III

It's 2 a.m.

"Stupid Nick!" she keeps muttering, half-heartedly, because she knows it's not really his fault, but it's nice to have someone to blame.

She's standing outside his door again, staring, wringing her hands nervously. She knows this will be like any other night. She'll stand there for a few minutes before sighing and return to her room to fall into uncomfortable sleep.

Today, she almost knocks, biting down on her lip.

Today, he opens the door.

She freezes and stares at him, a clammy hand hovering midair. He stares back, not even bothering faking surprise. He watches her quietly, waiting for her to say something. When she doesn't, he sighs softly and opens the door wider before going inside. Nervous, she follows him and closes the door behind her.

She turns around to look at him but doesn't move. She leans against the door and he sits on his bed, staring at her questioningly. The sight is so familiar it hurts. But his soft gaze on her fills her with a warmth she hasn't felt in a while. It makes her smile a little. He tilts his head to one side and looks at her curiously.

"Jess?" he says at last when she seems nowhere close to telling him why she was outside his door.

He knows she's made a habit of it. He's stared at the shuffling feet blocking the light under his door with bated breath for many nights.

He'd lost patience tonight.

She'd come back from Portland only that morning without him, and he's been on edge ever since he's heard her bedroom door click open.

"Ryan was charming," she says finally and holds his gaze. "Endearing, in fact. I was quite comfortable with him."

Was.

He tries not to dwell on that.

"But you..." she chuckles, shaking her head. "You're crazy."

"Jeez, thanks, Jess," he says, rolling his eyes. "Is that what you wanted to tell me all these nights?"

She blushes but doesn't deny what he is implying. Instead, she crosses her arms and looks at the floor, shifting her weight on both feet.

"Look, Nick," she starts, and he can hear the nervousness in her voice. "I know it was frustrating and even complicated at times. A-A roller coaster kinda rush, you know?"

"Yeah, I know, Jess," he sighs, not liking wherever this seemed to be going. "I was there."

"We were so in love," she says, looking at him sadly.

Were.

He stands up and simply nods in agreement. He pretends not to have noticed that she backed into the door the second he stood up.

"We acted insane at times," she says softly, and he cannot help but chuckle at that.

Pepperwood. Elvis. The Captain.

Mars Landing.

He grimaces at the thought of that. He has never been able to recall what had made him say that, but if he could just remember, he'd feel so much better about it. At least that's what he's always thought.

"I miss that," she says, barely a whisper.

"We screamed at each other quite a lot," he mutters, taking abstep towards her. "We fought a lot, too."

"Believe it or not, I miss that too," she says, smiling sadly at him.

He breathes in sharply and does not allow himself to think of what she's getting at.

"I miss that feeling, Nick," she says pleadingly. "I didn't even know I could feel that much but... that's just the way I loved you."

He stares at her, standing against his door in the pink bathrobe he loved so much. She's staring at him, the first signs of tears pooling in her eyes. He inches closer to her, so he's standing directly in front of her now. She looks up at him searchingly, and shakes her head once, letting out what sounds like a mix between a sob and chuckle.

"No, that was a lie," she says, shaking her head. "That's the way I love you."

"I love you too," he breathes, without even a second's hesitation.

He brings his hand up to rest on the door, placing it next to her face, and he kisses her. She's crying now, and kisses him back, hands bunching the material of his t-shirt. She holds on to him and pulls him further into him, as he nips at her lower lip. The familiarity of the way his hand and lips move against her make her moan against his lips. His hand drops from the door to circle around her back, easily engulfing her in his grasp, and the other threads into her hair. She takes his face into her hands, thumb gently grazing his cheekbone as he kisses her.

Both of them start to feel again, and it feels just right.


A/N: Yeah, I know the song doesn't end with a reunion, but I couldn't leave them broken up.