DISCLAIMER: I do not own Full HOuse
A/N: Written for Evil Cosmic Triplets and now published for the rest of you. Let me know what you think.
"You're an idiot." Jesse feels Danny's hot breath hit his face and his nose twitches at the strong mint scent.
"No, I'm not." He hisses as Danny cleans an exceptionally tender area of his forehead, the busted skin burning at his touch.
"No, you are an idiot." Joey chips in from his spot next to Jesse on the couch; he's holding the first-aid kit for Danny and is studying Jesse with hard eyes.
Jesse grumbles in response, they weren't there, they hadn't heard what was said. He should've just gone home but for some reason his feet led him here, to Danny's apartment. Jesse hadn't bothered to even knock on the door, just stumbled in and passed out on Danny's couch.
When he woke up Joey was there, shaking his shoulder and Danny was already laying into him with some lecture though Jesse's brain was too scrambled to really understand any of the words. When they started patching him up, the lecturing had disappeared, the three of them had lapsed into silence and Jesse was thankful for it because sound was definitely not helping his throbbing head.
"So, if you're this bad, how's the other guy?" There's a hint of amusement in Joey's voice and Jesse can't help a small smile.
"I don't know, call the hospital in couple days and hope he's woken up so you can ask him." Joey laughs a little and Jesse does too, it hurts his chest though, makes him grit his teeth. The laughter dies at the look on Danny's face anyway, the oldest of their group is not happy.
"This isn't funny Jesse. If that guy presses charges, you could go to jail."
"But he could."
"He won't!" Jesse stands abruptly, Danny falling back out of the way. His world swims and Jesse's not sure he can stand for very long. He shakes it off though and moves toward the door, regretting coming here in the first place.
"Jesse wait " Joey blocks his path, a hand resting firmly against his chest and Jesse is pretty close to just sinking into it and feeling the warmth of an embrace Jesse knows Joey has waiting. "How do you know he won't press charges?"
The question's innocent, pure curiosity on Joey's part. Jesse knows it's just a question, not some kind of trap where Joey will twist the words of his answer; Joey would never do that, he's too nice.
"'Cause...it's happened before." Jesse says finally, the confession lifts a bit of the weight he's been feeling, the tension. It all returns though at the look on Joey's face and the scoff that comes from Danny behind him. Both of them know he loses his temper at times, gets a little stupid, but Jesse never told them about some of the fight's he's been in, the really stupid things he's done. He doesn't plan to.
"That figures." Danny mutters and Jesse whirls on him, anger swelling his chest.
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"You know what it means." Danny snaps back, jabbing his finger against Jesse's chest.
"You're always doing this, always. So predictable! You keep hiding things from us, like you don't trust us. I'm sick of you acting like you're all alone, like no one cares about you so you can do whatever the hell you want. You're not a bad guy Jess, but you do the stupidest things in hopes of keeping up some shallow tough guy image. It's pathetic!"
"Oh so I'm pathetic now?" He's mad, so mad, brimming with angry energy and he doesn't know why. Jesse knows he has no reason to be angry at them, at Danny, his friend's just telling the truth. He is an idiot, he is pathetic, and he shouldn't have wasted his time fighting that guy at the club.
"That's not what he said Jess." Joey cuts in between them, ever the peace-maker, and that in itself makes something inside Jesse snap.
"No you're right, that's not what he said, but it's what you both think! If you don't want me around just say so. You don't have to keep pretending."
"Us, pretending? You're the one faking everything. If you don't like us so much leave!"
"Just leave Jesse. Go live this life you're so desperate to live. Sorry we're not cool enough for you." Danny goes on, completely ignoring Joey.
"Is that what you want?" Jesse asks seriously, everything slows down at the question. It hangs heavy and thick in the air and Jesse for once isn't sure what answer he's going to get.
"Yeah. Fine. Go. You don't need us around anyway right?"
"Me need you? No I think you got that wrong. You don't want me, Danny, remember? So I'll just take my pathetic self and my shallow life and leave you and Joey alone." His statement's cold, firm and he doesn't waver in the declaration. Jesse doesn't feel anything as he turns on his heel, wrenching his jacket from the chair, ignoring Joey's calls, as pushes his way out the door.
He doesn't need them.
"Hey Joey, come help me with this will you?" No response, just utter silence and Danny feels pang of concern. "Joey?"
The blond turns towards him, his face drawn in a frown. It wasn't until Joey shook his head that he responded, "Yeah...yeah, no problem."
Danny feels his insides twist, he's seen that lost look on Joey's face too often these past couple months; he'd be lying if he said he didn't feel a bit lost himself. "He's okay, you know."
"Yeah, I know." Joey mutters, moving to the stove to help Danny with dinner, flipping the ingredients and mixing them together.
"Joey, he wouldn't have left if he wanted to be here. Obviously we weren't enough."
"Yeah." Another muttered response, Danny wonders if Joey's even listening to him.
Danny wraps his arms around Joey's waist, who stiffens underneath him but Danny ignores it and eventually Joey relaxes. "We'll be okay, and he'll be fine. Probably already has some girlfriend and a new apartment." Danny presses a light kiss against the side of Joey's neck, inhaling the scent of vanilla that Joey always carries. "Come on let's eat." Danny moves over to the table with plates, he'll continue to try and get Joey's mind in the right place, eventually he'll succeed. Joey's just going to have to accept that Jesse doesn't want either of them.
"He still hasn't showed?" The bartender shook his head and Joey sighs, stomping off into the cold night. That was the last bar, the last place Jesse might come back to. But he hadn't been there, at all. He left almost two months ago and Joey had never stopped looking, he checked all the old haunts every night and got the same answer every time. No Jesse.
Maybe Danny had been right, Jesse didn't want them anymore, so why should he waste his time looking? If Jesse cared, at all, he would've at least said something- a phone call or letter or something. Joey knows Jesse, knows that he'd be smart enough to realize they'd worry, that he'd worry, maybe not for Danny but for him, Jesse would've sent a letter. If he cared.
Joey still cares though, he can't remember the last time he slept a full night, without dreams of his leather wearing friend. He can't remember the last time he went a day without remembering all the trouble they'd get in at school when they were younger. He can't remember the last time he felt normal.
Jesse plagues his thoughts all the time, it' makes things awkward between him and Danny, distant. Joey's not sure if it's just Jesse's absence or if it's his own anger at Danny for telling Jesse to leave. He should've known never to say something like that. Jesse, the idiot that he is, always takes those things seriously, and he's too stubborn to try and fix it afterwards.
So maybe Jesse hasn't totally left them. The man's stubborn and maybe that's why he won't come back, and that in itself is represents how much Jesse cares; in his own way that makes no sense at all. But Joey understands it.
Joey goes back to his own apartment for the night, it's farther away, Danny's is closer, but Joey doesn't want to be there tonight. He's losing it, feels his grip slipping. Nothing is right, nothing is normal; nothing makes sense or functions like it should. Joey can't even crack a joke anymore and that's how he knows how low he's feeling, how dark his world his.
Joey crawls onto the couch as soon as the door shuts behind him, pulling a blanket over himself. He's never felt so tired and disconnected. Every day is just passing him by and he's stuck in place just watching.
What's Jess doing now? Joey wonders, his mind conjures up images of Jesse having a hell of a time, doing fine. It's what lulls him to sleep eventually, thoughts of Jesse doing fine. It bothers him that neither he nor Danny are with Jesse, even in his thoughts, but at least they're good thoughts about Jesse and not some nightmare.
Jesse sags onto the couch, holding an ice pack to his eye. Another bar and another fight, this time it doesn't actually hurt anymore; it's just an empty feeling that fills him. He tosses the pack on the table stretching out on the sofa. The apartment's quiet, dangerously so. It's driving him insane how dead this place is, how dead he feels.
It was never quiet with Joey around or Danny for that matter. It was always noisy with those guys, annoyingly so, but now Jesse actually misses it. He misses a lot about those guys; the fun, the fights. He misses just being around them the most, waking up to Joey's snoring and Danny already buzzing around the house, trying to untangle himself from Joey without falling flat on his face. He misses it all.
They probably hate him, probably won't take him back. But it's done, Jesse makes up his mind and he's out into the rain. He has no money, no phone, and it'll take hours but he starts walking back to Joey and Danny anyway, they may not need him, but Jesse definitely needs them; he just wishes he realized it sooner.
Joey's eyes snap open, searching wildly in the dark as slow, spaced, thumps echo through the apartment. Someone's at the door. Who'd be there, at this hour too, is unknown to Joey. He drags himself off the couch, straightening his clothes to look a little presentable at the least; though he wonders why he even bothers since whomever is at the door deserves to be yelled at for waking him up at such an ungodly hour.
Joey opens the door, fully intent on ripping his visitor a new one, but he freezes when he sees a soaked, beaten Jesse, leaning on the doorjamb. "Jesse..."
Joey watches speechless as Jesse stares at him through unfocused red eyes, taking a step in to the apartment. Joey catches Jesse as the man falls against him, his whole body shaking.
Jesse's heavy in his arms, too heavy for Joey to hold the both of them up, so he falls to his knees slowly, Jesse clinging to him for dear life. Jesse's sobbing outright in his arms and Joey admits it's a little weird; he doesn't think he's ever seen Jesse cry until now and honestly it's killing him slowly, a piece of his heart seems to crumble with each tear.
Joey wants it to stop, if he can't handle the crying Jesse's got to be doing worse than he is.
"Jesse." He's met with more sobs and sniffles, Jesse vainly trying to gain control over him. So Joey stops and lets him cry, waits still the sobs die out into silence and they're both left sitting there, hugging each other in white knuckled grasps.
Joey runs his fingers through Jesse's hair; he likes the soft, silky feel of it. It's always been comforting to him and one of the reasons he doesn't tease Jesse about the hours the man spends messing with his hair.
Jesse lets out a gruff laugh and pulls away from Joey. Joey's hesitant to let him go afraid he might leave again, but Jesse's smiling; a lop-sided grin that shows him to be worse for wear but it's still reassuring.
"I wanna come back." Jesse croaks finally. The grin's still there but there's a sadness in his eyes, fear.
Joey smiles softly, "You never really left."
Danny scrubs at the water ring on the counter, an annoying mark on his otherwise clean countertop. Heavy knocks from the doorknocker echo throughout the apartment, spaced thumps against the wood of the door. Danny tosses the rag down with a sigh, making a mental note to challenge the water ring again at a later date.
Danny freezes at the open door, Jesse's arms loosely around his neck. Joey's standing in the background, a grin splitting his face. It takes a minute for the surprise to wear off but when it does Danny returns the hug, he's wanted to have Jesse in his arms again ever since the day he left not that Danny would admit it.
"You need a shower." Jesse pulled away from him, he looked completely trashed to Danny but his eyes were twinkling with amusement.
"Yeah, yeah. Look I wanna say-" Danny threw up a hand to stop him.
"Don't bother. You're sorry, I'm sorry, we forgive each other, let's move on. Tea?" Danny smirked as Jesse's mouth fell open. He could only imagine how shocking it was to Jesse to see him miss a chance to say 'I told you so.' But really, that wasn't something that needed or should be said in this situation and Danny didn't want this conversation to turn to rambling so it was better to just cut it off now.
Half an hour later, they curl up on the sofa together, Danny throws his arm around Joey's shoulders and his other hand runs through Jesse's hair as the man lies in his lap. No one's saying anything and Danny's quite fine with that, this isn't a time for words; he's content to sit here and relax with the two people he loves most in the world.
He feels like an idiot for ever doing anything could jeopardize what they have here but even now he's not worried about that, he's not even thinking about it. He just basks in the warmth and comfort that comes with having the family back together.