Title: A Future To Plan
Fandom: Pairing: Rebel Without a Cause: Jim/Plato
Concrit: Please. If you spot a typo or a grammar glitch, feel free to tell me in comments.
Disclaimer: Not mine, never will be. No harm, no foul, no money made.
Summary: Everything had to be okay, it just had to. They had a future to plan.
Notes: cjmarlowe wanted Rebel Without a Cause, Jim/Plato, visions of the future (yes, comment_fic yet again *g*), and I wanted to see it too, but I hadn't seen the movie in years. But it wouldn't leave me alone, so I found and read the script while acquiring the movie, and then I started to write a tiny little 'fix' for the ending while watching the last five minutes over and over again...
A Future To Plan
The bullet caught Plato high on his left shoulder, spinning him round, his left shoe skittering away as he toppled over.
Jim ignored everyone around them - the cops, his parents, Plato's housekeeper, the rest of the random gawkers - and dropped to his knees, crawling closer to the body of his friend. Grief pooled in his eyes and lay heavy on his tongue.
"Hey, jackpot, what'd you do that for, huh?"
Against all expectations, Plato groaned, his lips and eyelids twitching as he tried to answer, and Jim's heart skipped a beat.
Mindful of the blood still pumping sluggishly from the ragged hole in his jacket, Jim carefully lifted Plato's head and shoulders onto his lap, stroking the fine, dark hair back from Plato's clammy face.
Behind him, someone echoed the previous call for a stretcher, now with added urgency, but nobody tried to come closer, to separate the boys.
"Why'd you go do a damn fool thing like that, huh?"
"Too..." Plato licked dry lips and tried again, voice cracking and skipping like a scratched up gramophone record. "Too bri-br-bright."
"Oh, yeah, you're a real cookaboo, alright. Don't go doing anything that dumb again, okay? You scared ten years off my life getting dropped like that."
And still, after everything that had happened, the expression on Plato's face plainly showed how stunned he was that Jim actually cared.
Jim caught Plato's right hand as it fluttered in mid-air over his chest, tangling their fingers together and bringing them down to rest on Plato's belly.
"Yeah, I do. But you gotta promise me, okay? Promise never to run away from me like that again. Damn near broke my heart, that did. So, you don't leave me ever again, and I won't leave you, and somehow we'll get through this together, okay?"
Plato's promise still shone in his eyes as he was lifted onto the stretcher and borne away through the sea of uniforms to the waiting ambulance.
After a hurried argument about who should ride with him, Jim finally ceded the right to the tear-stained housekeeper, but only after extracting a promise that she'd tell Plato that he was on his way and would see him just as soon as he was all fixed up.
For once in her life, Jim's mother stayed silent as Jim told - not asked, told - his father to drive him to the hospital. The silence in the car was heavy enough that Jim could feel it pressing down on him, stealing the air from his lungs. His dad hadn't looked at him once since starting the engine, but it felt like his mother hadn't stopped long enough from glaring holes in the back of his head to even blink. He swallowed hard and took a shuddering breath.
"I made a promise to Plato and I aim to keep it. I'd appreciate your help in cleaning this whole mess up, Dad, but I'll understand if you don't want to. Back in Omaha, you said- You said, if it happened again, I was on my own, but this is different, Dad. Plato needs me, and I- I need him. And moving away again's not gonna fix anything, Mom, so, please, don't even start with that. I'm through running from what I am, from who I am. I'm your son, and I love you, but I can't be what you want me to be. I just want to be myself."
His mother sniffed.
"That girl you were with back there, the one who followed you into the planetarium, what about her? Does she-?"
"She knows. She gets it too; she gets us, and she loves me anyway." Jim laughed softly, hearing the words somehow making the idea more real. "And I love her, just not the way you'd like me to, I guess. I can't. I can't spend the whole of my life pretending, just to make you happy."
From the corner of his eye, Jim saw his father's hands tighten on the wheel; caught the fleeting ripple of guilt-envy-grief across his face before his perpetually vapid mask slid effortlessly back into place.
He wasn't going to spend the rest of his life like that, nossir, not him. He had Judy, who understood, and he had Plato, who... who needed him.
It wasn't much, but it was a start, and he had plans and dreams and hopes, and he just knew everything would be okay if they could just get through this.
The turnoff to the hospital appeared on the horizon, and Jim leaned forward in anticipation, willing it closer, lip caught between his teeth at the thought of seeing Plato alive again and whole.
Everything had to be okay, it just had to. They had a future to plan.