[music| You Give Love A Bad Name - Bon Jovi]
I've updated the site with some of my 24 Recommended Reads, and I've added part 1 of a two part J/C story called Stuck In A Moment. I realise that it's named after a song, but there will be no Jack singing U2 songs to express how he feels ;P If you want to read the story you can do so underneath the cut, or on my site, or on fanfiction.net.
Stuck In A Moment (1/2)
Pairing: Jack/Chloe, little Jack/Audrey
Season/Series: Series Five,
Summary: She knew tonight was going to be one of his bad nights.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognisable characters and places are the property of 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.
She stood outside his door rested her head against the wooden surface. She knew tonight was going to be one of his bad nights.
Using the spare key he’d given her, she opened the door and made her way through the darkened rooms, careful not to step or bump into anything sharp.
Eventually she found him in the den, with the lights out and curtains opened, allowing streams of silver white moonlight to flow into the room. She stood silently, waiting. He knew she was there. He always knew.
“Audrey,” his voice rasped heavily. “She’s dead.”
“I know, Jack,” she snapped irritably, and winced when she’d done so, keeping her voice quieter and gentler. “I was there. Remember?”
He didn’t even seem aware of what she was saying, only that she was there to use as a sounding board. “I should have done something else. I should have…stopped her.”
She sighed inwardly, and rubbed her forehead rigorously. She thought they’d gotten past this point. For weeks after Audrey’s death he’d drunk himself into a useless stupor, wallowing in self pity and regret. Eventually he’d managed to pull himself together and slowly start to get back to an even keel.
Those who didn’t know him well enough may have been surprised at how quickly he’d seemed to get over his lover’s death and back to work as normal. Only Chloe knew him well enough to see through his charade, and did what she could to help him. She thought he was well on the road to recovery. Until she’d got the phone call twenty minutes earlier, asking her to come over to his place.
“There was nothing you could have done, Jack,” she said eventually, trying to keep the annoyance out of her voice. He was better than this, he didn’t deserve this. She knew it, and she thought he had known it too. But now it looked like they were back at square one.
She moved around the room until she caught his eye and managed to get him to focus on her and not the whiskey bottle by his side. “And for what it’s worth. Thank you. You saved my life, again, and you didn’t have to.”
“And what was I going to do, Chloe? Stand back and watch her kill you?”
She shrugged, “Anyone else might have. It would have been a perfectly understandable action. There was all that evidence against me, the hacking of the data bases, the encryption keys found buried on my station.”
Jack shook his head, “Chloe, I don’t trust anyone the way I trust you. I know you’d never work with terrorists. Besides,” he smiled crookedly at her, “the day you work for terrorists is the day I can’t stop them. You’d never be that sloppy. You’d never let us get that close.”
“Thanks,” her forehead wrinkled in thought, “I think.”
The clink of glass against glass brought her gaze back to him, and she frowned when she saw him pour more whiskey into a tumbler.
“Care to join me?” as if by magic, another glass appeared on the tabletop and he began to fill it.
“Don’t you think you’ve had enough?”
“Come on, Chloe. You can’t be perfectly sensible everyday of your life. Live a little.”
“Thanks, but to me living doesn’t involve wasting perfectly fine, not to mention expensive, whiskey just to get hammered.”
He snorted, “You really haven’t lived.”
She sighed and flopped down on the couch beside him. “Do you know what time it is? It’s getting late, after two in the morning.”
He pushed the other glass towards her. “Here, join me. If it makes you feel any better, this will be my last.”
She looked at him, doubt evident on her face.
She rolled her eyes, and lifted the glass, “so, what are we drinking to.”
Her forehead crinkled, “Jack, it’s not your birthday.”
“No, it’s not,” he smiled deprecatingly into the amber liquid, “it’s hers. And since she can’t celebrate it, I thought I’d do it for her.”
He threw back his head, and finished the drink in one large gulp, the liquid making his eyes burn.
Chloe watched him, her eyes taking in every nuance and small change of feature.
“I’m sorry,” she said eventually, placing the glass back onto the table, “I didn’t realise.”
He started to chuckle, “no, neither did I. Not until I got a call from her Dad asking how I was holding up.”
She grimaced, “That's, that's real bad, Jack. You must feel terrible. I mean here you are, trying to get on with your life, going along doing your thing and then on no particular day of any real importance the father of your ex-lover, whom you killed to save your country, rings up and tells you it’s her birthday, assumes you already know, and wants you to pretty much indulge in his own self pity because he lost his only daughter.”
He looked at her, “yeah, something like that.”
He glanced over at the clock on the mantelpiece and frowned. “It is getting late,” he said as he unfolded himself from the chair, “I’d think it’s best if you stay here tonight, I don’t want you driving home alone at this time of night, and I’m in no fit state to drive you there.”
“Jack, are you sure you’re okay? Because if you need to talk….?”
He smiled at her over his shoulder and shook his head, “I’m okay, Chloe. We’ll talk in the morning, okay?”
She nodded, tucking a stray strand of hair behind her ear. “Goodnight, Jack. I’ll see you in the morning.”
“Audrey, put the gun down!” Jack shouted his voice hoarse from hours of shouting at suspects and subordinates.
“I can’t do that, Jack,” she replied, her gaze still firmly focused on the petite computer analyst in front of her, “it’s her, Jack. It’s been her all along.”
“Audrey, it’s Chloe. She’d never do anything like that.”
“I know you want to believe you can trust her. But we can’t, Jack, we can’t trust anyone.”
“Curtis found evidence on her computer and laptop; she’s been making contact with the Terrorists all day. She’s been receiving monthly payments through a false bank account set up under her mother’s name. I’m sorry you had to find out like this. But Chloe’s the traitor.”
“Jack,” Chloe snapped, irritated, “if I don’t input the correct code in the correct sequence, within the next thirty seven seconds, twelve bombs are going to go off simultaneously around the country.”
“She’s lying,” Audrey interrupted, “she needs to input the code to make sure they do detonate.”
“Audrey, listen to me,” Jack said calmly, his gun pointed in her direction, “we need Chloe to input these codes. I know the evidence looks damning, but you’ve got to trust her on this. Trust me,” his voice pleaded, and he could hear her breath hitch in her throat, but her stance was stubborn.
“I can’t do that.”
“Jack, we don’t have time for this,” Chloe snapped irritably, stepping closer to the consul.
“One more step and I’ll blow you out of this building,” Audrey warned her.
“Then I guess that’s a chance I’m going to have to take,” Chloe replied, her gaze steady as she stepped forward.
Jack sat straight up in bed as the ringing of shots sounded in his head.
He carefully got out of bed, his breathing still laboured, and his fingers still trembling, and made his way out of the bedroom and into the sitting room. He paused outside the spare room, debating whether or not to enter, but took a chance and pushed the door open.
It was quiet and dark inside, he padded over towards the chair near the corner of the room and sat down. It creaked in protest over his weight and he stilled, quickly checking to see if she still slept. She stirred a little but soon returned to slumber.
He studied her thoughtfully. She had somehow become one of the most important people in his life. In the moonlight, the scar she bore on the side of her neck played peek a boo with him between strands of dark gold hair, and he was once again amazed by her forbearance. How she had managed to tell him the correct sequence and not pass out on him, was something he wasn’t sure he’d ever be able to answer.
He shifted in his seat, and it groaned in protest. He cursed himself for not thinking, especially when an answering groan came from the bed in front of him. She groggily pushed away strands of hair as her eyelids fluttered open.
“Jack? What are you doing here?”
"I couldn't sleep." She just stared at him, her mind whirring in different directions, eventually she spoke again. "You couldn't sleep so you decided to come in here and watch me sleep?" “Yeah,”
“Oh, okay. What time is it?”
“Uh, it’s just before six am.” He winced a little as he said it and she groaned again from the bed. If there was one luxury Chloe O’Brian indulged in, it was sleep. At least eight hours a night if possible. He envied her the ability to sleep right through. When she fell asleep she was a light sleeper, but a sleeper none the less. Light sleeping would be an improvement for Jack.
She got up, and murmured something about coffee before leaving him to follow in her trail.
He found her in the kitchen, rustling through cupboards and muttering softly to herself.
“Jack Bauer, if there’s no coffee in this apartment, so help me God-”
“It’s in the cupboard beside you.”
“Oh,” she sat up, coffee jar in hand and shook her head, “why do you never keep things in the one place. Moving things about from place to place is illogical. I’ll never underst-”
She paused when she looked back at him and scowled as she placed her hand on her scar. “Stop it.”
“I’m sorry, I wasn’t.”
“You were. You were staring at it. I hate that. Stop it.”
“I’m sorry, it’s just,” he ran a hand through his hair in frustration, and she stood frowning at him waiting for him to say something.
“Why are you here, Chloe?”
She looked at him as if he had two heads, “Jack, are you still drunk? You called me last night and I came over.”
“Yes, I remember, but why?”
He walked towards her and brushed a finger down the side of her neck, causing her to jump a little in surprise.
“The only reason you have this is because of me.”
“Jack,” she sighed, “we’ve talked about this before. If it wasn’t for you, I’d be dead right now. Six feet underground, with a headstone and decaying flowers because I’d have nobody to look after my grave. But I’m not. I owe you for that. You killed Audrey to save the country, and you saved me in the process. I’m very grateful to you for that.”
He stepped closer to her, a grace about his movements that reminded her a little of a tiger circling his prey. She was a little nervous, and her heart beat sped up rapidly, but she stayed rooted to the spot.
“Grateful. Is that why you’re here, because you’re grateful?”
“No,” she answered immediately, but slid her gaze away. Her brow furrowed and she stammered a little as she spoke. “We’re friends Jack. I don’t have a lot of friends, and since Edgar died, you’re the closest one I have. And the only one I really trust.”
His hand moved from her neck up to cup her cheek, his thumb gently caressing the softness there.
“I don’t deserve you,” he whispered as he leaned forward and captured her lips.
She was so shocked at first, she was stiffened and stood unmoving. Her mind tried but couldn’t, process what was happening. Jack Bauer was kissing her. Yes, he had started the kiss, but he wasn’t finishing it anytime soon. In fact, he pulled her even closer to him. She gave up on trying to think, and gave in to just feeling.
Jack was gentle but enthusiastic, he pulled her closer, but instead she mind suddenly screamed at her full force and she pulled back.
He his hand still gripped the back of her cotton top and his other one was tangled in her already messy hair.
She tried to steady her irregular breathing, but couldn’t seem to. She was sure she looked a mess, but if the look in his eyes was anything to go by, he didn’t seem to mind.
“What’s wrong?” he asked, resting his forehead against hers, but she stepped away from him and turned around, her arms tightening around her small waist.
“Jack, we can’t do this. It isn’t right.”
He looked away, and squeezed his hands into fists, and looked back at her, to find her staring at him, confusion and uneasiness written across her face.
He sighed and nodded at her, “You’re right. This isn’t right. I shouldn’t have done that. God, Chloe, anyone who ever gets near me ends up dead.”
“What? Jack, that’s not-”
“No, Chloe. I think it would be best if you left now.”
She stared at him, confused, “Left? I don’t understand.”
“Get out, Chloe.”
“I said, get out!” he shouted at her, and she jumped back. He thought he saw a glimpse of fear fleet across her eyes and felt his chest constrict painfully. He hated shouting at her, especially when she didn't deserve it. Not trusting himself to stay, he left.
When he returned she was gone.
To Be Continued.....
© 2006 Copyright held by the author.
All comments & reviews, good, bad, or indifferent, are very welcome :)