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So Young

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So Young
by Nancy

*He's so damn young,* Jesse thought with a sigh. *So damn young and naïve.*

Not a description that Luther would appreciate, but it fit. To be insecure over his ability to shoot a gun, that was one thing, almost to be expected. But to be insecure about a nick-name showed just how damn young the deputy was. He'd come through in the end, of course, just as Jesse had known he would. The kid was made of sterner stuff than he seemed to realize. It would just take time to bring that side out of him.

It wasn't actually something that Jesse was looking forward to doing. He wanted to keep the kid just as he was, so that he could keep seeing those anxious glances, that admiration, just a while longer. Pathetic, really, but there it was. It wasn't like he'd ever pretended to be better than he was. Alcohol was his only friend now that Boomer was dead, so who could really blame him for wanting *someone* to look at him with something other than pity and mild disgust?

He knew that it was only a matter of time before Luther figured him out. That it was only a matter of time until those looks changed to match the ones around him. Jesse could tell that peer pressure had never been something that Luther was good at resisting. He'd probably been a `good boy' his entire life, living in Paradise from birth until death and making no waves in the process.

The house was eerily silent, without even the wind to rattle windows. He glanced over at the empty bed that Boomer had so recently occupied and sighed again, finishing off the scotch that he hadn't even bothered to put ice in when it had been poured. It was only drink number three, so he wasn't drunk, unfortunately.

A knock at the door surprised him and Jesse hesitated before putting the glass down on the end table. If it was Abby, then he was going to have to find a polite way of getting rid of her. The last thing he wanted was anyone's sympathy over his dog. Nor did he have the faintest interest in starting back up with her, not while he was still in such a bad mood, anyhow.

It was Luther's uncertain face on the other side of the door, though, and Jesse stopped short on seeing him there.

There was an awkward pause before Luther said, "I ah, I was just, you didn't answer your phone, so I wanted to make sure you were okay."

"I'm fine, Suit," Jesse replied.

Luthor nodded, stepping back from the door. "Yeah, I can see that. Sorry. I'll leave you to it, then."

Just as he turned, Jesse asked, "You want a drink? Not, well, alcohol, since you're on duty, but some coffee before you go?"

And when Luthor turned back to him with bright eyes and a relieved smile, Jesse knew that he was lost.