Chapter 22

I woke up with Heath's right arm laced under mine and his cheek placed like a gift on my pillow. My own eyes drooped from lack of sleep over our late-night antics. I turned my head and admired the contrast of that noble nose sprinkled with kiddy freckles. I loved the way he looked in the morning, all stubble and curls with dozy lids-- made me wonder how I got so damned lucky. Who gets dropped off by some old cab driver at this of all places? Me! I did! Just when did my luck turn for the better? Guess it was the moment the cab door opened to The Grande Ledger Bed and Breakfast. Yes, my luck was with me that day-- good luck being something I never had boatloads of like some other people. After all the stellar stuff the night before with Big Bangs and constellations and messages written in the stars, I got to thinking about lucky stars. It thanked mine: for once in my life, those stars were shining bright and high in the sky-- 

for me.

Yep, I was lucky. We could have been like Johann and Henry, separated. Or worse, that cab driver might never have let me out here. I might never had known... God, was he fun to gaze at, better than the stars above my head in the bed. I wondered what he'd think if he found me just gazing at him: Heath was a romantic sort in an unconventional fashion, which I appreciated. He'd blush and get all fidgety, but he'd done plenty of romantic things for and to me-- and, he was always thinking about what he could do. The mistletoe on the headboard was fun, and I know that saltwater taffy and Oreos aren't aphrodisiacs to some people, but it's amazing what an imaginative person can do with them in their mouth-- 

well, it was a bit messy but fun. 

I gazed at him and savored memories of  those two, incredible magic lips in gentle sleep, moving them as if he were testing tiny sips of wine-- aw-w, another romantic Heath-moment. Yeah, I was a lucky guy, and he was my big win, like I'd slammed the hammer down and rung the bell at the county fair. This winter wonderland was part of me now. And to think, a couple of months ago I was back in the real world, an unlucky guy who'd never won at anything, not at raffles or at cards or at Bingo. A couple of months ago I was back with Austin, listening to him bitch at me about socks and dirty laundry. I stayed stuck with what I knew: I never gambled, because why try? Austin took me once to this casino. Lost my shirt, of course. Those slot machines had "I hate Jake" as icons. Shit, I should have known-- as a kid, I never won at any of those board games like Candy Land or Sorry. I never even sank the battleship (unless I counted that other game of Battleship I used to play with that neighbor boy-- but he told me that had nothing to do with luck: it was all skill). 

I guess skill in one area upsets the balance. Writing was my skill. It saved my soul. I liked to think it saved Heath's, too. In a way I was lucky when it came to writing, or else I made my own luck-- I suppose there are many talented people who are never lucky enough to get a sitcom. Although it was my misfortune to have a greedy SOB partner the first time around, life gives us second chances. Now I had my second chance. My luck had turned: my soul was saved. But like any past, unlucky soul, I waited for the proverbial rabbit's foot to drop: thus far, Peter Rabbit was staying out of Mr. MacGregor's garden. I guess that coming here, I'd found my lucky charms-- the magic of this house had changed my luck like a talisman. I had the rings, the music box, the bed (special emphasis on the bed) and Heath. All inside this home. And it was home to me. Yes, I sure had a heap of  Lucky Charms. I was contemplating my new place in the universe along with the marshmallow cereal when I felt Heath's eyes on me. 

"Morning, handsome," he said, kissing me with those wine testing lips. 

 I groaned, "Morning." His lips skimmed along my chin. "Y-yellow m-moons...," I stuttered as he flicked his tongue across my lips. 

"What?" 

Those dreamy lips slipped lower, traced down my neck, then tickled the hairs on my chest. 

"Green clovers," I mumbled. "Pink hearts..."

"Huh?" He seemed very distracted. I don't think it mattered much what I said at that moment; his tongue was on a mission as it slithered into my belly button in an arc-- like it was following a rainbow. I lifted my head up a bit to get a better view. 

I think he found the pot-o-gold-- and golden nuggets. 

"Always after me lucky charms," I hissed. 

He rolled one of my balls in his month, then let it go with a pop. "They're magically delicious..." 

Then he winked.

I was trapped. A good trap. The kind you don't want to escape from. "Ah, fuck." 

I guess he was paying attention.

"Now," he continued, "let's see if I can get you to see those yellow stars you like so well."

Who was I to argue?

----------------------

"How much do you know about the Big Bang Theory?" I asked Jorge and Linden later at breakfast.

"It wasn't really a bang, more like an expansion. Well," Heath said, raising his eyebrow at me over his coffee mug, "I know something about it too."

Heath set down his coffee and crossed his arms. Oops, I guess I nicked his ego. Someone's been Googling... 

"Ok, handsome," I said, dousing my pancakes with maple syrup, "tell me what you know."

"Infinite density," he snapped back.

I'd heard that term before-- either on Star Trek or in reference to Darwin Awards, not sure which. 

"Our universe began as a singularity," he explained. He uncrossed his arms, then picked his coffee mug back up and took a sip. "At the center of a black hole, matter is compressed so tight that it becomes infinite. Somehow, it inflates: it goes from really small and hot to what we have now in our own universe-- there's really not a bang."

Big Bang always sounded like a sex act to me. Yeah, I came back from the club and he gave it to me, the old Big Bang.

I must have been in la la land or maybe la la bang-land, because Heath cleared his throat and everyone at the table was staring at me. It was one of those moments when you know someone was either talking to you or asked you a direct question, and you hadn't answered. All eyes were glued on me. 

"Forget it," Heath said, waving me off.

"What?" The only recourse a person has in a position like this is to re-navigate the conversation. Not circumnavigate, but try to start over and see if it's possible to find your way back to the stream of thought you missed. "Infinite density," I tried, then it came to me. "So if there's no bang-- isn't that an argument for Johann's work too? I mean, if it's really not a bang, but he used the term--"

"You really weren't listening," Heath said. "That's exactly what I said."

So much for re-navigation. Right up there with la la bang theory. 

"Ok, I admit it-- I was day dreaming. Guilty!" Maybe my blush gave me away, or maybe Heath could see Mr. Happy from where he sat. Thankfully, he left it alone-- I mean left the topic alone-- although Mr. Happy always likes attention, now was not the time to encourage Mr. Happy. I decided that to save face, I had to choose a new route. I turned to Jorge. "You really think this William Ding at Cornell can get this info out?" I asked. I had my doubts. With a name like Bill Ding, he had to have some issues. 

That's when the phone rang. Another kind of ding, or ring. Kate picked it up in the hall.

"It's for you," she called out.

I got up from my pancakes. I hated cold pancakes. I hoped this wouldn't take too long.

Kate handed me the phone, one of those old black wall phones that had the rotary dials with a two foot cord so you had to stand there and talk like a dog on a short leash, which sucked because I liked to pace when I talked on the phone.

"Hello?" I said. Kate waved to me, then left to give me some privacy.

"Hello, Mr. Gyllenhaal." It was my new agent, Hirum. That was odd-- I wasn't expecting a call from him.

"What's up?"

"Sit down."

"There's no place to sit. What's wrong?" 

Remember the rabbit's foot? Good luck? Time ticked back: Austin flinging the release papers at me, Heath telling me to read them, me skimming them far too hurriedly, then signing. Well, damn Beatrix Potter, Peter's tail was snared and mine was-- 

Did I say how much I hate cold pancakes?

I hung up the phone more pissed than I think I'd been since Thanksgiving day. Austin was at it again, only this time he was trying to get his hands our new sitcom. Hirum told me not to worry: the papers were legal and dissolved our past partnership. This snag would hold up production of the sitcom and possibly put the whole show on the back burner-- not something that a writer wanted to hear. Without a doubt this was Austin's new way to fuck with me. Hirum said that if we got Austin to drop it, we might have a chance to keep the pilot on schedule. That meant I'd have to talk to Austin-- something I didn't want to do. I wasn't even sure if anything I'd have to say would change a thing. Hirum promised he'd be there with me. I'm sure Heath would want to be there, too, but that would probably exacerbate the problem.

I sat back down to cold pancakes. I guess the thunderclouds looming above my head were evident: never could hide how I felt. I explained the mess to Heath-- he got that look on his face, the same look Captain James T. Kirk gets before he orders the Enterprise over the neutral zone.

Then something happened inside of me: I remembered this morning, Heath in bed all dreamy, the stars above him. Suddenly Austin, the sitcom, and everything else didn't matter. I had my own lucky charms. 

 They all thought I'd lost my senses-- I smiled like a crazy man as I shoveled a forkful after forkful of cold pancakes into my mouth. I played imaginary dot-to-dot with the hottest freckles that ever graced a face. At last I knew what to thank my lucky stars for. What was really important surrounded me: Heath, this kitchen, the sun pouring in, my friends around the table. 

The sitcom would happen. 

Austin? 

He wasn't worth worrying about.

TBC

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From: [identity profile] lawgoddess.livejournal.com


Mmmmm, love it.

I'm so happy Jake realized what is important (and I'm confident Austin will get his!)

Thanks!

From: [identity profile] elwings-things.livejournal.com


Actually I think Jake will get his too ;)

Thanks for reading! Always good when lj actually works!

el

From: [identity profile] ifyoucantfixit2.livejournal.com





What a lovely time that was. Jake figured out what is important in life. Having those you love, and those you care
about, and who care about you. Everthing else can be handled,
if that is in its proper place. I loved this. janice

From: [identity profile] elwings-things.livejournal.com


I'm just learning that same message too. Sometimes it takes a life altering event to make you realize.

Thanks, Janice for your thoughtful comments. Have a great holiday season.

el

From: [identity profile] samtyr.livejournal.com


"Big Bang always sounded like a sex act to me. Yeah, I came back from the club and he gave it to me, the old Big Bang."

--Why do I have the feeling someone said this out loud? XD And why do I think this whole idea could turn into a kinky HBO miniseries? [vbeg] {Though actually I thought it started: "There was Eru, the One, who in Arda is called Il├║vatar... oh wait, wrong book! ::innocent smile::}

What was really important surrounded me: Heath, this kitchen, the sun pouring in, my friends around the table.

--Oh yeah! Yes!!!! ::happydreamysigh::

Can't wait to read more! :)

From: [identity profile] elwings-things.livejournal.com


That other book has a big bang too ;) Either would make for a great HBO series...

Thanks for reading.

el,

PS Love the David Bowie cat.

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From: [identity profile] eandj.livejournal.com


Austin?

He wasn't worth worrying about.

Exactly
I'm glad he got his priorities straight

thanks
Paula

From: [identity profile] elwings-things.livejournal.com


You're so right, Paula.

Still, Austin can cause some troubles.

Thanks back at you,
el

From: [identity profile] trekfan.livejournal.com


wow talk about Lucky Charms. I bet Heath is getting Jake to see plenty of yellow stars. :D I wonder what Mr Happy is seeing? :D

Screw Austin. Jake knows what is important to him. HIs life with Heath

thanks El

Hugs
Linda

From: [identity profile] elwings-things.livejournal.com


I'd like to be that bed. Imagine all the interesting action you'd see. But I don't agree. No screwing Austin. He shouldn't get any. He's been a bad, bad boy.

Thanks, Linda. Hugs and Happy Holidays to you.

wl

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From: [identity profile] bowl-of-glow.livejournal.com


Hi! I never commented before because I couldn't (my stupid stupid computer) but I wanted you to know I've been reading your story and I love it. It's so funny and hilarious and original. I like the way you write.

*Maybe my blush gave me away, or maybe Heath could see Mr. Happy from where he sat. Thankfully, he left it alone-- I mean left the topic alone-- although Mr. Happy always likes attention, now was not the time to encourage Mr. Happy.*

LOL. :) I like Mr. Happy. I really do. ;)

*Time ticked back: Austin flinging the release papers at me, Heath telling me to read them, me skimming them far too hurriedly, then signing.*

Damn it. I knew he shouldn't have signed those papers!

*At last I knew what to thank my lucky stars for. What was really important surrounded me: Heath, this kitchen, the sun pouring in, my friends around the table.*

That's right, Jake. Don't let Austin ruin this for you. ;)
...And this has already been quoted, but it was tooo funny:

*Big Bang always sounded like a sex act to me. Yeah, I came back from the club and he gave it to me, the old Big Bang.*

LOL!! Your Jake cracks me up. ;)
Thanks for this chapter!
*hugs*
B.

From: [identity profile] elwings-things.livejournal.com

Re:


Thanks so much B for letting me know how much you enjoy this story. So happy you have a worthy computer. It sucks to have to rely on a piece of crap.

I appreciate hearing from readers, and I always enjoy reading bits that readers find funny or interesting in my story. You picked my favorites too. I like Mr. Happy and hope I'm not over doing the joke. Sounds like you still enjoy it (I mean it, not meaning the actual Mr. Happy, which we all enjoy, I mean it, meaning the joke about Mr. Happy).

Thanks so much and happy holidays!


From: [identity profile] fridayblues.livejournal.com


Hey,
Just got back from business trip without internet connection and look what I found! BBT!!
I so love the way you write about all these little things like yellow stars, cold pancakes, hottest freckles that ever graced a face (God, I love this!), Beatrix Potter LOL
And this chapter ended with the very truth; Jake's lucky charn is Heath:) Who was I to argue? heh heh
Happy holidays!

From: [identity profile] elwings-things.livejournal.com


Hi,
You liked the freckle line! That was my favorite in this chapter. Hey, you'll find something in your email (finally). Hope to hear from you soon. You have a great holiday too.

thanks.

love ya,
el

From: [identity profile] equally-dour.livejournal.com


Can someone give Austin a kick in the nuts? Or two? Or three? Plsokthnx!

And in love Jake is the cutest Jake!

From: [identity profile] elwings-things.livejournal.com


*kick*

*kick*

*kick*



There.
Glad to have been of assistance.

Thanks for reading and taking time to comment, Kate.

love,
el

From: [identity profile] camillar.livejournal.com


Awww! Sweet chapter! Jake realized what matters in life, sweet Heath and his hot freckles ;) I really, really love this story! Thanks so much!
Camilla

From: [identity profile] elwings-things.livejournal.com


Thanks, Camilla! Damn, I miss those freckles :(

Have a great New Year

el


From: [identity profile] ramona4jake.livejournal.com


I'm sorry (actually I'm not....) but I would like to smack Jack for not reading those papers - didn't he know already what a jerk Austin can be ?!! I want him to be a very successful writer together with Heath, and that to big a huge slap in that jerk's face !! They have other things to worry and occupy themselves now, and keep Mr. Happy..... happy ;o) but in the long run, a successful career would be even better !
Thank you so much, el !
HAPPY NEW YEAR !!

From: [identity profile] elwings-things.livejournal.com


He was in too much of a hurry to be rid of the cad-- have no fear: Jake knows what's really important now.

You have a Happy New Year, too.

Thanks,

el

From: [identity profile] mira986.livejournal.com


It's good to see a new chapter of this story, I missed it! I just hope Austin will back off and leave Jake and his sitcom alone.

*hugs*

Thanks for sharing!

Mira

From: [identity profile] elwings-things.livejournal.com


I'm going to make a New Year resolution to update fics regular again. It's too easy to let RL take over-- writing fanfic is my only real outlet, so it's a healthy choice on my part!

Thanks, Mira.

el

From: [identity profile] grlewis.livejournal.com


another great chapter. i am pleased to see it.

now what are we going to do with austin? he deserves to get his knuckles smacked with a ruler. or worse, much worse. heath and jake will win out, they have to. don't tell me the guys are gonna have to go back to the city to settle things. i like them right where they are.

i'm glad jake now knows where and what his lucky charms are, but frankly, i think he knew all along.

best, gr

From: [identity profile] elwings-things.livejournal.com


I think Austin deserves more than a smack on the knuckles, but that's just me. Although [livejournal.com profile] sienata might say he deserves a spanking, I'll leave the spanking to her since she writes it so, so much better than I ever could ;)

On the going to the Big City, I've got something up my sleeve, so have no fear.

Thanks,

el

From: [identity profile] my-lil-darlin.livejournal.com



Mmmm, lucky Jake indeed. Lucky Charms, and cold pancakes, and anyway, fuck Austin, who gives a rip about him? Jake's got the whole damned Big Bang Result right in that house with him, bless his heart.

I've been missing our Heath lately, seeing his face and his memories paraded around on TV in everyone's "who died this year" reports. I still can't believe the dear boy's gone, all those pretty little freckles, those whiskey brown eyes, the smile, all that silliness, the clown shoes, purple striped socks, the fingerless gloves, all of it. Sigh. Your fic makes him alive again for me, on some level, and that pleases my little pretending heart no end, so thanks!

And happy new year, honey. 2009 awaits.

From: [identity profile] elwings-things.livejournal.com


I've been feeling that same ache too over the last days. I don't mind pretending he's still with us in this little drama I've created. It's so hard to think that he's not there; I can only imagine what it's like for those who were close to him during this time.

Thanks. You have a happy new year too.

el

From: [identity profile] canteatnocake.livejournal.com


Thanks for the laughs. When I was a little kid watching those Lucky Charms commercials, I never imagined that some day the words "always after me lucky charms" and "they're magically delicious" would evoke such images! Your Heath and Jake are adorable, and so lucky they found each other (or was it fate?).

From: [identity profile] elwings-things.livejournal.com


It's fate, of course. Lucky Charms, written in the stars. All of that. I'm a silly romantic in that way. I like to think we make our fate, but I embrace the idea of fated lovers.

Thanks for reading and responding! Happy New Year to you.

el

From: [identity profile] mariska-to.livejournal.com


"I had my own lucky charms."

;) I am glad Jake has realized what is important. Hope Austin does not cause any more trouble.

Happy New Year to you and your family, el! I hope it is everything you would like it to be.

From: [identity profile] elwings-things.livejournal.com


Thanks, so much. Happy New year to you and yours also.

Hope you have your own lucky charm this holiday season.

el

From: [identity profile] bentgyro.livejournal.com


Jake's mind is so funny and he has so little control over Mr. Happy! I'm glad he isn't wasting time over Austin - Heath is all he needs.
Thank you and have a joyous 2009!
HT

From: [identity profile] elwings-things.livejournal.com


Thanks for taking time to comment. I appreciate it!

Jake does have some control over Mr. Happy-- just not concerning Heath ;)
And we are thankful for that!

love,

el

From: [identity profile] tndmbk42.livejournal.com


This was great, El! I'm so happy that Jake could, in the end, just shrug Austin's threat off by realizing all the good in his life. He needs to be dealt with, of course, but at least he's in the right frame of mind now. Happy New Year to you!

Kathy

From: [identity profile] elwings-things.livejournal.com


Thanks, Kathy. Jake knows what the sweet life when he sees it-- and he's taking advantage of it! Happy New Year to you and yours also. Thanks for reading and always taking time to let me know what you think.

love,
el

From: [identity profile] elena-62.livejournal.com


Hi, el_wing!

Reading the beginning of this chapter I noticed I had missed the precedent one. Thank you very much for both: lovely and witty as usual.

The last few sentences here ring very true: often being happy or pissed it's just a matter of which point of view one chooses.

I wish you all the possible happiness for 2009!

Ciao

Antonella

From: [identity profile] elwings-things.livejournal.com


Thanks so much. You're right that it's all in our attitude!

Glad you enjoyed the chapter and caught up. Hope you have a wonderful New Year too.

love,

el

From: (Anonymous)


Thanks for giving us Heath again. I love this story so much, the house, the mystery, Mr. Happy and Heath's hot freckles.

Sue

From: [identity profile] lorna59.livejournal.com


I like Jake in such a thoughtful mood in this chapter with all those romantic thoughts, from the wonderful very first sentence "I woke up with Heath's right arm laced under mine and his cheek placed like a gift on my pillow.." to "those two, incredible magic lips in gentle sleep.." to more Heath and "home". Thanks for giving us such lovely images of Heath.

The line about the phone "...one of those old black wall phones that had the rotary dials with a two foot cord so you had to stand there and talk like a dog on a short leash..." is the funniest thing I have read in a while, probably the funniest since the last funniest line from The Big Bang Theory.

Love your writing and thanks
Lorna

From: [identity profile] elwings-things.livejournal.com


Thanks Lorna for the kind words. Glad you enjoyed Jake's description of the half of his heart.

Glad you like the dog on a leash line ;) I'm a pacer on the phone and was glad when we got a cordless-- dang cord was always in knots.

Thanks for reading and have a happy new year.

el

From: [identity profile] fl1789.livejournal.com


Austin?

He wasn't worth worrying about.



I agree,
Austin can't compete with Heath's freckles ;))

great chapter, happy 2009!


fl.

From: [identity profile] elwings-things.livejournal.com


The only thing that compete with Heath's freckles are Jake's moles ;)

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Happy new year.
el

From: [identity profile] melby-dc.livejournal.com


Continuing to delight in your bouncy, busy story...always so much to take in, smile about, ponder. You have such a clever, entrancing way of storytelling!! Looking forward to reading more in 2009, thank you, XO!

From: [identity profile] el-wing.livejournal.com


Thanks so much-- It's a joy to write this and I appreciate you're enthusiasm.

Happy a happy New Year.

el

From: [identity profile] bbmiswear.livejournal.com


Hi El Wing! I started reading TBBT after it already was posted through chapter 22 - which is a nice way to read a story because I didn't have to wait for chapters (LOL!) but unfortunately I wasn't commenting as I went along because I had the whole thing downloaded into one big file. So I just wanted to come back here and let you know I really, really like this story! I wasn't sure at first what to expect...I never do with AU/RPS...but I liked your Jake and Heath right away and it sure is an interesting (and very unique) story!

I don't know how you did it but you have created a story that is so funny, sometimes scary, very romantic, extremely HOT and always up-to-the-minute in regard to pop culture - all in one fic!!! That seems like A LOT to do!!! You have done a great job with this and should be proud of it!!

Well, I now have to wait like everyone else. *heavy sigh* I've been spoiled this past month or so having 22 chapters in front of me to read as I pleased! I sure do hope things are going well in your RL (which, of course, is the priority) and I hope you know we'll all be right here ready for more of this (and your other WIPs) when you are.

Thanks again!

Lisa/BBMISwear

From: [identity profile] el-wing.livejournal.com


Thanks so much. I've spent a lot of time on many of these chapters. And luck is with you-- I've been writing the last chapters over the last couple of months, and it looks like I'll be sending it out next weekend to get beta'd. It looks to be at least four more chapters, making it 26.

I decided to write to the end, since tying all this together was pretty complex. No way I could do it justice posting one at a time.

I spent a good part of the weekend finishing it. I have one more chapter to write, which is just the denouncement and then I'll send it off.

Thanks, Lisa. You'll be reading more soon!

el
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