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Tumble

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Finally watched the fall finale and I hope we get to see something like this story if the show returns. I'm still rooting for Jake and Sydney.

Title: Tumble
author: Cindy Ryan
spoilers: all

Sydney had her jacket and shoes on before her mind had caught up to her movements. She couldn't forget the look on Jake's face. Couldn't forget the kiss. Couldn't forget his pain. Sydney had to find him. She grabbed her purse, cell phone and keys and was out the door. Sydney heard Robbie call after her, worry in his voice, but she didn't stop.

******
Jake had no idea how he'd ended up back at work. Yet his headlights illuminated the familiar building. The rain had started again casting shadows on the pavement. Feeling like he was tumbling Jake shut the engine off and got out of the sports car. He was already soaked so the rain didn't bother him. Jake reached the front of the dark building but didn't go in. Instead he climbed the steps of the fire escape to the first landing and sank down. Suddenly more tired than he'd ever been Jake put his head in his hands and rested his elbows on his knees.

*******
/I can't go home./

The words echoed through Sydney's worried thoughts as she drove through the dark rainy streets of Memphis. She almost checked Jake's place anyway, but ruled it out. He'd come to her to avoid the memories of home. The ghost of George.

Sydney went to two bars she knew her friend frequented and came up empty. She kept calling but only got voicemail. Sydney suspected Jake had turned the phone off. Robbie had called four times and sent three texts. She'd responded to one of the texts and kept searching. As Sydney left the second bar an idea struck and she turned the car around headed to that destination. She hoped against hope that Jake would be there. She didn't want him alone tonight.

********
Jake heard the car pull to a stop but didn't. Nobody was here this late. Nobody was looking for him. Sydney had reunited with her ex. That had been another knife twist of that night. Their kiss he wouldn't forget, but he'd waited too long. She wouldn't be his.

A car door slammed and Jake didn't raise his head. He was hurt, tired, angry and drained. Jake wanted a drink or three but didn't have the energy to go acquire them.He scooted back on the fire escape leaning against the wall tucking his knees to his chest. The day that had started with such hope and happiness and gone so wrong.

*****
Sydney almost didn't see him. She'd started to unlock the office's front door when movement on the fire escape had caught her eye. When she'd turned and looked up her heart broke. Jake looked all the world like a lost five year old boy. Even though her heart was breaking Sydney was overjoyed to have found her friend. She raced toward the metal stairs.

“Jake!”Sydney called worriedly.

Jake was leaning against the wall looking out at the rain. He didn't acknowledge that he'd heard her. Sydney took the steps two at a time slipping once and nearly tumbling before righting herself and reaching the landing. She dropped to her knees on the wet metal. There was barely room enough for both of them. It was only then that his gaze finally met hers and the pain she saw there stole her breath. It was raw and deep. Sydney reached for Jake but he pulled his hands away tucking himself further against the wall.

“Jake.”Sydney whispered. “I'm so sorry about George.”

A brief nod was the only response she got; but Sydney would take it. Moving forward now soaked to the skin from the rain Sydney took Jake's right hand in hers and squeezed it.

“Go home, Sydney.”Jake ordered in a hoarse whisper.

“No; I need to know you're alright.”Sydney replied quietly not letting go of his hand.

“I shouldn't have kissed you.”Jake stated a few minutes later. “I'm sorry.”

“I'm not.”Sydney replied surprising herself. “We have a lot to talk about.”

********
“I'm a failure, Sydney.”Jake stated pushing away from the wall and tugging his hand free of Sydney's. “You made the right choice with Robbie.”

“Stop.”Sydney insisted.”Robbie and I aren't together.”

“That was not what it looked like.”Jake responded bitterly

/Rescuing her is romantic./

George's words came flooding back making Jake wince. Now Sydney was trying to rescue him.

“You caught me off guard.”Sydney commented emotionally.

Jake met her gaze and saw the tears. He reached for her and wiped the tears away before he could stop himself.

“I feel like I'm tumbling.”Sydney said softly.”I care about you, Jake.”

“But you still love Robbie.”Jake surmised huskily his hand still on her cheek.

“I don't know.”Sydney replied in a whisper. “I do know your kiss felt right.”

Jake moved his right hand to the back of Sydney's neck drawing her closer. Before he could second guess or stop himself he kissed her.
********
Sydney melted into Jake's kiss and his embrace. She tasted the rain on his lips. They broke apart several minutes later both breathing heavily. Sydney snuggled against him resting her head on Jake's chest. He wrapped his arms around her and rested his head on top of hers.

“Should've done that sooner.”Jake commented softly.

“Yes.”Sydney agreed.

They needed to talk, but Sydney knew Jake was still feeling too raw from George's death. She was still processing the kiss and that she was in Jake's arms and not her ex-husband's.

“We need to get out of the rain.”Sydney said a few minutes later breaking the silence. “Come back to my father's.”

“I don't want to see anyone.”Jake replied quietly.

“Let's go in the office then.”Sydney suggested as she stood.

For a long moment Sydney thought Jake was going to refuse. But when she offered him her hand Jake accepted it and rose to his feet. Together they walked down the stairs of the fire escape and into the law office. Whatever the future held they'd figure it out.

end