Author's Note and Disclaimer: Hey, guys. I feel like I haven't logged on in years... truthfully, I haven't. So, let me take a minute to introduce this fanfic. A couple of years ago, when I played Heavy Rain, I felt like there was a huge hole in Norman Jayden's character profile. Instead of being frustrated with not really knowing him, I decided I would create my own idea of a Pre-Heavy Rain scenario. Here, you will follow his relationship with an original character, April Kelly. She is not based on anyone in particular. She's just a figment of my imagination. In addition, I want to mention that Jayden may seem 'overly mushy,' but I couldn't help but really want him to have a soft side. So yes, this was written two years ago, and it has been sitting on my computer ever since. I finally broke down and decided to share it. Enjoy. I do not own Heavy Rain or the rights to any of its associated characters.
"The usual, Miss Kelly?"
"Yes, Danny. Thank you," I said as I handed my credit card to the guy on the other side of the counter. All the employees at this corner coffee shop knew me by name. After all, I had been ordering an iced vanilla latte and cheese Danish three times a week for the past two years. This was my safe haven. I was an eighth grade English teacher, and so I was constantly grading papers. This was the location I chose to carry out those duties of being a teacher. Coffee and Danish in hand, I made my way to my normal table in the far right-hand corner and pulled out the stack of personal reflection essays over "The Diary of Anne Frank." This was always an interesting unit because it allowed me to get to know my students on a more personal level. "The Diary of Anne Frank" always evoked very powerful emotions from just about every student, and I was always curious as to how their new knowledge would influence their approach to everyday life. And this is what I loved about my job.
"The usual, Agent Jayden?" I heard Danny say. I looked up and glanced toward the counter. There was the beautiful FBI agent that came here just about as often as I did. We'd never spoken, but we were always aware of each other. He took his coffee and sandwich and seated himself at his normal table in the corner opposite me. He gave a brief smile in my direction before pulling out his glasses and glove and getting to work. I had only ever seen him with this technology. ARI I think it was called.
I looked back down at my papers. I needed to keep working, and I had let Agent Jayden become a distraction. Regardless, I still wished that I could speak to him. We were both always here and always alone. I pushed the thought out of my mind and focused on the task at hand. Two days later it was the exact same process – a brief exchange of friendly smiles and getting to work on our own matters. In fact, it was the exact same thing for the next couple of weeks. Finally, it seemed as though our cycle had been broken.
"The usual," I heard him say at the counter. After receiving his items he walked to the middle of the coffee house and stopped. I directed my attention to his normal spot and noticed that it was taken by a group of studying students. I continued to look around and realized that every seat was taken – except for the spare seat at my table. I hadn't realized it was so crowded, but it didn't surprise me. It was midterms week for the junior high, high school, and college in the area. Everyone was hitting the books. I continued to watch Agent Jayden as he scanned the shop and realized the assessment I had just made. After briefly looking in my direction, he began to walk toward me.
"Excuse me," he began. I locked eyes with this beautiful man – baby blues. It made my heart smile. "I hate to bother you, but would you mind if I sat here with you? It seems that the entire place is occupied."
"Be my guest," I offered. "It's midterms week, so the place is packed – naturally," I said with a shrug.
"I should've known," he joked with that simple smirk of his. "Norman Jayden," he said holding his hand out to me. Houston, we have a first name.
"April Kelly," I said as I took his hand and returned the handshake. "You're here just about as often as I am," I pointed out.
"I work for the FBI. Headquarters is right around the corner. Besides, I like their sandwiches," he finished, taking a bite out of his.
"The FBI, huh? Special agent?" I asked, already aware of the answer.
"Yeah, something like that," he responded with a smile. "What about you? What do you do that brings you here so often?"
"I teach at the junior high. I prefer to do most of my work here. My apartment is cold and cluttered, and my classroom is a bit lonely after hours."
"What do you teach?"
"Eighth grade English," I answered.
"Do you like it?" he asked as he pulled out his glasses and glove.
"Very much so," I answered wholeheartedly. "What about you? Do you enjoy the FBI?"
"Most of the time," he admitted. "It's stressful at times, but I wouldn't have taken this route if I didn't want to."
"That's a very truthful statement," I said with an understanding smile. He nodded. "So, can I ask you a question?"
"Depends on what it is," he said.
"Okay… well, I wanted to know how those glasses of yours worked."
"Oh, these?" he asked, turning the glasses over in his gloved hand. "It's a technology known as ARI. It's a form of virtual reality. With these, I'm able to sort case files and analyze evidence. They're a life saver," he said.
"Interesting," I responded.
"I bet I could find out a lot about you by just scanning your fingerprint," he said.
"Oh, yeah?" I asked as I slid my cup of coffee toward him. He slipped his glasses on and stayed silent for a moment.
"April Kelly. Eighth grade English teacher," he began.
"But I just told you that." He held up a hand and continued.
"Been working there for the past two years… you live off of Cedar Creek… graduated from Marshall… I could continue, but I think I'm already scaring you," he said as he slid the glasses off. I stared at him in awe.
"Impressive," I admitted through a smile. It was slightly freaky, but what can I say? He was an FBI agent; it was his job to be able to find these things out about people. "I could imagine how handy those things are." He smiled. "But anyway, I should let you get to work."
"You were a welcome distraction, Miss Kelly," he said.
"Please, call me April," I said.
"Okay. April." And then it was time to do the work we had gone there to do. An hour and a half later, I had finished organizing my class's midterm exam, and so I had to be the first to leave.
"Well, Agent Jayden, it was a pleasure meeting you, and I look forward to seeing you again," I said.
"Call me Norman," he said.
"Okay. Norman," I copied his earlier repetition of my name.
"It was nice meeting you, too. Hope to see you soon," he finished with a smile. I walked away a happy woman that afternoon.
"Yes, yes, the usual," I said with a smile at the counter my following visit.
"Yes, ma'am," Danny said as he took my credit card from me. "I saw that you finally met Agent Jayden."
"What?" I was taken aback for a moment.
"We've all been taking bets on how long it would take before you two got together," he told me.
"Got together?" I asked.
"Yeah. You two are always here, yet you never talked."
"Define got together," I requested. I was still turning that terminology over in my mind. He laughed at me.
"It doesn't matter." He handed me my coffee and Danish.
"So, who won?" I inquired.
"I did." He flashed a smile, and I laughed.
"Congratulations," I said before turning to take my seat. It was rather empty that day, and I wondered if Norman would show up, and if he did, if he would sit next to me or at his spot across the room. Instead of dwelling on the possibilities, I pulled out the midterms my students had completed and began to grade.
"Miss Kelly," I heard him say. I looked up and saw Norman standing over me with his coffee and sandwich in hand.
"April," I corrected him with a smile.
"April," he tried again, curling his lips upward into a soft smile. "May I sit with you?" he asked.
"Absolutely," I responded. Yes, please sit next to me, you gorgeous man. I couldn't wipe the smile off my face; I felt like a swooning teenager.
"How did midterms go?" he asked as he made himself comfortable at my table – our table.
"So far, so good," I said as I nodded to the stack of partially graded test papers in front of me.
"Good," he smiled.
"I have another question," I said. He laughed.
"Under one condition," he said. I raised an eyebrow. "For every question you ask, I get to ask you two."
"I doubt I'm that interesting. If anything I should be asking you two for every one you ask me. I'm not the FBI agent here," I said with a laugh.
"On the contrary, I find you very interesting," he said, studying my face very carefully. I cleared my throat after a couple moments passed.
"One for one," I amended.
"Deal." That spurred a conversation spanning several hours about our careers, education, random cross-country escapades, and his plenty and my select few international opportunities.
"Yeah, England for a semester, and Scotland for a mini-mester," I finished.
"I've always wanted to visit Scotland," he said.
"Funny, you don't strike me as a Scotsman," I laughed.
"Well, I'm not, but still."
"Do me a favor and appreciate the many countries you have visited," I asked of him.
"Oh, believe me. I do." By this time, it was dark outside, and I still hadn't finished grading my papers. Norman's ARI never left his pocket.
"Wow," I declared after glancing at my watch. "I really need to be taking off."
"Yeah, I should as well," Norman said. I began gathering my things, but as I stood from my chair, I lost my grip on the top paper, which caused all of the other papers to fall to the floor with it. I sighed, embarrassed – classic girl meets boy scenario. Before I could fall to my knees to start picking them up, Norman had said, "Let me help you," and squatted down to retrieve the papers.
"Thank you," I said as I knelt down next to him.
"No problem," he responded.
"I'll see you later?" I questioned as I took the papers Norman had gathered and we both stood.
"You plan on being here tomorrow?" I paused and smiled.
"Well considering I didn't even make a dent in my work this afternoon," I said as I held the ungraded exams up. "Looks like I will be."
"How about we just stick to coffee, and I'll treat you to dinner afterwards," he offered. I just had to be dreaming. Yes! Yes! Yes!
"I'd like that," I said, keeping it cool.
"Great." Insert beautiful man smile. "Goodnight, April," he said with a nod.
"Goodnight." Goodness! I continued to swoon the entire way home.
And the swooning didn't stop the next day. I felt like I couldn't concentrate on my students during the day, and I even touched up my makeup after the final bell had rang, which was something that I rarely ever did.
I expected to beat Norman there like I normally did, but when I got to the coffee house, there he was sitting at our normal table with not only his coffee, but my vanilla latte as well. I melted into a gracious smile and found my place next to him. An hour later, we were around the corner at the best sushi bar downtown.
"Tell me about your family," Norman requested as he picked up another roll.
"Can't you do that by looking at my fingerprint?"
"I could, but I'd much rather hear about it from you." Gosh, that smile!
"Well, I'm an only child. My mom was a concert violinist for years until she had to get surgery on her wrist, which forced her to retire. She misses performing, but that surgery never stops her from playing at home. Typical of my family," I laughed.
"And your dad?" he inquired.
"I am obviously his daughter. Inherited my big eyes and two left feet from him. He passed away shortly after I graduated high school in a motorcycle accident – trying to relive his glory days, you know? But he was great. He held a boring position as an accountant for the plastics factory, but that didn't make him a boring person. We shared a love of literature and baseball."
"You speak highly of him," Norman observed.
"He deserves to be spoken highly of," I responded with a smile. "So what about you?"
"Well," he began. "I'm a baseball fan as well." I studied him for a moment.
"Brewers fan?" I guessed. He looked at me in awe.
"How did you know?"
"I can just tell," I laughed. "I almost had you pegged for a Cincinnati Reds fan," I admitted.
"Oh, no," Norman protested with a laugh. "And you… Cubs?"
"Heavens, no!" I exclaimed. He seemed stumped. "Mets," I finally told him.
"Really?" he asked with a puzzled look.
"Yeah, my grandfather played center field for them for three years."
"Ah, so that explains it."
"So, please continue," I requested.
"I may not be an only child, but I often feel like it," he said.
"Why is that?" I asked.
"My sister is thirteen years older than me, so we never really had that brother and sister type of relationship that most kids have. She's a chiropractor outside of Syracuse. She's married, but they don't have any kids. My parents are in Grand Rapids. My dad was a police officer his entire life, and my mom stuck to teaching Sunday school classes."
"How often do you see them?" I asked, sensing a bit of sadness and a little discomfort when he talked about them. He sighed.
"My folks? Never. My sister? I saw her before I went through the academy."
"But you've been an agent for a few years now," I pointed out.
"Yep," he said as he picked up his drink. I could tell he really didn't like staying on this subject, so I decided to move on and return to it at another time. I was interested, of course, but I didn't want to pry – especially on a first date.
"April, you ready to get out of here?" he asked as he pulled at his collar.
"Uh, sure," I responded as he placed a wad of cash on our table. We stood from our seats, and he took my hand as we walked out.
"So, it's a Friday night, and the night is young," Norman said.
"Please don't say dancing," I said, hoping he remembered what I had said about my two left feet. He made a face.
"I'm not much of a dancer," he admitted. "How about a movie?" I accepted, and the rest of the night was smooth and natural.
Several months later, we were a steady, happy couple. Well, mostly happy. Norman was having a lot of issues at work with some new management and it was stressing him out to no end. Furthermore, there was talk about the landlord of my building declaring bankruptcy, and finding a new place to live wasn't exactly what I wanted to be doing with my time.
It was a Thursday, and as soon as the final bell rang and I dismissed my students, that beautiful man of mine came through the door to my classroom as soon as the final student had left.
"Isn't this a surprise?" I happily observed.
"Hey, baby," Norman said as he placed a quick kiss high on my cheek. "You ready to take off?"
"Movie night?" I asked wishfully. He smiled a half-smile.
"If that's what you want," he said. I pulled two new releases from my bag.
"It is," I said as I held them up. "I'd just like to quickly run by my place to check my mail. That alright?" Norman nodded as I gathered my things, and he placed his hand on my back, leading me out.
When we arrived at my apartment, there was a strange note taped to my door, so I pulled it down to examine it. My mouth gaped open.
"What's wrong?" Norman asked.
"As of next week, I'm homeless," I said flatly.
"What?" Norman questioned as he took the notice from me.
"Yep," I said as I unlocked the door to my place. "Looks like John couldn't keep up."
"And sold the building to a magazine?" Norman asked with furrowed eyebrows as he tilted the notice every which way as if the words would change depending on the angle. I plopped down on my couch and stared at the blank television set as the afternoon sun beamed in through the vertical blinds. Norman closed the door and sat down on the couch next to me. I leaned up against him, and he began to run his fingers through my hair.
"I... would you…" Norman tried. I tilted my head to look up at him.
"Yeah?" I prompted.
"Move in with me," he concluded. I paused then sat up to face him.
"Are you sure, Norman?"
"April, I love you," he said sincerely, no doubt on his face whatsoever. "Would you please move in with me?"
"I love you too, baby," I said and kissed him.
"I'll take that… as a 'yes,'" he said between kisses.