pieced together pt. one
posting here too because not that many people have seen it also sorry for the weird spacing idk what’s going on
JJ Maybank x pogue reader - season 2 fic
You laid in bed watching the rain hit your windows, the radio downstairs faintly describes the fate of the world. You can’t make out complete sentences without straining, but you have heard enough from the last few days to know there were no updates about John B and Sarah. The radio has been on for days on end, your parents not wanting to miss any possible update about your friends or the storm that seemed never-ending. It was like it rained for years. It was a constant reminder of the night your two best friends were driven out into the storm and everything changed. You could hear Shoupe’s words in the back of your mind, “we lost ‘em' ' on a constant loop. You could see Kiara’s face and JJ’s hands and Pope’s heart shatter. Like all the stars had come falling down and you were the only one left to pick up all the pieces. You prayed this was all a nightmare. You could wake up and not only would they both be here, but you’d all be safe. You would give up the gold a hundred times over if it meant John B and Sarah would be home.
Both Pope and Kie’s parents had called your mom every night since that day. When she thought you were asleep, she would creep down the stairs and sit in the kitchen and cry, praying they had some good news. Something that could take away some of the pain you were in. But she couldn’t, no one could. You had to hear half the town talk about John B like he was a murderer like he kidnapped Sarah like he was some delusional kid from the cut. All while you knew the Cameron’s were roaming free and receiving sympathy for what they’re going through. It made you sick to think about. They had a private funeral for Sarah. People gave their condolences and spoke so kindly about her. They scoffed at her recent behavior and her newfound friendship from “those dirty pogues.”
Sometime around day two, your mom came into your room asking if you had heard from JJ. He had been with the Heyward’s up until that morning when he’d completely disappeared.
For a second, you felt something other than grief, knowing he had been with Pope and not his dad, but that was short-lived. You tried to imagine how peaceful it would have been under different circumstances, a world in which he was always safe. One where Luke Maybank had no control over his life. You wanted to get lost in that daydream, live in that alternative reality for a while. He wouldn’t have to keep a duffel bag full of clothes and cash under your bed for when things got bad. He wouldn’t have to know how to do stitches on himself or how to pop a dislocated shoulder back in place. He’d be safe. He’d be happy. She asked again if you had heard from JJ, snapping you back to reality. (you had not). You watched as her forehead creased and her lips straightened into a thin line, like something in her had broken too.
She hurts just as much as you do. At first, you contributed that to her not being able to take away your pain, which is part of it. But you later realized she’s lost a person, too. You had known John B since grade school, there were pictures of the group of you sitting on your swing set in your backyard at age nine. Ones of you, JJ, John B, and Pope asleep in your living room after attempting to build a fort. He stayed for dinners and birthday parties. She watched us grow up, every first day of school, soccer game, fishing tournament. Our families had somehow combined over the years. Not only does your mom hurt for you, but she lost a child. And that weight is heavier than anything.
You stopped crying by day three. Nothing left. You were completely and utterly numb but consumed by loss all at the same time. You hadn’t initially worried about JJ. He did this. He disappeared for a little, to clear his head, but he always came back. He never stayed away for more than three days. That’s how long it took for him to feel balanced again, maybe less, but never more. He said it was because he couldn’t get a burger as good as the ones at The Wreck anywhere else in the world, but you knew how much he loved the outer banks and the people there. You also knew that he’d never leave without you. And if he absolutely had to, he would at least say goodbye. He had to, he promised. You held on to that every time his phone went straight to voicemail. And when days four and five came and went and you still haven’t heard from him, you were worried. He should’ve crawled through your window in yesterday’s clothes with a few more scratches on his arm than he left with, but his eyes would glow a little brighter and he would still smile when you insisted he spends the night. So, when you cracked your window open and slept with your bedside lamp on (so that he could see the light from outside) and he still wasn’t there when you awoke, your mourning turned into something else. You sent a few texts, in case he somehow got them, but you were doubtful.
You didn’t know what it was like to live without him. There wasn’t a time in your life you could remember when you and JJ weren’t attached at the hip. Sometime around kindergarten, you two became inseparable, ultimately meeting John B and Pope as you got older and Kie when you all got to junior high. There was a weird couple of months around third grade where he decided girls had cooties, but it was short-lived because when JJ realized that meant you couldn’t be friends anymore he thought it was dumb and started coming over again. You couldn’t exactly pinpoint when your relationship changed, the lines between friendship and something more merging and becoming blurred. If you had to, for you it was the start of sophomore year. Something changed when you were together, even just sitting in silence was comfortable and exciting. Eyes started lingering, touches became more frequent, and then one day you were just together. It’s been the same since. You think back to the first time you kissed like a couple. It definitely hadn’t been the first time the two of you had ever kissed. You were sure there had been at least one during your childhood and you vividly remember a New Year’s Eve party and a couple of games of truth or dare. But this time it was different. There was something behind it.
You and JJ sat side by side in the hammock outside of John B’s. He was smoking while using his one leg to rock the two of you slowly back and forth. You were struggling to keep your eyes open and pay attention to whatever story was being told. JJ must have noticed because he wrapped an arm around you, inviting you to lay on his chest.
This wasn’t uncommon between you. JJ was always physically affectionate toward the people he cared about and you had no problem reciprocating. You stayed just like that until it was just the two of you left outside.
JJ shifted slightly under your weight causing you to wake up. “Shit, sorry. You okay?” he asked, tossing the tip of the blunt into the fire.
You nodded, “mhm.” You looked around, realizing how dark it had gotten, “You could’ve woken me up! It’s late.”
“You looked peaceful.”
You pretended to clutch your heart, “JJ Maybank being nice? Dare I say sweet?”
“Shut up,” he said, rolling his eyes. He was smiling at you like you were the funniest person in the world.
“ No, no. You care about me,” you joked, poking his chest with your finger, “you loooove me.”
“ Yeah?” he challenged, arching an eyebrow.
“Yeah,” you said, your breath suddenly catching in your throat.
“What if I do?” He asked, but it wasn’t a question. His face was serious, a glimmer of hope in his crystal eyes.
You look slightly from his eyes to his lips. If JJ noticed he didn’t lead on. He just slowly bridged the gap between you, your noses brushing for a moment before your lips connected. It was slow and careful, not wanting to push too far, but all the same, wanting to completely unravel the other. His hand cupped your cheek, his rings cold against your flushed face as you leaned into the kiss.
You heard faint screams and cheers from inside the chateau and Pope’s “Finally!” echo out. You could feel him smiling and soon enough you were both laughing. You had finally come together and nothing would take that away.
On day six, the rain stopped and the world carried on as normal. You wanted to yell at every person you saw. How could anyone feel so neutral about anything that happened in the last week? The sheriff was dead, there was a murderer on the loose, your two best friends were gone, and your boyfriend was missing. But yeah, go ahead and go to the grocery store like any other Wednesday morning. Someone tell the earth, it’s not supposed to keep spinning after the world ends.
You were lying on your bed, staring at your ceiling as you tried to fall asleep, a breeze flowed through your window and your lamp illuminated the room. All you could hear were cicadas and the wind rustling through the trees until you heard your window creak and slide open. You tried to process everything all at once, your eyes scanning over every part of his body, trying to meet his eyes. He was wearing the same clothes he had on the last time you saw him. There was dirt under his fingernails and his face was puffy from crying. His lip was cracked and covered in dry blood and bruises littered his jaw and hands. You could cry at the mere sight of him. Before either of you could speak, you collided.
You held his head to your chest and placed kisses on his hairline. You tried to wipe your tears before he could see them, but it was no use. The two of you were a tangle of arms and legs, of broken hearts and misguided minds, so desperately trying to tell the other it was going to be okay without believing it yourself.
“I miss him so much,” he sobbed. Your heart fell to your stomach and everything you had pushed down the past few days came rushing back.
“Me too,” you breathed. JJ’s arms wrapped around your stomach and he buried his head into your neck. You stayed like this for what felt like hours, thinking that if you held on long enough the two of you wouldn’t fall apart.
You heard your door open slightly and you quickly turned your head to see your mom stood there, tears brimming her eyes. You can visibly see her shoulders relax as she lets out a sigh. Your door closes softly as if not to disturb you both. You hear her on the other side of the door, “he’s here. He’s okay.”
“My dad’s gone,” he murmured into your neck.
You can physically feel your heart break for the boy in your arms and the younger version of him, trying to find a space he belongs and mourning the only one he ever found. You want so badly to hold him together, paint all of his scars golden. To remind him how much people love him, how much you love him, but no words come out.
“Guess he finally picked up and left, son of a bitch” His voice wobbled, “I went back, uh, that night to find the necklace John B gave me.”
He pulled away so he could talk directly to you. You cupped his cheeks and swiped the tears with your thumbs before they could fall. He laughed dryly, remembering, “Climbed through my bedroom window and everything. It should’ve taken two minutes tops but it wasn’t on my dresser like I thought it was. I tore my room apart looking for it. And then my dad came home and heard me, uh he was not happy to see me, as you can imagine.”
“Did he hurt you?” you ask, moving farther away from him to make sure he wasn’t bleeding or worse.
He grabs your hands and brings them to his chest, “I’m okay, I promise.”
“Is that where you were? The past few days,”
He nods, “yeah. I woke up the next day and he was gone. I was just going to get my stuff and go, but I don't know. Something wasn’t right.” He pauses to gather his thoughts, “They all really do leave, huh?”
“Don’t say that,” you urge.
“No. Do not think like that. None of this is your fault. Your dad is a fucking awful person for not loving you like you need to be loved. Like you deserve to be loved. And John B-” your voice cracks, “John B would never leave us if he didn’t have to and, and you have me. I couldn’t ever leave you. I wouldn’t know what to do with myself
He kisses your knuckles, “I know, I know. He just has so much power over the way I think.”
“But you know. You know you are nothing like him.”
He nods, not meeting your eyes.
“These past few days, J. You scared me.”
“I’m sorry,” he says, leaning his forehead against yours.
“Don’t disappear on me, okay?”
“Never.” He pushes his lips to yours, urgent and longing. You move your hands to his head, bringing him closer, trying to pour yourself into him.