welcome to yet another new story! so this is gonna be a five chaptered fic that will focus on each one of the Pogues and their reactions to JJ and Kiara's relationship, including our favorite couple! i hope you all enjoy!

if you can, please leave a favorite, follow, and/or review. your feedback keeps me motivated. a special thanks to QueenOfHeartbreak for helping me brainstorm and giving me a bunch of ideas.

stay safe everyone!

-m


Chapter One: Pope

Almost all the Pogues knew that Pope had a thing for Kiara.

It wasn't like he was hiding anything, and it wasn't like the other guys were blind. He clearly liked her much more than a friend. The way he looked at her, talked about her, treated her gave it all away.

Yet the only person that didn't see it was Kiara herself, as strange as it was. That was the most frustrating part.

Still, he wanted to keep trying. Dead set on it, actually.

When John B. got together with Sarah, Pope honestly thought that he finally had a chance with the young girl he fancied so much, because he'd really believed that his buddy had been the problem. He couldn't have been more wrong, though.

Then their friends disappeared and everything else went downhill.

Kiara was a mess, so was JJ, and Pope realized that he just couldn't start talking about his feelings now. It wasn't the right time. Maybe he'd try again in the next few months, he decided. During those next few months, he tried to act as normal as possible, but he slowly found himself distancing from the two remaining Pogues more and more. School, scholarships, and the apparent change in their group dynamic was what kept him away. While he still thought about Kiara, his crush wasn't as strong.

Especially when he constantly saw JJ hanging out with the brunette.

Something in the way the two of them acted around one another was different. Drastically different. For starters, they were always spending time together. Pope had been extremely shocked to find out that Kiara had actually decided to move into the old fish shack with JJ after everything that happened. When he asked her about it, she explained that she just couldn't stand her parents anymore. And that JJ needed her. In reality, Pope should have understood what that meant the minute she said it. However, he didn't.

Besides that, JJ's entire personality seemed to change now that he was living with Kiara. Gone was the recklessness, the impulsiveness. In place of that, JJ was much more calm and protective, always showing his affection towards Kiara. Whether through playful side hugs, or massages, or even conversations about how she should deal with her mom and dad.

In turn, Kiara kept him grounded, let him cry whenever he had a nightmare or had a confrontation with his father. One day, Pope had been with Kiara when the blond joined them, bloodied and bruised. Luke had finally figured out that the Phantom was gone, which resulted in one of the worst beatings yet. Pope had never seen JJ so hurt, in more ways than one. Not even on the day they'd found him in that hot tub. Kiara didn't even need to ask what had happened. She just simply got up and caught him as he collapsed in her arms, sobbing.

That was the moment where, somewhere in the back of his mind, Pope realized that Kiara would never be his.

About a year later, John B. and Sarah returned. With the treasure that had turned their lives upside down and ruined so much.

The next few weeks were a complete blur for Pope, filled with lots of hugging, tears, and interrogations with the police. In the end, after a ridiculously long trial, Ward and Rafe Cameron were both sent to prison for God knows how long, the gold was taken away despite JJ's venomous, almost violent, protests, and things slowly began returning back to normal.

Up until Pope accidentally found JJ and Kiara in the Chateau's kitchen, talking quietly so they wouldn't wake the others. He'd just gotten up to get a glass of water. He didn't expect to find them there.

"We didn't do anything out of respect for them, Kie," JJ was saying, gesturing wildly with his hands. "Now they're back. I can't just pretend like nothing happened. I want to be with you."

Sighing heavily, Kiara looked up at her companion with tears in her eyes. "I can't pretend, either," she said. "But … I don't know if it's the right thing to do."

"Why? It's our lives."

"I just don't wanna hurt anyone." Kiara let out a sob that broke Pope's heart, despite everything that he was hearing right now.

"We won't," JJ tried to assure her. He reached out to cup her face in a calloused hand, his touch incredibly gentle, managing a small smile when she leaned into his touch. "God, Kie, I can't keep doing this."

"I know," Kiara murmured in a small voice. Her eyes met his gaze then and she placed her hand on top of the one resting on her cheek, her fingers running over the familiar scars.

Before Pope even realized what was going on, JJ crashed his lips on top of hers, clearly unable to hold himself back anymore. Though Kiara gasped, she didn't pull away. Instead, she pressed herself further against him and laughed softly, still kissing him like there was no tomorrow. Somehow, it didn't seem like they were doing that for the first time.

"I love you, Kie," JJ whispered brokenly, separating so he could press his lips to her forehead and hug her tight. "More than anything."

As the girl buried her face in the crook of his neck, she breathed in his scent and said, "I love you, too." A short pause. Then, "And I don't care what everyone else thinks. I want there to be an us,"

"There is. I'm yours."

From where Pope was standing, he couldn't believe what he was seeing. Or hearing, for that matter. Slowly, his mind began to piece together the puzzle that was JJ and Kiara. When JJ said that they hadn't "done anything," that must have meant that they'd kissed at some point, but chose not to take it a step further, for John B. and Sarah or whatever. But now that they were back, the two teens had a chance to finally take that step. It was clear that they wanted to. Struggling not to curse, the young man made his way back to the porch where he'd been sleeping, in complete and total shock.

Now things were starting to make sense.

That was why the relationship between their group had changed. That was why JJ turned into a completely different person. That was why he was so affectionate with Kiara. They loved each other.

Pope honestly felt like such a fool. He had tried so hard in the past to get with Kiara, yet it was all pointless, because JJ turned out to be the one to win her over. For a brief second, Pope felt so much hatred for the blond. He couldn't believe that he'd done this, even though he'd probably known that his friend had a thing for the girl he'd been macking on.

Closing his eyes, Pope let out a deep breath in an attempt to calm himself, his brain struggling to decide what to do. Should he confront them? Should he just leave it alone? Should he distance himself again? None of them sounded particularly appealing to Pope. He wished that there was an option to have Kiara be his girlfriend, but clearly that ship had sailed a long fucking time ago. How he'd missed it was a mystery to him.

In the end, he went for the third choice: pulling away from the people he'd once called his best friends. Pope just couldn't keep catching them secretly making out, or being sneaky in front of everyone else. He'd attempted to do that in the first week, but quickly realized that it was way too difficult. So he didn't hang out with them as much. Even though he wanted to, every time John B. invited him for a fishing trip on the marsh, he consistently declined. Any time Kiara offered to help him out with work, he said no. He barely even visited the Wreck anymore.

And he never gave an answer when the Pogues asked him what was going on. He refused to talk to any of them one on one, always made up some kind of excuse or changed the subject immediately. Or just left altogether, making up some kind of excuse about his dad needing him.

As the days went on, he actually started getting good at it. Ghosting his friends was getting easier and easier each time. Unfortunately, he hadn't been able to leave on the night of Kiara's birthday. They were all celebrating at the Chateau, drinking and smoking weed, enjoying themselves. Even Pope was having fun. Keyword: was.

Somewhere along the way, JJ and Kiara announced that they had something to tell them.

Pope instantly knew what that something was.

"We, uh," JJ stammered, almost like he was in middle school again and was trying to bullshit a teacher's question. "Me and Kie, we're … together. Like, together together."

Sarah and John B. were both clearly surprised, though Sarah seemed to be faking it. How she could have known about JJ and Kiara's relationship was beyond Pope, but that wasn't the point.

Letting out a heavy sigh, the teen mumbled a grumpy "congratulations" and, without letting anyone say anything else, left. He needed air. He lay in his favorite hammock for what seemed like an eternity, seething in anger and betrayal. The more he thought about it, the less he knew why he was so pissed off but he was.

"Hey, bro."

JJ's sudden voice had Pope groaning in annoyance. "Dude, can we just, like, not do this now?"

"We just wanna know what's going on." This time, it was Kiara, her voice soft and soothing. She quickly sat down beside him and smiled. "What's wrong, Pope?"

Maybe it was because he was drunk, or high, or both, or maybe it was because he was tired of keeping his feelings a secret, but Pope suddenly found himself rambling.

"It was supposed to be me and you, Kie," he started. "I had it all planned. We'd go on trips together, travel, get married one day. We'd be happy. I've loved you for so long, and I was hoping to finally get together after the whole treasure hunt, but then we were all fucked up from everything that'd happened, so I decided to wait. And I distanced myself, because I wanted to give you space. But you were constantly with JJ, and it was clear that you were fucking happy, and who was I to take that away from you?"

Pope stopped to gauge his friend's reactions. Both of them were rather shocked.

"I saw you guys that night, when you kissed," he continued. "After John B. and Sarah came back. And now I'm just … so fucking angry. At myself, at you, at JJ. "All I ever wanted was to be with you. But somehow you picked JJ. And now I'm all alone."

There. He was done. By now, Pope was panting, almost crying, unsure of why.

Silence surrounded them for the next few minutes.

"Jesus, Pope, why didn't you just tell me?" Kiara asked, the first to break the ice. She'd wrapped herself in her boyfriend's arms at one point, desperate for his presence during Pope's confession. L.

"Like it went so well the last time I told you I had feelings for you," Pope replied bitterly, referring to when he'd been extremely stoned and they'd gone to Ward Cameron's house to make sure that John B. hadn't killed anyone. "I don't know … I guess I was too much of a pussy to do it."

More silence. Nobody knew what exactly to say.

"Listen, dude, I get that you're pissed," JJ said softly. "I would be, too. I'm sorry. Really, I am."

The fact that JJ was apologizing was a pretty big deal, considering how he rarely had any remorse. Pope was actually extremely dumbfounded as to how he wasn't being yelled at right now. JJ clearly had a lot of control over his actions now. No doubt, it was thanks to Kiara.

"I'm sorry, too," the girl agreed, and reached for Pope's hand. She decided not to chastise him about basically planning out her entire life for her. This wasn't the time. It probably never would be. In a way, she understood. If she'd loved Pope in the way she loved JJ, she wouldn't have even minded it. After all, she and the blonde were already thinking of their future together. "I wish that it hadn't come to this. I should've realized what was happening. I really don't want this to be the end of our friendship."

"Neither do I," Pope muttered, running his fingers through his hair.

"Then let's just put this all behind us. I want things to go back to normal."

"Me, too." JJ was grinning as he held his hand out to Pope, relieved that he took it and let him pull him up to his feet. "Pogues for life, right?"

"Pogues for life."

And just like that, Pope found himself in a tight embrace, the three of them silently reconnecting and putting all their problems behind them, like Kiara had said. He quickly started to realize that holding a grudge was pointless.

He valued JJ and Kiara too much to be able to let them go.

Who knew, maybe he'd find someone else who shared his feelings. Someone that had the same interests as him and loved him more than just a friend Anything could happen.

For now, though, his friends - no, his family - was enough.

TBC