A/N: Fill for the brbakinkmeme.
It had been seven years since Jesse Pinkman was last seen. It had been even longer since any of his own family had seen him. And at the age of nineteen, Jake could hardly remember just what his brother even looked like. If Jesse was still alive out there somewhere, Jake wondered if he'd even recognize him after all this time.
But apparently someone had come forward and explained that Jesse had been working with some DEA agents to bring down this "Heisenberg". Jake had heard his mom mention something about a Walter White and how he had been Jesse's chemistry teacher, how none of it added up. Those DEA agents that Jesse had last been seen with were dead though.
There was some kind of tape the officers found after searching an abandoned hangar. A tape that had been stolen from the deceased DEA agent's home that contained a long confession from Jesse that had covered the past two years. Jake hadn't been allowed to see it but he had never seen his mother so upset afterward.
But that was all seven years ago.
Now his mom was sitting at the kitchen table on a late Tuesday night with paperwork strewn left and right. Paperwork to declare that his older brother was dead after searching all these years and coming up empty handed. Some different agents and officers had been by earlier that day to drop everything off. And Jake felt like his mom had been sitting in the same spot all day just staring at it, distraught.
He was standing in the doorway to the kitchen when the first sob racked her frame. He knew it was only a matter of time before it truly hit her and she crumbled. Jake had felt like his father in the way that they had already given up, that Jesse wasn't going to be found. His dad didn't know what to do to try and comfort her, and once again, Jake was in that same boat. Because Jesse had always been their favorite son: the way they talked about him constantly, the way they always worried. He knew that much.
"Where did we go wrong?"
Jake hesitantly entered the kitchen and walked toward the table. He slowly pulled a chair out and took a seat next to his mother as she wiped at her face. He immediately spotted the words Jesse Bruce Pinkman and deceased scrawled across the top of one of the many papers and bit his lip.
"Why did he do this to us? Why couldn't he just stay clean."
Jake didn't even want to think about the funeral that would proceed after all of this. Were they seriously going to just bury an empty casket? It seemed pointless. That was when he convinced himself that Jesse was probably alive out there. He had to be, right? They would have found his body otherwise—or something. But Jesse would have contacted them by now… Wouldn't he?
And without even thinking, Jake had blurted, "It wasn't his weed." He bit his lip even harder and focused his stare down at the hardwood table, refusing to meet his mother's stare. Because he knew the moment the words slipped from his mouth, her eyes had locked onto him in an instant.
"…What? W-What are you saying, Jake?"
The last time he had even seen his brother was that very day, standing outside the house they sat in now. They never moved because his mom figured that if Jesse was to ever return, he'd be able to find them. Jesse had taken the blame for his weed and was kicked out. Again. And Jake even had the audacity to ask Jesse if he could have it back.
Jesse had smashed it on the sidewalk and forced a weak smile. It's skunk weed anyway.
The last words he had to remember his brother by. His brother, who had been strung out on various drugs throughout the years, kept him from going down the same road.
"It was my weed that you guys found in Jesse's room. He took the blame for me."
Jake cautiously looked over at his mom to find that she was now staring down at the table, hand over her mouth.
"How could you—"
"I didn't ask him to," Jake cut her off. "He didn't even know about it."
She hung her head, face buried behind her hands. Jake was waiting for her to give him an earful even though he was now in college and the so-called "talks" she had always given to Jesse never worked, therefore why would they work on Jake and what good what it do now, years later? But she did just the opposite. She remained quiet, didn't say a word. Only started to cry again.
Jake got up from his seat and pushed his chair in. "For what it's worth, I never smoked it. Jesse destroyed it when I asked for it back."
He left out the part that that was the first and only joint he'd ever had.
Jake retreated back upstairs and down the hall. He could still hear his mother crying. He probably would for the next couple weeks until everything would slowly start to settle down and things would eventually return to normal. He would go back to his dorm at college and his parents would just resume their life.
Jake stopped at the door to Jesse's old room and gripped the handle. He allowed himself entry and quietly shut the door behind him as if he didn't want to be disturbed—not that it mattered, since his dad was most likely asleep by now and his mom wasn't moving from where she resided.
Jesse's room had hardly been touched. Everything was where it had remained since Jake had last seen it seven or so years ago, the last time Jesse had been in it. The bed was made up and everything was tucked away all clean and neat. It still had a faint scent of him too. Or maybe it was just the scent of the house.
Jake sat on the edge of the bed and laid back, staring up at the ceiling. It didn't matter how much he and his parents tried to prepare themselves for this. None of them were ready to say good-bye to Jesse permanently. He had to still be out there somewhere.
He had to be.