Jackson laid in his bed, rain pattering on the roof. He was almost on the brink of sleep, the blissful oblivion that pulls you into its warm depths, cradles you for what feels like a lifetime, before kicking you out and throwing you into the harsh world. He would have welcomed sleep with open arms, had he not felt something shifting on his left side. Whatever it was, it flipped and flopped around before throwing strawberry blonde hair across his chest, relaxing again into his side. His eyes snapped open, instantly awake. He turned and looked to the sleeping girl next to him, an uncharacteristically warm smile gracing his lips. If there was anything he valued above all, above his Porsche, his lacrosse team, hell maybe even his life itself it was the girl next to him.

He will never forget the first time he saw, I mean really saw, Lydia Martin. It was there freshman year of high school, and even though he and grown up with Lydia, he had never saw her like that. Maybe it was the way her strawberry blonde hair was curled perfectly in little tendrils around her face. Or the way her eyes sparkled mischievously, like she knew a secret that no one else ever would. Maybe it was her mouth, the way she spoke. It gave him chills to know she knew she had power, and she knew how to use it. Everyone, even the Stilinski kid, who at this point Jackson thought was gay the way he followed McCall around, practically worshiped the ground she walked on. But in the end, the real reason he was attracted to Lydia Martin wasn't because of her beauty, her wit, or her money. What had sealed the deal was the way she looked at him. It pierced his soul, deep down to the very core. If Jackson believed in destiny, he would have said that the fates were on his side when she all but glided into his freshman science class and sat next to him. And when the teacher announced that the person they had sat next to would be their lab partners for the entire year, his heart skipped a beat.

It had been entirely too hard to sit next to her that day, and in the week that followed he felt an embarrassing reaction coming from inside his jeans. He had never, ever, ever popped a boner in class, not even in 8th grade when Stilinski had accidentally got sulfuric acid on Aly Felix's clothes and she had to strip down to her underwear and get into the chemical shower. And it wasn't even that she was pretty. She was, in a word, flawless. Everything that she did was perfect. Whether it be cheering her team on at the lacrosse field or spouting off chemical names and their information in her science class, everything Lydia Martin did was flawless. He found himself wanting to be closer and closer to her.

To say he was confused with these new feelings would have been an understatement. He was too embarrassed, and proud, to go to his father with this information, so he turned to Danny. His best friend. His confidant. And his right hand on the field. Jackson wasn't worried that Danny would reject him or tell anyone what had been going on. When Danny's homosexuality surfaced in the 8th grade, he had every able bodied man in the Beacon Hills Middle School on his back, Jackson quickly took care of that. When Jackson confessed all of his emotional, and physical, reactions to to Lydia, he expected the worst. But, Danny laughed at him. Flat out laughed. This made Jackson ridiculously angry, and when Danny noticed he stopped laughing and looked at Jackson, and said simply. "Ask her out."

It took a lot more courage than that. He had Danny feel Lydia out, acting like his own Recon Agent. Danny wasn't the least bit pleased with this, but he let it go for Jackson. The day he asked her to go on a date with him, he stumbled his words. Instead of the calm, cool look he was going for, He had stumbled around his words and even stuttered a little bit. Instead of coming out like this, "Hey Lydia, looking good. How about we go do something this weekend, yeah?" It came out like this "H-hey Lydia. You look g-good today. B-but that's nothing new. You always look good. So yeah lacrosse game tonight. I"ll be playing first line-" before he could even finish his butchered line she smiled up at him, those green eyes sparkling, and reached out to pat his cheek.

"I'll tell you after the lacrosse game." She had said, before heading off to her advanced math class. Jackson just stood there dumfounded, before Danny came up and patted his shoulder, before going to the locker room.

Jackson had never played a harder game of lacrosse in his life. He had scored two goals and had ended up beating their in-state rivals 5 to 1. He looked straight past his parents on the bench and scanned the crowd for the mop of strawberry blonde hair he was looking for. Jackson let out a breath he didn't realize he had been holding when he saw her sitting beside Ms. McCall, chatting about something or another. She looked perfect in her white beanie and matching peacoat, guarding her against the chill of the night. He was pretty sure his dad laid a hand on his arm, but he didn't care. He marched straight up to her, sweat and all, and gave her the famous Whittemore smirk. She answered by carefully stepping onto the first row of bleachers, before giving him a quick peck on the lips. She giggled and wiped some of her pink lipstick off his lips before handing him a piece of paper, turning and walking to her car.

That next Saturday was the first time they hung out together. They had a movie night at Lydia's house, and he had been allowed to pick the movie. He browsed through the movie store, and when he couldn't find something to get, he asked the clerk for help. The clerk pointed to a romance section, and picked up a movie. "This one is popular with the chicks. It'll help ya in whatever you want to do." He thanked the man and walked out of the store, holding The Notebook in his hands. She smiled when he showed her his selection, and sheepishly mentioned that she hoped he'd pick it out. They settled on the loveseat and began to watch the movie.

Halfway through he thought he heard Lydia sniffle, but didn't risk looking. A few minutes later he heard it again. This time when he looked, she was definitely crying. Silent tears streaming down her gorgeous face. She refused to look at him, her cheeks flaming in embarrassment. He smiled at her and pulled her to where she was laying on top of him, her cheek planted firmly against his chest. He kissed the top of her head, and they continued watching the movie. He ended up staying at Lydia's house 2 hours past curfew, but he knew it was worth it. The kiss she gave him that night left him breathless.

In the year since that day, they had grown older and grown apart, but in some ways closer. He was Lydia's first, and she his. They had freaked out together when her period was late, and cried together when the pregnancy test said negative. They had been doing ok for a few weeks after that when they had gotten into a huge fight. She was being "emotionally needy" as he put it, (but she was his girlfriend, so emotionally needy wasn't exactly a bad thing), and he was being a "pompus jackass" as she put it. That fight was the first time Jackson had made her cry. She avoided him for a week. He felt lost, like one of his limbs had been cut off but he still felt it. When he tried to confide in Danny, he told him that he was being an ass and to go talk to Lydia himself. He said that he fight was her fault but in the end he knew it was so. When Lydia hadn't been at school for a few days, he absolutely lost his mind. He skipped lacrosse practice after school and drove to her house. When he noticed her father's car parked outside Jackson freaked out a little. What had happened to her? When he rung the doorbell, no one had answered. Frantically he walked in and noticed half the furniture was gone, with a note on the door that said

"I'm leaving you."

It was then that he noticed Mr. Martin laying on the ground passed out drunk with a bottle of Jack. He got into his car, driving all around Beacon Hills, looking for the little VW Bug that he hated so much. When he found her car not far from his own home, he threw the door open without knocking and swept her up unceremoniously into a bear hug. Her and her mother gave him a confused look, but instead he just shook his head and returned it to its place in the juncture of her shoulder. Later they sat down and talked about what happened, her parents divorce and their move. She cried all through that night, tucked into his side. He didn't return to his house till the wee hours of the morning, and wanted to do a little happy dance when he learned that Danny covered for him. It was much of the same when he found out he was adopted. Instead, for once he cried on her shoulder, and she held him through the night.

It seemed their relationship was constantly getting worse. Until that night at the video store. Seeing her freak like that broke a primal dam inside of him, the need to be wanted by her and protect her came above all else, but she was afraid, and he confused, so he did nothing. After two days he couldn't take it anymore, and sneaked into her house at night. When she woke up confused, he admitted what he had been feeling. The words tumbled off his lips, a cascade of emotion pouring from his mouth like word vomit. Lydia had only seen him cry once, when his whole world had been destroyed by his parents and news of his adoption. But when he told her those words, she saw the vulnerability and fear in his eyes. He was truly scared of what happened to her, what could have happened to her. He hated showing her that much emotion, it scared him. But she just smiled at him, that same smile he fell in love with, before shucking his shirt off of him.

They bonded in more than one way that night, and Jackson went to bed fully satisfied with his red-headed girlfriend sleeping in his shirt next to him. He kept tracing patters on her arm, admiring her while she slept. It seemed he hadn't been doing that enough lately. He kissed her head again, before turning so they were face to face. Wrapping his arms against his girl, he went to sleep thinking about the best thing that could ever happen to him.