Title: Not So Different
Character/s: Stiles, Jackson, Adam Carter (Jackson's boss & friend)
Summary: After Stiles leaves, Adam gives Jackson some advice.
Content Notes: AU, Fluff, nobody is dead, future fic, crossover
Submission Type: Ficlet
Word Count: 1000 words
Prompt: #254 - Paddle
Author's Notes: The remaining 199 words will be added on AO3. Adam Carter is one of my favorite characters and he belongs to the British series "Spooks". This will be part 5 of my series "What If It's You?" which is the ending unless I decided to continue at some point. Thanks so much to my lovely beta once again.
After leaving the folder on his desk, Jackson goes to his boss’ office.
“He’s gone,” Jackson says simply, standing in front of his desk.
Adam snorts. “Okay.”
“What? You’re not going to tell me that I fucked up… or something?” Jackson asks when Adam doesn’t say anything else.
“What for? You obviously know that. Look, you made the wrong call, but like a I said, it can happen to anybody at one point or another. I trust that you’ll learn from this. And besides, there are much worse mistakes than this.”
It isn’t like if Jackson doesn’t know that already, but it’s comforting to hear it from Adam who has so much more experience than he does.
“Maybe… maybe you should take him up on his offer, you know?”
“His offer?” Jackson raises his eyebrows.
“Yeah, he asked you out, didn’t he?”
“Are you serious?” Jackson waves his right arm.
“He seems nice enough… cute enough… and he’s smart. At least smart enough to see through your bullshit, so I’d say he gets extra points for that.” Adam chuckles.
“You have to be kidding.” Jackson shakes his head.
“Why don’t you take a seat?” Adam points at the chair next to him.
Jackson shakes his head but takes the seat nonetheless.
“All I’m telling you is to give him a chance. When was the last time you went on a date?”
“Adam. I don’t do dates.”
“Exactly. You’re convinced you can’t be in a relationship, but just because you do what you do, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Yes, it’s much harder but it is possible. I was married, remember? And despite everything that happened, I wouldn’t change a thing. Fiona wasn’t sure that having a son was the best idea because of our line of work, you know? So, yeah, I know how this job can get to you. That’s part of the reason why I came here.”
“Adam, I know what you mean, but it’s not the same.”
“Yes, it is. You think it’s easier with no attachments… no one to leave behind… to worry about you. And maybe that’s true for a while, but in the long run? In the long run, it eats you up. And yeah, I know it’s hard trusting anyone, let alone also trusting them with this secret but he already knows what you do. So, you have that out of the way. And you know he likes you… which means you don’t need to wonder. And if you say that you’re everybody’s type, then it will be my turn to kick you in the head.”
Jackson smirks. It’s bewildering how Adam can only see the bright side of the situation after all the trouble that this guy had caused today.
“Yeah, aren’t you forgetting the part where he followed me and got himself into this mess?” Jackson asks with disbelief.
“Well, I recall you acting more recklessly for far less justified reasons and getting away with it. It seems to me that you two are not so different.”
Jackson huffs a laugh. “What? It was totally different! You can’t even try to--”
“Look.” Adam interrupts him. “Jackson, you can be a real asshole. We all know that, but that’s not all you are, and that’s part of what makes you a good agent. And somehow...” Adam smirks as he remembers. “Somehow this guy you had never met before wasn’t fooled by any of your shit. How that happened? I have no idea. But, even after you kicked him in the head, he still wanted to go out with you…” Adam says with wonder in his voice.
“Yeah, which only proves that he’s kind of insane.”
“He took you by surprise.” Adam says matter-of-factly. “You aren’t used to anybody asking you out, and I understand that. He made you uncomfortable. He took you out of your comfort zone and even if you won’t admit it, you enjoyed that. So, yeah, I think you like him.”
“What? Are you my phycologist now?” Jackson asks without real harshness in his voice.
“No, just a friend who knows you better than you think.”
“Well, yeah, maybe you know me better than most people, but this whole thing is over.” The only problem is that he hasn’t denied anything and Adam knows that.
Jackson gets up. “Thanks for this fascinating and totally unnecessary pep talk. It was fun. Now I have work to do.” He takes a couple of steps towards the door.
“Jackson.” Adam calls his name when he’s almost out of the office.
“Yeah?” Jackson turns around.
“Just think about it.”
Jackson doesn’t reply, just looks at Adam for a few seconds before taking a step outside.
After what happened, Stiles decided that, of course, the best course of action was to avoid the agent’s train and started taking the 8:10 am. He had explained to Scott what happened without giving away any detail that could end up with him in jail and Scott didn’t push for more information which Stiles really appreciated.
The important thing was that Scott thought he was moving on and the truth is that he thought he was. That is what he told himself. He knew he had to forget about him and he was determined to do it. After all, the guy had totally rejected him without a second thought and god only knows what he thought of him. Still, he couldn’t help but miss him and think about what happened whenever he saw the stop where the guy gets on the train every day. But hopefully it was just a matter of time. Probably in a couple of weeks he would have forgotten about him.
The fourth day is Friday and everything is pretty much like the day before. It hadn’t stopped raining all night and that morning had been like any other. He had accidentally paddled in a puddle right outside of his flat, so nothing out of the ordinary.