Title: Pulse
Rating: PG...? Ahhh, I dunno!
Fandom: Jak & Daxter
Pairing: ...none. Jak-centric.
Summary: It wasn't really about anything, not the atmosphere, or the company. It was just his way to chill out, unwind, de-stress. It was dancing.
Warnings: uh... extreme AU-ishness for a one shot. Also, possible bastardization of high school/college fic genre...




Torn had once asked why he went. He didn't seem the type to dance, or enjoy the atmosphere. No mention was made of the company.

Jak had answered with a silent shrug, grabbed his jacket off the back of the door and left like he usually did on Saturday nights. Going down the three flights of stairs, exiting the dorm building, getting on his beat-up old zoomer (that he always complained about but just didn't have the heart to send off to the scrap heap) and heading down to the port's red light district. Once he got there he parked the zoomer in one of the lanes/alleyways/dark, dingy, creepy places that seem to pop up in every red light district the world over and wove his way through streets, side-streets and by-ways to his Saturday night de-stressing station.

A gay nightclub under a dark blue neon sign naming it 'Dive'.

The fact that it was a gay nightclub and that Jak himself swung that direction when he felt like it were purely coincidental. He didn't go there for the flirting prospects (he only considered them very minor bonuses). No. Jak was a typical (mostly) post-teenage college student (of a sort) and like most post-teenage college students, or indeed, college students in general, he liked a good drink. Or two. Or five, but that's beside the point.

Jak came to this place in particular because on Saturday nights they played music he could dance to.

No, he wouldn't really strike you as the sort to enjoy dancing. Normally he didn't. Normally he quite detested it, in fact.

But Saturday nights at Dive didn't count as normal. Except when being compared with other Saturday nights at Dive.

Tonight had been normal so far. He'd gotten down to the port with the usual half-dozen near-misses and been the recipient of a healthy number of curses, most thrown at his 20-miles-over-the-speed-limit-and-steadily-disappearing back. He'd parked is precious old zoomer and taken a wandering route from parking place to club.

He'd gotten in, left his jacket at the door (not before shoving his wallet into his pants pocket though, gotta have money if you wanna buy booze) and entered the club proper.

He stood near the door for a moment or two, absorbing the rhythm and beat of the music. Some of his favorites tonight, fast paced and complex beats, almost pure electronic percussion. He bought a drink at the bar and drank it quicker than was healthy, he needed his buzz now.

He danced. He didn't dance with anyone although other people occasionally danced with him. He didn't dance like most people would envision dancing, all rhythmic and regular and with some semblance of slowness and grace.

He danced fast; dense, jerky movements of limbs that were somehow elegant and clumsy all at once. Improvising, making things up as he went, repeating and embellishing some of his usual moves when his energy started to flag. A break in the music. Buy another drink. Down it almost before it comes. Back to the floor and more of the same. Just dancing, always moving, never staying still. Feel someone else against him from time to time. Probably knew him, knew he was a regular, or had danced with him before. Doesn't matter; just dance.

Different music now, not quite so fast, but that's okay because he was halfway exhausted. The other half was high on the adrenaline and the drinks. He'd had three by now. No, four. Definitely four. Another body near him. Don't care. Dancing with his eyes closed. Relying on his 'space-bubble' sense to tell him where the other people on the floor were. The one near him, very close. Grinding, touching. Then away again, that's how it was here, that's how he kept it.

This was this. This was dancing and everything that came after it. It existed here and here alone but as long as it was here it was fine with him.

Just dancing.

It was hours later that his energy levels dropped low enough that he had to finally prop himself up on a barstool and sip at his last drink with his exhaustion and the remains of his adrenaline high. The last drink wasn't alcohol. One of those caffeinated energy drinks. He needed to have some sense of sobriety on the way back, even if he didn't drive (he always walked, pushing the zoomer along). The streets were pretty empty by now, but he still needed a few of his wits about him.

Mostly for when he got back to the dorm, but that's that. That can be dealt with later.

The dance floor was mostly empty now. What time was it? He looked at the clock behind the bar. 2:48 am. Late enough. He'd leave soon.

A hand on his shoulder, a familiar face, greetings, an invitation, proposition. He wasn't in the mood. He said so, maybe next week. Apologetic grin, mostly drunk. Equally drunk chuckle, they'll remember that. He says not to count on it. Another sound of amusement. They leave.

He doesn't feel like it tonight. They know this is just about the dancing and everything that came after. And it stays here. They're all right with it.

He really should be leaving.

He gets up, gets the tab for his drinks. Carefully counts out the credits, making sure his alcohol-dimmed mind counts the money correctly. He pays, gets his jacket, and leaves; making his way out and in the direction of the parked zoomer he had come on.

The walk home is long, a bit tiring, and the cold night air clears his head a bit. Or at least it makes him feel fresher. He leaves the zoomer in its usual parking spot in the underground dorm parking lot and heads upstairs, calm and steady for the amount of alcohol humming in his veins.

He pauses in front of the door, the faintest sliver of light shines through underneath. Torn is still up. Or he's left a light on. Jak hopes it's the latter. He's not good at lying when he's drunk.

He opens the door. Torn's asleep on his own bed. The small reading light in Jak's end of the room is on.

He wanted to make sure Jak didn't trip on anything. Nice of him.

Jak sighed quietly in relief, stripped off the sweaty shirt and pants, dumped the clothing at the foot of the dresser and pulled on a loose sleeping shirt. It was too cold in Haven City this time of year to sleep without one.

He crawled into bed and lay down, falling asleep almost instantly as he gave into the pleasant weariness, the aftereffect of several hours high-energy dancing and more than a few drinks.

The last thought he had energy for was that one of these days Torn would ask again, when he came back. And he'd tell him.


Explanation time! (because I couldn't possibly survive without it...)

This was originally written in February of this year (2006). It was written all at once while listening to an Infected Mushroom CD (whic albbum name seemed to be Converting Vegetarians). The most wonderful electronic trance I have ever heard. Not that anyone in this country (America) seems to to think much of the stuff... anywhoo, lots of absolutely perfect (in my opinion) music for really dancing to. And, uh... Jak's dancing style here is basicly modeled on mine and the way I respond to music of this sort when I go out clubbing and drinking with my clubbing-buddy back home. It's... a state of mind.

Left open-ended and ambiguous on purpose. Not sure what teh reason is but there's one there somewhere. I also have no clue if this is a one-shot, the beginings of a proper fic or even if this universe extends beyond this one chunk of bad prose. I have a vague inkling of the last option there (because I am typing just such a bastard at this moment) but who knows what'll happen to this thing...

And this is the first time I'm posting in, what, a year an a half? Must be. Wow...

Comments and crits appreciated. Loved it? Hated it? What to know just what the hell I was smoking when I wrote it? Just feed the little button down there.