The bottle of Jack Daniel's smashed against a tree. A little sports car zoomed away. A boy crouched in the grass, head on the ground, hands cradling his ears, eyes shut tight, crying, screaming.
Jackson didn't know why he was drinking, why he felt as if he wasn't good enough, like he had to prove himself, had to be the best at everything and was failing so miserably. Lydia was trying to be supportive even when he didn't deserve it. He loved her. She loved him. So why did he drink himself half to death every other night? Why did he scream at her when she tried to help? Why did Lydia just leave him?
Why did everything fall apart?
It was fucking McCall's fault. All of it. Everything was fine until he got his dumb ass bit. Suddenly he was better than Jackson. He was faster, he was stronger, had quicker reflexes. Everything Jackson wanted for himself. And Derek gave it to him. So why wasn't he happy? Why wasn't everything perfect again?
Why wasn't Jackson perfect?
Jackson lay on the ground for a long time, quietly weeping into his hands. He didn't know if he was trembling from the cold or the tears.
He decided it was time to get home. He was out of booze anyway. He stood, didn't even bother to brush the damp grass from his side, grabbed his lacrosse stick and climbed in his Porsche. He drove away from the park as fast as he could. He didn't know why it was his favorite place to drink and cry. It was just a field and some woods. Any time he needed to get away from the rest of the world he went there. He would practice shooting a ball into a can he put in a tree years ago. He would usually drink. He would usually miss. It would frustrate him, which would make him drink more, which would make his misses worse. He rarely left the place feeling better than when he got there. Fresh tears welled in his eyes when he remembered that he and Lydia gave each other their virginity there.
Jackson slowed when he realized he was driving almost seventy in a thirty-five zone. It's not like it mattered, no one was around anyway, but he really wasn't in the mood to be pulled over, and he definitely wasn't sober. He checked his phone to find ten missed calls and twenty text messages from Danny. Where r u? Whats going on? You better not be drinking. Answer me! Why wont you answer me? And so on, and so on.
The motion-light on the garage clicked on as Jackson pulled into his driveway. It was after ten and his parents still weren't home yet. Probably got hung up in a meeting. What else is new? Up in his room Jackson plopped down on his bed and called Danny.
"Finally! Are you alright? You looked miserable at school and Lydia sent me "he's your problem now" a few minutes ago! What's going on?"
"I'm jus' a li'l tipsy an' she got all mad. She dumped me," Jackson managed to say through his drunken slur.
"Are you at home?" Jackson hadn't even finished saying 'yeah' when Danny said, "Sit tight, I'm coming to get you," and hung up. He sounded genuinely worried. He was probably pissed that Jackson was drinking but he didn't say anything about it. He was too good to Jackson. He didn't deserve a friend like Danny. He was miserable, pathetic, had everything he could ask for and still bitched about it.
Jackson's stomach twisted and turned and he barely made it to the bathroom when he saw that Jack Daniel's again. Turns out whiskey is even worse the second time. He washed up his face and was brushing his teeth as Danny burst in without even knocking.
"Take this," he said as he thrust a cup of gas station coffee at Jackson. "And this, and this," referring to the aspirin and anti-acids in the plastic bag in his hand. Jackson nodded slowly and took his remedies and Danny was back in his room, collecting clothes and blankets into a duffel bag.
"What'r you doin'?" Jackson tried and failed at pronouncing all of his words correctly.
"You're staying at my place tonight and you are not going to puke on my blankets," Danny said matter-of-factly and continued darting around at what Jackson felt was an unnecessary speed, but maybe that was the alcohol talking.
Jackson stood and watched and sipped at the overly strong coffee. When Danny was satisfied he beckoned for Jackson to follow him to his car. Jackson obeyed, stumbling and shuffling his way along.
Danny laid Jackson down on his side in his bed with a bowl beneath him to catch any vomit, but refused to let him sleep until he had at least started to sober up a bit. To pass the time Danny asked a lot of questions that Jackson really didn't want to answer but knew he was going to have to eventually.
"Why were you drinking?"
"Were you sad?"
"About what?" Jackson just shrugged. "Jackson, we can't fix whatever problems you're having if you won't admit to having them. So what happened at the park?"
"I went there to drink an' I did an' then Lydia was there an' she was sad cuz I was drinkin' and I said I could if I want and then she got mad an' said we're through an' then she left." It sounded even more pathetic with his slurred, tired words.
Danny was silent, then patted Jackson on the shoulder and stood from the chair he was sitting in. "You've had a rough day, buddy. Get some sleep. We can hang out tomorrow and I'll try to find us some non-alcoholic forms of entertainment." He flashed a weak smile and turned out the light before heading to the living room couch to sleep on. Jackson could hear him sigh and knew he was rubbing his eyes and shaking his head, so disappointed in him. Everyone was disappointed in him. Especially himself. And that hurt way worse than a hangover ever could.
Danny let Jackson sleep until eleven before he forced him to go shower. Jackson's head felt like an axe was buried in it. He made the water as warm as he could without scalding himself and sat on the floor of the shower with his legs crossed, letting it cascade over him. He stayed like this for twenty minutes, listening to the soft pattering of the water hitting the floor around him.
Danny knocked on the bathroom door. "You OK in there?"
"Yeah," Jackson mumbled. He stood and shut the water off, immediately missing its warmth. He toweled off and changed into the jeans and sweater Danny had set out for him.
"There you are," Danny said as Jackson stepped out of the bathroom. "Come on, we're getting breakfast. Err, lunch now, I guess." Danny smiled and led him to the car.
He took him to his favorite cafe. Jackson had heard him talk about it before but had never actually been. Cafes weren't really his type. He and Danny, the strapping young jocks they were, stuck out like a sore thumb against the small mob of college-aged hipsters and middle-aged gay men who seem to forget that they're middle-aged, yet Danny seemed so comfortable there, even waved to a few other regulars. He's probably slept with them all. Danny's a really nice guy, but the boy gets around.
Jackson was a little hurt that Danny had never tried anything with him. He was pretty sure that he would have said no anyway, being that he had never been interested in men and that Danny was his best friend, but still, he's the Jackson Whittemore. Everyone wants him. That's just how it is. Well, everyone but Lydia now. Jackson felt a fresh pang of hurt in his chest.
Danny was ordering something for both of them, knowing that Jackson would have no clue of what to get. They waited by the counter while their food was made, then Danny led them to a table near the window.
The cafe was in a part of the downtown that Jackson rarely visited. It was mostly hipster-ish cafes like this one and restaurants and small shops.
The bright blue sky shown through the windows warmly without being over-bearing. Light indie music was being played quietly through the speakers above their heads. It was all very relaxing. It was the perfect remedy to Jackson's hangover. He picked up his drink and took a sip. It was some kind of coffee with caramel and maybe chocolate. It was delicious. Danny had ordered a "quiche," whatever the Hell that was and had gotten Jackson a panini with a bunch of weird shit on it, but it tasted surprisingly good.
Danny looked up at Jackson and studied him for a second. "Feeling any better?"
Jackson nodded and said, "Yeah. Thanks," without looking up. He was awful at showing people how he felt. He felt bad for not being able to express how grateful he was for Danny.
"You wanna talk about it?"
Jackson shook his head. He really did want to talk about it, but didn't know how.
"What do you want to do today? I'm spending all day with you and there's nothing you can do about it," Danny said with a grin.
"I dunno. I just figured we'd hang out at your place. Watch some movies or something," Jackson shrugged.
"Perfect! Oh, but I'm meeting Patrick at The Jungle at eight thirty, so you should be out before then... Unless you wanna come with us?" Danny looked so hopeful it was sad. The Jungle was the only strictly gay club in Beacon Hills, and Patrick was Danny's newest fling. It didn't sound like Jackson's kind of fun. It's not that he didn't like Patrick, and it's not like he wasn't OK with gays, it just never really appealed to him as something he would enjoy himself.
"Pleeeeease," Danny pleaded. "It'll be fun! You can find a cute guy and dance with him and forget about all your worries and just have a good time and pleeeeease! Please go?"
Jackson thought about it. It would be nice just to get away from everything, but the dancing with other guys thing was a little weird, and he wasn't sure he would enjoy it. "I don't know. I don't really think I'm into that." Danny pulled the most pitiful puppy-dog look he could possibly muster. Damn him and his stupid puppy-dog look. It always worked. Jackson rolled his eyes and sighed. "Fine. I'll go to the stupid club with you and your stupid boyfriend. But only if I'm allowed to drink."
"Yay! Now what on Earth are you going to wear..."
Apparently, nothing Jackson owned was appropriate "club wear". Danny had spent an hour and a half treating Jackson like a Barbie doll, dressing him, deciding he didn't like it, and dressing him in something different. He gave up on Jackson's closet completely and took him back to his house to lend him something decent. He finally decided on the tightest jeans Jackson had ever worn and a dark red t-shirt that was far too tight and had a far too low-cut v-neck.
Jackson might as well have been wearing a neon sign that read "gay men fuck me now", but that was pretty much what Danny was looking for. "Isn't it kind of cold to be wearing a t-shirt?" Jackson asked.
Danny scoffed at him and said, "Don't be such a puss. Being cold is the price you pay for being sexy." Jackson begged to differ, as he was sexy no matter what he wore, but didn't argue the point. He just wanted to get to the club and get wasted enough to forget whatever hellish night was in front of him.
It was eight forty-five as they were pulling into the parking lot. Danny wanted to be fashionably late for his date, without being disrespectful. There was a line out the door that led to the corner. Jackson wondered how long it would take them to get in, but Danny grabbed his hand and marched straight through the door, completely ignoring the line and flashing a flirty grin at the bouncer.
Danny stopped and scanned the room for Patrick, while Jackson just stood back and observed The Jungle. It was all one room, the size of a small warehouse, with a stage in the middle of the left-hand wall and a bar opposite. Throngs of people were already thrashing and grinding to the pounding pulse of the techno dance music. Several men on the dance floor were shirtless, and the multicolored spotlights were reflected off their glistening bodies. It was so dark and there were so many people that Jackson didn't know how Danny could find Patrick, but in just a few seconds of searching Danny had located him and was pulling Jackson along to meet him.
Patrick was just a hair shorter than Danny and Jackson and a lot skinnier. He was dressed in a thin, gray long-sleeved t-shirt that clung to him in all the right places and a pair of bright green skinnies that made his ass look extra perky. He was obviously older than Danny and Jackson, but not by much, and he was a lot less skeevy than most of the guys Danny hooked up with. He actually looked like a pretty decent guy, despite their location. Jackson approved, not that Danny had ever considered his opinion on boys anyway.
"Patrick, this is my best friend, Jackson. He says he's not gay, but we can fix that," Danny said with a mischievous grin. Jackson rolled his eyes.
"It's nice to meet you," Patrick said and held out his hand.
Jackson shook it and said, "You, too. Now if you'll both excuse me, I'm not going to have a good time here without being drunk off my ass," and he strode off to take a seat at the bar.
He was eying the menu and was trying to decide what the best plan of action was to get a drink without being carded, when the scantily clad bartender placed a Jello shot on the bar in front of him and said, "compliments of the man down there," and pointed to an older guy, probably in his thirties, who winked at him. Jackson smiled in return and downed the drink.
"And this," the bartender added, setting a Long Island Iced Tea next to the empty shot glass, "is from him," and he nodded at another guy at the other end of the bar.
He could get used to this.
Half an hour and way too much alcohol later Jackson stumbled from the bar. He didn't get more than a few steps away when a whiff of something very familiar hit him hard. There were hundreds of scents here, most of them being sweat and pheromones, but this one felt like family, like part of the pack. He whipped his head around, then wished he hadn't, then tried to locate whoever it was. It definitely wasn't Danny, though he could smell him, too. It was someone he didn't spend a lot of time with but he was definitely close to. Then he heard a voice that cut through all the rest. Jackson pinpointed it to a boy with short brown hair, a pair of black skinny jeans, and a grey hoodie, drinking out of a glass from a straw. The boy turned to scan the crowd.
"Stilinksi?" Stiles glanced up to see Jackson and nearly choked on his drink. Jackson approached him as he tried not to spray his Coke everywhere.
"Jackson! Fancy seeing you here." Stiles' eyes were wide and he focused them on his glass, trying to avoid contact with Jackson's.
"What are you doing here?"
Stiles looked up and seemed to think about his answer. "What are you doing here?" he asked with what was probably supposed to be a cool tone, but Jackson could hear his heart pounding.
"Danny dragged me along. He wanted to get me out of the house. He's probably hoping I'll get laid. What are you doing here?"
Stiles looked back at his drink and fumbled over his words. "Oh, just, you know, hangin' out."
Jackson stared at him incredulously. "At a gay club?"
Stiles' eyes darted around the room, looking at everything but Jackson's face. "Yeah?"
"You've been crushing on Lydia since the third grade. I'm pretty sure you're not gay."
"Well maybe I'm bi, I don't know! There isn't exactly a guide book for these things, I would know, I looked!" His arms flailed as he got flustered. It seems to be a common occurrence with Stiles.
Jackson continued to stare at him. Finally, he asked, "Well are you gonna go dance or are you just gonna stand here and look stupid?"
Stiles seemed to be at a loss for words. It should be marked on the calendar. Jackson rolled his eyes, took Stiles by the hand, and led him to the middle of the floor. When Danny had instructed him to dance with some cute boys, he probably wasn't thinking of Stiles, but oh, well. Jackson felt a lot more comfortable dancing with Stiles than a complete stranger.
When they acceptably close to the speakers Jackson stopped. He put his hands above his head and started to move with the music. The deep bass rumbled its steady beat and Jackson rolled his body with it. He lifted his eyelids just a crack to look at Stiles. He was just standing there, looking around awkwardly, feeling completely out of place and not even attempting to dance. This is not what clubbing is about.
Jackson rolled his eyes in frustration and grabbed him. He pulled his hips close to his own and moved them in a circular motion. Stiles practically squealed, his eyes comically wide and his mouth hanging open just a fraction. Jackson smirked and continued dancing, trying to get the other boy to loosen up. It was just dancing. It wasn't that hard. He pushed his face into Stiles' neck and ran his hands under the hem of his shirt to grip him just above the waist. He smelled really, really good. Jackson was inexplicably comfortable with their position. Probably just the alcohol.
It was kind of a challenge, trying to get Stiles as comfortable as he was, trying to get him to dance. He was completely tensed up, unmoving, his hands hanging stupidly at his sides, unsure of what to do. Jackson couldn't stand how awkward this kid was. Just dance, damn it! Jackson clamped his teeth gently onto the side of Stiles' neck, dragging them across the skin there, giving it a flick with his tongue. That did the trick. Stiles' hands immediately jumped to Jackson's back, just under his shoulders. His head tipped back slightly and his eyes fluttered shut. His knees unlocked and he leaned into Jackson for support, and Jackson loved it.
"Jackson, I - ,"
"Shh," Jackson whispered right next to his ear, and placed a gentle kiss on the side of his face. "Just have a little fun with me. Pleeease?" and he nibbled for a second on Stiles' earlobe. The other boy took in a sharp gasp, and Jackson took the opportunity to put his mouth around his. He moved his tongue in quickly but ever so softly, not wanting to scare the kid. Stiles froze for just a second but then moved his hands into Jackson's hair and tongued back with just the slightest moan.
Jackson's heart gave a tiny jump at his positive reaction and he pulled Stiles as close as he possibly could, feeling their erections press into each other. He let his hands roam over Stiles' bare back, occasionally making a detour to his chest. Stiles' fingers worked their way into Jackson's hair as his tongue worked its way into his mouth. He was a damn good kisser. He pulled the tip of his tongue along the bottom of Jackson's and it was electrifying.
Jackson had never kissed a boy before, but he was beginning to regret never trying. It was an easy kiss. It wasn't fast and violent but it wasn't slow and careful, it was just a kiss and it was beautiful. Their mouths melted together and Jackson felt calm. It was relaxing but still powerful, and Stiles' fingers were sliding down to the back of Jackson's neck, holding him close, making sure he didn't leave, as if he would ever dream of it.
Jackson's cock was straining at his zipper and it wanted something less calm and more sexy and Jackson obeyed. He broke the kiss, and Stiles tried to follow, but he turned around and pressed his back into Stiles' front and took his hands and held them to his chest. He leaned his head back onto Stiles' shoulder and sucked on his ear. He let go of Stiles' hands and put one of his around Stile's neck and the other on his ass. He felt Stiles' hard-on press into him and ground into it just to tease him. Stiles' hands began to move over his stomach and under his shirt. One hand stayed to feel his abs and the other moved to play with his nipple and his mouth began to work at where his shoulder met his neck. Jackson relinquished his ear to let him have better access at his neck. He surprised himself with how wanton the moan that came out of his lips was.
He must be seriously drunk. Completely hammered. There's no way that he would do this with a guy, especially Stiles, if he wasn't. Probably. But whatever, it's fun, and he'll do what he wants.
When he got tired of being the submissive one he flipped the tables again. He spun and grabbed Stiles and kissed him for just a second, then shed his shirt. It was way too hot in this place. Stiles kissed him again, but Jackson flipped him around, reversing their previous position. Stiles whined at the shortness of the kiss but his whine shifted into a gasp and a moan when Jackson slipped his hands between his legs and grabbed him firmly, stroking his cock through his jeans. Stiles quickly unzipped his jacket and took of his t-shirt to let the bare skin of his back touch the bare skin of Jackson's chest and stomach.
Jackson bit and sucked on his neck and felt his stomach possessively, keeping one hand on his erection the entire time. He was just about to slide his hand into Stile's pants when he was interrupted.
"Uh, Jackson?" He looked up to see Danny standing in front of them looking very confused. Stiles nearly fell over in his shock and embarrassment, but quickly righted himself and stepped away from Jackson.
"Oh, hey, Danny!" Jackson said as nonchalantly as he could muster.
"Uh, I just came to check on how you were doing, but I guess you're doing pretty well," Danny said and eyed Stiles suspiciously. Stiles just looked at the floor, his face a bright red.
"Yep, I'm good. See ya later! Have a nice night with Patrick!"
"Uh, right. We're just about to leave, so I'll see you tomorrow. Have a nice night." Danny backed away slowly, turned, and wandered off in a daze.
Jackson was immediately back on Stiles, running his finger down the trail of hair on his abdomen and sucking on his neck.
Stiles backed away, looking nervous and still very embarrassed.
Jackson frowned. He wasn't finished yet. He bent down to pick up their discarded clothing then whispered in Stiles' ear, "Why don't we go somewhere a little more private?" He took his hand and pulled him along through the crowd and out the Stile's crappy blue Jeep. He pushed Stiles into the driver's seat and walked around the front to get to the passenger's seat. Once in, he buckled his seat belt and instructed, "My place."
Stiles looked like he was in shock, but just nodded, eyes wide and mouth ajar, and turned the ignition.