A/N: Sorry I haven't updated 'seeing smoke...' it appears that I've lost my muse on that one, but no worries. It will be finished at some point. Also, I'm doing a holiday fic prompt meme on my lj, if you're interest in making a request for this couple go check it out. I have link to my livejournal on my bio so go do that if you know, you want. :) Hope you enjoy this tidbit!

Disclaimer: This is the work and play of fanfiction. I don't own anything. Everything belongs to their respective owners.

i stole your soul (you said i'd never be able)

The first time, it meant absolutely nothing to either of them. The first time, it's just Diana standing under a flickering streetlight, defeat evident in her stance while he stares at her from a few feet behind her; surprised by her presence under the dim lighting in the middle of a cold empty street.

The first time, it's because Diana didn't have the strength to go anywhere else and he had been the one to find her there.

Earlier, she had found herself ready to leave Chance Harbor. To run as far away as she possibly could with Grant, the boy who was offering her an out of this madness that had become her life. It was going to be so easy. So very damn easy. She was going to leave. She was going to be able to start over. It was going to work. It was going to be perfect. Then the symbol appeared on her right hand; branded on the inside of her palm, scarred on her skin, and it all crumbled beneath her feet. In that moment, Diana knew, she knew she was never going to get away from it all. She would never be able to leave. It was something she had tried so hard to grasp onto but ended up with nothing but air slipping in-between her fingers and damn it, he's right there. He found her and she's looking at him and he's saying her name and it is pulling her back down, back into herself like the anchor she's been searching for, for so long to hold her down still.

It's Jake Armstrong who finds her there. It's him who she reaches for. It's his lips she presses hers to. Jake Armstrong, who barely kisses her back and there's a brief moment when she thinks that he might actually just do that because she can feel him shift but, instead he's pulling away and walking away from her.

He drives her home that night and leaves her there.

Diana doesn't see him (or anyone, really) for two weeks.

. . .

The second time, it's at the abandoned house. Diana has been reluctant to step anywhere near the place; after all it is her deceased biological father's (the one she and her half-sister managed to kill with their dark magic) old home. She doesn't tell anyone this but there are nights, in her dreams (nightmares, actually), where she finds herself trapped inside the house; inside the circle, with his rotting corpse standing so close to her and his decaying fingers trailing across her cheek, unable to breathe. It's on those nights that the branded Balcoin symbol on her palm burns the hottest.

Diana's standing inside the broken circle; the same one from her dreams, the one John Blackwell had trapped her and Cassie in, staring at her palm. She hears heavy footsteps and for a moment she thinks that the dead are capable of coming back to life. (John Blackwell came back once.) It's Jake who's walking in, not John Blackwell's corpse and she releases the breath she didn't realize she was holding.

Jake scrutinizes her from where he's standing. She has dark circles under her eyes, and he can tell she is distressed by something. He glances in the same direction her body is facing and it all clicks into place. (The reason she's distressed, he heard it from Cassie.)

"You killed him," Jake says, ever so nonchalantly that it creates a bitterness in the back of her throat.

"I had no choice," she snaps back at him, not able to withstand the way he says those words. She had no choice. But in the most private part of her mind she knows she did. Everyone has a choice. So why did she kill him? And in that same part, her mind would answer that it was the only way to stop him from achieving his goal... to stop him from ever getting her to use her dark magic. She's not as selfless as everyone thinks she is. (And she realizes, that even in the end he won. She used her dark magic to kill him after all.)

She hates the way Jake stares at her; like her skin is paper thin and translucent enough that he is able to see through it and read the deepest and most intimate parts of her. Like he knows what exactly it is that is keeping her awake most nights… maybe he does. Diana stares at him, really stares at him and she finally notices whom she's standing across from.

"How do you do it? How do you sleep at night?" Diana asks, her voice low bordering on desperation.

She wants to know, she needs to know how to keep his ghost from plaguing her mind at night. Diana knows well enough that Jake has his own share of haunting ghosts but he's still there, completely there; sanity intact and everything, and she needs to know how he's able to do it. (She's afraid that her sanity won't last long if he doesn't tell her how to keep John away. She's neither like Cassie nor like Jake. She's never been the strongest.)

Jake can see the desperation in her eyes, but there's something else lost deep within them, he can see the glimmer of hope shinning through. A part of him is telling him to lie to her, to tell her that it took some time for them to go away, to say anything that won't diminish that small glimmer, but he's never been one to sugar coat things. In reality they've never left him. They linger in the corners of his mind, threatening to flay the sanity from it.

"I learned to live with them," he replies honestly.

The hope in her eyes fades and the fact that he was the one to do it stirs something inside of him.

"What are you doing here?" she asks derailing from his answer.

"Looking for you." He doesn't miss a beat and continues. "There's a problem, and the circle needs to be bound again."

Diana opens her mouth ready to protest but his lips move faster than hers.

"This isn't a debate anymore, Diana. We're all in danger and our magic isn't as strong when unbound. The other circles are coming together and we need to be ready. Especially if there are four other Balcoin children out there. We're lucky that two of you are on our side, but we don't know what the others' agenda could be. All we know is that Blackwell wanted a circle centered on dark magic. If you and Cassie bind your magic with the circle then it will be harder for them to get it."

Jake watches as she has an internal debate. Her face going through a series of different emotions until she finally responds a moment after.

"Ok," she says. Not that she really had a choice. (Here we go with choices, again.) Blackwell won once already, she'll be damned if he gets his endgame this time around.

He nods and takes a step backwards as she starts to walk towards him; he pauses and seems to consider something when she finally catches up to him. He's staring intently at her.

"There's something else," he says once she's standing in front of him.

"What?" she asks looking up at his face.

"Just, one more thing," he repeats as he steps closer to her, face void of emotion.

Jake is invading her personal space, now. He's so much taller than her she realizes as she stares at the expanse of his chest. Diana tilts her chin up and he dips his head. She gets a better impression of his lips this time around, soft and warm, but firm against hers. Her fingers curl around the openings of his jacket and his hands find her hips to pull her closer to him.

Jake breaks away from her and mutters, "fuck," under his breath. He shakes his head, takes a step back, and turns to walk away leaving her there to stare at his retreating form in complete confusion.

. . .

The third time, it's the anniversary of their parents' death and she's intoxicated. Grief… booze… same thing, right? They both leave her numb and tired anyways. Diana is sitting by her mother's grave, empty bottle in her lap and bitterness coating her tongue. (Maybe it's just the alcohol… she doubts it.)

"For a moment," she begins. "I hated you," she slurs. "I hated you so much," she chokes out through the sob that's forming in her chest.

"I hated you for taking my daddy from me, because you did. You took him when he was all I had left. And with him went whom I was… where I belonged. Everything!" She cries and flings the empty bottle across the graveyard. With tears in her eyes she closes her eyes and counts to ten, because it's not fair to hate the dead.

Diana is jolted awake when cold drops of water hit her face. She fell asleep and somewhere between then and now the sky darkened and it started to rain. She closes her eyes and takes a deep breathe, exhaling just as deeply. She sits there under the rain with her eyes closed wondering when she became this sad lonely girl.

Something taps her boot cladded foot and she opens her eyes. Diana tilts her head upwards, squinting because of the rain. She manages to make out the figure that is standing over her. It's Jake Armstrong with a familiar empty bottle in his hand. (It is apparent that he has a tendency of finding her at her worst.)

He extends his hand, the one not holding the bottle, and she takes it. He pulls her up to her feet slowly.

"Thank you," she says, once she's fully on her feet and let's go of his hand. He only nods.

They stand there in silence, both staring at one another. He knows why she's there, and she knows why he's there, but neither knows what exactly to tell one another. It's when he slips his hand in hers and squeezes it that she realizes that there's nothing to say. Words are unnecessary at this point.

He drives her home that night, and on the way tells her that her mother knows she didn't really mean what she said.

Diana doesn't kiss Jake when he walks her to her door.

. . .

The fourth time, Jake is bleeding half to death and she doesn't know if she can save him. Faye and Adam are running around behind her trying to prepare the healing potion, but it's hard when they only have half of ingredients and Melissa and Cassie aren't back with the other half, yet.

There are tears in her eyes as she kneels next to the couch his body is splayed across on. Diana can see the perspiration as it builds on his forehead… down his neck… across his bare chest, and she can't take it.

"I'msorry.I'msosorry," the words tumble from her mouth so fast, they're almost incoherent.

He's hurt and it's her fault. She should've been more careful, more aware of her surroundings. This shouldn't have happened.

"Please, forgive me." She pleads him but all she gets in response are shallow breaths.

She takes in his profile… carves it into her memory. She'd do just about anything to see his beautiful green eyes stare at her again.

The only area covered with bandaging gauze is where his wound is and it isn't doing much good considering Jake's blood is seeping through.

Desperation is eating at her from the inside and she doesn't know what else to do so she takes his hand in hers and squeezes it. There's something inside of her that needs to touch him… to feel connected to him somehow.

She leans forwards and whispers in his ear, "You can't die." (You can't leave me, is what she really wants to say but it doesn't seem… appropriate, not yet.)

There's something inside of her, something wild, which keeps telling her to kiss him… to press her lips to his, that all she has to do is lean forward some inches.

Whatever it is wins because Diana leans forward so that her face hovers above his for a few seconds before she closes her eyes and presses her lips to his. When their lips meet it's as if everything slows down and speeds up around them; she feels like they're suspended in-between something and nothing, just barely there in the sidelines, watching… waiting… living.

She feels light, like a feather. Her magic is leaving her body and she knows it is going into Jake's, she can feel it. There's an electrical current running through her veins and she knows what it means… they're magic is connecting. She can see the colorful ties bind and dance behind her eyes and they are oh, so beautiful. She doesn't wants to see them fade… not now, not ever. Where this leaves them now, she doesn't really care.

Diana opens her eyes and pulls back just in time to see Jake open his eyes. His pretty eyes are looking up at her and she can see the recognition in them. He knows what happened, he could feel the same electrical current running through his bloodstream. She wonders if he saw the pretty colors too, and the way he's staring at her, like she's something he's never seen before makes her think he probably did… at least she hopes he did.

Jake groans as he moves to sit up and she leans her upper body forward to help him. He tosses his feet over the edge of the couch slowly and plants them on the floor, his upper body leaning heavily on Diana as she stands to help him find a comfortable position. He tilts his head enough to whisper in her ear and says, "Never," like he knew what she really meant.

She can't make out what Faye is asking Adam in the background due to the sound of her erratically beating heart.