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04 January 2011 @ 10:20 pm
A Wreckless Night (Jay/Jessica) for nautisch  
Title: A Wreckless Night
Recipient: nautisch
Pairing: Jay Park/Jessica
Rating: PG

There's only one seat left on the Greyhound when Jay gets on, next to a girl sleeping with her head pressed against the window. She’s swimming in her huge black sweatshirt, the hood pulled up so all Jay can see is a lock of blonde hair draped over her shoulder with a few black strands running through it. He gingerly puts his bag in the overhead compartment and sits down, trying not to wake her up. He sneaks another look, but it only gets him the tip of her nose. He shakes his head at himself and puts in his earbuds.

Half an hour later, she hasn't moved at all. Jay's honestly a little worried that she might be unconscious or dead. He mentally debates waking her up and finally decides on "accidentally" bumping her shoulder when he bends down to fix his shoe—if she gets mad, at least he'll have the relief of knowing she's alive. He starts to lean towards her, but the bus goes over a bump just then and he ends up hitting her a lot harder than he means to. He sucks in his breath as she groans and sits up in her seat, rubbing at her eyes.

"Could you not," she starts to say as she turns, but her voice drops away when their eyes meet.

Jay blinks. "Jessica?" If she hadn't said anything, he might not have recognized her. Her hair is straight and long, her eyes dark with thick eyeliner and mascara—nothing like the fresh-faced cheerleader from his school. It's strange seeing her without a bright smile on her face or poms in her hands.

"Oh," she says, looking strangely unsurprised. "Jay, right?"

"Uh, yeah." Jay has no idea how she knows his name. "What are you—um. I didn't know it was you."

She smiles a little. "That was kind of the point."

He wants to ask why she's dressed like this and what she's doing on a bus when he's pretty sure football playoffs start tomorrow, but he bites his tongue to keep it inside. He doesn't want to be rude. Instead, he settles for asking, "So where are you headed?"

She shrugs. "I don't know."

Jay stares at her. "So you just … got on a bus with no real plans?" She looks steadily back at him, and he shakes his head. "I don't get it. Why are you here?"

"Because I feel like it." Jessica turns back to the window.

Jay watches her for a minute before he sighs. "Look, if you need a place to stay, we have a guest room."

She glances back at him. "You're going home?"

"Yeah, this bus is heading towards Seattle. It's still another—" he checks his watch, "two hours, but if you don’t want to get off anywhere we stop, you're welcome to come with me." When he looks up, she's got a frown on her face. "What?"

"I'm not going to put out."

Jay blanches. "I wasn't—I would never—Jessica. I'm not doing this to sleep with you."

“Why not?” Jessica scoffs. “Everyone wants to fuck a cheerleader." Her voice is scornful, but there's something vulnerable in her eyes.

"I don't," he tells her. When she raises an eyebrow, he hurriedly adds, "Well, I mean, it's not like I'd say no, but what I mean is that...." He trails off when he realizes she's laughing at him, hiding her smile behind her hand. Jay takes a deep breath and says, "Look. I'm not trying to tell you what to do. I'm not even going to ask what you're doing here. I just … don't like the idea of you being alone."

"I can take care of myself," Jessica says, but the edge to her voice is gone. There's a moment of silence, and then she says, "So what's your family like?"

They talk through the entire ride to Seattle, and Jay learns that Jessica is smart and funny and that she has the prettiest laugh he's ever heard. When she smiles, her whole face lights up—it's nothing like her infamously icy demeanor at school. He wants to know this girl, the one who lets her guard down and teases him. He finds himself telling her about dancing, about Art Of Movement and how much he misses his crew. "They're like my second family. I go to see them whenever I can, but it's not the same as practicing with them and going to battles and all that, you know? It's like I'm constantly out of the loop." He laughs a little. "But you know what I mean about the family thing. The cheerleaders are all really close, right?"

Jessica's expression softens. "Yeah. We're really different and sometimes we get in fights, but we're always there for each other. You never have to be alone."

Jay watches her quietly. After a moment, he asks, "Do they know you're here?"

Jessica's smile stiffens, and suddenly she looks just as cold as Jay's always heard she was. "I said you never have to be alone, not that you never want to." She turns away again.

Jay sighs and pulls out his phone. He plays Snake on the little screen for half an hour until the automated voice announces, "Seattle, five minutes." He puts his phone away and glances over at Jessica, then clears his throat and says, "My offer still stands, if you want it." She doesn't respond. After a moment, he digs in his bag and finds a pen and a dirty stack of post-its. He writes down his address and phone number and sticks it to the back of the seat in front of her. His family is waiting for him when he gets off, his mom already teary-eyed and Jehan holding a box wrapped in garish yellow paper. By the time Jay looks back, the bus is gone.

He goes over to Hep's house after dinner, and soon the rest of AOM is there too. It isn't long before the weed comes out, but Jay passes. He wants to be sober right now, wants to drink everything in and remember it without a haze of smoke obscuring the details. He goes to the bathroom while they pass it around and splashes some water on his face to keep his head clear. He looks up into the mirror, sees water dripping from his eyelashes and the tip of his nose, and imagines a different face looking back at him, one with long blonde hair and red lips, black smudged around the eyes. Jay reaches out a hand to touch his reflection, and the moment his fingertips brush the glass, his phone rings.

He blinks, startled out of his reverie, and fumbles his phone out of his pocket. He doesn't recognize the number, but he picks it up anyway. "Hello?"

"Can you give me a ride?"

Jay wants to laugh. "Jessica? Why are you—"

"Jay, please," she interrupts, and her tone makes him go quiet. "I don't know anyone else here. I need you to come get me."

"Yeah. Yeah, of course. Where are you?" She tells him the cross-streets, not too far from where he is now. "Okay, stay where you are, I'm coming." He hangs up and goes back out to the living room and is on his way there in Junior’s car a minute later.

It's dark and rainy, and he doesn't see her when he pulls up to the corner. Then Jessica materializes out of the shadows, her hood pulled up so Jay can hardly see her face. He leans over and unlocks the door for her, and she slides inside. When she pushes her hood back onto her shoulders, Jay realizes that her eyes are rimmed in red. "Hey, you okay?"

She angrily scrubs a hand over her face. "I'm fine. Can you take me to a hotel or something?"

"Just stay with us. We have a couch, and my parents won't mind, I promise."

Jessica hesitates, and Jay can see her weighing the risks against the benefits. "Okay," she says finally. "Just one night, and I'll be out of your hair."

"You can stay as long as you want." A loud growl cuts through the air, and Jay glances over to see her wince and rub her stomach. "Have you eaten yet?" Jessica shakes her head, and Jay makes an abrupt left turn into a Burger King parking lot. "Okay, first things first." He opens up the glove compartment, where he knows Junior always keeps some extra cash, and hands her ten dollars. "You go get some food while I call my parents and let them know you'll be coming." He shakes his head at her questioning look. "I had dinner already, just get something for yourself." She gives him a little smile and gets out of the car. He watches her go in before he pulls out his phone.

When Jay joins her inside a few minutes later, she's got a heap of fries and a half-eaten cheeseburger in front of her. "Wow," he says, a little surprised. "I guess you were hungry."

Jessica shrugs. "I didn't eat lunch today. And I don't have fast food very often." She takes a bite of her burger with obvious relish. "Gotta keep my figure, you know."

Jay watches her for a few minutes before he asks, "What are you doing here?" She pauses, and he hurries to add, "You don't have to answer if you don't want to, and it's not like going to, to tell anyone or anything, but I'm just … it's kind of weird."

She sighs and puts her food down. "Things happened. People weren't who I thought they were. The usual."

"But why here?" Jay presses. "You don't know anyone here, it's pure luck that we ran into each other. Why not go somewhere else?"

Jessica drags a french fry listlessly through her ketchup. "I didn't want to know anyone. I'm tired of people I've never met knowing my face."

"Oh." He smiles sheepishly. "Sorry, there wasn't another seat on the bus when I got on. You must have been annoyed when you saw me."

"No, I—that's just my luck. Even if I want to get away, I'm bound to run into someone."

Jay pretends that his heart is still in its normal place and not somewhere around his knees. "If you want, I can get you a hotel or, or something. You don't have to stay with us, I was just trying to—"

"Jay," she interrupts, the corners of her mouth twitching. "I called you, remember? I wanted to see you."

He blinks at her and can't keep what's he's sure is a really stupid smile from spreading over his face. "Oh."

Jessica reaches over and squeezes his hand. Her palms are much more calloused than he'd have thought. He likes it. She pulls her hand back and picks up her food, but Jay doesn't miss the way she looks at him from beneath her bangs.

Jay knocks on his bedroom door. "Jessica?"

"Come in," she calls.

He pushes open the door to find her sitting on his bed wearing one of his ratty old tshirts and a pair of Jehan's sweatpants. "I hope it's okay," she says almost shyly, gesturing at her outfit. "Your mom said I could just borrow your clothes since I don't really have anything else."

Jay has to laugh at that. "You really didn't think this trip through, did you?"

Jessica laughs with him. "No, I guess not."

"May I?" he asks, nodding at the bed.

She scoots back against the headboard and pulls her knees up to her chest to make room for him. "Thanks for letting me sleep in your room. When you said you had a couch, I assumed you meant it was for me."

Jay shakes his head. "You're a guest. Sorry it's so messy, though, I didn't really expect you to call." He hesitates, then continues, "But I hoped you would."

Jessica smiles. "I'm still not going to put out," she informs him, but it's clear she's teasing.

"Not tonight." Jay takes her hand and squeezes it once at her mock-offended face. "Kidding. I have no ulterior motives, I promise."

She squeezes back. "Maybe. Maybe not. Or maybe I'm the one with motives."

"Yeah?" He leans in a little. "Is that really why you got on that bus?"

Jessica laughs. "Caught me. It's all just a big conspiracy." They look at each other for a moment, and then she shifts and moves forward. He meets her halfway, presses his mouth against hers gently. It's chaste, but he can taste mint toothpaste on his lips after Jessica pulls away. Jay uses their joined hands to tug her closer so he can kiss her forehead. She's smiling up at him when he sits back, so different from the angry, sullen girl he sat next to that morning

"Goodnight, Jessica," he says, slowly standing up.

“Sweet dreams."

#1 nautical platypus: fany fany tiffanynautisch on January 5th, 2011 04:29 am (UTC)
omg I think I actually squealed when I saw this on my flist. I'm so glad you could make something out of my potpourri of ideas/pairings (sorry about that orz)! and if I've read jay/jessica it's been a long time so I'm really excited that you wrote them. and you even incorporated the oh/rdr concept a little bit which was something I was dying to see.

I love that jessica's cheeky and self-aware but at the same time disgruntled and somewhat insecure, it's so her and it's also a little john hughes. and I love awkward but sweet!jay (omg him sleeping on the couch for her :33333). gee do I miss reading about him :( I love their whole first conversation where jessica talks him into a corner and he's just a babbling mess lmao.

basically, I can't thank you enough for this. thank you thank you thank you &hearts
the only voice i want to hear is yoursladadadi on January 13th, 2011 03:50 am (UTC)
lol the amount of ideas gave me a lot to work with :) i'm really glad you liked this! ♥
#1 nautical platypus: fany fany tiffanynautisch on January 13th, 2011 05:20 am (UTC)
SHRIEKS omg it's you! you wrote the persephone minluna! ;~~~; &hearts wow now I sound like a creepy mccreeperton, but thank you again for writing this and I just realized that I don't have your writing journal on my flist. remedying that now!
the only voice i want to hear is yoursladadadi on January 13th, 2011 05:41 am (UTC)
lmao it's not creepy, it's sweet~ i'm just glad you like my writing! :D
phonebookphonebook on January 9th, 2011 09:29 pm (UTC)
if she gets mad, at least he'll have the relief of knowing she's alive.

LOL idk, I love this.

Their banter is so cute, I love embarrassed Jay, and Jessica as mysterious and collected but slowly falling apart.
the only voice i want to hear is yoursladadadi on January 13th, 2011 03:52 am (UTC)
i had a lot of fun writing the dialogue in this fic, haha. thank you for reading~
brochachocompatable on January 10th, 2011 01:07 pm (UTC)
i'm a sucker for 2 different high school stereotypes getting together and this story is so perfect. also, cheerleader!snsd isn't written enough, which is a huge shame.
the only voice i want to hear is yoursladadadi on January 13th, 2011 04:11 am (UTC)
i'd love to see more cheerleader!snsd fic, too. i'm glad you picked up on my tiny mention of it lol :) thank you for the wonderful comment.

brochachocompatable on January 13th, 2011 11:15 am (UTC)
thyluvlyname212thyluvlyname212 on January 26th, 2011 05:27 am (UTC)
d'awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww this is so sweet :) <3 this is so sweet & chaste & pure & innocent (lol yay for jessica not putting out! :)~! <3)