She knew this day would come. Well, she had hoped for it… Desperately. Countless had been the number of nights, tossing and turning, wondering if Jackson was well, alive or not, waiting for the next letter from Paps that reassured her that he was indeed well. And then there were her haunting nightmares, that insisted in holding Thalia back and not allowing her to have a full night’s sleep. Of course, after six months, the brunette had found coping mechanisms to help her deal with those. She found that exhausting herself physically helped. As did sleeping with one of Jackson’s hoddies, one he’d left behind while hurriedly packing no doubt. Still, nothing prevented the nightmares from showing. All these ticks Thalia had picked up had only stalled the nightmares, bought her a couple of hours to rest. But, on the long run, they couldn’t fully keep them away, not like Jackson did.
And, of course, she had tried and moved on. Chanel had lectured her - multiple times - that one could not simply hold onto a memory. Thalia seemed to be the exception to that rule. Greg had never been more than a friend, regardless of rumours, and then there was Nathan. Nathan had definitely shaken her, but it had been a short thing. And, in the end, was nothing compared to Jackson and the love they’d once shared. Whether he still felt it for her, she didn’t know. And she wasn’t sure she wanted to ask Jackson, in case the answer was one she didn’t want to hear.
The house was suddenly buzzing with commotion as Paps orchestrated everyone, doing whatever he thought necessary to track Jackson down and have him brought home. Of course Thalia had told him where she’d seen him last, but transportation in Pandora was so fast, chances were, he was miles away. She needed to see him, even if she wasn’t ready and didn’t have a speech ready. She’d have to improvise. It didn’t matter either way. She just needed to see him. Silence suddenly fell upon the room and it took Thalia a while to notice, she was so caught up in her own thoughts. And then Paps’ eyes met her and she frowned, not understanding the sudden change of demeanour in everyone. “Thalia…” Everything inside her stopped, even her breathing. The girl closed her eyes, allowing the word to play in her mind repeatedly. She recognized, in an instant, the voice calling her. Her eyes met Paps’ once again before she turned, her expression blank and her composure collected. “Jackson,” she replied, her voice firm as she took. Everyone around them seemed to have a mutual understanding and excused themselves without anyone saying anything, leaving the boy from the Farmer’s District and the girl from the Capitol alone.
It was both an agonizing wait and a terrifying sensation when the entire room stopped and the girl began to turn towards him. Jackson’s entire body tensed where he stood, and any attempt to swallow was blocked against his suddenly dry throat. What would happen? What would she say, how could they ever start talking to each other? What would be said? There were so many questions reeling inside Jackson’s head, he almost felt like fleeing the scene immediately. He had marched into minor battles that had broken out on Pandora since he had joined the militia, he had commanded his own team even. But somehow the prospect of Thalia’s rejection even being remotely possible was enough to send Jackson into a nightmarish terror for a small moment. And then their eyes met. And she spoke his name. And a strange sensation washed over him.
It wasn’t necessarily calm, but it wasn’t the previous dread either. It was— anticipation? Relief? She was alive, that’s all that mattered for a second. She was safe and she was— there, right in front of him, just about eight paces away. Her face was completely blank, he couldn’t read anything, even in the green eyes that had always mesmerized him. But her voice resounded in his head, repeating his name over and over, and for a small moment he couldn’t even muster words. What could be said? What could follow all of this? And then Jackson watched all the people in the room clear, and he spotted Thalia’s grandfather’s small smirk. What was going on in that man’s head? Jackson thought back to a conversation he had had a while ago with that same man. He was struggling severely over the loss of Thalia, about how everything had happened, leaving her alone and struggling without her. Jackson remembered asking the man what he could say if he ever saw Thalia again. "Speak from the heart." The man had said. "It knows you the most and it knows Thalia the most." With that thought in mind, Jackson dared take the few steps into the room, keeping enough distance from Thalia that she didn’t feel crowded.
"It— might not be most important to say right now…But I missed you so much." his throat closed a little as he shook his head, whether out of nervousness or renewed relief that she was safe, Jackson didn’t know. "Thalia…" he chewed on his lower lip, feeling so strange being so far away from her. So he dared to take a hesitant few more steps towards her, reaching out slightly but retracting for fear of upsetting her. "There wasn’t a moment that went by I didn’t wish I could come back, or even have said goodbye." his tone became edgy with the honest words flowing form his mouth. "I know I should’ve stayed to— to explain myself or done something to promise you I would come back one day. I was just so— confused and scared and worried, I— I don’t know what came over me. I was an idiot.” he shook his head, brows arched as he boldly kept his eyes locked on hers. “I’m… I’m so sorry.” his eyes burned. So much had happened since he had last seen her. He had seen so much death and suffering. He had fought. He had grown up. There was so much more to be said to Thalia than just all that, but he couldn’t keep talking. He needed a chance to gain his voice back. So he lowered his head, and turned slightly away from her, trying to swallow the tightness in his throat. “I’m s-sorry.” he repeated quietly. He knew it wasn’t good enough.
Once she arrived at the Manor, it was evident that Thalia was not pleased with how the evening had ended. She knew, of course, that Jackson was on Pandora. He had left her, after all, to come back home and fight for the freedom of future generations. It had been almost six months ago. They had spent more time apart than together. But that didn’t seem to matter to Thalia’s stubborn heart, who refused to open up to anyone else. Between Greg and Nathan, the brunette had tried - really tried - to let herself care again, but her heart rejected both young men and clung to the memory of Jackson and what they had instead. It only caused her pain, severe pain, but what could Thalia do but feel it?!
And now she was home and she knew that someday their paths would cross again, but the girl did not expect it to be the night she arrived, or to be dragged away from him against her will. No, Thalia Deschanel was anything but pleased with this turn of events.
“Thalia?” her grandfather called, frowning as he glanced up from the newspaper he held and registered his granddaughter’s obvious distress. “Was there a problem with your trip?” he demanded, standing up and glaring at the guards beside her.
“No, the trip was fine. It was afterwards that there was a problem. Jackson… I saw him. He called for me and they” here Thalia glared at the men around her “didn’t allow me to speak to him. They pulled me away! I want to talk to Jackson! Paps, I want to talk to him tonight!” Her grandfather seemed lost for words, but the Pandorian was certain he would know of a way to contact the boy. After all, Jackson’s father and grandfather lived with her grandfather. They had to know how to find him and get him to come to the Manor. Her heart was fanatic at the thought of a reunion. She couldn’t postpone it.
It was easy to know what Jackson was doing on the way to the Manor. Easy to rehearse what he was going to say— the words that had repeated inside his head since the moment he had hit Pandoran soil. Of course, all this mind kept getting hung up on was the name. Thalia. He had spoken it so often into the darkness when he couldn’t sleep but was too tired to be rational. He had strung prayers onto the name before every fight or skirmish he had lead in this bloody war over Pandora. It had faded to thoughts, just dreams that would sneak up on him every minute he found himself alone. Everything had changed so much, and so had he. He had grown up, the war was all he really had left. The past had become just that— lost to a place that he would never get back.
And then there she was. So simply there, so suddenly present it had almost seemed like another dream. Something he had wished so long to happen, before he gave up. Because it was once impossible that it could never come true. That he would ever see her again. But now— now everything was turning back on itself.
Jackson paid the driver and popped open the door before the vehicle was even stopped, slamming both feet on the ground and sprinting up the familiar stone steps towards the door. But then he stopped. His hand on the doorknob, he exhaled slowly. What was he going to say? All of the words he had thought of, they were all suddenly gone. His mind was blank. All except the image of the wrinkled picture he carried everywhere with him. Only one word remained. Would he be good enough? He suddenly pushed open the front door in a surge of bravery, running through the spacious foyer. He stopped dead in the wide doorway of the sitting room, eyes locked on the back of her head. The chestnut waves he had once been so used to. Jackson spotted her grandfather’s eyes switch from the girl to him, and Jackson took a silent breath. Here goes. “Thalia…” he spoke softly.
Is that Jackson? -starts to panic, trying to turn back, but the guards keep pulling her towards her grandfather’s vehicle- No, wait! Jacks! -the crowd seems to have stopped to stare, but the guard quickly places her within the vehicle, signalling the driver to go-
Thalia! *desperately trying to squeeze through the crowds* Wait! *because the crowd has noticed them, he’s able to squeeze through, but just in time to watch her being driven off* NO!
*hails a Pandora Public Transportation vehicle* Deschanel Manor. And step on it.
• I think he switches between living with the troops and staying at the manor • if he's welcomed there. =P • But yeah that sounds perfect! We could time jump! or something
Wait, no— *pushing through crowds* Thalia— *struggling to get through* THALIA! *a strange kind of hush descends on the crowd for a second*
• YES HE HAS!!! • he's gotten used to it • mind playing tricks on him and all that • as;lfkasjdf Nooooo! • he watched her walk past and THEN called • the name feels so weird for him to saaay
• he took a double-take and now isn't sure if what he's seeing is TRUE or if he's imagining it again
I missed this place… And it’s technology.
• he's not really seen her • he's just talking to a group of people • dlfja;lskdfj it's about to get real!