Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Fan Fiction: Going Home, Chapter 1, The Road Home

Many thanks to Sherry for allowing me to post this. It's fantastic!

Here is my alternative universe of Jericho. This story is about as AU as they come. What if Jake had a reason besides the death of Chris Sullivan to to leave Jericho? Welcome to my world!

DISCLAIMER: I do not own the television show Jericho or any part of it. The characters are not mine in any way. I am not affiliated with CBS, the television show Jericho or the writers of Jericho. I am borrowing them for a while and I promise to give them back.

Special thanks to Marzee!!!! Our 2am conversations are very idea inspiring!!!

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The Rockies sped by the window of the train as Jake Green sat drinking a cup of coffee and eating a sandwich. It had been 5, almost 6, years since he'd left Jericho. He had thought about Jericho often though...wondering what everyone was up to.

He smiled across the table at the dark haired little boy sitting there watching a movie on an iPod. 'How in the world am I going to explain Jacob to Mom and Dad,' Jake thought. Jacob was almost 8 and he needed to at least meet his grandparents one time, just in case something happened on one of Jake's frequent trips out of the country.

Jake reached across the table and tapped the boy on the head. "Hey, eat up. It's a long time until we get to your grandparents' house."

Jacob nodded absently at him, totally engrossed in Pirates of the Caribbean...again. Without looking, he picked up a grilled cheese triangle and took a bite.

Jake smiled and picked up his coffee cup and lost himself in thought again. 5 1/2 years ago Jake had left home....never to return. Before he headed west to California, he had gone to Rogue River to try to get Becca to come with him. No one, not even his mom, had known about Becca and Jacob. Theirs had been a very brief and intense relationship occurring while he and Emily were having one of their more and more frequent breakups. The result of that relationship was Jacob.

He had seen Jacob as much as he could but it wasn't enough. He'd wanted to try to make a home for Jacob. He'd hoped Becca would come with him. Jake had always found it hard to believe what had happened that night had really happened, though he could remember it clearly, even today....

Jake parked his car beside Becca's. He could see Becca and Jacob inside the McDonald's Playland. Becca was eating fries and reading a book while Jacob climbed around on the slide. He always got a goofy smile on his face when he saw the chubby baby that was his son. Tonight was no different.

He got a Coke and walked into the playground area. He walked over to the table Becca was at, bent down and kissed her on the cheek.

"Hey, how's it going?"

"Okay, I guess," Becca said, quietly, not meeting his eyes.

Jake looked at her, eyes narrowed. He wondered what was wrong.

Jacob caught sight of Jake, grinned and ran over to him squealing, "Da-eee."

Jake picked him up and hugged him. Jacob was the only thing in the world that felt good and right.

Jacob pointed at the Coke, "Nink?"

Jake handed him the cup.

A look of anger passed across Becca's face. She took a deep breath and slowly let it out. "Jake, don't let him have caffeine. He'll be awake all night."

"Okay, what's wrong?" Jake asked, take the cup back from Jacob and handing him two french fries. Jacob walked back over to the slide.

"Nothing, Jake. Nothing at all. I'm just tired. I have no help, ya know. It's all on me. He stays up all night, I have to deal with it. My family won't have anything to do with me. You're always gone. But, please, don't worry about me, it's a perfect world and I'm fine."

"That's what I wanted to talk to you about, Bec. I'm leaving. I'm going to California. I want you and Jacob to come with me. I think we can do it. At least we can try. Did you bring your clothes and stuff?"

"Jake, what in the world would make you think we could make it together? We fight all the time. You don't love me. The only thing we have between us is a kid. That's it."

"That's a pretty big thing, Bec," Jake said.

Jacob walked over, "Mo nink?" he asked, pointing at Jake's cup.

Jake looked over at Becca and when he saw she wasn't looking, handed the cup to Jacob. He picked him up, sat him in his lap and handed him a fry. He looked at Jacob closely and noticed new clothes.

"Bec, where did he get these clothes and shoes? He didn't have them last week."

"Jake, I talked to a lawyer. He has a family that wants to adopt Jacob. They're doctors. They've already hired a nanny. They gave him a bunch of clothes and toys when they met him on Monday. They've seen him every day this week. They want him by next weekend. They're going to pay all my expenses for the past 18 months." She looked at Jake, "I don't want to do this, Jake, but I have to take care of Jacob and myself and this is the best way I know how. They can give him so much. They can take care of him better than I can."

Jake saw red. "Are you outta your fu...." Jake yelled. Jacob had been on the verge of sleep. he jumped and started crying. Jake stopped, shifted Jacob to his shoulder, hugged him tight and rubbed his back until he went back to sleep. "SShhhh. It's okay, Buddy." Jake took a deep breath, looked at Becca and quietly continued, in a voice calculated to intimidate. "Are you crazy? You're not going to sell my son!! I ain't signin' papers to get my kid adopted out. I'm on the birth certificate. You can't do it without my signature and I won't sign. I'll hire a lawyer and fight you for custody. You have no idea who you're dealing with. There's no way in Hell I'm losin' my kid. If you don't want him, I'll take him. We'll be fine," Jake said, rubbing the back of Jacob's head.

"You'll take him. Right. That'll work. Jake you don't understand. I have no life. I can't do anything anymore. Nothing but change diapers and give bottles."

Jake took a deep, calming breath. "Okay then, come with me to California."

"Why, Jake?"

"Because we have a kid. At least try it."

"Are we gonna get married?"

"Let's see if we can get to California without killing each other before we talk about anything else," Jake said.

Becca bowed her head and took an angry breath. "Jake, just forget it. We never should've happened. We were wrong from that first night at the bar. There never should have even been a Jacob. Just sign the papers so we can be done."

"That's a great way to look at your son, Bec," Jake said, angrily. "Where're his pajamas? We need to get him changed before we leave."

"Everything's in the diaper bag in my car. I'll get it."

"We'll all go. I'll change him in my car."

"Fine. Whatever," Becca said, standing up and walking to the door without looking back.

"Are you gonna follow me or what?" Jake asked.

Becca popped the trunk on her car. "Put these in your car. Your trunk's bigger," Becca said, pointing at two suitcases and Jacob's stroller.

Jake handed Jacob to Becca and transferred everything to his trunk. "Bec, there's not much here. Is this everything?"

"Yeah. It's everything you need," she said quickly, the last part very quiet.

"What?" Jake said, looking confused.

"Nothing. I'm tired of listening to his screaming. Put his car seat in your car. You listen to him scream for a while."

Jake quickly put the car seat in the seat beside him. He turned around to take Jacob and watched Becca kiss him and hug him tightly. She had tears running down her cheeks.

"Ya know," Jake said, smiling, "he's just in the car with me. It's not like you're never gonna see him again."

He fought Jacob into the car seat. As soon as he could get one arm through a strap, Jacob would jerk the other one out. He bucked and arched the entire tire, screaming and fighting to get out. By the time Jacob was secured in the seat, they were both red faced and sweating. Jake leaned back against the dash to catch his breath. Tossing 300lb drunks out of Bailey's, when he worked there as a bouncer, didn't wind him this much. Jacob immediately started screaming, "NO! Out out out, Da-eee. Out!" Jake tried giving him the Coke but he pushed it away. Jake handed him a toy. Jacob threw it in the floor and stepped up his wailing.

Jake turned around and Becca was gone. There was an envelope wedged under the windshield wiper, but no Becca. He could see his name printed clearly across the front. Sometime during the car seat fight she had quietly gotten in her car and driven away. Jake felt like someone had punched him in the stomach, he couldn't catch his breath. Where was she??

He grabbed the letter and ripped it open. Snatches of that letter were forever burned in his memory, "relationship had been a mistake", "Jacob should never have happened", "not cut out to be a mother at least not now", "anyone else could do a better job taking care of Jacob", "I want to be carefree and do what I want to do, not be tied to a kid for the rest of my life", "please love him enough for me too". He and Jacob had never seen her again.

His mind racing and his stomach churning, Jake drove. Jacob screamed half the way to Jericho, finally exhausting himself and falling asleep, drenched in sweat. It was only 10 o'clock when he hit town, and he even drove down his parents' street. The lights were on in the living room, and for a brief moment he considered stopping. But then he imagined what Johnston would say and do, and he'd kept going, heading west to California.

The first year had been awful but he and Jacob slowly learned each other and life went on and got better. He could tell within about half a degree what a temperature was by feeling Jacob's forehead and no ear infection would ever get the best of him. Where five years ago, he wouldn't have gone anywhere without his little black book and a condom, he now carried Tylenol and an asthma inhaler. He grinned to himself, he used to be the ultimate night owl, usually sleeping til noon, now he was in bed by eleven and up at six .....boy things had changed. He had talked to his mother a couple of times a year but had never told her about Jacob....he didn't know why... he just never did.

Jake pulled himself out of the past and back to the train. 'What a mother," Jake thought. To this day, he couldn't believe she had been willing to sell Jacob to the highest bidder and then just ended up totally abandoning him. Becca hadn't been the brightest bulb in the chandelier, but at least she had given him Jacob without a fight. He was grateful for that, if nothing else. He looked at the little boy in front of him and smiled. Jacob was still away in the world of pirate ships and gold.

Jake tapped him on the head again, "It's only about 10 more minutes....eat your lunch and put the iPod away".

Jacob gave a sigh as big as the world and put his iPod in his backpack. Instead of eating he just pushed the sandwich around the plate.

"Dad, do you think they will like me?" Jacob asked worriedly.

"Do I think they will like you? Just wait til your grandmother sees you. She is going to hug you to death. I definitely think they are going to like you", Jake said while ruffling Jacob's hair.

"What about Grandpa?"

"Yeah, Grandpa'll like you too," Jake said, smiling. "Remember, your grandfather is grouchy most of the time but he doesn't mean anything by it."

"Oh...like you on mornings after you go out with Uncle Freddy?"

"Uh,yeah, something like that. Don't worry about your grandfather. Everything's gonna be just fine." Jake hoped that was the case. He was worried about his father's reaction. He knew what his mother would do, but Johnston Green had always been the unknown factor.

The train pulled into the station. They got out and walked onto the platform.

"Alright," Jake said, stretching and yawning, "it's a long way lets get started." He put his hand on Jacob's shoulder and steered him through the crowd.

"Can we stop at McDonalds? I'm hungry."

"What about that sandwich you just had?"

"Oh yeah, I forgot. But I really am hungry."

"Does it have to be McDonalds? Can't we stop somewhere else? Just the thought of McDonalds makes me sick. How about Burger King or Taco Bell? You like those."

"Come on, Dad. I want a Happy Meal. There's really good toys right now. Please??"


Jake looked in the backseat as he made the turn onto Chestnut Street. Jacob was sprawled across the seat sound asleep. He made thru the Richmond's, Gracie Leigh's and Emily without any explanations. He wasn't ashamed of anything to do with Jacob, he just wanted his mom to be the first to meet him. He had called his mom yesterday and told her he was coming home for the day to see his grandfather and that he was bringing someone for her to meet. He knew that his mother had to have thought it was a girl that Jake was bringing home....boy was she gonna get a surprise.

He pulled the car up in front of the house he had grown up in and sat there a minute.... 'Okay...here we go,' he thought. He reached over the backseat and shook Jacob awake.

"Hey, wake up. We're here"

1 comment:

Kay said...

Sherry is an exceptional writer-reading her words is like watching an episode in your mind. You can hear Jake's voice, see the setting. This is a wonderful addition to the original "Jericho" story, and a very plausible tangent for Jake's background.

Thank you, Jane, for sharing her story with the "Jericho" fans.