A/N: My native language is not English, so I'm sorry if there are many grammatical errors and weird sentences. I'm actually looking for a beta reader for my HoA fics, so if you wanted to be my beta reader just message me :D

{ We do belong together. We're both sick and twisted – Gossip Girl }

Fin: 29-03-2013

Sometimes, she wondered who she really was. When she was a young naïve girl who was blind to the world, she always thought that her world was a fairy tale, that she was a princess who had everything and got a prince and lived happily ever after. Several years ago, she did not know-did not understand-that there was no such life. So she continued to dream, to live in the fantasy that her life is perfect until that dream was destroyed quickly and instantly, right when she really wished that she would get her happiness. Kidnapped by her own father was not something she expected to happen, because after all, he was her father.

And from there, everything was growing worse day after day.

When she came back, everything was different, very different. Her best friend, her prince, everything, was running at a speed that was so fast that she couldn't catch up. So she stopped running, stood still, and started to walk to a different direction. And then she changed. In an instant she transformed into a girl that she thought would never show up from within her, a side of her that she hid and now coming out without control. Sometimes, she wondered why she became a person she was now, why everything went downhill so fast.

Perhaps it was because she ruined everything she touched, perhaps because she should be able to catch up and tried harder, perhaps because she should not do anything.

Maybe indeed, she was a girl who always makes things worse.

He knew for sure that his life was a cursed life since he was very young, when it didn't normal for a young boy to think about life in such way. The first time he felt that way was when he came to Anubis House, when he was only 5 years old. He stayed there because his parents told him to, but he always wondered when his mother would pick him up and why they left him there. Minutes became hours became days became weeks became months became years, no one came to pick him up. And it was then he realized that he had been abandoned, rejected. And so he lived with the belief that his parents did not want him anymore and he learned to adjust to his solitude.

Everything was fine until he realized that he couldn't feel happiness. Not often, anyway. And when the realization hit, he started to look for ways to feel that happiness. He kept searching for his ways of making happiness, how to get everything he wanted. Pranked people and manipulated others for his own benefit in order to get something he wanted and also to feel a little happiness. He did everything for himself, because no one else was going to do anything for him. No one would try to make him feel happy, no one would gave him anything he wanted unless he tried to get it himself. He was a persona non grata, someone who was unwanted. He knew it, understood it. He knew that he was a bad guy, even when he didn't know what a bad person was.

If he was not a bad person, he wouldn't be neglected, right?

It was hard to admit that she was a person who acted on her feelings, that sometimes she was too dependent on her feelings until her logic didn't work anymore. It was as if her synapses weren't working. She should have realized that all actions have consequences, but instead she kept forgetting that one basic rule. She became this person who drove people away because of her actions. Screwing everything up seemed to be her natural talent, something that she couldn't avoid to do. Jealousy took over her and made everything worse.

She didn't understand why she continued to chase after someone who clearly didn't belong to her. Everyone seemed convinced Fabian and Nina was something that would definitely ends together. Based on that only, she should back off. But she did not and still made a mistake, until she finally felt as if she was suffering from a damnatio memoriae. She pursued someone who belonged with someone else, someone who already forgot about her. A silly girl, she was. And she could only cry, even though she hated crying. And when the synapses in her brain worked again, at least she finally tried to fix her mistakes.

Even when only death could fix everything.

(—oh, she did died once and then she came back from the realm of death, it kind of fixed everything, everything got better after that. And then once again she chased someone who wasn't hers, and then she ruined her own happiness.)

He loved Mara Jaffray. Loves, loved, he wasn't so sure. Having someone that could make him happy was a very foreign concept for him, he didn't know how to handle it and everything was very overwhelming. He really really didn't know how to handle it especially when the person belonged with someone else. He wanted to have her, he wanted her to be all his. He never found someone who was able to make him talk about who he really was, not about the mask that he put up everyday. Maybe he shouldn't open up in the first place, because after that he kept falling, falling, and falling. He wanted to have the girl who was his source of happiness. But he didn't know how to get her, how to have her.

So he did what usually Jerome Clarke did. He knew that he did some wrong doings to get Mara, kept her away from Mick and manipulated them. It felt good, having Mara when his life kind of crumbled down and he had to faced his family's complexity, even though he didn't have her completely because even when there were so many spaces between Mick and Mara, there was a string that connected them and no matter how hard Jerome tried to cut that string, it was still there.

And then something unexpected happened. He never really thought that when he kissed Mara, she would kiss him back. He finally got his happiness.

And then he messed up.

That last one was expected, wasn't it?

They were lying on green grasses that should tickle their body, they stared at the blue sky. Opened and closed books scattered on the grass, the books that should be read by them. But instead of reading, they ended up in the position they were in. They were too tired after a long day. Joy inevitably had to admit that one of the things she liked about her school was how many beautiful sights that can be seen in one day. The first time she came there, she marveled at the beauty of this place. The beauty of that place was usually forgotten when you already lived there for a long time, became appreciated only by newcomers.

"The colour of the sky looks like your eyes right now," she said without hesitation. Several weeks ago she would never even thought about something like that. But now she didn't even have to think about that. Now her life seemed to be in tranquility but also difficulties.

There was silence, there was no answer. She looked at the person beside her, found him looking at the sky in focus.

"Jerome?" A touch in his hand woke him up from his daydreaming, "Are you okay?"

He smiled and looked at Joy, not the smile that he had when he was about to fool or prank someone. It was a sincere smile, as if the question that Joy just asked was a question he never got.

"I was just thinking."


Jerome pretended to be hurt and Joy chuckled, "Why do you always act surprised when you hear that I'm thinking?"

"It's an old habit, I guess. You were never seemed to be a person who thinks a lot. If you were thinking, it must be something important."

"It depends on your definition of important, you see, for me prank is something very important to think about."

She laughed lightly, "So, what are you thinking about?"

He looked upon the sky.

"Like usual. Mara and Willow and what I did to them. Searching for an answer to why I did that to them. Trying to find the answers to many questions, actually, but mainly that."

Joy was no longer smiling. Not because she hated the topic, but because she understood that Jerome was trapped in his mistake. In fact, Joy was a punishment for him and he didn't realize that, they would not be as close as they were right now if it was not for Mara's plot to break Jerome's heart. She resisted the temptation to take a deep breath and just asked, "Have you found the answer?"

"Maybe, I'm not sure."

"Oh, I really want to know the answer." She joked, you could hear it clearly in her voice. She was not sure Jerome will tell more. She did not think she was really a person who can be trusted by Jerome.

"Happiness," but turned out that Jerome answers the question, "do you know what drew me to them?"


"They both make me feel happy when I'm with them and I don't even have to do anything, I don't need to manipulate them to make me happy, they made me comfortable with myself and I do not want my happiness to go away, so I linked them to me."

"So your sources of happiness are them?"

"It's sad, isn't it?"

Joy bit her lower lip, unsure on what to say. She was not someone who could talk about happiness, because she clearly sucked on that matter.

"Maybe—maybe you should try to find happiness without relying on anyone?"

Jerome closed his eyes.

"I tried, yes, a little difficult, but with my family situation beginning to improve, maybe I will finally be happy without being overly dependent on anyone else." He opened his eyes again and looked at Joy, "You know, you've got to be happy too, you should look for happiness. You deserve it. "

Joy smiled, a smile that indicated that there was a sadness that she felt.

"I still do not really know what would make me happy, maybe I should search harder."

"Maybe we can find happiness together?"


Joy smiled broadly after that and closed her eyes. She was happy, she was also happy at the other times when she was with Jerome. Perhaps indeed they have found their happiness. But sadly, life was not as simple as the colour of the sky.

Joy wondered if her decision to followed Mara and Willow's plan was one of so many wrong decisions she had ever made. She didn't expect to like Jerome, after all he was one of the people who made her life deteriorated last term. She wasn't sure, she didn't know what to do. She couldn't just betray Mara after Mara got betrayed by Jerome, after all she had learned from last year. Chasing Fabian made her lose a lot, she did not want to make mistakes again. But on the other hand she also felt guilty. And also, she herself wanted more than just a platonic friendship with Jerome.

Life had a variety of ways to trap her in some complicated circumstances, huh?

"When will you break his heart? He had fallen in love with you. "

It was a question that she really did not want to hear, especially from Mara. She could not make a decision. She knew she should choose a friend than a man, but still...it was hard. She can only play the end of her bed sheets, refusing to look at the Mara or Willow who was in the same room with her. She wanted to bang her head against the wall as hard as possible. She did not want to lose everything, but she had to choose which one she had to lose. Love or friendship.

"I don't know. Is now the right time?"

She tried to act as normal as possible, pretending that nothing was wrong and there was no doubt.

"No, of course, he already open up to you, which means you've succeeded, just wait for him to tell you that he loves you and ta da! That was the right time!" Mara looked really happy.

"Aaw, but they look so perfect together! They are like a match made in heaven!" Willow leaped, successfully making Joy shook her head. Willow, Willow, a girl who was too innocent, maybe. She was the person who hatched the plan, but now it was Mara who seemed to be obsessed with the plan. Joy secretly hoped that Mara could move on as quickly as Willow, so she wouldn't be trapped in this complex problem anymore and for Mara's own good.

"I'm not sure when it will happens," she wanted it to happen, but she also did not want that to happen, "maybe we should just give it up here, I'm going to ignore him, maybe it will be enough to break his heart."

"No, no, he should get what he deserved, he must feel how hurt it feels to get your heart broken, he hurt me, Joy, please."

That was when she heard footsteps went away from her room in a rapid rhythm. She awoke from her position when she realized whose footsteps they were. She got down from the bed and walked quickly toward the door and then opened it. There was no one, but when she looked down to the she saw a bouquet of flowers that had been scattered.

At that moment she knew that the boy knew everything.

He felt like a really dramatic person. He was running from a reality that slapped him hard. He listened to the conversation on that room for a quite long time, he kept silent and kept hearing without doing anything until he finally decided to run. Dramatically. Yes, his heart was broken again after he hear that and he wanted to laugh out loud, so hard that his jaw hurt. He should be angry, but he did not. Instead he felt was something else.

Guilt. He felt guilt.

He did not know how he ended up in the woods, surrounded by trees that couldn't spoke. But he stopped there and leaning on a tree, looking at a damaged and empty building that was abandoned, just like him. He felt sad and guilty, but not angry. Not at Mara, not at Willow, not at Joy. The only person he wanted to be angry at was himself. All of this was his fault anyway, he would end up like this if he did not make a mistake. He felt guilty because while Mara made him a better person, he turned Mara into a person she was not. He felt guilty at Joy because she had to pretend to like him in front of him when she actually hated him.

The king of messing up, he was.

He really liked Joy. She gave him the same comfort with Mara, but Joy understood because of the fact that they weren't too different. He did not want to lose her, but it turned out he couldn't lose her because he never had her.

He stayed there all night, he did not feel scared or anything, he just wanted to find a place where he was truly alone. No one would realize that he disappeared. Alfie would be too busy with his 'hobbies' so he would not notice that his roommate disappeared. Well, the fact that nobody really cared about him was enough to convince him that no one would try to find him.

They did not speak to each other again. Joy tried to speak to him, but Jerome continuously avoided her and they never got a chance to talk alone with him. She couldn't be grateful that she was no longer in a complicated position, couldn't be grateful that at least Mara was quite satisfied. She suffered from guilt and also because she missed her times with Jerome. Jerome became distant, not only from her but also from many other people. As if the young man did not want to deal with anyone again. The worst of it was because Joy was one of the causes that made him became like that.

Joy believed that Jerome hated her.

Indeed she waited for him to get back at her. She wouldn't complain if he pranks her, wouldn't care if she gets humiliated like anything. But there was nothing, there was only silence between them. After a long time she found herself unable to be in the same room with Jerome too long. Because she wanted to reach out and help him. Jerome was not the person he used to be, Jerome had turned into an invisible figure. But she couldn't help him, she didn't deserve to do that.

Now, sincere smiles that began to appear long ago changed again into fake smiles that were forced to appear.

He stayed away because he did not want to hurt anyone again. Not now, not later. Because he destroyed everything he touched.

They faced each other again on their last day at school, when they would move on to their new life. With suitcases in their hands, they stood awkwardly. They both sighed. And for a long time no one said anything, waiting for each other to make a sound.



Incidentally, they tried to talk in the same time.

"I'm sorry for everything."

And Jerome, became a gentleman for a moment, let Joy spoke first. He looked down, not looking at her face.

"You don't need have to apologize."

Joy gasped, an apology that should release the burdens she carried for months made them heavier instead.

"You hate me so much that an apology is not enough?"

"I-I never hated you," said Jerome, almost like a whisper but still audible. Joy always liked the sound of Jerome's voice, she enjoyed every words he said.

"Really? Then why did you avoid me?" She sounded demanding, now. Joy didn't changed much, she was still Joy.

"I don't want to make you suffer."

"You avoiding me make me suffer, Jerome." For some reason, Joy felt like crying.

"But you hate me."

Joy would never understand how Jerome came to that conclusion, because he never did anything to her other than that one incident with school's website, but even Joy had forgotten about it.

"I never hated you, at least once I get to know you better, I could never hate you."

"I'm sorry."

And now there is a game called 'let's repeat each other's words.'.

"Don't. Don't be sorry. Maybe this will be our last meeting, and in this moment I just want to tell you that what we had is real, very real, I wasn't pretending or anything. "

"I loved you, Joy. I loved you. "

It hurt to hear that. She also loved Jerome.

"I did too, Jerome, I did."

Loves, not loved. She hugged him tightly, did not release him for a while. She did not want to let go, but she had to do it. It was too late to start from a new point, they had to take a new and different path on their life.

"Goodbye, Jerome."

She pulled back and smiled at Jerome, turned around and walked toward the cab. Jerome would only watch until she got into the cab and went away.

It could be said that in his college life, Jerome was back to the former self, manipulating others and making them help him to get what he wanted. But not as often as he used to be, he only did that when he really needed to do that. But he still pushed people away so they didn't get close to him, manipulating in a more subtle ways that would not be recognized by anyone. Jerome became more dangerous. There was no prank again, only manipulation. For someone like him to live in the university were surprisingly not too complicated. He could adapt very easily, not having a lot of trouble. He never had a serious romance relationship with anyone, his high school phase haunted him. There were nights where he wasn't busy, his thoughts drifted back to his high school life.

Fabian. Patricia. Alfie. Mara. Mara. Mara. Willow. Joy. Joy. Joy. Joy.

He lost touch with his old housemates, changed hid phone number and no one knew the number of his home or his home address. He wanted to start a new life and forget what has happened to him. But his old life would always haunt him, could not simply be erased from his memory. But at least he felt that his life got better.

Until he landed in an office of a doctor who babbles that his life will not be long and how he had to stop everything he was doing in order to be dropped into the suffering hole before being pulled out again. Since then his life was back into a misery. His mother hated him again because he became a burden again after his father died (it turned out that they were given only five years to be together), and Poppy had trouble to pay for her school. He spent so many days on a bed unable to do anything and be a burden when he himself was burdened with guilt.

Without having to do anything, life had betrayed him again.

Life did not become easier for Joy. Maybe it seemed that she had a problem with adapting to a new and unfamiliar circumstance. She fought so hard to survive in the first year of college. Indeed she had new friends, but no one could eliminate her loneliness. She found university life to be too demanding, too time-consuming. She was still in touch with many people from her past, but it did not help. Sometimes she wanted to return to the past. Talking about the past always reminded her of Jerome, even when they had a proper goodbye, she felt that there as an unfinished business between them.

At the end of the day she used to find himself lying on a mattress with no sleep and with an acute headache. So she had to take medicine to relieve headache and make herself fresh during the day in order to attend all the activities she was forced to join in.

Initially, it was only one pill of pain killer. Then it was added with pills given by one of his college friends, who said that the pill would be able to help him stay fresh and happy. And then there were other pills. Day by day and she found that the two pills are no longer any effect on him. Then he added the dose, continuously. She only felt normal and happy after she had taken them. She could forget about any kind of burden she carried.

Until one day, she took them too much.

He recovered a year and a half after being diagnosed, cured completely. He wasn't dead.

But even so he still felt he had missed a lot of things in his life. He didn't go to college anymore and actually tried to find a job to support his family. His mother could no longer work because she became the one who was sick and Poppy still had to study. For weeks he searched until he found a job with a small salary, but enough to feed 3 people. The job unexpectedly went well, he rarely messed things up because it turned out he had a knack on that job, he was good at making a plan. Maybe it was the effect of planning the best pranks ever for years.

So he lived like that, working from day to night and didn't have any time for himself. But working like that, slowly he could get a better position and a higher salary. Until one day he got in a position where he got more than enough salary. Poppy managed to graduate and be the best and also worked to support the family. Their mother died when Poppy was 24 years old, but so far they were living a good life. The shadow of the past did not haunt him anymore.

She entered rehab after having overdosed and almost died. Her parents did not blame her for screwing things up again, which was something to be thankful for. Sometimes she suffered from having to fight her addiction, but she kept trying because she wanted to get well. She decided that she should have a much better life than the life she had lived, she kept on and on trying. She did not want to die quickly, her dream woken up again and she became a girl wanted to find her prince and live like in a fairy tale again.

She came out of rehab a year after staying there. She decided to become a new Joy, who lived to be someone useful. She began to learn more, took a new education. She became a volunteer for the troubled teenagers, supporting them to not become like her. It was fun, she did not think too much about things so she wouldn't feel burdened.

When she completed her education, she eventually worked as a counselor. A job she really enjoyed because she could help others. Although her life was not a fairy tale where everything was wonderful, it still felt like a fairy tale. She kept on running towards the future, she wouldn't give up easily like she used to be.

They met again at a hospital, when Jerome had just finished doing his routine check upand when Joy had just visited one of his acquaintances. They ran to each other in the hall, almost bumping into each other. There were no words were spoken when they realized who they had just met. They both didn't change much physically, but still, it took a while before they realized who they had met. There were no words, but there were smiles that intended for each other.

Their feelings had faded, it had been ten years since they last met. But now, their feeling began to re-emerge as their memories rose.

They went to Jerome's favorite coffee café and started to share their stories to each other there.

They were no longer separated. They lived in the same town and it turned out that they lived not too far away from each other. They often met, since one meeting was never enough to talk to each other. One meeting was never enough to argue about a lot of things and exchanging ideas. Through Joy, Jerome began to get in touch with his old friends, forgetting his plan to completely erase the past from his mind. Because his past was important, he would not be the man he was without the past. Like several years ago, Joy and he supported each other in life. They understood each other like in the past, occasionally mocking each other. Just like before.

Feelings of love re-emerged through these meetings, growing uncontrollably. They didn't express it and kept being friends. Until finally one day Jerome decided to propose, promised that he would never hurt her. Just like before.

Kidnapped at the age of 16, screwed everything up after that, killed at the age of 17, addicted to drugs at the age of 21, entered rehab at age of 22 and came out at age of 23, married at age of 30.

Abandoned at the age of 5, betrayed his friends at the age of 16, made a mistake on an ongoing basis until the age of 18 dying at the age of 22, became the man of the house at 24, married at age 30.

They ended up saying 'I love you' at the end of the day before they both fell asleep, hugging each other at sunrise, supporting each other until they die. They died young, Jerome because of a relapse and Joy because her body became weaker than it should be because of the drugs. But at least they had a happy life at the end of their life.

{ end }