Note: I was asked if Kanima Jackson killed Isaac's dad, I'd rather not say but I promise you'll find out, though not for several chapters. There will be similarities between this story and season 2 but for the most part its gone AU after Season 1.
Note2: Sorry, I had planned on updating a day or two ago but wanted to add a bit of Scott. All the other characters have planned story arcs, Scott is giving me trouble. This story keeps on growing and I've had to rewrite parts a few times. Originally Lydia in the prologue was meant as a teaser and she doesn't show up much until much later, but writing her later story has me pumped and I ended up going back and rewriting and adding her into the story much sooner. And the way Danny met Jackson Kanima changed too, causing quite the rewrite.
Chapter 2 - Once Bitten, Twice Shy
"Nothing happened." Jackson answered Danny's unspoken question as he breezed by him in the hall on route to his locker, Danny two steps behind. The two had been almost inseparable the last week, Danny helping him catch up in school and lacrosse practice, Jackson filling Danny in on all the supernatural creatures running about. Jackson apologising several times for risking his life for the chance at becoming a werewolf, though he's positive Danny still hasn't dropped the subject yet. He told Danny about Scott and Derek, how Peter killed all those people out of revenge on Allison's aunt. Though it was Danny who told Jackson about the changes in Isaac, Erica and Boyd and it was pretty easy to work out they were admitted into Derek's pack.
"Nothing?" Danny asked. Jackson noticed how Danny didn't seem surprised by the news, was almost relieved. He had been recording himself every night for the past seven nights hoping something would happen, but every night it was the same, Jackson sleeping peacefully in bed, no change the whole night through. The disappointment was starting to get to him, mixed with everything that had happened over the last two weeks and it was quickly becoming too much.
He really didn't want to be discussing this right now, everything was still too raw. It had been two weeks since Derek had given him the bite as promised, two weeks since Derek's little, 'I'll give you the bite as promised, but after that you're on your own,' speech. The worst part wasn't even that Hale refused him into his pack, it stung but he would've refused either way. Jackson Whittemore submits to no one. It was that Derek wanted McCall, hounded him all year trying to get him to join. Jackson knows he is twice the man McCall is and would have become ten times the werewolf had things gone to plan. Now to add salt to the wound Derek rounds up three kids even more pathetic than McCall and recruits them.
Then there was waking up gasping for air in the middle of the river, gone midnight, which had not been a fun experience either. 'He bloody tossed me in the river while I was unconscious, who does that?' Jackson thought rather bitterly.
To top it all off his body rejected the bite. Apparently in all werewolf history it was change or die, but of course Jackson got to be the one exception to the rule. He blamed Lydia for it, he's not sure how, but nonetheless he's sure. It always comes back to her, everything negative in his life.
The tiniest part of Jackson's conscious knows its not true, Lydia's always tried to be the supportive girlfriend even at the cost of herself. He stomps the thought out quickly though, he needs to blame someone for his problems because the alternative is to take ownership himself and Jackson's never liked admitting to his shortcomings even to himself, so he always finds external ways to vent and place blame. And externally he only has two scapegoats left, Lydia and Danny. And well no one could fault Danny for anything. Seriously, the guy could take a dump on a strangers lawn and be thanked for the fertilizer. Besides he needed Danny.
Danny has always been the one constant throughout Jackson's life. Friends since they were four years old and met at some kids birthday party. For the life of him he couldn't remember whose but he remembered meeting Danny and the two had become fast friends. Danny was the one person who knew Jackson, probably better than he knew himself and for reasons Jackson still doesn't understand remains loyal, remains his friend. He was there at all the important points, namely finding out about being adopted when he was ten. Was there the last time Jackson had cried and clung to someone with all he was.
No, Danny is the one person who Jackson would be unable to recover from should he ever realize what an asshole he truly is. Which meant Lydia by default was to blame.
"Jackson?" Danny's voice breaks him out of his reprieve and he looks up to meet his friends worried gaze. "Jackson, you okay man? You kinda zoned out on me."
"Sorry, the break-up with Lydia just getting to me." Wasn't really an answer to Danny's question, anyone else would likely be fooled by the deflection of breaking up with ones girlfriend of two years. But this wasn't anyone it was Danny and he could see the scepticism in his eyes. He wouldn't call Jackson on it, Danny is always too polite to ever call someone out.
"That's rough man, why'd you two break-up anyway?"
Its an expected question, if not a loaded one. Danny knows why, he's sure, but is playing along and Jackson is thankful for not having to explain all the rejection that he's got lately. Namely Derek and his pack and his body from the bite. The latter becoming a real problem if all the bleeding he's been doing is any sign. Random bleeds from his nose, eyes, ears…and he'll leave it at that. For the last week and a half he's been bleeding so much he could barely leave his room, tissues claiming every visible surface. Then the blackouts started. No way he was going to go to school where everyone could see him faint like some swooning girl in the sun.
What Jackson hadn't thought of was that this question really wasn't any better. He and Lydia always put on a show for the school, the perfect teenage romance, necking at parties, holding hands down hallways, never fighting in public. Jackson's sure Danny saw through their little dance, but that still didn't mean he wanted to explain the why of their break-up. How does one explain that their fake relationship was too draining to keep up charades any longer? That Lydia got so hooked up in whatever it was they were that she had lost herself in Jackson, going so far as to dumb herself down to make him look better. Always playing the fool and sacrificing herself for his benefit. He's sure he should feel thankful that someone would go to such lengths for him but most the time it just made him feel stupid. All those times Jackson would put his foot in his mouth because he didn't really understand a topic and Lydia would jump in with something more inane to divert attention. That perky voice saying 'well obviously the mitochondria shows how strong the force is in a person,' to deflect that Jackson had answered the question wrong in front of their entire bio class. He's a student and students sometimes get answers wrong, it's a little embarrassing but you learn and move on, but somehow Lydia's constant intervention just made him feel stupid. Especially when you factor in that Lydia herself could have aced the final exams in most her classes without needing to take the course. But he never did work up the courage to call her on it and it ended up setting the dynamic for the rest of their relationship, a relationship based on appearances. Though half the school talking about her making out with McCall didn't sit well with him either.
"Sometimes people just fall out of love." It was both vague and a cop-out answer but for some reason it was the only lie of Jackson's Danny would believe. He always told Danny he loved Lydia, even if it started as admiration for her and quickly faded into mere tolerance of each other Danny always believed Jackson when he claimed to love Lydia. Though he'd never admit it he really cared about her, they were just never a good fit. Jackson far to selfish for a girl as self-sacrificing as Lydia.
"That's a shame, I know how much she meant to you." Danny became quiet, the look of his face clearly of someone with more questions but reluctant to ask them. Jackson could understand the reluctance, he's never been good with people prying into his life, even Danny, but for some reason today Jackson couldn't bare it on his best friend. He wanted to reassure him that he was fine, that he would be okay.
"Whatever you're dying to ask would you grow a pair and ask already. Dude, guys really shouldn't have a Puss in Boots look, don't care what team they play for." Jackson couldn't help the taunting tones and teasing way of giving his friend permission to ask. He's not about to admit he has a soft spot for Danny or anyone for that matter. And he'll never admit that the wide dimpled grin that breaks full on across Danny's face lifts something inside Jackson, makes him feel that just maybe everything will work out in the end.
"I get you suffer from emotional retardation so I'll ignore your feelings like you want me too, just tell me you're okay." Jackson can see the worry in Danny's eyes, even behind the smile that hasn't faded yet. But despite Jackson hates lying to Danny he's not about to tell him about all the bleeding and fainting, which luckily seems to have stopped. He doesn't need Danny playing mom and coddling and cooing over him every five seconds so he's all set to placate him with the usual, nothing he's fine and nothing to worry about excuses. But than for reasons he can't quite explain, that all changes when he hears Danny say, "and don't give me any of that lying B.S. you're preparing to feed me Jacks. You said the bite either turns or kills and I'm worried about you. Tell me the truth."
Its worded as a demand, 'tell me.' Jackson's never responded well to being told what to do and Danny should've known better, after Jackson's tenth birthday and finding out about his parents not being his parents they'd fought enough on the subject. He's seen him rebel against orders enough to know better. He's all set for the fight that's about to happen, mentally preparing himself to deal with the guilt of yelling at the nicest guy in the world, but what comes out surprises and mortifies him in equal measure.
"I've been bleeding…" Jackson bites the inside of his cheek hoping to stop the verbal diarrhoea that keeps spewing out unwillingly, it doesn't help. Just makes the inside of his mouth hurt. "Lots. From my nose, ears, eyes…I didn't think it would ever stop." He's getting really angry really fast because he wasn't meant to admit all this to Danny, he doesn't know why he is, but something inside of him is forcing it all out. And he feels the tears swelling in his eyes and the fear he's been burying so deep inside that he never truly realized he was scared of dying before now. But now that he's come to that realization those feelings are assaulting him with vengeance and he's having a hell of a time pushing them back down where they belong. "I keep blacking out, and they're getting longer and I'm so scared…" and damn it all he had to go and admit aloud to being scared.
Jackson braves a look up at Danny and is taken aback by the shock and fear that are clear as day on his best friends features. They're looking each other in the eye but only briefly because Danny recovered quicker than Jackson would have liked and is pulling him in gripping fiercely in a tight embrace. He can feel the wetness of Danny's tears as they meet his temple and he's all set to brush this all off with a sarcastic comment comparing gay guys to crying girls. But when he opens his mouth to voice it all that comes out is a sob and now tears and escaping his eyes too.
They cling to each other for awhile as they regain composure and Jackson finally finds his voice and asks Danny to get him out of here. Because he's been clinging to his gay best friend for close to five minuets in the crowded school hallway crying and his masculinity really can't take any more beatings today. Tomorrow he'll punch anyone in the throat who dares to comment about it but for now he really just needs to leave.
"Yeah, come back to mine. I don't want you to be alone." Another order, 'come back to mine.' This time the urge to start a row dies in less than a fraction of a second because he's far to drained to have a go at it. And some part of him is glad for the commands and even revels in them. He pushes the thoughts away, he's far to tired to even attempt analyzing whatever is going on with him and simply enjoys the comfort of letting someone else lead for once.
"Stop pacing already." Danny bites his tongue and mentally prepares himself for the verbal abuse that's about to come his way. Jackson Whittemore doesn't take orders, he leads and he gives them. But the retorts don't come and when he looks up from where he's sitting at the end of his bed and sees that Jackson stopped. He's still not looking at Danny, his eyes still glued to the floor like it holds the key to fixing all his problems.
Danny almost wishes Jackson would tell him to go to hell and refuse to listen because it's typical Jackson behaviour and if he can count on Jackson for anything its to be predictable. Today just feels wrong somehow. Ever since Jackson turned ten there had been three golden rules he followed with no exceptions.
First off, feelings. As far as Jackson is concerned he doesn't have them. He hasn't said I love you to a soul, not even his foster parents since that day. Not even to Lydia and Danny knows this because for the first year of their relationship he was the one to constantly assure her that Jackson really did love her because there was no way Jackson would ever admit it himself. Rule two, no touching unless it's a form of foreplay. Danny himself hasn't done more than a pat on the shoulder after a game. And it was saying something that he got away with that, Greenberg got punched in the face once for repeating the same gesture and since than everyone stuck to high fives where Jackson was concerned. Touching for comfort reasons was out of the question, he knows because Lydia again had come to him to complain several times about lack of intimacy. Final rule, never tell Jackson Whittemore what to do. If its not said in a way that it's a request or asking for help he's not doing it. Even his teachers learned to cater to him because it was less of a headache to just add a 'would you' or 'could you' than the constant head butting with Jackson the alternative led too.
It was thanks to those three rules of Jackson's that really helped Danny get over his big man crush he once held for his best friend. Though he knows if he's truthful to himself he never really got over it, more than just learned to ignore it. Its hard to get over ones first crush especially when its Jackson Whittemore. Chiselled jaw, perfect hair, smooth lips, abs, and that ass. Not that he'd ever let Jackson know just how much his eyes linger when Jackson's not looking. Not that Jackson would mind, in fact he knows his friend would rather enjoy letting him look. Jackson has never been squeamish about the whole gay thing, he was even Danny's first kiss.
And wasn't that an interesting day. That whole moment was permanently burned into Danny's mind in vivid detail. They were fourteen and in Jackson's room getting ready to go out. Jackson had just finished changing right in front of Danny and was just fixing his hair when, without turning around and still facing the full body mirror running the comb through his hair, he said, "did you enjoy the show?"
Danny's face had flushed and he immediately adverted his eyes scared to death of what was going to happen. He barely knew he was gay himself and would be devastated if this led to loosing his best friend. Most his friends he had met through Jackson and likely would loose all of them too.
"Show?" Was his reply and it really came out more as a gasp than a word.
"You know, the little striptease I just did for you while changing? Or did you think I actually undress that slowly and bend over quite so much when I change alone?" Danny could hear the taunting tone but didn't detect any malice to it, but he wasn't really in a right frame of mind at the time. And than everything happened far to quickly.
Jackson walked right up to Danny and told him to stand. Danny remembers the squeaked protests against standing due to the uncomfortable tenting that refused to go down since watching Jackson change and of course Jackson being Jackson called him on it.
"Dude, I already know you're tenting for me so stop being a girl and man up already," Jackson had said.
Danny really didn't want to comply, being outed before really knowing for sure yourself was bad enough, but to show your arousal to your best friend and crush was too much, but he had reluctantly complied if for no other reason than to get it over with.
Jackson had glanced down as if to prove his accusations true and than looked up and stared Danny right in the eyes with the slightest signs of his lips twitching upwards. Seeing that slight smirk on Jackson's cocky face was what finally allowed Danny to overcome his fears that Jackson might reject him, he was still nervous as hell but no longer about loosing his friend. And he was so caught up in his relief that he hadn't even noticed Jackson move forward until he felt the surprising soft touch of Jackson's lips on his. It was everything Danny imagined when his brain finally caught up to what was happening it took all his willpower to keep his hands from roaming. To keep them hovering stiffly a mere few inches away from Jackson's lower back where he wanted desperately touch.
Of course somehow Jackson knew his thoughts and one upped him, because next thing he felt was Jackson's hands gripping his wrists and pushing Danny's hands down onto his arse and that was when any restraint Danny might have been holding onto had left him. His hands squeezed the firm cheeks of Jackson's arse forcing their groins to grind together and causing Jackson to gasp into Danny's mouth which he had taken advantage of and deepened the kiss. It was also at that moment things got really embarrassing and not long after he'd suffer his first real full on heart break.
The end result of a fourteen year old boy getting to make out with and touch his fantasy resulted in him coming in his trousers. And that's when his brain finally began to be able to process things once more. Things like how despite their intense make out and groping session Jackson was clearly not the slightest bit aroused so Danny tried to braced himself for the words he knew were about to come.
So he listened to Jackson's speech about how he's not gay but is cool with Danny being so, even went so far to say he wished he was because it would be cool to not have to worry about watching chick flicks and doing other girly things. The whole while he listened with clenched teeth and clenched fists. Mad at Jackson for leading him on so thoroughly, and himself for being mad at Jackson because really his best friend was still his best friend and some guys, many guys their age aren't so lucky.
He hadn't planned on telling anyone else, still wanted time to get comfortable with it himself, but of course the world moved at Jackson's pace and the next day at lacrosse practice Jackson announced to the team that he was gay and anyone who had a problem with it could take it up with him. One of the senior boys had made the mistake of using the word 'fag' and Jackson responded in kind by breaking his lacrosse stick over the guys head and no one else made an issue. Stuck to words like gay and homosexual and within a few weeks everyone stopped changing in the stalls. Jackson even told him that most the guys fight over which of them Danny checks out, like it somehow proves their more attractive if another dude finds you hot. Danny never bothered to correct any of their assumptions, cause that would involve admitting that when Jackson is around no one else exists.
Jackson really didn't need an ego boost. Of all the many insecurities that make up Jackson Whittemore body image is the one that he doesn't suffer from. He knows most the girls want him and most the guys want to be him. The few times he's been Danny's wing man at the gay bar he didn't have to pay for a single drink. In fact neither of them did because Jackson had gotten more free drinks than any sixteen year old needed.
But today all the rules just seem to have gone out the window and Danny feels like he's been asked to play goal blindfolded and the one saving grace is that Jackson seems to be having a similar difficulty processing the last few hours events. Thus the pacing ever since they entered Danny's bedroom almost a hour prior.
"About what happened at school," Jackson's voice is low and almost sounded small. Weak even.
"It's fine. It stays between us and I won't bring it up," Danny says as he observes Jackson, who still looks far to tense and quickly adds, "and I doubt anyone who saw us would be brave enough to mention it to you so just relax."
Finally Jackson's shoulders seem to relax and whole body seems to just slump as he gradually turns around to face Danny. When Danny gets a good look at Jackson he sees just what the effects of the events of the past two weeks has had on his friend. He looks beyond tired, black bags below his eyes and his usually tanned skin is almost as fair as Allison's, only his looks far less healthy, and he has clearly lost a few pounds. If not for the fact that he's been in love with Jackson since before he really knew what love was he might go so far as to say that currently he looks a little unattractive.
"You look like death, lie down get some rest," this time Danny's aware of how he phrased it. It's a bit of an experiment to see if Jackson obeys or if he's on the recovery and is a little disappointed when Jackson simply nods his head, throws off his shirt and walks over to Danny's bed. But there is also the tiniest part that's thrilled at the knew dynamic that's been building since that night of the full moon.
The moment Jackson's head hit's the pillow his eyes close and he's clearly moments from a deep sleep. Danny gets up and walks over to the window closing the blinds to block out the sun and turns to head for the door. His hands just about to make contact with the handle when he hears Jackson's tired voice.
Its one word but Danny is sure if it was anyone else other than Jackson the words 'with me' would have been added. Danny knows where this is heading and he's not sure he's completely comfortable with it. They haven't shared a bed since that day they kissed, Danny took the floor the next time they spent the night at the others place and sleepovers stopped completely from that point on. It was just too hard to be so close. But if he ignores the request now, one that surely took all of Jackson's courage to voice, its unlikely Jackson will ever find the courage to ask anyone again.
Instead of turning the handle he finds himself twisting the lock and walking back to the bed. He lays down without taking off any of his cloths and stays as close to the edge of the bed as he can get without falling off. He becomes so entranced by the nonexistent patterns of his ceiling that he doesn't even register the movement until he feels warm hand grip his wrist and begin to tug. He doesn't fight it, just allows Jackson to manipulate his arm as its pulled over and wrapped around Jackson's torso forcing Danny to turn onto his side and face the back of Jackson's head. It feels a little awkward at just how right this feels for Danny and he quickly has to start thinking of nuns and rotten fruit because Jackson's naked torso is all kinds of warm and if his brain ever fully comprehends just how close Jackson's arse is to his groin its going to get all kinds of uncomfortable.
Danny ignores the small part of his mind that points out this is playing too perfectly. That he had been hoping Jackson ask him to stay, the he be able to hold Jackson to comfort him. That his Jackson would never openly display what he would consider weakness.
So instead he buries those thoughts and takes a page from the Jackson handbook on how to sidestep the issue and says, "you're not my type."
Jackson doesn't move, barely responds except for a tired whisper that makes Danny smile, because it's the first sign that Jackson's on the recovery.
"I'm everyone's type."
It's a small victory and Jackson's got along way to go to recovery, Danny knows. And when Jackson learns the extent of the secrets he's keeping from him their friendship might not recover. But Jackson's not currently at this best and Danny knows Jackson's not ready to face certain truths yet so he'll bare the burden for him. He'll protect him from his enemies, even if they're himself.