Title: Convince Me
Category: Future Fic, Romance
Spoilers: None really.
Season/Sequel: Future Fic.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognisable characters and places are the property of 24 and The Fox Network. This piece of fan fiction was created for entertainment not monetary purposes and no infringement on copyrights or trademarks was intended. Previously unrecognised characters and places, and this story, are copyrighted to the author. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.
The feel of a hand sliding down her back and cupping her ass made her stand up straight and turn a fiery glare at the man behind her.
“Damn it, Morris we’re at work!”
“Oh, come now darling, you know you love it,” he whispered seductively in her ear as he leaned closer to her.
“No, I don’t,” she snapped, slamming shut the computer casing in the secluded tech room, “not when I’m at work!”
He ignored her, and wrapped his arms loosely around her, pulling her towards him for a kiss. She turned her face away and pushed against his chest.
“Morris!” She shoved him away and stalked towards the door. “You have to stop doing this.”
He hung his head in defeat and shoved his hands into his trouser pockets.
“This is all because of Bauer, isn’t it?”
“What?” She spun around, her eyebrows furrowed and arms crossed. She reminded him of an angry goddess looking down on a mere mortal who had dared to question her authority.
“We’ve only started having problems after he came back, darling.”
“No, Morris,” she sighed, rolling her eyes, “we started having problems when you couldn’t keep your hands to yourself and when you couldn’t have one glass of wine without finishing the bottle. It has nothing to do with Jack.”
“You’re in love with him.”
She snorted, “Is that you’re best argument? I’m in love with Jack? That’s ridiculous!”
“No, it’s not.”
He sighed and walked towards her, his large hands framing her face, meeting in a knot in her hair at the back of her head.
“I love you, Chloe. I do,” he paused, his eyes softening as they took in the features of her upturned face. “So much so that I was willing to settle for being second best.”
Her eyebrows drew together angrily. “Morris-”
“No, love, no, let me say this. I was willing to settle for being the man you’d settle for because you couldn’t have the one you wanted. And it worked out quite well, actually. As long as he stayed locked up in some prison in China. At least I could have the majority of you to myself. I was quite willing to live like that, but not anymore, darling. Because ever since he came back all I’ve managed to do is earn your contempt. And that’s not enough.”
“Morris, you’re overreacting. Jack’s a, a friend. You know that!” she struggled out of his grasp and he dropped his hands to rest on her strained shoulders. “Why are you doing this? Don’t blame our problems on Jack! You know as well as I do, that if I didn’t work at CTU, Jack would never look twice at me.”
Morris leaned forward and pressed his lips against her forehead. “That’s why I thought I could do this sweetheart. But it’s just not working.”
“You’re talking crap Morris. You drink too much, have a problem with authority, and need attention almost 100 of the time.”
He stared at her, a look of defeat and resignation passing over his face. “I think it’s time we called it quits, Chloe.”
She blinked up at him in surprise, “you’re breaking up with me?”
“A surprise I know, but yes. I have to admit I didn’t think I’d be the one to end it this time.”
She yanked herself away from his grip and glared angrily at him. “You’re breaking up with me because you think I’m in love with Jack.”
“No, I’m breaking up with because I i know /i you’re in love with Jack and it’s interfering with our relationship.”
“This is ridiculous,” she muttered stalking past him, “first Milo, now Jack. If this is the way you’re going to react with every guy I’m friends with, then you’re right. We should call it quits.”
She walked out of the door and straight into a warm body. He immediately reached out to steady her, but she glared up at his concerned blue eyes and swatted his hands away.
“Get out of my way, Jack!”
She stalked past him and Jack met the British man’s eyes in the dark room.
“It’s very rude to eavesdrop you know, Jack,” Morris said conversationally.
“Why did you do that?” Jack’s gruff voice asked him.
Morris smiled wryly. “Because someone had to face the truth, and it didn’t look like either of you two were going to,” he said as he by-passed Jack and went back out onto the main floor.
Determinedly, Chloe sat at her desk, ignoring her ex-husbands sunken shoulders and Jack’s attempts to catch her eye.
She felt like a wound coil, ready to spring up and snap at the next person who came near her. Apparently, everyone else noticed as well and steered clear of her for the rest of the day.
For one of the few times in her years there, she left when her shift ended and headed straight for home. She had a shower and changed into old, comfortable pyjamas. She felt no need to start working on one of her laptops; instead she sat in front of the television and let her mind go numb with some benign comedy that was on.
The knock on her door wasn’t entirely unexpected. It could have been either of them; they both had taken habit of showing up at her door at strange hours of the day and night. But this time, it wasn’t Morris who stood with a concerned expression on his face.
He followed her into the living room and sat on her couch, pulling her down to sit beside him.
“What are you doing here, Jack? I’m fine, so you don’t need to worry about me.”
“I’m returning the favour.”
Her brow furrowed in confusion as she looked at him. “Jack, I just told you, I’m fine. I don’t need you to play big brother for me and beat up the mean boy who hurt my feelings!”
Jack smiled crookedly at her, and squeezed her gently. “I’m not your brother, Chloe. But for the past eight months you’ve been there for me. Through the nightmares, listening to me…after I found out Audrey was engaged to that senator…Now, it’s my turn to listen to you.”
She stood up agitatedly, “if you’re talking about Morris, don’t worry about it Jack.”
“I am worried about you, Chloe.”
“Why? Do you think he’s the first person to tell me how in love with you I am?” she snorted, “please, Jack. I could give you a list as long as Santa’s of everyone who has tried to convince me of it.”
“Did it work?”
He stood up and went to her, with a look on his face that made her heart uncomfortably race and a light flush creep up her cheeks.
“All those people, Chloe, who tried to tell you that you were in love with me. Did they convince you?”
“Of course not,” she snapped, wrapping her arms tightly around her waist.
“Oh. So you’re not?”
“In love with me?”
“I, why, what’s it to you?”
He shrugged, “just curious. Besides, I thought I was the one asking the questions here.”
“Well, interrogating people is part of my job description. I get them to reveal things they rather I didn’t know.”
“Is that why you’re here, Jack, to interrogate me?” she challenged.
“Maybe,” he smiled like a Cheshire cat, “so, is it working?”
“What?” she sighed and rubbed her forehead in frustration, “you’re confusing me and we’re talking in circles.”
“Then it is working.”
She glared at him, “what exactly is the big secret you want me to reveal, anyway.”
“That you’re in love with me.”
“And why would I tell you that?”
“Because a) you are in love with me,” She snorted at his assured tone of voice, “and b) it makes it easier for me to tell you how much I’m in love with you if you tell me first.”
“What are you, twelve?”
“No, if I were twelve, I could think of an entirely different interrogation technique to get you to confess.” He leaned forward and brushes his lips against hers, a grin forming on his face.
She shrank back and stared at him in disbelief. “This would have been your interrogation technique at twelve! I hate to think what you were like at High School,” she glowered at him.
He wrapped his arms around her and chuckled quietly. “I wish you did know. I think High School would have been a lot more fun if I’d had you around.”
She rolled her eyes at him. “You wouldn’t have noticed me in High School.”
He met her eyes, a thoughtful expression in them. “Maybe not at first, I’ll admit, but you definitely would have grabbed my attention eventually. Imagine all the different way I could have convinced you to help me with my math homework.”
She laughed quietly and loosened her arms to let her hands rest on his chest, feeling the steady beat of his heart beneath her palm.
“I suppose that could have been interesting.”
“So?” he prompted.
“So,” she repeated, her lips twitching at the corners as she looked innocently up at him. “I think I need a little more convincing.”
He leaned forward and kissed her, his lips surprisingly soft and inviting.
“Say it,” he growled before his tongue swiped across her lower lip before probing, asking and gaining access to her mouth and plunging inside, tasting and feeling every part of her he could.
When they eventually pulled apart, she lowered her head to try and catch her breath and he kissed her hair softly, pulling her against him.
“Okay,” she whispered, pulling back to look at him, “okay, you win. I love you, Jack Bauer.”
She never thought he could smile like that. It seemed to light up his entire face, his mouth was wide and showed off a dimple on the side of his cheek she never noticed before. And his eyes shone brighter than any sapphire or diamond she’d ever seen. Her breath caught in her throat as she studied him, watched him, being happy.
“I love you too, Chloe O’Brian.”
“So now what?” she asked a little shakily.
“Now? Well, you’ve at last admitted that you love me – and about time too, I say,” she hit him lightly on the arm, making him grin all the more, “but I think I’m going to have to get you to admit that I am the only man you could ever love again, and the only one you will spend the rest of your life with.”
“Really?” she asked, her eyebrows rising in surprise.
“Yes,” he said seriously, “and as I’m sure you’re aware, that could take some convincing.”
“All night, I’d say.”
“At least,” she nodded.
“At least,” he echoed.
“So you better get started.”
“Yes, ma’am,” he replied leaning forward to start an entirely new session of interrogating.
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