My first attempt in this series. Please critique me! There's probably some accuracy issues (I need to get caught up with the actual series), so let me know what I can correct.
Logan remembers the first time.
They're 12. it's New Year's Eve and Jasmine is on the Watsons' doorstep like it's only natural that she would be. She's dressed sort of like a secret spy but also like a caroler (form-fitting and sleek for a middle schooler, with a hint of festive cheer) and somehow, it works.
This is her smartass, overly independent year. "I'm done with my parents," she sighs as she dumps a duffel bag into his hands and waltzes in. "Close that door before the chill gets in. Where's Lindy?"
"Out at this family party thing. They'll be back later but you know they do that, Jaz," he replies, closing the door and following her to the kitchen.
She's made herself at home and has started making hot cocoa. "I guess I forgot. I'm still sleeping over, though. You can put my bag down. Want to listen to my problems?" She asks.
"If I get hot cocoa, sure."
"You would have gotten it anyway, dork."
Today is New Year's Eve, they're 15 now (but that's just a blink away from 12, really) and Jasmine is on the Watsons' doorstep again. "Hi there," Logan says bemusedly.
"Lindy's out?" She asks. She's not dressed to the nines like she always is; just a sweatshirt, messy bun and jeans. She's holding a duffel bag and using her hand to hide puffy eyes.
He nods, eyes saying you know how it goes, and wordlessly opens his arms.
Well, she drops her duffel bag into them with a thump and walks in like it's her own house (but where is the lie?) and here they are again.
Logan doesn't know what he expected.
When he walks into the kitchen (she's making hot cocoa again, but she's trembling a little), he asks, "Parents?"
She just shakes her head. "Boy." Muttering, she adds, "They don't know how to talk to me about it, anyway."
"You're not staying the night again, are you? Im not sure when Lindy and my parents will be back."
"No, but I figured I'd stay here for a while anyway. Duffel bag was just for comfort, I guess. Like maybe I could run away."
Logan replies with an "ah", but holds his tongue afterwards. No more words could offer more comfort than this quiet, and when she finishes making the cocoa they just drink in silence. Logan waits for her to finish to put both mugs in the sink. "Want to talk?" He asks.
The question hangs suspended in the air between them. Jasmine's lips quiver like she's about to speak...then clamp shut.
Nothing is lost on Logan, though. He kicks her foot quasi-playfully. "C'mon, Jaz," he nudges her foot again. "You even made me hot cocoa. I oughta act as your shoulder to cry on."
Jasmine's throat tightens up and she stands up. She asks stiffly, "Could I ask where you put my bag? I think I should leave. Can't have my drama mucking up your new year and all, you know." She continues to babble more excuses to leave, blinking rapidly, but Logan cuts her off.
"Jaz. For real. Talk to me. Pretty sure we're best friends just like you are with Lindy and Delia and Garett...there's no way my new year would be any good if you can't even talk to me."
She turns to face away from him and hides her face in her hands. "Logan," she starts, "I don't even know what to say."
He steps to her and manages to get her hands from her face, holding them. Guess he'll have to go about it this way. "Look, let's watch the countdown in pajamas and forget that schmuck who's got you so bummed out, sound good?" He coaxes her, loosening her fingers so he can hold her hands more tenderly.
She bites her lip and looks down at their hands together. "I don't have any pajamas here, and Lindy doesn't like letting people borrow clothes without asking."
"You can borrow one of my shirts and pair of shorts."
"...Okay," she says softly. Then grins as she dares a darting look at him. "But we're watching all of the musical performances whether you like it or not."
He groans but practically sprints to his room to get her clothes anyway.
Logan makes popcorn and sets up the couch with blankets for them. He's absentmindedly humming under his breath, trying to find the remote, when she sits down next to him. "Hi," she smiles tentatively. Logan's just spotted the remote, so he grabs it and glances up at her (and swallows, hard).
The way his shirt falls loose and slouchy on her torso and the fact that she's rolled up the boxer shorts to look more like a girl's pajama short-shorts makes his heart flutter for just a second. "Hi," he says weakly.
"Let's get started, shall we?" She teases, diving under the blankets.
"Logan, I don't think I can feel my legs."
"...oh, god. Me neither. And it's 11:45."
"We should probably take a break. When is Lindy coming back?"
"No clue. Might not till tomorrow. But I literally cannot get off this couch."
"Believe in yourself, Watson. C'mon."
They bicker a little longer. She manages to roll him on the ground and off the couch. After he recovers he tickles her (which is much too easy) until she falls off, too.
They laugh, out of breath. After a moment, Logan lets his worried self get the better of him, trying to ask discreetly, "You alright?" but it puts Jasmine right back on guard.
She lies, silent, on the rug, for a moment before spitting out her thoughts.
"My heart is like a stupid fishbowl," Jasmine mutters, climbing back onto the couch, into the blankets like she's hiding. Logan gives her an inquisitive look. She continues, trying to explain, "it's all blown up and big and see-through and fragile and it's just...the stupidest thing. I wish my heart was like an army tank. I could shoot someone, and then run them over with it." She huffs.
Nothing is lost on Logan, though. He sits next to her and scoots so that their thighs are touching. Don't get lost in your head, I'm here, he thinks. "Not sure that's how hearts can work, but I'm sure you'd find a way. You always do," he says gently.
She sighs, and leans into him. "I guess."
It's just natural for him to throw his arm over her. It's not a romantic gesture, Logan reminds himself. They're both tactile when they need comfort. He knows how she works, and vice versa. This is normal. Not romantic.
"People kiss with different intentions, you know," she grimaces. "You can be head over heels for someone and be so obvious it hurts and they'll kiss you 'for fun', curiosity, or," she laughs bitterly, "just because they've nothing else better to do."
That sadness in her smile and the bite in her laugh makes Logan's heart squeeze up. He wants to say a million things. He wants to say Jaz, screw that guy. You're better than him. He doesn't deserve you. He's messed up your New Year's and that's...messed up. I wouldn't have. Not everyone's as stupid as whoever this guy is. I wouldn't have done that to you.
But he just leans into her, his chin in her hair, and breathes her name like an apology (but also like a promise, like you're one of my best friends, like hi there, I love you).
Now she's curled up in his chest, and he holds her tight. It's 11:50. There's no place in the world he'd rather be, even though he wishes Jasmine were anywhere else, feeling happier.
There's something snowballing in Logan's heart. He can't really explain it.
Jasmine realizes she's basically straddling Logan, sitting in his lap. But she doesn't move. Somehow, this feels like more like home than her house or any other boy's room.
"Jaz," Logan nudges her shoulder. She almost seemed content to sit quietly through the new year clinging to him like a koala. "Jaz, you gotta be up for the countdown."
"I'm awake. You're...just comfortable, I guess."
"To sit on?"
"I'm comfortable. I'll move if you're uncomfortable."
The TV host is comically wading through Times Square trying to find a suitable partner for her New Year's kiss. Something's jumping in Logan's heart.
He clears his throat. "Jaz, listen to me," he starts. Gently, as she looks up at him all puffy-eyed and fragile-looking, he cups her face. "People kiss with different intentions."
It's a quiet kiss, not too much wiggling or craziness, and both their eyes are open. The kiss is short and sweet - they part like the end of a song - but they keep drinking each other in.
They're 16. Then 17. The years fly by - they're 21, 30, 45.
All the same, Jasmine and Logan kiss with the same intention (hi there, I love you).