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Disclaimer: jake 2.0 and all related elements, characters and indicia © Roundtable Entertainment and Viacom Productions, Inc., 2003. All Rights Reserved. All characters and situations-save those created by the authors for use solely on this website-are copyright Roundtable Entertainment and Viacom Productions, Inc.

Author's note: For the LiveJournal Multifandom1000 "A day of sport" challenge, which turned into an evening of sport... it's the book I was reading I tell you! This can be read as the same universe/AU as my other Jake 2.0 fics, Changes and Still-Same Sparks which can be found at my site.

Living in a Moment
by helsinkibaby

There are many ways that Kyle would rather be spending a rainy Wednesday night, and none of them involve trying to negotiate Washington traffic, doing its usual excellent impression of a parking lot, to say nothing of trying to negotiate the actual parking lot of the MCI Centre. And once inside, he can really think of better things to do than watch 24 men and women skating around the ice in sequins and ruffles, but Diane really wants to go, and he knows that she had to sell her soul, not to mention those of her as yet unborn children, to get tickets, so he came, with only slight grumbling.

Well, maybe a little more than slight, but figure skating really isn't his thing, and Diane knows it. That's why she spends most of the drive to the MCI Centre thanking him profusely, promising that he can drag her to any sporting event of his choice in retaliation. He smiles, but he doesn't say anything, not even in jest, because he's been wondering lately just how much longer he and Diane are going to last, and now's not the time to begin that particular conversation.

Nor is it the time when they make their way into the arena, take their seats. Diane instantly pulls out a pen and a computer printout, that night's skating order she explains, and she outlines exactly who she wants to win—the couple in second place at the moment—and what they have to do to win. He doesn't understand much of it—wouldn't know a throw axel from a truck axel—but he likes to look at Diane, likes the animated smile on her face, how her eyes dance as she talks.

As the night progresses, he's glad that he enjoyed those sights while they lasted, because as more and more pairs take to the ice, that sparkle fades slightly. Kyle's no expert, but he knows that the amount of slipping and sliding that's going on can't be good; Diane's gasps and winces only confirming his suspicions. She has a momentary change of mood when the Americans skate, the crowd standing at the end, roaring their approval, but it only lasts until the next skaters take the ice and he stumbles on his first jump. Also interesting to Kyle is how Diane reacts to the marks as they come up; brow furrowing in a frown as she describes the judges in muttered words that make him want to wash her mouth out with soap.

Kyle doesn't know anything about jumps or judging, but for his money, the skaters seem to fall largely into two categories; those who start well and end badly (making him think of his relationship with Diane) and the ones who start off all wrong and pretty much stay that way (making him think of his relationship with Mei Ling Wong.)

He thinks of Mei Ling again when the final skaters take the ice, the defending champions and Diane's favourites, Shen and Zhao of China. The girl, Diane tells him, is injured, skating on a foot that is rendered wooden by painkilling injections, but Kyle can't tell, and when the music starts, he forgets all about that. It's music that has particular meaning for him and Diane, Puccini's Turandot, and as it begins, he reaches for Diane's hand, takes it in his. He remembers taking her to see it at the Kennedy Centre for her birthday, remembers searching high and low for tickets, remembers being late for the performance because he took one look at her in that dress she was wearing and not being able to keep his hands off her.

She shoots him a look that tells him she remembers too, but once the skaters begin moving, all her attention is on them, and her grip tightens and loosens as she watches them go up into the air, come down perfectly side by side. The grip tightens again as they prepare what he now knows is some kind of throw jump, but even he gasps right along with Diane as the girl flies higher in the air than any of the others have done, travelling, by his estimation, a good twenty feet across the ice. She lands smoothly, without a hint of a stutter, and she is beaming from ear to ear. So too is Diane, practically jumping out of her seat with glee. Then there is a slow section, some moves on centre ice that have Diane sighing, her eyes growing rather misty, then the speed builds again, into another throw, and just like the first one, she lands it perfectly. Beside him, Diane squeals, grabs his hand in both of hers, and he thinks he hears her say "They've done it," but over the applause of the crowd, he can't be sure.

As the couple spin on the ice, the music changes into the ever-recognisable Nessun Dorma, and that's when something happens that Kyle can't explain. That's when the crowd begin clapping, roaring their approval, and the roar is a literal roar, something that lifts Diane, and him too, out of their seats with a good forty seconds left to skate. The noise in the arena is so loud that Kyle can barely hear his hands clapping, and there are chills running up and down his spine, but once the music stops, he's not looking at the skaters any more.

He's looking at Diane.

The smile on her face is so wide that it threatens to split it in two, and now, she is jumping up and down as she claps, curly hair bouncing. Tears are streaming down her cheeks, she can hardly catch her breath, and she looks nothing less than beautiful. On impulse, he slips his arm around her waist, holds her tight as she leans against him and lets the moment wash over him.

He might not know how long they'll last. But he knows that this is a moment that will live forever.