Prompt: Jerica: first kiss
Word Count: 2037
Notes: Have you ever read a Danny/Erica Bromance? Me either. Somebody get on that.
Jackson's parents send him to boarding school in London because they don't know what to do with a boy they love, a boy who can't love them, a lost boy who can't figure out how to play well with others. He spends two years there, and every day is spent learning control.
Don't get angry. Don't shift. Don't flirt. Don't be rude. Don't kill your roommate.
And then he graduates. His parents are living in Anaheim, but he chooses to go to college in Connecticut. His grades and SATs have become nearly perfect, now that he doesn't care about how his classmates perceive him. Even when having sex seems unimportant when being a werewolf becomes as easy as breathing.
(The nights of the full moon are the best nights. He's free, quiet, running around the woods alone. He owns himself. Surrendering control to the wolf is out of the question, and he anchors himself with that knowledge. Out of sheer determination, it works.)
He gets his degree in financing but makes his money on the stock market, just like he's always planned, living in a sleepy Connecticut town that feels like a richer version of Beacon Hills.
But then he goes home, because there was never really any other option.
When he lands, Jackson holds in his possession a single duffel bag of clothes, a dead phone, and a wallet (two credit cards, drivers license, fifty bucks in cash).
He's supposed to call Danny when he lands, but the dead phone made that an issue. He thinks about plugging it in at one of the outlets in the terminal, but when he leaves baggage claim, he sees a sign with his name on it.
Danny isn't the one holding it. Erica Reyes is.
She looks better than he remembers her, wearing lilac scrubs. Her hair is shorter, just shoulder length but still full of curls, and her lipstick is a conservative shade of pink, he supposes because she just got off shift at the hospital.
It's been eight years since he was in Beacon Hills and it seems like longer.
"Danny had a work emergency," Erica says when he reaches her. "Asked me to fill in for him. Cool?"
Jackson knew Danny and Erica were friends. There wasn't much Danny didn't tell him, and he's sure if his phone had any battery left, he'd be able to read at least three text messages explaining the situation in detail. So he shrugs. "No problem."
She takes him out to the parking lot and unlocks a silver Mazda that's maybe ten years old but clearly well cared for. "You can put your stuff in the back." She doesn't say, "Is this it?" even though he halfway expects it.
Stuff seems meaningless. He can buy it later, when he actually has a house here.
Erica drives just on safe side of reckless, rolling slowly at stop signs and almost running red lights.
Still, he doesn't spend much of his time holding onto the oh-shit bar, and it's not like he kisses the ground when he gets out of the car.
"Do you need help?" she asks through a yawn. She's been quiet the whole ride over, and it's clear she's running on minimal sleep.
"No," he says, shouldering the bag. "Does Danny keep his key in the same place?"
She nods, leaning forward to rest on the steering wheel. "I'll let him know you got in. He says you're welcome to his shower and you can even sleep in his bed."
"Thanks," he says.
"Sure. I'll see you later," she says, and yawns as she drives away.
Danny comes home late at night and hugs Jackson tight enough to make him cough. He's a werewolf but that doesn't mean it sucks not to breathe.
"I missed you, too," he says wryly. "My life would suck without you."
Danny rolls his eyes and shoves him. "What do you want for dinner?"
Jackson shrugs. "Whatever you want."
"Pizza then. Had the worst day at work, man."
"You should quit," Jackson suggests. "Just play the stock market."
"And read the news all day? No thanks," Danny says. "My job is fulfilling, most of the time." He calls in a large pepperoni pizza and the two of them flop onto the couch to talk about Jackson's flight and house-hunting while they wait. Danny mentions a house near Jackson's old neighborhood, and Jackson promises to check it out.
Danny falls asleep before the pizza gets there, but Jackson doesn't mind paying. He wakes him up before he eats all of it and then goes to bed. They'll share because they might as well be brothers, even if they haven't seen each other in years.
Derek and the rest of his betas trickle into see him one by one. He's welcomed back easily enough, even by Stiles, who's apparently dating Derek now and only friends with Lydia.
Lydia never stops by. He doesn't really expect her to.
But Erica is at Danny's house constantly. In the two weeks he stays with Danny while finding a house, he learns that she's already completed college and is working as nurse to scrape the money together for med school. He finds out her favorite toppings for pizza (pepperoni and pineapple—who even does that?) and that she's dated four guys in the last eight years, each of whom she dumped when they proved to be sexist or, in one memorable case, racist. Apparently he'd made some unfortunate comments about Mexicans illegally crossing the border and she'd had to testily remind him that her name was Reyes.
That one, apparently, was a mutual break up.
He finds out that she left a little bit before he did. "Boyd and I wanted a new pack and instead we got tortured by the Argents and an alpha pack. Boyd got sent out to screw with Derek's head and Erica escaped by the "skin of her teeth," a phrase that makes her eyes darken.
She's free with information about her past and present, and sometimes she tells him what she wants for the future. "I was thinking pediatrics," she says one day. "Or maybe ENT. I could tell people I was an otolaryngologist and they'd be lost."
He tries to reciprocate with stories about London, and she listens attentively, except for the time she falls asleep after a double shift, curled up on the other side of the couch.
Danny, who's been sitting in a recliner across the room with his laptop, silently working overtime, drops a blanket over her and shrugs at Jackson. "She likes you," he offers.
He doesn't mean it as anything more than friendly, he's sure, but it means a lot anyway. Erica is quieter than he remembers but still herself.
The first time he sees Erica wearing anything but scrubs, she's wearing shorts and a racerback t-shirt that shows off the sides of her bra when she lifts her arms into a stretch. They're playing basketball in Danny's backyard and the summer heatwave is already hitting it's peak.
"Did you find a place to move, yet?" she asks after dunking the ball. Danny has a hoop that's cemented into the ground, because befriending werewolves means nothing breakable lasts.
"Yeah," he says, catching the ball as she tosses it. "I'm moving in next week."
"Cool," she says, trying to knock the ball out of his hand. "What about, like, furniture and shit?"
He shoots, makes it, and grins at her. "Gotta go shopping, I guess."
"Don't take Danny," she suggests. "He's literally awful at interior decorating."
"His house looks okay," Jackson says slowly, watching her do a layup. It's incredible to watch her move like this, all fluidity and grace.
She laughs and dribbles before tossing him the ball. "His mom did it. But I picked out his throw pillows."
"So you come help me," he suggests. "I'll pay you if you want."
"Feed me instead," she suggests, and the slams into his side. "Stop playing like a nerd."
He could be offended, but he hears the affection and wiggles out of her grasp instead, running far enough out to take a shot.
Erica drives him to IKEA. "Next objective," she says. "Buy a car."
He shrugs. "Maybe. I was thinking about an Audi."
"You make me sick with all your money," she tells him, gagging.
Jackson shrugs helplessly.
She groans and rolls her eyes. "I'm just kidding, jeez. Although any time you want to buy me groceries, feel free."
"Didn't one of your old boyfriends try to do that?" He asks, quirking an eyebrow. "And then you decided he was sexist and despicable?"
"First of all, I never asked him to," she says, jabbing a finger at him. "And he was she isn't because he suggested we get married so I could leave the foolishness of school behind."
"What a dick," Jackson says, wrinkling his nose. "I bet he tried to get you to make him a sandwich, too."
"Once," she answers, and laughs.
When he leaves the store, he has a duffel bag of clothes, a fully charged phone, a wallet (two credit cards, drivers license, fifty in cash), a table, four chairs, a recliner, a love seat, and a queen-sized bed.
"Order my kind of pizza," Erica tells him. "And I'll even put the table and chairs together for you."
"Your pizza is an abomination," he informs her, but he calls it in to Domino's anyway.
"You liked it," Erica says, her toes curling underneath his leg, where she's wedged them. The two of them are back at Danny's because they wanted to eat before constructing anything.
"I'll admit it was tolerable," he says, grimacing. "But still not right."
"You're not right," she snipes.
"I'm perfect," he corrects her. "See this mouth? Perfect judge of pizza toppings."
"Is that what it's for?" She asks, pursing her lips. Today they're pomegranate pink, delectable even covered in a light coat of grease from the pizza.
He realizes he's staring at her lips longer than is polite and looks back at her eyes, smirking. "Among other things."
She pulls her feet away from him, leaning forward slightly. "Yeah?" she says, licking her lips.
Honestly, who needs subtlety?
So he leans forward to grab her hand and use it to pull her close. "Yeah," he says, wiggling his eyebrows. "You wanna see?"
"Not see so much, no," she says, brushing her nose against his. "But you could demonstrate, i guess."
He tilts his chin forward until their lips brush softly and slowly, just a soft, almost dry rasp. He thinks about parting his lips to catch one of hers, to suck or bite.
But she keeps the rhythm steady—just soft catches and releases.
He feels like he's melting.
"Ugh, stop," Danny says from behind them. "I feel like Harry Potter. Take this elsewhere."
Erica huffs as they separate, turning to look at him with a raised eyebrow. "Do you want some pizza or what?"
"Pepperoni and pineapple?" he asks with a grin.
"Abomination," Jackson agrees.
"It's better than 'Hawaiian,'" Danny says, drawing air quotes. "Anyway, you totally liked it. I can tell."
"Shut up," Jackson says, scowling.
Erica wedges her feet back underneath Jackson's legs. "Turn the volume up. I'm not listening to you dweebs."
Danny steals the rest of the pizza. "You're the dweeb. You kissed Jackson."
"Don't even talk to me about taste in boys," she says, holding up a hand. "You dated a psychotic werewolf."
"You are a psychotic werewolf," Danny mutters rebelliously. "Don't even get me started about Jackson."
"Ugh, I can't believe you replaced me," Jackson says, groaning.
"Did not," Danny says.
"Did so," Erica pipes up. She winks at him when he looks at her, and…well, maybe it's okay. "Ready to go build furniture? We can make out on your couch when we're done."
"Sure," he says casually, standing and grabbing their plates.
"Faster," she commands, pushing him into the kitchen. "Your mouth is good for something and I plan to capitalize on it."
"Shut up," Danny shouts from the living room.
(Seeing Erica and Jackson kiss never stops annoying Danny.
They never stop enjoying it.)
A/N: Pineapple/pepperoni otp for lyf. Y'all don't even know. Unless you do...in which case congrats.
I seriously love Nurse-to-Doctor Erica. And her lipstick. I have a great envy.