Chapter 14: rain storm
Jess had closed the diner moments ago. He cleaned all the tables, and lifted the chairs from the floor. Then he started cleaning the counter. That’s what he was doing when he noticed it was raining.
The weather sure did match his mood. The loss of Dawn was being noticed around.
Not that Dawn died or anything. Not that. But she was no longer his friends.
Jess sighed as he thought of all that has happened.
Ever since their almost-kiss she had avoided him. It went on for a week, and then he had had enough. Jess cornered her one day after school, tried making her listen to him. Somehow, he couldn’t even remember how, they started arguing, and yelling. Then it went to insulting, and then – it got personal. They threw at each other insults about things that were secrets, which only one knew of the other. It was horrible. The two of them stormed off, and haven’t spoken since.
Dawn quit her job at the diner, never went to the lake again, and avoided all of the usual hang-outs. Jess return to vandalize everything that came his way, pulling pranks just to annoy people, not even enjoying it anymore. He stopped showing up for her gym classes and avoided their common hang outs as well.
He hated admitting it, but he was really hurt. He had trusted her with a lot and she had been the biggest bitch about it all.
He turned on the radio, and kept cleaning, trying hard to forget anything that was Dawn related.
He cleaned with all his might, actually finding it as some sort of therapy.
The rain was falling fast. Bowie’s “The man who sold the world” was playing on the radio.
“Oh no, not me” came from the radio “I never lost control”
Jess had to snort at the words. Then he heard it. A faint knocking sound. He thought it must have been his imagination until he heard it again. He looked up.
Dawn was standing outside the diner, knocking on the door, looking…. Like shit.
Her knee length black jeans and her short sleeved azure shirt were drenched with water. Jess almost smiled, thinking about how Dawn never adjusted to the cold NY climate, but then he remembered – they weren’t friends anymore.
For a moment, he actually hesitated, not sure if he should let her in. But he knew he couldn’t let her stay outside, in the rain.
With a small sigh he went over to the door and opened it, not inviting her yet.
She looked at him, her wet hair in her eyes. She placed some of it behind her ear.
“I know you hate me”
He opened his mouth to argue, not really sure why – but she didn’t give him a chance.
“I know you do. And I understand. But I really need someplace to go right now. Just so I can hide from the rain.”
“Go home” he said, and then mentally smacked himself at the look that crossed her face. She couldn’t. How could he forget? It was all over town – Faith and Tara were in the hospital, after being attacked by seven muggers in Hartford.
“I would” she said quietly. “But, I just…” she ducked her head, not knowing what to say.
Jess opened the door wider and moved aside, letting her enter, which she did. He closed the door behind her.
He went over to the closest table, and grabbed the two chairs on it, placing them on the floor.
“Sit” he said. He moved to the counter, turning off the radio, and grabbing a coffee pot and two cups. “Coffee?”
“Please” she replied as she took her sit.
He brought the cups and pot to the table, placing the cups on the table and pouring the hot liquid into them. Then he set on the other chair.
Dawn took her cup in both hands, holding it close to her, enjoying the worth of it. Jess sipped his coffee, liking how the bitter drink burnt his throat as he swallowed it.
They set there for a while, in complete silence, both concentrating on their coffee.
Jess couldn’t stand the silence anymore. “Dawn-“
“People die around me” she said, cutting him mid-sentence.
Ok, not really the best ice-breaker.
“Or, they get hurt.” She took a deep breath. “Bad things happen to people around me”
Jess looked at her, not knowing what to say. She continued.
“Did I ever tell you Buffy died? She did. Just for a few minutes. She drowned, and Xander gave her CPR, and she died for me. So I wouldn’t die” ok, so she mixed the storied a little. It’s the same deal. Jess looked at her with something that resembled awe. “I always felt responsible. And she hardly ever let me forget it. Not o purpose, at first, but… after a while it was for her to feel better. My mom died too, when I was 14. I think I told you that. But I’ll never forget how I found out. I didn’t believe my sister, and snuck into the morgue, and I saw the body. I didn’t believe it otherwise. And Spike, who was a friend, for a while – he was bitten because of me. He was limping and in pain and bloody and all cause of me” she left her cup on the table and started pacing.
“I’m like a walking accident. Bad things happen around me all the time, to the people I love…” she sniffed a bit. “I bring trouble. Troubles have a tendency to find me. That’s why I never really had friends. I never hung out with people who could have gotten hurt. That’s why I was with Tara and Faith. I knew they can take care of themselves. Or at least, I thought so. Wasn’t really true, was it. They’re hurt now too”
“It wasn’t your fault” he said. He was comforting her, even though he was angry at her. She just seemed so alone and small all of a sudden.
She kept on like he hadn’t said a word. “Willow died because of me too. I was there, I saw it”
That shocked Jess. She saw a person die, because of her? That was…”We were crossing the street, nothing big. We were talking, and we didn’t pay attention. I went first, and she saw the truck…” she had tears in her eyes now “I didn’t really know what was happening. But she pushed me away, and the truck hit her… she fell to the road, and there was so much blood. I was covered in it. I was covered in her blood and she was barely alive and she prayed, in Hebrew, ‘cause, you know she was Jewish and all. And then she looked at me, and she opened her mouth to say something more, then she just… she…” a tear rolled down Dawn’s cheek. She hardly noticed.
“I let you in, Jess. I didn’t mean too, but you saved my life and you were nice, and funny, and you seemed to care. I know that you did. I know I still do, but honestly… it’s just so much. You are too close” she accused, pacing a bit faster “And I didn’t notice you know, I let it slide past me, and I was having fun. I can’t have you being hurt too. I don’t think I could handle that. I’ve seen too many people die, and they were close. And we had fun that day, and I was a bit upset, because of falling and all, and you were being so damn caring, and when we were in the snow it was getting too much, too close, too personal”
“Well, it’s not every day you find out your in love with your best friend! That’s too close, Jess!” she yelled. The she realized what she said. He hand shot to her mouth. Jess set in his chair, frozen, with shock and joy and a lot of feelings he couldn’t really name.
“Oh god” Dawn whispered as she slowly lowered her hand. She looked at Jess, her eyes wide. Then she bolted out of the diner, slamming the door behind her.
Jess couldn’t move. She was in love with him. Dawn, who was pretty much his crush for a while now was in love with him. Dawn Summers, he’s once best friend was very much in love with him. And he was in love with her.
Why the hell was he still sitting there?
Jess bolted out of he’s chair and opened the door running out side, slamming the door behind him as well.
The moment he was out side he was drenched with the rain. The storm had gotten stronger. He saw Dawn running down the street. He ran after her.
“Dawn!” he called. “Dawn!”
She didn’t turn, or stop or even slow down. She kept in running. Jess wasn’t sure if she ignored him or simply hadn’t heard him, ‘cause of the rain.
He ran faster, and eventually caught up with her. He grabbed her arm and spun her around. She lost her balance a bit, and had to cling to his shoulders so she wouldn’t fall flat on her face.
Dawn looked up to his eyes, nervous as hell, and letting it show on her face.
“Jess please” she said quietly. “Just let me go. I can’t-“
“Yes you can. We can” he said. That sounded a lot cornier spoken that it did in his head.
Dawn looked at him, a bit puzzled. Then he leaned in and kissed her.
It was gentle, and soft, and Dawn could have pushed away any moment she pleased too. Only she didn’t. She kissed Jess back, letting all her feelings into the kiss. All the frustration, the fear, the anger, and sadness. They all seem to melt away the moment Jess’ lips were sealed on hers’.
Dawn felt free from all those horrible thoughts that were making her cry and weep and pray to any god and goddess she ever heard of. All she knew was that Jess was there for her, and he wasn’t rejecting her.
Dawn noticed that he’s hands were around her hips, holding her closer to him. She gently tore her mouth from his, but remained in his embrace.
Dawn pressed her forehead to his, and smiled tenderly. He smiled back, catching her lips again in a very chaste kiss, merely brushing his lips against hers’.
Now that the kiss was over, she noticed how soaked the two of them were. The rain didn’t seem to stop, and the wind was blowing madly, but Dawn hadn’t felt it, as long as Jess was holding her.
“What happens now?” she whispered.
Jess leaned back and looked at her. She seemed a bit different… he hadn’t seen her like this in a long while. She seemed… peaceful.
With a smile he leaned in again, and kissed her forehead, before whispering in her ear
“Whatever you want”
A/N: That's it. This story is finished.
Thank you, all my loyal reviewers! you guys are the only reason this story is done.