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stay with me

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       When Jack St. James wakes up in the morning and reaches across her bed to find it empty and cold, her first thought is, “Well, that’s not much of a surprise.”

       It’s almost upsetting, how little it surprises her to wake up alone after her night with Isabella, but that isn’t at all to say that it doesn’t hurt like hell. There had been a moment before she drifted off to sleep, wrapped around that stupidly hot bartender, where she was completely confident she would wake up in the same position. Well, almost definitely not in the exact same position – she has had many partners complain about just how much she moves around in her sleep.

       Still, there must have been some part of her that had expected this from the beginning, so she presses her palms to her eyes and lets herself wallow in how much she has ended up really liking this girl before deciding that a broken heart is the perfect excuse to guilt Jenny into making her a really nice breakfast. Like pancakes.

       With chocolate chips.

       Maybe the puppy eyes she would need to pull off for this won’t be completely faked.

       It takes a couple minutes of forcing down the lump in her throat and chest, and shaky breathes that clear the tears threatening to well in her eyes. You’re a grown woman, Jack, she scolds herself, Crying over a pretty girl is kid stuff. At least we had her for last night. Grow up and go whine for some pancakes.

       Jack decides that putting on real clothes is too much effort, and wandering forlornly into the kitchen in a t-shirt and lacey boxers will only complete the look she’s going for anyways, Tom’s gentlemanly sensibilities be damned. Slowly, she shuffles out of her room and only really looks up when the coffee scent pouring out of the kitchen hits her. She almost starts whining for Jenny to pour her a cup when the sight in the kitchen makes her stop dead in her tracks.

       There is something about Isabella in the morning, dressed similarly to Jack and cradling a cup of coffee, that makes her look better than Jack has ever seen her. There is something about her ruffled hair, her easy, sleepy smile, and the way she half slouches on her barstool against the island in the kitchen that makes her maybe one of the most attractive people Jack has ever seen. There is something about the fact that she stayed, that she’s here, that she didn’t leave in the night after deciding that it would be too much to ask of her to put up with Jack’s endless shit that makes her infinitely more beautiful than anyone in the known universe.

       And so, true to form and in keeping with her ridiculous bisexual nature, Jack stands in the doorway and stares for a very long moment.

       “You alright there, Jack?” Isabella’s voice is soft to match the early morning, and her smirk is something incredible.

       “You’re here,” Jack breathes out, “You stayed.”

       “Yeah,” Izzy says slowly, cocking her head, “Wait, Jack, did you think I was going to leave? I- “

       She’s cut off by Jack crossing the kitchen in quick steps, cupping her face, and pulling her down to kiss her firmly. It’s difficult to keep up when she starts to grin, so she pulls away much sooner than she would have liked but has no regrets when she takes in the starstruck way Izzy’s eyes blink open.

       “Jack,” for a second, she thinks she’s going to ask what that was for, and that Jack will have to explain where her thoughts went when she woke up alone this morning. But she doesn’t, she just smiles and tips their foreheads together in a way that would have sent Jack running for the hills a week ago, “You know that we have company?”

       With a start, Jack pulls away, her hand slipping from Izzy’s cheek to her neck as she looks around the room and takes in everything else for the first time. On the other side of the room, Jenny sits smirking into her coffee as Tom, leaning against the counter, politely looks away. As if Jack hasn’t walked in on worse in her first week living with Jenny, before the librarian got used to sharing her apartment with another person. As if Tom doesn’t have little bruises of evidence trailing down his neck.

       Instead of being ashamed – an emotion that Jack has absolutely no relation to – she slips her hands around Izzy’s waist and presses herself between her knees, fixing Jenny with the pout she was planning on using today anyways. “Is there anything for breakfast?”

       Jenny’s eyes narrow as she drains her coffee, “Why yes, we were all just talking about how the last person awake this morning should have to make something for the rest of us, considering how much of a big lazy baby she’s being. Who was that again?”

       Jack turns to fix her pout on Isabella instead, “I don’t know how to cook. Will you help?”

       “Baby,” a shiver runs down Jack’s spine, “What on Earth makes you think that your wide-eyed innocent look will work on me. After our entire time working on the case. After you took me to bed last night?”

       Any other time, Jack would absolutely make fun of her for the ridiculous phrasing, but she’s still riding high on the fact that it’s morning and she’s still here, and she hasn’t expressed any interest in getting fed up and leaving any time soon. Instead of teasing, Jack leans up and presses a kiss to a light bruise on Izzy’s throat before leaning away and rummaging through the pantry for chocolate chips and flour.

       It probably takes a lot more time than it should for the pancakes to actually be made, partly because Jack saying she isn’t good in the kitchen wasn’t just a ploy to get out of cooking, but Izzy will swoop in now and again to pry the baking soda from her hands before she dumps in an entire cup, and generally helps a whole lot more than she pretended she would. The two of them flirt around the kitchen over pancake batter to a mixture of cooing and booing from Tom and Jenny. In the end, they are more of a brunch than anything else, but Jack certainly doesn't mind as she leans back against Izzy’s chest and listens to her talk as she shovels chocolate pancakes heaped with whipped cream into her mouth, enjoying the vibrations in her back.

       (‘Listens’ is probably a relative term, she does her fair share of interrupting and correcting, but no one can pretend to expect any less from her. After all, this is what Izzy signed on for, and now that Jack knows exactly what spending the morning with Izzy is like, she doesn’t plan on letting her slip away.)