as she walked passed Cassie's gate, approaching the steps of her front porch.
"You can stay with me. However long," Cassie said softly to her, moving out of her way as Diana walked up towards the door.
She said nothing in reply, not sure she'd even sound human had she tried. She wasn't angry, or rather she was trying not to be. She couldn't be. No matter how much she wanted to blame Cassie, she simply couldn't. She knew how rediculous it would be to put the blame on Cassie, when the whole thing wasn't her fault. It was Blackwell's. It was their parents who didn't stop all of it before. It was Eben. It was the witch hunters, however many there were around the world.
It was the fact that they were witches that gave them this fate.
Jake glided out of her way as she passed through the door, not looking up to see whatever look he had on his face. No one else was there to share whatever was going on, which could only mean dark magic was needed. Dark magic that only Cassie and Diana had. Something strong enough to need both of them to do it, and Jake with what he knew about all of it.
Whether she'd agree or not was another thing, and if it was something she'd disagree to, there would be nothing more upsetting than to have come all the way back to simply say no. Though in the back of her mind was the reminder that there were a few things more upsetting...
She could almost feel the new scar on her hand burning.
Diana set down her suitcase, hearing the wheels click against the hardwood flooring before she turned around to face them, watching Cassie close the door. A breath came before she spoke, her body's way of preparing itself.
"So? What did I come back for?"
Jake's eyes lifted beyond her and she stared at him.
"Me." A voice said from behind her before she was finished turning to see what Jake's and Cassie's eyes had settled on.
A guy, a stranger, stood a few good feet behind her, and a few good inches above her.
Her head swung back around and she frowned in confusion, the mixture of saddness and sudden confusion making her feel a sense of numbness.
"Cameron," he answered just as Cassie had opened her mouth. Cassie sighed and lifted a hand to point him out, nodding as she did.
Jake seemed as annoyed as Diana was beginning to feel, but she didn't feel the need to look back at said Cameron for confirmation.
"And?" She snapped. "Who is he?"
Cassie looked up at Jake then, obviously giving him the reins in saying whatever needed to be said. She wanted to yell at them to spit it out, but Jake was already opening his mouth to speak. With a grim expression and a push in his voice, as if he physically couldn't stand saying the words, Jake replied.
Diana's face did a series of changes before it settled on her eyes narrowing at him, looking behind her at Cameron who lifted a hand as a way of greeting, a smirk on his face. As if he were saying, "I come in peace."
She whipped back around, glaring at both himself and Cassie who's arms crossed, ready for Diana to unleash whatever emotions that were obviously spinning around inside of her.
But her voice was calmer than expected.
It was unbelievable to him too, which was why Cameron wore a torn shirt now, and a nice red spot on his neck from where Jake's thumb had dug in.
When Cassie had called and Cameron, the random guy, had said his peace, Jake instantly jumped on him, yelling in his face.
"Who sent you?" He had practically screamed. "Eben? Isaac?" Those were the only two names that came to his mind, though both men were dead now.
Cameron gasped and choked, but didn't fight back other than grabbing at Jake to push him away from him. Cassie had yelled something from behind him, but Jake's vision was red, his hearing plugged. He was sick and tired of being attacked. Of people coming into their lives only to bring even more pain.
Jake held the guy against the wall by his neck, lifting him enough to allow for Jake to look up into his face, rather than stare directly ahead. Cameron was the same height. The same build. And though he'd said, "I know it's going to seem strange, but I'm an Armstrong..." Jake hadn't believed any of it. Not for a second. Because plenty of people had weird, foggy blue eyes like him. With dark sandy blonde hair and a sharply angled jaw, less square shaped than Jake's or that of his brother's. Father's, even.
All of that was what Diana was seeing in Cameron now.
She was seeing the resemblence, though not many might have suspected. Not until him and Jake stood side-by-side, which they weren't doing at the moment. Her head looked back and forth between the two, her eyebrows drawing closer and closer together as she made the physical connections.
They looked a lot alike, but there was still a softness to Cameron's features that were unlike Jake's. A tone that made the guy seem friendlier and warmer than Jake. But Cameron's mannerisms were very much like his own. Like the way he leaned against the wall now, with his arms crossed as well as his feet which wore boots big enough to go hiking in, if he wanted.
Jet packs and flying cars still obviously didn't exist, even twenty years from now.
"How do you know this?" Diana suddenly shouted to both himself and Cassie. "He could be a witch hunter!"
"Which is why I called Jake over. To make sure I had...back up."
They both knew she didn't need back up. She'd called because she didn't want to be alone in dealing with anything. Not for a while at least.
"His word? You're going by his word?"
"No," Jake broke in. "We did a spell which made it obvious he was telling the truth."
"What spell?" She asked, stepping back so she could look between the three of them without having to turn her back one way or the other.
"A bloodline spell," Cassie confessed, stepping forward. "He knew it was in Jake's family book."
Diana scoffed, her arms thrusting out, only to hit back at her sides.
"He could have known about it!"
Jake shook his head to her, catching her eye. "I'm the first to be suspicious of people, but no one has seen that book since I took it when I was younger. Way younger. Even if he wasn't...from the future, he's the same age as me. There's no way he'd have found it. There's no way he could have known about it. That, and the spell-" He paused, seeing Cameron looking back and forth between him and Diana, and then to Cassie, before ignoring him again. "The spell allows for a connection to be felt, if you're of bloodline. The closer the bloodline, the stronger the connection. Kind of like another sense."
"What, like a sixth sense? Are we serious?"
Now Jake was getting annoyed. He wasn't about to go into every detail of how they figured it all out because it would take too long, and they had to move faster than the speed they were going in. "Look, I know it seems like bullshit, but it's not. And this is coming from me."
She opened her mouth and he had a feeling she wanted to say, "Yeah, and that means a lot..." But her mouth snapped shut, and she sighed, glancing back at Cameron who gave a smile Jake wanted to smack off of his face. He was arrogant and talked too often, yet had well enough sense not to talk in important moments. Like now, as they tried to convince Diana of the bizaar situation.
And it, he, was his son. Strange or other-worldly didn't even begin to describe any of it.
"So, he's Jake's son," Diana said mostly to herself. As if testing out the theory. Cameron nodded, lifting his shoulder away from the wall. She looked back to Jake, then to Cassie. "So, what needs to be done? Why am I here for this?"
"We have to send him back, and it takes a good amount of dark magic to do it," Cassie told her from experience. She'd initially tried, but it hadn't been enough with just her magic. It was stronger than a memory spell, as him and Cassie had been able to do before, without anyone else to help them. This was actual time-travel. Not only hours, or days. Not even weeks or months, but years. "Even if we don't personally know him...he's still an Armstrong. We did the spell. And when they touched, Jake..." Cassie didn't finish, but Diana seemed to understand where she was getting at. Jake wasn't bullshitting about this. No matter how insane it sounded or seemed. "He doesn't belong here. We have to get him back. It's that simple. He's bound in his own circle."
Diana looked at him, facing her body towards him straight on. "Your own circle? With all of our kids?"
Cameron grinned thinly. "Something like that."
She turned away again. "So we'll send him back. To his own time." It wasn't a question, making it obvious that Diana still wasn't completely convinced, and Jake couldn't hold any blame over her. He still wasn't completely convinced himself.
"Yeah," Cassie replied plainly. "He only has a certain amount of time before he can get back."
"And if he doesn't? I mean, what if it doesn't work? What if we can't do this?" Diana asked her.
Cassie seemed uncomfortable all of a sudden, so Jake interviened.
"He doesn't exist here, so when his time is up, I don't think he'll exist at all. That's what I'm thinking, anyway."
The quiet in the room felt cold, like a window in the room was open, letting in the morning chill.
Even with the words that had come from him, "I'm an Armstrong. I'm your son, to be more clear." But since the spell, since the moment they shook hands and Jake had felt it... The connection was strong. Unlike a binding of a circle. It was like he could feel the very spirit of him, even now, after they'd touched and the spell had begun to wear off.
"You said on the phone you tried yourself, but couldn't," Diana stated for reassurance, and Cassie nodded to her.
Diana shook her head lightly, her eyes closing for a brief moment.
"Fine. Let's just get this done."
Cassie came out from the other room moments later, pushing her phone back into her jeans pocket.
"I can't reach Adam, but Faye and Melissa took down the other ingredients we needed from Calvin's shop, and they're on their way to get it."
"You left it to Ms. Chamberlain to do? We'll never see the ingredients now." Cameron said, quickly forming a frown. "Er, Faye."
They all regarded him without any words.
"You did let her know this is time sensitive, right?" Jake asked Cassie easily. She nodded, looking at Diana who sat on the couch, her eyes on her phone's screen. Her head lifted then, frowning in confusion at Cameron.
"So you know us then? In the future?" Diana asked him.
Cameron's mouth tightened into a straight line, more than likely silently cursing himself for having given anything away.
"I can't say too much."
"Why not?" Diana countered back.
His eyes lifted to hers from the chair he sat in on the other side of the room.
"Because you guys knowing things can have you trying to change events. Sometimes unconsciously. Even the smallest things. Everything, every choice, has a chain reaction."
Diana's face lifted from its tightness, into a thoughtful one. Like she'd just been thinking it herself. Her face was lighter, as if she was really seeing Cameron for the first time. And he stared back at her, the ghost of a grin lingering at the corner of his mouth.
It left Jake feeling uncomfortable, making him switch his weight from one foot to the other. Cameron was looking at her with a tenderness that he hadn't seen from him yet. His initial thought was that maybe Diana had, or was going to, die. Maybe most of them would die. Maybe Cameron had been the one to kill her. Or all of them.
Jake wouldn't put it passed an Armstrong with a clear emotion for revenge. Whatever it was that was the source of that revenge.
But either way, Jake wanted to send him back, or forward, as soon as possible.
"I never asked you how the hell you got here in the first place." Jake didn't bother with making it sound like a question.
Cameron thought for a moment, sarcasm written over his face. As well as leaking through from his voice. "Cassie did. Earlier."
"But she, nor I, got an answer. I'd like that answer now."
Cameron raised an eyebrow at Jake, obviously wanting to tell him to shove it. But he kept that bit to himself.
"How do you think I got here, Jake?" He'd said his name as if it were a curse. "Why do you think I knew I needed Cassie and...Diana's help? They're the only ones with dark magic."
"So we helped you get here?" Diana asked then, leaning forward against the couch she sat on.
Jake figured she was doubting that she would have helped in something like that, but it was twenty years from now when it had happened. Or rather, was going to happen. People changed. She had, and it had only taken a matter of months to do it. From the gentle and caring nature she once had, to having no trust in anyone or for anyone. Looking out for herself now when before, herself was her very last thought. He had no idea how he would have delt with everything she'd gone through in a matter of weeks. How he would have handled it, and turned out by the end of finding out about it all.
Cameron looked at her then, shrugging, his mouth kept shut. No real answer given still, which blazed flames within Jake. He'd already taken two steps forward before he was able to stop himself. Not because of his own realization at wanting to hit the little bastard, but rather because of the look Cameron had on his face when he saw Jake charging towards him. A warning, though there still remained a knowing of some kind. The familiar look that Jake made to his uncle when he'd tried to enforce restrictions or rules on him when he'd been growing up. Becoming an adult. Back when his uncle had tried to be his father instead of his uncle.
That one look stopped Jake dead where he stood, his whole sudden irritation instantly dropping to the floor.
He felt it when they'd completed the spell and shook hands, and he felt it now. The burst of recognition. The gut feeling that he knew this stranger. His blood warming and making it apparent that he was alive. Like if something happened to Cameron, it would hurt him in some way. Not physically, as if they were bound. Rather that it would wound him emotionally.
"When's this spell going to wear off?" Jake snapped at Cameron, looking away from him to Cassie who rejoined them in the room once again.
A distant sound of the front door shutting came before Cameron replied.
"I don't know. I've never done it before."
"So how did you know the spell was in there?"
Cameron looked at Diana who'd asked. "Because it's my book, Diana."
"Okay," Cassie said slowly, the crease between her eyebrows lessening when she heard Faye and Melissa step in behind them.
"No yelling or I'll make one of those ugly vace's break against your head. I have a nasty hangover," Faye said as she walked into the room.
Cassie rolled her eyes in reply to Faye's mention of Jane's personal house decor. But as Faye noticed another body in the room, she did a double-take, narrowing her eyes at him in question.
"Cameron," he replied to her, telling her his name before she'd even asked him for it.
Faye turned to the rest of them, even Melissa, looking for an explaination.
"Long story short," Jake began. "He time traveled and needs to get back."
"From where? An Abercrombie and Fitch photoshoot?" Faye retorted.
"Hey," Cameron whined in his own defense.
"Time-traveled," Melissa flatly repeated.
Like Faye, Melissa looked slightly battered from drinking. Faye had chosen drinking over spending any amount of time with him, which made him realize she was more than likely going to carry his past behavior over his head for a while.
Cassie looked to Diana, expecting her to stand up and explain everything as the leader she once was. But once again, she left Cassie to do what she'd gradually started doing from the beginning of joining them all. Or so Jake figured, considering he'd come back a couple of weeks after Cassie had arrived.
With everything such a mess, it was hard to determine who should have officially taken the role as the leader of their circle. It seemed to Jake that they each naturally assumed positions depending on the situation, and what they knew of it. Every circle, every coven, had a leader. Someone who symbolized guidence and absolute pressence. But at the moment, their circle was less together than he'd hoped. Initially, he hadn't hoped to be part of a circle at all. But his thoughts lately lingered over how he felt; like he didn't really belong anywhere. No where other than the circle he was in. It was broken, but it was all he had anymore. He wasn't willing to lose anyone. Even Adam, who was missing, more than likely still dealing with the destruction of the crystal skull.
As Cassie explained things, Diana's slight movement caught his eye. She was looking out the side window that was covered in sheer curtains. The grey clouds cast a fully expected shadow over the town that was there nearly everyday. It wasn't anything new to see, but she was watching the street like she expected to see something there. Like she expected the random guy she'd met to come barreling down the street, park his car, and come to the window, calling upon his fairest maiden.
Cameron stood then, stretching while he lifted his arms, exposing skin which made Jake look towards Faye who's eyes wandered there. Not surprising, but it bothered him to some degree. Not that he'd ever say so, or let it show that it did. It figured that she'd be attracted to another Armstrong. And considering the guy was his future son...
Jake cut in through what Cassie was finishing with. Mostly to get away from his own thoughts.
"What time were you meaning to get to?"
He'd yet to think of this, or ask it, and it seemed to throw Cameron off a little. His arms dropped, as well as his face.
"You guys said it was two-thousand and twelve, right?"
No one replied, but Cameron had been less talking to them, more confirming it with his own apparent scattered thoughts.
"I needed to get to the fifth of July. Two-thousand and seventeen."
"That's five years in a few months from now," Diana stated as she returned back to the discussion. "What happened then that's so important?"
Cameron squinted at her. "Remember that time long ago when I told you I couldn't say too much?"
Diana caught onto his dry remark and looked away from him in obvious annoyance.
"Say too much of what?" Faye asked him, crossing her arms over her chest.
"Too much of what happens in the future. It can change your minds, leading to some events that need to happen. Or if you decide to change something, it can end up more destructive than it initially was. It's best for things to be left unsaid."
"Ok, Einstein," Faye said with a small roll of her eyes.
"Actually," Cameron began, "there's no person who's ever had an official claim over the saying. It's just one of those American proverbs."
Faye blinked an empty stare at him, turning her head towards Melissa as if asking, "Do you believe this shit?"
"Is it the day you were born?" Cassie asked, ignoring the previous words exchanged between him and Faye.
"Nope," he answered, glancing around the room. He was meaning to sound short because he wasn't going to say anything more about it. "Is there a kitchen in this house still?"
"Still?" Cassie stepped forward, fear in her voice in reply to what he'd said.
"I've been in here before. That's all I meant by it. Don't get all worked up..." Cameron walked through the room, passing by Faye who couldn't seem to take her eyes off of him. She narrowed her gaze, lifting it to Jake's face just as he looked away from her.
If anyone were to notice something between himself and Cameron, it would be Faye. She knew his outline. His face. His mannerisms. At least out of the group in the room, she was the one who'd spent the most time around him. Who'd gotten to know him a bit deeper than the rest of them had.
Jake clenched his teeth and set after Cameron, hoping to get the stupid kid back into the room and get his mind off of food.
Or at least that's what he figured Cameron's mind was on, considering he'd asked about the kitchen.
If anything, Jake could have done with a drink. A strong one. One that would hopefully knock him out for a few days and allow him to wake up to all their problems being magically solved. Emphasis on the magically.
Of course that was stupid thinking. It wouldn't ever happen. For as long as witches existed, so would witch hunters. And there were plenty of them out there, searching for covens to hunt down. To end them all for good. Not to mention demons, power-hungry people, and other witches who simply wanted to stir up the pot. A never-ending array of things coming at them.
Although it was still hard to believe that this guy, Cameron, was his son, Jake couldn't help feeling a sense of longing for the family he'd never had a chance to have. He wondered, by any possibility, if his parents had something to do with sending him to here and now. But even as he thought it, he grew angry with himself. Thinking of everything that way had landed him on the path he'd decided to take when he'd left Chance Harbor.
Jake stuck his hand into his jacket pocket, gripping the gift given by his grandfather Royce. After the satisfaction and relief he'd felt in stabbing Eben, he'd mentally told himself, enough, Jake. He wouldn't ever be swayed again. Never so easily manipulated into tapping into his hate and anger, and used for it.
He'd never go back to that place in his mind, in his life, ever again.
Yeah, he could definetly use a drink. But that wasn't going to happen. Not tonight anyway.
He was about to call out to Cameron when he heard thumping and decided to simply step around the corner. To see what in the world he was up to.
His steps stopped in the entry way to the kitchen when he saw Cameron rushing around, opening and shutting cabinets. He glanced to Jake over his shoulder when he heard him approach, grunting in aggitation.
"Where the hell does she keep the liquor in two-thousand-twelve?"
Jake's eyebrows dropped as he frowned.
Whoever said great minds think alike was an increadibly stupid person, Jake thought sourly.