A/N- So yes, the inspiration came from the new highly-anticipated episode coming out called Hit the Road Jack which I am DYING to see. But I changed it up a bit. This isn't my take on how the episode should go, I just used elements of the plot to make this incredibly song story. It's a future!fic and they're eighteen, and have just graduated high school. And in the description I mentioned there would be eventual Jack/Kim and I said that for a reason. In the first few parts, Jack mainly interacts with J, E, M and Rudy and Kim doesn't even appear after a few sections. So just be patient with the KICK. But I hope you guys enjoy it! This is the officially the LAST fanfic I am writing, since school starts on Thursday and I felt that this a great way to conclude my writing, because I worked my butt off for this.
Fun fact: It's been exactly 1 year since I joined FF and published my first story Kim-Napped. So happy one-year-fanfic-aversary to me! :P
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Disney XD's Kickin' It or "Our Story" by Graham Colton.
[What Hurts the Most]
April 17, 2015
To Jack Anderson,
We are glad to announce that after several applications being submitted, you have been accepted to join the Otai Academy of Martial Arts in Tokyo, Japan on full scholarship! Your outstanding background in martial arts would make a great addition to our academy, where you'll be able to study more in-depth into the martial arts with some of the world's finest certified Senseis. Here, you get to learn a number of different styles of Martial Arts such as Shuri-ryu, Jiu Jitsu, and many others for a good four years. You'll also be able to take courses for any basic subjects, should you choose to major in something else other than martial arts. Attached in this envelope is your plane ticket for your arrival in Tokyo which departs Saturday June 28th at 2 AM. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us. We look forward to meeting you! Congratulations!
Headmaster of the Otai Academy of Martial Arts
His fingers gingerly trailed across the words "you've been accepted" shakily. He had already read this letter a hundred times, but he still couldn't believe that it was true, that it was written in fresh black ink that he was joining such an academy as this. Anybody with a passion for martial arts as strong as his would dream to go to this school. At first he had thought that was merely impossible for him to get accepted into an academy as top-notch as this, especially since he hadn't even gone back to the Bobby Wasabi Martial Arts Academy for over a year now. His experience in martial arts was no match for highly-trained, oh-so focused professionals attending that school. But he still applied to this college that he was so intrigued in attending, still almost sure that he wouldn't even be considered…
But here he was, staring at his own acceptance letter in his bedroom, while his foster mother was jumping for joy outside…probably because of the fact that he was finally leaving tonight.
To be honest, when he had received the letter in his mailbox he couldn't help but feel thrilled, because this was the college he wanted to go to. This was what he wanted to do with his life. Going to Japan to train in one of the best schools for Martial Arts in the world was a chance for him to be independent, without having his foster parent having to give him false accusations of things he never even did. He could start a new life, and live happily. Not only did his acceptance letter have a plane ticket to Japan…it had his ticket to freedom.
Yet, Jack was still in no mood to happy dance.
What about his old life? His life in San Jose where he could communicate with people who knew English, where he could freely skateboard, where he could go to Falafel Phil's and parties with his graduated class?
Where he had his friends?
Actually, he hasn't actually spoken to any of his…former friends for over a year now. It was funny how just two years ago they were as thick as thieves who ate together, trained together and had a fun-filled life together. He remembered staying awake for hours, wondering how fast they had drifted apart once they longer trained in the dojo. Sometimes he'd go up to them in school and offer to hang out, but they were just too busy.
Jack was no longer a part of their life.
And they were no longer a part of his.
Milton was working his ass off for getting scholarships for an Ivy League along with his girlfriend Julie, so they could spend the rest of their life together. Of course to do that, they both needed to get into work equally hard so he put all his focus into studying. He had no time to talk to anyone really which was why he quit karate in the first place. It had soon become too much for him to handle.
Jerry and Eddie seemed to still be close, working together for countless hours at Falafel Phil's for some college money. The two had hardworking but unfortunately broke parents that couldn't afford to pay for the rest of their education. So to save more money, the two had no choice but to quit karate. They had soon chosen to put all of their focus into school and working, saving all the money they could for their education. They hadn't spoken with Jack ever since.
So after Milton, Jerry and Eddie quit it was just Jack and Kim left in Rudy's class.
While Jack was upset that they'd broken from their friendship, he was the most hurt to see Kim walking out on him as well. She never really had a valid reason as to why she quit…she had simply walked out of the dojo the day after her other three friends left. Not only did she leave the Bobby Wasabi Dojo, but she also left Jack.
The girl he'd loved had suddenly chosen to permanently delete him from her life.
Whether it was her looks, their resilient friendship, or just that smile, Jack Anderson knew that he had always loved her. And hopefully, she had loved him in return. He was hoping to admit his true feelings for her on the day she left…but after their little argument, the two of them had never said one word to eachother for over a year.
And it killed him.
After all they've been through.
He tossed the paper aside staring at his packed suitcases and his empty bedroom. In just a few hours, he was going to get on a plane and live in a brand new country to start a new phase in his life.
Yes, even with the regrets still haunting him, Jack Anderson had chosen to leave.
But nobody knew about this except for him.
With his friends who pretty much betrayed him, who was there for him to tell? Even if he chose to tell his so-called friends, would they even care?
They were nothing but betrayers to him.
Jack stared at the clock, seeing that it was already night time. It was a beautiful summer evening, with the sun still wide awake. He looked out of his window and saw his foster siblings playing in the nearby park with the few balls and toys they owned. He chuckled, seeing them getting along with eachother so well, even when they weren't blood related.
Even from afar, Jack could see their relationship being unbreakable.
Widening his eyes, he rushed towards his desk opening the second drawer that had only one folded up piece of paper he'd kept for the past two months.
Written on the top fold wrote "Kim" in messy handwriting.
Shoving it into his pocket, with no hesitance he grabbed his acceptance letter and immediately rushed out of his vacant bedroom and started heading out the main door, when he could hear his foster mother calling his name.
"Hey! Where you do you think you're going?"
He turned around seeing his foster mother with her arms folded, staring at him like he was some sort of street dog.
"Out." He said simply.
"Out? Now?" She snapped. "You have a flight to catch in a few hours! Where can you possibly go? You have no friends!"
He sighed and opened the front door, locking eyes with his foster mother's cold stone ones.
"I may not friends anymore but that doesn't mean I can't say goodbye to them."
And with the word "goodbye" still echoing in his head, he stormed out of the house, and began to call three boys he'd never imagine actually talking to as he asked all of them to meet him at his first destination.
The Falafel Phil's Diner.
Jack Anderson was prepared to tell them and say goodbye.
Well…attempt at saying goodbye.
CURRENT TIME: 6:23 PM
HOURS UNTIL DEPARTURE: 7.5
FIRST ATTEMPT AT GOODBYE: Milton David Krupnick, Jerry Martinez, and Eddie Johnson.
LOCATION: Falafel Phil's Diner
HURT METER: 8
"So…how are you guys?"
He'd broken a long silence as the three boys stared at him utterly baffled. He was lucky enough to even manage to drag the three boys here, as they originally had plans for their last summer before they're off to college to start a new chapter of their life. Milton was exactly how Jack had remembered him being, wearing the usual sweater-vests and that kind, innocent face. Jerry and Eddie were still in their Falafel Phil's uniform, looking more exhausted than ever as they faced Jack with a quizzical stare. He chewed on his Falafel balls awkwardly, giving the boys a sheepish grin.
"Well I'm good," Eddie said after a long pause, shrugging. "Life's been just peachy."
"Good." Jack nodded awkwardly. "Uh, Jerry…you?"
"Uh…everything's good," Jerry said simply. "You know…nothing the swag master can't handle."
"Okay hold up," Milton said, setting down his glass of water. "I don't understand this. Jack…what's going on here? We haven't actually hung out for over a year now and you just randomly call us to have dinner? Why are you doing this?"
Jack let out a deep pause and faced all three of them who squeezed in together, refusing to sit next to him, which hurt him even more. "I wanted to see you guys for one last time. I know we haven't really talked to eachother since that day when you all chose to quit Martial Arts, but…I feel like you deserved to know. Just because we don't talk, doesn't mean we're not friends anymore."
"Wait, see you one last time?" Eddie asked, finally taking a seat next to Jack, not even forgetting to bring his meal. "Where are you going?"
Jack sighed, and handed him the letter. "Read for yourself."
His eyes widened, and he handed it over to Milton. "Uh-uh. Too many words. You read it, Mr. Harvard."
Rolling his eyes, Milton's eyes darted from left to right as he was reading the paper. Jerry read along too, with his eyes equally dilated as Milton's.
"Wait…you're leaving to Japan?" Jerry asked. "Forever?"
He flinched at the word "forever", giving a reluctant nod. "Yes. Bobby recommended me, and I applied. I didn't think I would actually get in, but…"
"And you couldn't apply to other colleges?" Milton asked. "Jack—you're actually a smart student. Colleges here would love to have you."
"And you think I can pay for it?" He argued. "This is the only college I applied to. And I got a full scholarship. I couldn't turn it down. I got this letter a long time ago but I just…didn't know how to tell you guys."
"When are you leaving?" Eddie asked. "We can come to the airport if you want!"
He took another deep sigh, and faced Eddie with sad eyes. "My flight leaves at like two in the morning. I couldn't ask you guys to come. That's why I wanted to spend time with you before I…left."
"Dude…why didn't you tell us before, man?" Jerry asked. "We're your friends, and—"
"For the past year, it didn't seem that way." Jack admitted. "We just all…drifted apart. We went from doing everything together to not even saying hi to eachother when we pass by the hallway. How could I tell you guys when you just…left me hanging?"
"Jack…we can't just be this happy rag-tag group of five that we were four years ago." Milton said. "Unfortunately, that cruel mistress of reality likes to come in to play with it. I had to focus on school, Jerry and Eddie had to focus on getting some money….it just happened."
"But I miss it, okay?" He said. "I missed being that group of five that did everything together, that went to a dojo to do karate together, and that came to this place without being interrogated. And I missed…you guys. Like crazy."
"I missed you too," Jerry said. "Honestly, I felt terrible for leaving you...but I just never had the time. I should have made time for you, though."
"Yeah…you did so much for us." Milton said. "I feel like a terrible friend."
"Guys," Eddie said, putting a hand on Jack's shoulder. "Let's not dwell on the past. Please. What's done is done…we can't take it back. We should just enjoy our last few minutes with Jack before…"
He didn't need to finish his sentence.
"I thought you guys forgot about me," Jack mumbled. "It seemed that way."
"We could never forget about you, Jack." Milton shook his head. "Ever. You don't know how many days I regretted quitting martial arts and using my free time on extra credit assignments and community service. But you were the glue that kept us together. And…I'm sorry."
"Me too." Jerry said. "You are and always will be my friend and…I know that no matter what, I can always count on you. And whether you're millions of miles away from us, living your life in with Japanese babes or not—you can always count on us."
"And we promise…we're not going to make the mistake of drifting apart again," Eddie smiled, giving Jack a hug.
"Thanks," Jack smiled, doing his special handshake he invented with Jerry back when they first met. "I'll never forget you guys."
And there was an exchange of smiles, and a feeling that Jack hadn't endured in a while. His heart had felt warm with gratitude, and his lips remained curved, his mind seeming to have been elevated.
That same feeling he had when he met them for the first time.
"Hey! New kid!"
The brunet turned his head seeing a short African American boy calling his name. With a polite smile, he grabbed his lunch and rushed over to the table, seeing a boy with spiky jet-black hair, and a nerdy looking boy with a sweater vest.
"Uh, what are you doing Eddie?" The Mexican looking boy said, rising from his seat. "We save that seat for cheerleaders, prom queens and supermodels!"
"Well, I'm Jack." He said, taking a seat. "How do you guys all know eachother?"
"We're friends." The ginger with the sweater vest said. "We do karate together after school."
"Pfft, we don't just do karate, Milton!" The Mexican boy chimed in. "These fists are registered weapons! In fact, I've already gotten a few calls on joining the navy seals!"
"Navy seals? You're afraid of baby seals!" Eddie teased. Jack chuckled, and rolled his eyes staring at the nice group of people he'd just met. He knew it was safe for him to call them friends already.
The start of an amazing friendship.
"Well now that sappy, boo-hoo crap is done," Jerry said. "You guys want to see how fast I can get a brain freeze by drinking one Slurpee?"
Laughing, it soon became like old times. Milton went off on some scientific explanation on how brain freezes can actually cause severe damage to the brain, Eddie cheered Jerry on, and Jack brought out his phone to time him. They talked and talked about everything—how Milton got into Harvard University with Julie, how Eddie's parents had solved their financial crisis and he'd be able to go to Seaford Community College, and how Jerry's thinking about going with him, or possibly even joining the army. They laughed, teased eachother, asked about the school Jack would be attending—and rather than being upset, what surprised Jack was that they were actually interested in hearing about the Otai Academy.
They were actually happy for Jack.
And even though they had to conclude their guy's reunion in just an hour that was all Jack needed.
After two years of never speaking, they spent time like nothing had ever happened between them.
That was all he wanted.
But the only thing he purposely forgot to say was one word:
CURRENT TIME: 8:12 PM
HOURS UNTIL DEPTAURE: 6
SECOND ATTEMPT AT GOODBYE: Sensei Rudy Gillespie
LOCATION: Bobby Wasabi Martial Arts Academy
HURT METER: 9.5
So after saying one last "see you later" to Milton, Jerry, and Eddie as he promised to call them once he reached Japan, he stood in front of the Bobby Wasabi Martial Arts Academy, with the lights still on inside. It had been so long since he's seen the dojo, as he merely passed by it for the past year, never bothering to go back inside to check on Rudy, which made him feel remorse as he stood in front of the vacant dojo. With a trembling hand, he pushed the glass door open and walked inside, searching for his short, blonde-haired mentor.
"Rudy?" He called. "Are you there?"
"I told you!"
Jack turned around, seeing a man come out of the office room with a cellphone in his hand, and he seemed stressed out. He could see tiny strands of gray hair and stressed wrinkles already appearing, as he furrowed his brow in anxiousness.
"Look it's just…business has been really slow lately! I just lost a few more students and I—" Rudy's eyes had finally met Jack's and his eyes distended in revelation as his mouth flew open. Jack exhaled deeply, and gave Rudy a small, shy wave.
"Hey, hey!" Rudy caught himself. "Can we talk about this later? …Fine…yes with the smiley-faced chocolate chip cookies please…I love you too mom." And he snapped his phone shut and gave Jack a kind smile.
"Jack?" He said, narrowing his eyes slightly. "Is that you?"
"Yeah it's me," Jack smiled, inching closer towards him. "Hi Rudy."
"Wow! I'm so happy to see you!" Rudy grinned, giving Jack a hug. "How have you been?"
"Well I just thought I'd come to say…" Jack began, not being able to finish his sentence. "Well, do you remember the Otai Academy? The one in Japan that Bobby recommended for me?"
"Yeah…that was quite a long time ago," Rudy said a bit sadly.
"Yeah, well…I applied and…I got in." He admitted.
"Really?" Rudy asked. "Jack…that's amazing! Wow, I'm so proud of you! That school is really hard to get into, you know? You must be really happy!"
"Well…" Jack said, sitting down on the bench.
"You're not happy?" Rudy asked, taking a seat next to him.
"I am it's just…" Jack said, staring at the note. "It's such a big step, you know? I mean, I just met up with the guys after a long time and I won't be seeing them for another four years. And I haven't even seen Kim yet, I…"
"You're not sure if you should go anymore?" Rudy said.
"I don't know." He admitted. "I'm just really confused. I was excited to get accepted...but I'm just not sure if it's worth leaving everyone and everything."
"Jack…you're eighteen years old," Rudy said. "This is the time to move on from everything, and start your own independent life. This college is a huge deal, and once you get your degree, you'll live a beautiful life. This is the time to make decisions for you. And at first it may not seem like the best, but in the long run…you'll be glad you did."
"But isn't that selfish?" He asked. "Wouldn't that be like taking glory over friendship?"
"Not if you keep the friendship," Rudy said. "You guys have been together for as long as I can remember. Nothing can break you guys apart. And besides…your friends would want you to do this. I would you to do this."
"I guess you're right." Jack said, staring at Rudy. "Thanks Rudy."
He shrugged. "It's just a little advice. I'm pretty sure you've heard that lecture a million times."
He laughed. "Not just that…for everything. Everything you did for me. I'm sorry I avoided you for the past year and I'm sorry all this happened and—"
"Don't be sorry," Rudy said, patting his shoulder with a smile. "You can't be sorry for life, Jack. These things happen…but that doesn't mean you give up. What you guys had was special. It was an unbreakable bond….and I know you won't lose it even if you do live across the word for four years."
He chuckled. "Yeah. Hopefully."
"Just don't forget me, okay?" He said with a smile.
Jack walked into the competition center with a duffel bag angrily clutched in his hand, as he saw Rudy staring at him with relief. He didn't have the intention on showing up to this sensei-student competition after what Rudy had said to him, but he didn't have the heart to watch him fall and humiliate himself.
He couldn't do that to Rudy, even when he said that he was an embarrassment.
"Jack!" Rudy said with a relieved smile. "I'm so glad you're here!"
"I'm not a quitter." He said stiffly, as he glared at Rudy. "If I start something, I finish it."
Not wanting to make eye contact with Rudy, he set his bag down and sat on the bench.
"Look Jack…I said something I never should have said," Rudy blurted. He looked up, seeing Rudy's eyes that were already begging for forgiveness. "You're not the embarrassment…I'm the embarrassment." He added sadly.
"Rudy," Jack sighed, standing up. "Even though you sometimes turn into a flaming nutcase; I know you're always going to be there for me. And I'm always going to be there for you."
"Thanks Jack," Rudy smiled, and they pulled eachother into a hug, with the promise still ringing in their head.
No matter what, they'll always be there for eachother.
Jack smiled, bringing Rudy into a hug.
"I could never do that." Jack smiled.
"So…since you're leaving tomorrow," Rudy said, getting up and hopping towards the mat. "Want to have one last spar together? For old time's sake?"
"Sure," Jack smiled, stepping onto the mat.
"Just don't go easy on me, alright? I'm not that old, okay?!" Rudy said.
"No worries…grandpa," Jack teased, and with a laugh, they both had one last spar together, dodging each other's kicks and punches, and sparring with eachother for one last time before he may never have the energy to spar again. The strands of gray hair and slight wrinkles didn't seem to stop him, as he fought harder than ever, all with a smile on his face.
And once again, Jack left the dojo with a smile on his face.
Still refusing to say the word "Goodbye".
CURRENT TIME: 10:59 PM
HOURS UNTIL DEPTAURE: 3
LAST ATTEMPT AT GOODBYE: Kimberly Crawford
HURT METER: …indefinite.
Kim…i've texted u like a hundred times. where r u? i know we haven't spoken to eachother in a while but please meet me by the dojo ASAP. i need to talk to u. –Jack :)
He paced back and forth, wandering around through the Bayview Strip Mall like he was some sort of freak, waiting impatiently to see the blonde-haired beauty for one last time. A normal person would've gathered his suitcase and his last set of belongings, and might have probably started for the airport already ready to start his new life in a new country. He had already said goodbye to his sensei, to his other friends, and he had a great time tonight. Shouldn't that be enough?
Because Jack Anderson refused to leave without seeing Kimberly Crawford for one last time.
He brought his phone out, ready to send Kim another text-message, as she hasn't even bothered to answer the 20 texts and 10 voicemails he left. The signal corrupting by the second, he changed his position by furiously walking away from dojo as he felt the letter crumbled in his hand that was addressed to Kim. The brunet trailed his eyes away from his phone, searching for anybody with blonde hair, as the streets were thankfully empty. His hope started to come crashing down and reality started to sink in, as he didn't see anybody in sight. While he desperately didn't want to leave yet, he had no choice but to if she doesn't show up.
But his train of thought came to a halt when he heard someone's voice.
A girl's voice.
He turned around surprisingly coming face-to-face with the Black Dragon Martial Arts Academy. The doors remained open, and he saw a girl in a black and red karate Gi working out with one of their state-of-the-art punching dummies as she furiously punched each one with her cry echoing throughout the dojo each time she punched the dummy. The girl's honey blonde hair vigorously flew all over the place, as she wiped beads of sweat off of her temples. Jack inched closer and rubbed his eyes to make sure they weren't deceiving him.
But his eyes weren't playing any tricks on him.
Because as he locked eyes with the girl in the Black Dragon uniform, to his dismay it was none other than Kim Crawford.
He stood there in awe as he saw Kim break a board mindlessly with just one fist to the wood, like it was no big deal. In satisfaction, she flipped her hair to the side, and faced Jack with a pleased smirk on her face. When she said she knew karate, Jack merely took it as a joke. Why would a beautiful girl like her take on such a strenuous sport?
But here she was in her black belt, standing in what was supposed to be the "best dojo in town", with that fearless look in her beautiful hazel eyes.
"I guess you do know a little something about karate!" He exclaimed, with his eyes distended in shock.
She laughed. "This place made me a black belt. Everything at the Black Dragon is the best of the best."
Smirking, he asked for a board of his own, and was about to break it when someone had called his name. He looked up seeing who looked like the sensei of the Black Dragons.
"Jack!" He called. "I want you to know that if you join this dojo you'll become like a cobra. Fast. Dangerous. And quite comfortable sleeping in a basket."
He narrowed his eyes in confusion, and saw Kim roll hers as she tapped Jack lightly on the arm. "What sensei's trying to say is…if you train here…you'll become a champion!"
He saw the fiery look in Kim's eyes, as she took so much pride in her dojo, already persuading him to join. The sensei had even handed him a state-of-the-art astronaut like bostaff which he'd never seen before. Everything at the Black Dragon seemed highly professional, so…perfect.
"So what do you say, Jack?" Kim asked, her eyes looking at him willingly. "Will you join the Black Dragons?"
But Jack didn't want perfect.
"I'd like to…" Jack started. "But I can't."
He saw Kim roll her eyes, as she faced him with frustrated eyes.
"Jack, come on," Kim said irritably. "Bobby Wasabi's a joke!"
"Come on, it's not a joke to me!" He argued. "I gave my word. It's the Wasabi Code."
And with a last wave, clutching the bostaff in his hand, he walked off leaving Kim in her Black Dragon pride.
At the time¸ Jack knew that Kim would always think of Bobby Wasabi as a "joke" rather than an amazing, principled dojo.
And his prediction was correct.
"K-Kim?" He stuttered.
"Jack?" She narrowed her eyes, as if she couldn't recognize him. "What…what are you doing here?"
"The question is what are you doing here? He questioned. "Since when were you a Black Dragon?"
Her cheeks flushed, as she looked around in guilt, purposely not making eye contact with the brunet. "Jack, you should just leave," Kim said, grabbing a towel to dry off her perspiration.
"No, tell me what you're doing here," Jack demanded, staring at her furiously. "Why are you a Black Dragon again? How…how could you do this?"
"Is this why you called and texted me a hundred times?" She snapped. "To yell at me for making my own decisions? I'm not a child, you know!"
"So you left Bobby Wasabi for this? After everything they did to you?" He asked.
"Jack, this is none of your business. If you came here to yell at me, then you should just leave—"
"Hey, babe. Ready to go?"
Jack tore his eyes away from Kim, seeing another brunet walking towards her with a smile on his face, planting a peck on Kim's cheek. She gave him a half-hearted smile, waving an unenthusiastic "hi" back. He stared at Jack and gave him a confused look. But Jack had no regret in shooting him a death glare, as he constricted his jaw in frustration. It took Jack a while to recognize that the brunet that had just addressed Kim as "babe" was none other than Brody Carlson.
"Kim, he's not bothering you, is he?"
And that's when his heart had shattered into a million pieces.
"You're…with...him?" Jack asked Kim. She opened her mouth like she was about to say something, but no words would flow out.
"Well Jack, it's nice to meet you too." Brody snapped. "Um…not to be rude or anything, but are you here for a reason?"
Jack's eyes flickered towards Kim, who was staring at him like he needed mental assistance. He loosened his jaw and fists in utter devastation, and looked to the ground in despair. He stared at the crumbled note that seemed to have burning a hole in his hand as it no longer had purpose. It dawned on Jack that he was too late.
While his other friends had still acknowledged his existence, Kim had permanently deleted him from his life as easy as deleting a contact from your cellphone.
There was no point in telling her the news.
So in melancholy, he shook his head.
"No. Not anymore I'm not." Jack said, his eyes trailing towards Kim, who had her hands interlocked with Brody's. The anger in her face had softened, as she stared at him, completely confounded.
But Jack didn't have the heart to explain.
So with one last look at Kim, he dropped the note that was throbbing within his fingertips, and stomped off, ignoring Kim as he repeatedly called his name. Hurt enveloped his heart, as he banged his fist into the wall once he was out of sight, losing his control. The pain of his aching fist was no match for the pain of his broken heart, as he stormed back towards his house in all hopelessness. After being so close with her, after the laughs they shared, the fights they fought, the stares they caught, none of it seemed to matter anymore to Kimberly Crawford.
And out of all his attempts on saying goodbye, Kim's attempt hurt the most of all.
All for one reason.
Because Jack Anderson didn't have the heart to say goodbye to Kimberly Crawford.
May 28, 2015
I've written this letter so many times, but I just couldn't find the right words. I know it's kind of weird to write a letter—we're in 2012 for crying out loud, the concept of "letters" has now become ancient. But have you ever written one? When you write with your own hands, the emotions can just express through your writing. Like sarcasm, reluctance, depression, happiness—you can't do that with typing. And what I'm about to tell you just can't be typed. It needs to be said.
Kim…I miss you. I don't know why you chose to leave the dojo. I mean, you're smart, you have rich parents, you're beautiful and talented at martial arts…I still can't think of why you would want to leave, and why you'd never let me speak to you ever since that day we fought. But we're friends, right? Well…I guess we were friends. Now we're nothing but strangers to eachother. But to me, you'll always be my friend. Maybe even something more. And because of that you deserve to know that in exactly a month from now…well…I'm leaving.
Last month, I got a letter from that Academy in Japan that Bobby recommended me for. Do you remember that? It's one of the top martial arts schools in the world. Well, I applied only weeks before, thinking that I wouldn't I get in. But the letter said I got accepted. And I'm going. My flight to Japan leaves next month on June 28th, at like two in the morning. I have to be honest that I was really happy when I found out that I got in, because a part of me always wanted to go there. But now, there's a part of me doesn't want to leave.
Even though I haven't spoken to you or the other guys in a year, and you all probably forgot about me, you should know that leaving you guys is probably the hardest thing I'm ever going to do. Especially leaving you. I don't know if you even remember what we had, all the fun times we shared...because I remember every single moment. And those moments were probably the best moments of my life. And I'm going to miss that dripping sarcastic tone of yours, our intimate spars (haha), our awkward moments, your laugh, your smile and just seeing your beautiful face every day. And while there's that part of me that doesn't want to leave you…I have to. It's the only way I can finally be free, and you know very well what I'm talking about. Please understand.
Kim…all these words that I'm writing right now is words I'm too nervous to tell you face-to-face because I'm scared to see your reaction. I know, I know…the Jack Anderson actually scared of something besides clowns. But it's true…maybe if we were still close, I would have had some motivation to be honest with you. And I just want you to know that…well…I love you. There…I finally said it.
And I just wish I could tell you these words face-to-face.
Especially those three words.
Despite all our misunderstandings, I hope you have a glorious life ahead of you. I'll miss you.
P.S. - See? Much better than an email, right? Trust me, it really is harder to write "I love you" than to type it…
And that's when the tears harshly streamed down Kimberly Crawford's face, as she re-read those three words over and over again.
I love you.
She stared at the tear-stained, crumbled letter as she sat in the dojo in her sweats with her boyfriend Brody right beside her, rubbing her arm in comfort in an attempt to make her feel better. Yet, the closer he sat, the more nauseous she felt. She tried to wipe the never-ending tears from her eyes, but they seemed to just flow endlessly, as her eyes were growing into a painkilling red.
There were so many things that she regretted and felt guilty about.
And this letter had just stabbed her with it.
Kim had never had the chance to explain Jack why she really quit the Bobby Wasabi Dojo, and why she's now a Black Dragon again. She knew her reason definitely wasn't going to make Jack want to hold hands with her and ride off into the sunset, but she knew it wasn't a simple excuse and that it truly was a valid reason. But now…she'll never get the chance to explain anything.
Because Jack's gone.
The blonde didn't know what she was feeling exactly…sorrow, guilt, regret, anger, frustration; hurt…all those feelings combined can really bring down a person. What killed her most was that she never even had the chance to tell him how much she missed him, how she wished she could have enjoyed senior year with him….
How she loved him in return.
Not even a simple goodbye.
"Kim…come on, look at me."
Reluctantly with a last rub of her eyes, she finally chose to look at Brody who was staring at her with concerned, slightly hurt eyes.
"I'm sorry you're hurting right now," Brody said. "But can you honestly tell me something…do you have feelings for Jack?"
She took one last look at Brody Carlson's chocolate brown eyes, and in it grew a shocking memory.
"Looks like you messed with the wrong swan queen," Jack eyed Brody, smirking in satisfaction with a flip of his cape. Kim always noticed that satisfied smirk Jack masks on every time he completes yet another successful fight where he wins. She found it kind of cute, to be honest.
"Guys I'm sorry," Brody said apologetically, staring at the brunet and blonde that were both covered in gravy and the entire ballroom that was in ruins. "I was kind of a jerk, wasn't I?"
"Yeah you kind of were," Jack snapped. But he rolled his eyes and truthfully added, "But you did come through in the end."
With a nod of his head, and a last apologetic look at Kim, Brody walked off leaving Jack and Kim standing alone together. She let out a large sigh, trying to soak everything that took place in just a matter of minutes. First, she thinks that Brody might have been the perfect gentleman, as he swayed back in forth with her with that kind smile of his…and then she realized it was just one big, dirty lie. Literally.
And now, the crown she was holding officially rendered itself useless.
She wasn't fit to be a swan queen when she was with the wrong king.
The blonde stared at her once gorgeous rose-designed pink dress that was now covered in gravy. "Look at me," She told Jack, as she walked towards the nearest table. "I'm a mess."
"I don't know," Jack trailed behind her. "I think brown's a good color on you."
She as she glared at him with a roll of her eyes, implying that it wasn't making her feel better. He laughed and shook his head in disbelief, as he stared at the crown clutched in her hands.
"Give me that," Jack rolled his eyes, snatching it from her. He placed it on top of her head, and she laughed a bit. With Jack placing it on her head, it was in that moment when she truly felt like a swan queen.
"Kim, I'm sorry," Jack said sad, as he took a seat down next to her. "None of this would've happened if I'd just said yes when you asked me to go with you."
She stared at Jack who was covered entirely in gravy, while wearing a ridiculous tuxedo with his chocolate brown eyes begging for forgiveness.
He was covered in gravy…for her.
"Well…you're here now," She smiled. "But I just got one question...where did you get that tux?!"
He chuckled. "Rudy lent it to me." He rose up, swaying his cape back and forth. "I don't know…I kind of like it."
Then out of nowhere, a bouquet of flowers sprung out from his sleeve. The blonde narrowed in her confusion. "Where did those flowers just come from?" She laughed.
"I have no idea," Jack laughed. With a smile, he handed her the flowers, and she placed them on the table with a grin on her face. She brought what was originally Brody's crown, and faced him.
"Well…Brody won't be needing this anymore," Kim smiled, as she placed the well-deserved crown on top of his head. They both smiled at eachother, getting mesmerized by each other's eyes.
"Well…here's something I never thought I'd say," Jack began, stepping slightly closer to her. "You wanna dance?"
Kim smiled at Jack. "Sure," She said, biting her lower lip. With an exchange of smiles they both walked shyly towards the dance floor as the slow song played throughout the ballroom. The two were closer to eachother than ever, never taking their eyes off of eachother. She smiled as Jack placed a hand around her waist, and as she placed a hand on his shoulder. When she slow-danced several times with Brody, it was with Jack when she truly felt safe, comfortable…when she felt right. The two started slow-dancing to the last two seconds of the song, before her "jam" was back on repeat.
But those two seconds were probably the best seconds of that entire day.
And that was when she nodded to Brody's question.
"I do," She said which caused Brody's face to fall. "I'm sorry, Brody. I like you, I really do…but I can't be with someone I don't feel right with…."
"It's okay," Brody smiled. "I understand. I saw the way you two looked at each other….it's no surprise."
She smiled, and kissed his cheek. "Thanks Brody."
He gave a small smile, and let out a large sigh. "So where is Jack going to again?"
"Japan." She sniffed. "He's going to that big college to study different styles of martial arts. The Otai Academy."
"Whoa, seriously?" Brody exclaimed. "Damn, that school is like….the bomb! I can't help but feel jealous."
Tears rolled down her cheeks as she faced the letter again. "I'll never see him again."
"Why did he seem so mad though? Did you tell him about the blackmail?"
"I haven't actually talked to him in a year so I couldn't tell him. And now he thinks I'm some betrayer." She sniffed. "I never even got to tell him how I really felt. And I never will."
"And when does his flight leave?"
"According to this letter…in an hour and a half." She said, rubbing her eyes. And without another word, Brody rose from the bench, and gathered his things, facing Kim.
"Well come on, then!" Brody said.
She narrowed her eyes in confusion. "What are you—"
"The airport is forty minutes away. We should go before he gets on his flight." He said. She continued to give him a blank look.
"Brody, I can't just—"
"Look, I can see it in your eyes that you love him, and if you want to make things right, then you need to go see him. At least say goodbye. Because I know he loves you too and if he doesn't leave without a goodbye from you, it's going to hurt him the most. Come on, I'll take you."
She stared at Brody. "You'd do that?"
He sighed. "Of course. Our relationship might have been fake because of Ty, but I just can't see you unhappy."
Before Kim could say anything else, Brody stopped her.
"Look you can thank me later. Right now, you have a flight to catch and a guy to see."
"Attention passengers those who are riding flight B119 to Tokyo Japan, we will begin boarding in a few minutes. Thank you."
The brunet slumped against his chair, staring at the very few people who riding the same plane as him who looked equally exhausted and annoyed. Milton, Jerry, and Eddie have bombarded him with non-stop text messages, but he didn't have the motivation to reply to any of them. He stared out the window, staring at the last he'd ever see of the United States, with his stomach tied into several throbbing knots.
Jack attempted at saying goodbye to Milton, Jerry, Eddie, Rudy, Phil, his foster siblings and even his foster mother who had shockingly cried when he left the house. Yet his heart still feels empty.
Because he didn't even try say goodbye to Kim.
Trying to get his mind off of it, he plugged in the earphones into his ears to listen to music that has always been his ultimate remedy if he ever felt depressed, heartbroken…hurt.
The song "Our Story" by Graham Colton played through his earphones, which just made him think of that one person he was trying so hard not to think about.
So it didn't go too planned, it's hard to understand
But now I know this is just our story
I will set out on my way; you're never in one place
And now I can learn to walk before we run; away to the sin,
It's just me
It's just you
The music still softly playing through his ears, he shot his head up, to wonder where the voice came from.
And as soon as Jack locked eyes with the source of the voice that was rushing towards him, he couldn't believe his eyes.
One day at a time,
When nothing's for sure
We can throw the past away now
Cause we don't need it anymore
It was when she threw her arms around him into a lingering hug when Jack realized that this was reality.
She pulled away and he stared at her bloodshot, teary hazel eyes. He brushed the strands of her honey-blonde hair away from her face, and wiped the tears from her eyes. After seeing the girl's beautiful hazel eyes and soft, silky hair, he finally registered that it was Kim Crawford.
And he pulled her into a hug again, with the music still ringing in his ears.
One day at a time¸
'Cause I still believe
That it's ours for the taking, and I know that we can make it
One day at a time
"You don't know how happy I am to see you here," He said, finally choosing to unplug the earphones.
"I had to see you one last time." She choked.
"I see you read my letter," Jack admitted to Kim, as he pulled away with a smirk on his face. She laughed, and held his hands.
"I did…over and over," She said. "And you're right…letters have a better way of expressing things through email. I'd rather read your messy handwriting than fine text on a screen."
They both choked laughter, and she took his hand in hers.
"Jack…I want you to know that pretending to hate you and avoiding you was probably the hardest thing I ever had to do. I hated quitting the dojo, and I hated joining the Black Dragons…but I had to."
"Why?" He asked.
"If I told you the entire story, you'd miss your flight." She bitterly laughed. "But long story short: Ty had something on me, and if I didn't join his dojo so he could get his good name back…he'd plot that something against me."
Jack wanted to ask her more questions but she didn't allow him.
"I know me crying isn't going to help you feel any better," She choked, wiping her eyes. "But you should know that I'm really happy for you. I wish you'd told me earlier…but I'm not mad that you didn't. And I'm sad you're leaving…but I couldn't be more proud of you."
"Thank you." He smiled. She dug something out of her purse. Her eyes still teary, she placed it in Jack's hand.
"This is for you," Her voice cracked. "In case you get hungry on the plane."
Puzzled, Jack turned his head to the hard object Kim placed in his hand.
It was an apple.
Being the new kid really sucked.
He walked across the cafeteria for the first time towards the empty lunch line, seeing a nice, but frustrated looking lunch lady. He grabbed a tray and offered a polite smile.
"How you doing?" Jack asked politely. "It's my first day. What would you recommend?"
"Not this stuff," The lady retorted. "I don't know what half of it is!"
He narrowed his eyes in confusion, and tried to decide for himself what to pick, when he could faintly hear an apple being juggled back and forth. As he could turn around, he saw the apple on it's way to the ground, and before it could hit the poorly-cleaned cafeteria floor, he caught it with his foot on instinct.
The brunet tossed the apple back onto his hands, with a satisfied smirk on his face. He faced the girl whose apple he'd just saved, who stared at him with slightly distended eyes. Her honey-blonde hair was swept to one side, and her hazel eyes sparkled as she flashed him a small smile.
"Okay, that was almost cool. I'm Kim." She said with a smile.
"I'm Jack. I'm new." He grinned.
"Yeah, I can tell." She laughed. "You still have that new guy smell." She teased, cringing her nose.
He laughed, and rolled his eyes as he gazed at Kim for a moment, realizing that she was actually…pretty. But at the same time, he started to worry whether he really did smell or not.
"Uh…can I have my apple back?" She laughed nervously, snapping him out of his train of thought.
"Oh—sorry," He said, handing it back to her in slight embarrassment. They gaze at eachother for a moment, as she couldn't help but let out a laugh.
"Well maybe I'll see you around, Kim," He smiled.
"Maybe you will." And with a last grin, she walked away with the apple clutched in her hand.
And at the time, Jack never even thought he'd see her again.
But on the inside, he really wanted to.
Jack bitterly laughed along with her, and he clutched it in his hand, grinning at her.
"Thank you," He said, with a laugh.
"Well I guess always owed you one anyway," She grinned.
"Attention passengers those who are riding flight B119 to Tokyo Japan, we have now began boarding. All passengers riding business class please make your way towards the line. Thank you."
They both faced eachother, and he could see the tears emerging in Kim's eyes once more as he grabbed his backpack. He wanted to say so many things to Kim, how he wasn't sure if he wanted to leave anymore, how he would miss her like crazy, how bad he was at saying goodbyes…
But he barely had a minute to spare.
Jack took a deep, trembling sigh, facing the ground in case he was to emotionally breakdown. "Kim—"
"I love you."
With a slight gasp, he looked up and saw the tears rolling down her cheeks. He took her hand in his, and inched closer towards her.
"I love you too."
And without another word, he finally kissed her.
The cold-stone hurt that he was feeling inside seemed to have melted along with the kiss, as he no longer felt like punching a wall. With the need to breathe, he finally broke away, with their foreheads still touching, as his hands were still wrapped around her neck.
And while what hurt the most was being away from her, he was glad to leave with this moment to hold on to for the rest of his life.
"I can't say goodbye," Kim whispered. "I just can't."
"There's no need for a goodbye," He said. "Because I'll see you soon. I promise."
And Jack kissed her again, pulling her into another hug, exchanging whispers of "I love you", and never wanting to let go.
But unfortunately when the flight attendants called his name again, he had no choice but to.
So they pulled away, and Jack grabbed his suitcase and started to walk towards the line.
He turned around, and saw Kim who gave him a smile as she wiped the tears from her eyes.
"See you later?"
He smiled and nodded.
"See you later."
And with a last exchange of smiles, he handed the flight attendant his ticket and with a last look of the blonde, he began to walk inside into the aircraft to start his new life in Japan, and to attend the academy of his dreams.
At first, what hurt him the most was his life changing, when he drifted apart from his friends and not speaking to Kim for over a year. Then, when he got the acceptance letter what hurt him the most was not telling anybody about his success. And when he finally took the initiative to tell his friends the news, what hurt him the most was saying one simple word: goodbye.
But Jack now realized that there wasn't a need to say goodbye.
Saying goodbye would've broken him down from top of bottom. If he said goodbye, he wouldn't be having a smile on his face when the plane flew to the starry night as he took a bite of Kim's apple. If he said goodbye to Kim, he wouldn't be able to deal with himself.
But he didn't say goodbye.
Because he knew that this time, he wasn't going to let anything happen to their friendship and he wasn't going to let Kim go again. Their friendship was something special. Something unbreakable. If he said goodbye, that meant he was walking out on a friendship that changed his life forever.
But instead he said "see you later".
And after saying that, he had the heart to enjoy these four years.
And the best part:
He wasn't feeling hurt anymore.
A/N- The End to this story and to my time here on Fanfiction. Notice how this is the LONGEST piece of writing I have ever written. Hope you all enjoyed this one-shot! Not only did it feature KICK, but just the bond between all the Wasabi Warriors, which is pretty much what the show is about. Not just about KICK.
You should seriously look up the song "Our Story" by Graham Colton. It's seriously a beautiful song and a perfect Kick song. It was on an old episode of Pretty Little Liars and I seriously fell in love with it.
I have to say this year has been just amazing joining this website and doing what I love. I can't thank you all enough for staying with me throughout and seeing my progress in writing. Really, thank you so, so much for reviewing, and reading and being fans. I'm so happy to conclude my year on FF with (hopefully) one of my best pieces.
This is my final piece. I can't believe I'm saying that.
I love you guys. And I love writing. Thank you guys for all the wishes for high school! I'm incredibly nervous, but I hope for a good year! I'm officially done on this website, but I'll still be reviewing and checking the archive every now and then. So if you want to talk, don't hesitate to PM!
This is Taylor, OFFICIALLY signing off from FanFiction. I'll miss you guys!
Less than three,