Disclaimer: jake 2.0 and all related elements, characters and indicia © Roundtable Entertainment and Viacom Productions, Inc., 2003. All Rights Reserved. All characters and situations-save those created by the authors for use solely on this website-are copyright Roundtable Entertainment and Viacom Productions, Inc.
Author's Note: Another sweet, fun, calorie-filled piece of fluff I concocted from my quirky mind. Thanks to J Solt for the read-over and all those who've read and reviewed my previous stories.
"You'd think I would've learned better by now."
"Well, maybe you are more like the lab rats at work than I thought you were."
"Heh, no problem. But you do seem to keep coming back to me for more, though."
"I know! I can't explain it. I guess there's just something about you..."
The two laughed as they cleaned up the pieces of the Boggle game and stuck them back into its container. Slamming the cover on the box, Jake leaned back in the chair and folded his arms.
"Oh c'mon. Don't be such a sore loser."
"You know, Diane, just once. Once is all I ask. You could've at least gone easy on me for one round."
"I did! Remember 'diatom', 'atom', and 'palsy'? There was a lot more I could've come up with but how was I to know all you had was 'dipsy' and 'po'? I mean, the Teletubbies?! What's wrong with you?"
"It's the nanites, I'm telling you. They just have this weird addiction."
"You didn't even get the word 'dip'! Or 'pop'! Like normal words"
"Alright. Go ahead, rub it in."
Diane grinned and threw up her hands resigning, "Sorry. What are we gonna do for games night then?"
"Something that I have a chance of winning. Or at least where I don't get my ego murdered by my own doctor."
"No. That involves looking at words. Letters. Bad."
"A game with no words or letters, uh..."
"You never played that when you were bored with a friend or at camp?"
"No, never heard of it. Kinda missed that one."
"It's easy. We take turns asking each other 21 personal questions and we both have to answer truthfully. No lying allowed whatsoever or else."
"That's a game? Sounds more like the Spanish Inquisition."
Jake scoffed. "Haha. Very funny. Well it's the only game I can come up with right now and there's no way you're gonna make me touch that Boggle thing again tonight."
"So it's like truth or dare?"
"Yeah, but with more truth and less dare. I'm not much of the daring type."
Taking a deep breath, she nodded and said reluctantly, "Okay, I'll play."
He chuckled, "Relax. This takes less brainpower than those word-torture games any day."
"Hey, no dissing the Boggle," Diane pointed sternly. "Alright, so who goes first?"
"So I can ask any question I want, right?"
"Okay... What's your most embarrassing experience?"
"Wh-Why don't I go first?" he deflected. "You know, get the ball rolling in the right direction." Diane smirked while Jake tapped his fingertips together. "Hmm... What's your most embarrassing experience?"
"Hey, that's not fair!"
"Well, you know we'd probably ask each other that question anyways. It's just that you get to tell yours first."
"Okay. Fine. Well, I guess you have the normal embarrassing moment and then the romantically embarrassing moment. Which pitiful disaster do you want?"
She bit her lip, "Hmm, my normal embarrassing moment might be junior year in high school while the romantically embarrassing... I guess would be my first kiss."
"Why? What happened?"
"Are those going to be four new questions because they weren't specified in the first two," retorted Diane smartly.
"They were implied." Jake claimed making a face but backed down when she gave him a look. "Alright. They count as my third through sixth question. So, what happened junior year?"
"My school had just gotten remodeled and they installed these huge, red pillars to hold up the roofs that cover the walkways."
"Yeah, I can see how huge red pillars can be embarrassing..."
"Well they sure can be when you're trying to act casual in front of your high school crush and his buddies."
"Oh, you didn't"
"Oh yeah, I did."
"But you said it was a huge, red pillar."
"I like to think of it as more of a pole. You know like a really, really big huge pole that's really wide and so I couldn't see Yeah, I-I walked into a pillar."
Jake grinned. "And your first kiss?"
"God, this is humiliating," she muttered turning red. "I was thirteen and he was my best friend. I hadn't talked to anyone before about the subject, so I didn't know you could breathe while kissing... so I just held my breath... and then I passed out."
"You passed out?"
"Yeah... he had to go find his mom so they could call an ambulance."
"It was a pretty long kiss."
"Yeah, kinda scary though. Anyways," she looked over at him firmly, "what's your most embarrassing experience, both normal and romantically. And then tell what happened and why. I'll even count all those as six separate questions to be fair."
"Why, how... uh," pausing for a moment, he sat thinking when suddenly his eyes lit up, "how magnanimous of you. See? I can come up with big words when I want to," he joked making her smile. "Okay, um, embarrassing... There's so much to choose from. Really, there is. For normal embarrassing, probably the first day of school when my mom kissed me on the cheek and then proceeded to ask really loud if I needed new pairs of underwear while in front of everyone."
"But that's sorta understandable. I mean, most moms do something embarrassing like that; it's typical for the first day of school."
"Yeah, sure. Right. Typical of the first day... for sophomore year in high school?"
"Oh," she fought to keep serious despite her urge to crack up, "uh well, you know um, that's still..." Diane burst out laughing, "No, that is pretty embarrassing. I don't think there's a way I can point out the bright side of that. I don't think there is a bright side."
"Well yeah I know that," Jake rolled his eyes. "Moving on... romantically embarrassing... Uh, I guess I'll pick the time I used one of my moves to ask out this girl I liked to the Prom."
"You have moves?"
"Yes, I have moves. They don't usually move me in the direction I want, but they're still moves that could be... moveable on the right girl."
"Hmm, I dunno. You and moves..." Diane started to giggle at the concept.
"Will you just wait until I tell the story before you start laughing at my expense?"
"I'm sorry. Go ahead."
"Well, I had this job at the supermarket and one day while I was stocking the shelves I saw this girl from school that I had a major crush on walk in. I rushed over to the florist section to get some flowers but the manager was this uptight guy and refused to let me buy any while I was on shift. So I did the only thing I could think of."
"What was that?"
"I went up to her and asked if she'd like to go to the Prom with me and that I had gotten her flowers."
"Flowers? But I thought"
"I was holding out two bags of flour to her. Two bags of baking flour. Flours... flowers?" He shook his head. "I was hoping she'd find it cute. She didn't. Pathetic, huh?"
Diane laughed sympathetically. "But that is cute. She was probably just too inflated in the head to realize it."
"You really think so?" Jake asked hopeful. "That wasn't a lame move? So if it was you I had gone up to with two bags of flour and asked to the Prom, you would've said yes?"
"Yeah. Yeah, sure. I-I mean it's not like I had the most dynamic social life when I was in high school, but I would've gone out with you. To the Prom, of course. If-if you had asked me."
"Hmm," he pondered thoughtfully.
"Um, so uh," she swallowed, "I guess it's my turn. I think you just wasted three questions asking if your pick-up line was lame."
"Huh? Oh yeah. Sure. Ask away."
"What do you think was the best day of your life?"
"Best day... The day that I became an agent."
"Then what do you think was the worse day of your life?"
"Would you have done anything different? Since the nanites I mean."
"No, I don't think so. Well maybe a few things."
"If the situation with Malik hadn't happened, would you have gone through with Kyle's offer?"
"Was-Wasn't that your three already?" Jake evaded. "Isn't it my turn now?"
Diane frowned and made sure to keep that question up for her next one. "Okay, I'm ready."
"Who's the most attractive guy: me, Kyle or Hart?"
"Wha-Where did that question come from?"
"It's a legitimate question."
"Are you gonna answer?"
She glared at him, annoyed that he was taking advantage of her with the game, "Well I hardly even look at Agent Hart and I guess Kyle does have that tall, dark and handsome thing going on"
"That hurts," he dramatized hitting his chest.
"But I suppose since I see you almost every day I-I'd probably pick you because of familiarity and that you're more approachable for someone like me."
Jake's forehead wrinkled as he tried to figure out if that was a compliment or an insult. "Uh thanks, I think."
"What about you then? If you had to choose either me, Fran or Carver. Well there's Lou, too, but"
"No. Definitely not. I see Lou like my mom. Well, if my mom wouldn't hesitate to literally kick my ass for going against orders."
"So who is it then?"
"I can't stand Agent Carver, so that's a negative. Fran... hmm. Fran's pretty, and nice, and smart, and she can stitch up a knife wound fairly steadily"
"Okay, I get it. Enough with the 'we love Fran' club."
Jake grinned and unknowingly let his gaze travel up and down her small frame. Meeting her eyes, the two realized what he had just done causing both of them to blush and glance away.
He cleared his throat. "B-But I guess I'd pick Dr. Hughes because she has all the same qualities and I-I think she looks better in a lab coat."
She shyly looked back at him and commented in a dry tone, "Wow, I feel so proud to know that I won by a lab coat." He laughed as she sighed, "At least we know that we top each other's 'Who's hot at the NSA' list."
"Yeah, that's comforting."
"Um, wh-what question are we on?" Diane asked quickly changing the subject.
"I think we're both starting our twelfth question but we've asked all these sub-questions so I'm guessing we're somewhere up there. And I think it's my turn."
"What's your biggest fear?"
"Um, public speaking. What's yours?"
"Same thing. Cats or dogs?"
"Cats. And you?"
"Same. Goal in life?"
"Well, the Nobel Prize of course. How about you?"
"Same here," Jake said nonchalantly getting up and clearing the coffee table. Dropping off the beer bottles in the kitchen, he returned to find Diane shaking her head. Plopping himself next to her on the couch he asked, "What?"
"Nobel Prize? You? I thought we're supposed to be honest here."
"Yeah, me and the Nobel Prize," Jake insisted. "You know, getting that fast bike, meeting Michael Jordan, winning the Nobel Prize; it's every young boy's dream. I even put it on my Christmas list every year but my folks always claimed it was out of stock at the store."
She playfully swatted him on the shoulder as he started to chuckle. In unison, they leaned their heads on the back of the couch and stared up at the ceiling. Glancing over at Diane out of the corner of his eye, he gulped a couple of times before breaking the silence that had settled.
"So, uh, what's your type?" he inquired as casually as he could.
She turned her head towards him confused, "Type? You mean, like, blood type?"
"No, no," he frowned keeping his gaze focused on the ceiling. "Type type. Like... you know..."
"Um, apparently I don't know."
Jake visibly squirmed. "Type as-as in guy type. Like wha-what kind of guys -um- are your type? Uh, st-strictly for the 21 Questions game, of course."
"Guy type?" she repeated nervously turning her attention back to the ceiling. "I-I dunno... sweet, funny, cute wh-wh-why do you ask? Do all of these questions have to be really, really personal?"
"Well, no but I was just wondering if you know, if I..."
"Wondering? Wondering if what?"
"I dunno... Am I your type?"
"You?" Diane squeaked. "I-I never really thought about it a lot at all. I never thought about it at all. Um, I guess if we didn't work together and-and you weren't my best friend and all..." she adjusted her glasses, "yeah maybe, I guess you'd fit the kind of guy I'd go for. Wha-What about you?"
"Would I be the kind of guy I'd go for?" Jake laughed at his own joke, bracing himself to be strangled by his doctor. "Well the type of girl I always went for was any girl that could carry a conversation with me without having them feel like they're talking with a loser or have the urge to slap me. So based on that criteria, yeah you-you're pretty much my type."
"Wait, who says that I don't feel like I'm talking to a loser and that I don't want to slap you right now?"
"Heh," sneered Jake. "So next question"
"If the thing with Malik hadn't happened would you have gone through with Kyle's offer?"
He sighed, "Oh c'mon Diane, I don't want to answer that."
"What?! First of all, I answered all your questions that I particularly didn't feel comfortable answering and second of all... well, there isn't really a second of all. Why don't you want to answer?"
"Because I really don't know if I would've gone through with it!" he declared frustrated. Turning his head that still rested lazily against the couch, he looked at her face inches away from his. "You know I dunno. Yeah, I would've had a normal life but it wouldn't really have been normal, would it? I mean I'd still be lying to anyone I try to get close to, I'd go to sleep every night wondering if I'll be paralyzed or-or dead if I even wake up the next morning..." he shuddered at the knot that started to wrench at his stomach. "There's... there's really no way out of this is there?"
Diane's brown eyes regarded him concerned. "Jake," she said quietly. He glanced down at her hand that had reached across the space between them and was now entwined with his. "Just because this is all new territory doesn't mean you should let it keep you from enjoying life."
Nodding, he gazed back at the ceiling, "And I think I'd-I'd miss this too much."
He motioned back and forth between them with his free hand. "This this... us this... you."
"Yeah, I mean uh," Jake fumbled, laughing weakly, "because it's not like I could go to some other doctor and complain about how my nanites are killing me."
"Hmm. I see."
"What?" he frowned, feeling her hand slip away from his. "What did I say wrong now?"
"Nothing. It's late, I should get going"
"I dunno, I-I thought" she scratched the back of her head, agitated, "I thought we had a little bit more than just a doctor-patient thing. I mean, like, friends and stuff."
"We do! We-We are! Wha" Jake sat up straighter getting upset, "You know that's what I meant."
"Well it sounded like you meant that the only reason you'd miss me is because you wouldn't feel comfortable having someone else take your blood pressure."
"That's ridiculous!" he gestured exasperated. "But I guess if that's really true, then the only reason you ever come over is not because we're friends but because you just feel sorry for your little human lab rat!"
There was an audible click that was produced when Diane snapped her teeth together. "That is definitely not the reason I come over here and don't you dare try to make this argument my fault!" her voice shook with anger.
"Me?! This isn't my fault either!"
"Well it's not mine! And none of this would've happened if you hadn't wanted to play this dumb game of spilling all our guts out. Why'd you want to play this game anyways?!"
"You want to know why I wanted to play this game?"
Jake quickly spouted away, unaware of what he was saying, "Because, as usual, I was a big wimp and I thought by using the game I could find out if you liked me and maybe even ask if I could kiss you but again, as usual, my Jake Foley move didn't work! And, as usual, I messed things up again! That's why I wanted to play this dumb game, okay?!"
Diane similarly spouted away, his words not yet completely registered in her brain, "Then why didn't you just ask that in the first place?!"
"Fine, I will!"
"Fine! Can I kiss you?"
They both paused briefly exchanging glances as they let what had just transpired to sink into their minds.
"Wha-What were we talking about?" Diane asked cautiously.
"Um, I-I think I asked"
"And I think I answered"
Neither moved from their slouching position as their eyes darted around the room making sure to avoid eye contact.
"So, uh, are you" Diane began innocently.
Jake started nodding in a likewise manner and turned his head towards her, "Well, it-it is part of the game..."
She faced him, "a-and it's not like you can break the rules of a game, right?"
"Yeah. And it's not like we're actually doing this 'cause we"
"Yeah, 'course not."
"Yeah," Jake agreed leaning sideways towards her until their lips were only a small breadth away from each other. Hesitating, he stared into her eyes that were open wide with alertness. Unable to read the emotion in those depths, the normal self-deprecating doubts that he had whenever he was met with this kind of situation began to wash over him.
Diane was his best friend; she meant more to him than he could possibly express so if he was ever to lose her... if their friendship turned sour because of what he was going to do right now...
Blinking, Jake was about to back away when he suddenly realized that it was too late and the breadth between them had disappeared.
He wasn't sure if she had closed the gap or if he had been the one to cover the distance without knowing it, but the truth was that it didn't matter and he didn't really care. All he cared about was the gentle sensation of her lips on his, the warm scent of her skin that he inhaled, and the rapid beat of her pulse that echoed the one that hammered in his own chest.
After what seemed like an eternity, Jake slowly pulled away taking in a shaky breath, "Wow."
She ducked her head bashfully and peered at him over the rim of her glasses, "Well at-at least I didn't pass out." Witnessing a grin plaster itself onto his face, she nervously jerked in the direction of the door with her thumb, "I think I better get going."
"Yeah. Yeah, okay. I'll walk you over there."
Giggling she got up and shrugged on her jacket, "Thanks, 'cause I always worry about getting mugged whenever I walk to your door from the inside of your apartment."
"Jeez, I try to be gentlemanly..."
"Yeah, you keep working on that."
Jake's grin grew wider as he unbolted the locks and followed her just outside of the doorway. Abruptly turning around, Diane felt a blush rush up her neck at his close proximity, "So, um, I'll see ya tomorrow."
"Yeah, tomorrow. And Diane" he said grabbing her hand when she turned to leave.
"I... I think I actually won a game."
A smile played on Diane's lips as she gave his hand a squeeze before letting go, "I think I won, too."