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Rumbelle

JC Christmas for Melody!

Firstly, Merry Christmas to everyone! I hope Santa came to you all ;p

I'll be without Internet Access until New Year's Eve or New Year's Day, so I wanted to get this out before then :)

I did this for Melody, who asked simply for something for scoob, so I wrote a short story for scoob, a longer one (inspired in part by the Dan Fogleberg song "Another Auld Lang Syne") and an icon for...well anyone! Hope you enjoy!!


Title: She Knew It Was Wrong (For scoob)
Status: Complete
Category: Angst, Romance (kind of)
Pairings: Jack/Chloe
Rating: PG-15
Spoilers: Day 5 & Day 5 Prequel.
Season/Sequel: Before and a little bit during Day 5.

Summary: She knew it was wrong.
Content Warning:
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.



She knew it was wrong when he looked at her like that, with fire in his eyes. When he focused on her lips and heard her shuddering intake of breath.

She knew it was wrong when he pinned her against the wall and felt the harsh brick scrape the base of her spine. When his tongue pushed into her mouth, without a protest from her and ground his hips into her.

She knew it was wrong when she heard the sound of his belt unbuckling and the lowering of his zipper. When she felt the cool air around her. She knew it was wrong when she moaned his name and clutched his shoulders like a lifeline as she wrapped her legs around his waist. But, God help her, what else was she meant to do when he was inside her, filling her, his hands all over her, building a fire in her only exceeded by the heat in his own eyes as they bore into hers.

She knew it was wrong when she came calling his name and heard him calling hers.

She knew it was wrong when he couldn’t meet her eyes afterwards because he was too busy inspecting the angry red mark on the her throat caused by his coarse stubble and the matching marks on her back, resulting from repeated banging against the rough surface of the red brick behind her. He worried about her well being and apologised for losing control like that. She assured him she was fine but still he looked at her with concern.

She knew it was wrong when he pulled down her top, fastened his jeans and told her he’d contact her again in a month. He made sure she got to her car okay, she wasn’t sure how she’d have managed without him, her legs were shaking that much. Nothing more was said, he couldn’t say anything and she couldn’t bear to, for fear she’d fall to pieces in front of him. She saw him in the rear-view mirror watching her until she’d disappeared around the corner.

She knew it was wrong when she walked into work the next day and walked straight into a meeting with his girlfriend who was still grieving his ‘death’.

She knew it was wrong when somebody hacked into her systems and discovered the fake death certificate. She knew it was wrong when she contacted him early and met him, looking more dishevelled than the last time she’d seen him. She knew it was wrong when he asked about his daughter and didn’t speak of what had happened the last time they had met up.

She knew it was wrong when less than two months later the only other people who knew he was really alive turned up dead on the same morning.

She knew it was wrong when she called him from a payphone, asking for his help and trembling with fear.

She knew it was wrong when she threw her arms around him and felt the relief flood through them both, just grateful to see him safe and healthy looking.

She knew it was wrong when a few hours later she stumbled upon him in an embrace with his former girlfriend. Pulling her close and kissing her as if he was scared he’d never do so again.

She knew it was wrong, and always had done. But she couldn’t help it. She couldn’t stop it.

She loved him. And there was nothing right about that.



~~Finis~~



Copyright © 2006, held by the author.</p></p>

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Title: ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas (For Melody)

Status: Complete
Category: Angst, Romance (kind of)
Pairings: Jack/Chloe
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: End of Season five.
Season/Sequel: AU future fic
Summary: He couldn’t say what it was about her that had drawn his attention above the rest of the crowd.
Content Warning:
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.



There was no need for him to be out. The few presents he had to buy had long ago been picked, purchased, wrapped and now sat under a brightly lit Christmas tree waiting to be unwrapped.

But it wasn’t necessity that forced him out onto the streets of New York on Christmas Eve. It was the pull of the hustle and bustle of an entire city preparing for the next day. The excitement that shone in children’s eyes as they waited for Santa to arrive with all the presents they’d been so good for.

He smiled at one boy with his nose pressed against the glass as he stared entranced at a colourful train set running around the track in the window of a toyshop.

He remembered fondly when his own daughter would impatiently wait on Christmas Eve, her large eyes filled with excitement and wonder, and her long blonde hair tied up with red ribbon by her mother.

A sudden pain hit him squarely in the chest when he thought of Terri. Even now, years later, the pain of her death still had the power to steal the breath from his body.

He sighed, a mist escaping from his mouth in the cold air and ducked inside a nearby bookstore, the artificial heat a welcome respite from the cold, hard, biting wind outside.

He couldn’t say what it was about her that had drawn his attention above the rest of the crowd. Her petite stature often made her hard to spot among a throng of people, but as his eyes wandered the store casually, they had immediately honed in and locked on her frowning profile as she tried to decide between two books in her hand.

He didn’t realise he was standing staring at her until his shoulder was jostled by an obviously annoyed New Yorker.

“Sorry,” Jack apologised, immediately weaving himself among the crowd until he stood just behind her.

For a second, he could have sworn she knew he was behind her, a stillness overcoming her before shaking her head. He reached out and touched her on her sleeve, a small caress to draw her attention.

She spun around, a glare on her face until she saw him. He smiled down at her, amused to see the wide-eyed startled expression on her face.

“Merry Christmas, Chloe.”

Immediately, she moved forward and threw her arms around him, hugging him as only Chloe could. Instinctively, his own arms tightened around her and he drew her to him, almost lifting her off the ground as he buried his nose in her hair and indulged in the feel of her against him again.

“Jack!”

He let her go, and she pulled back, dropping her books and bags in the process. She crouched down to pick them up, embarrassment reddening her face.

“Let me,” he reached down and helped her gather her purchases together, still unable to keep his eyes off her. She bit her lip and he couldn’t help but remember how she had always smelled and tasted like strawberries and vanilla.

To this day, he couldn’t look at the lush red fruit without thinking of her.

Decisively, she placed one of the books back of the shelf and he waited while she queued at the cash register and purchased the other one.

They stood awkwardly outside the shop, unsure about what to say or do.

“What are you doing here?” Chloe eventually blurted out.

“Kim. She’s living here now, and invited me to spend Christmas with her.”

“Oh,” Chloe shivered beneath her large coat and Jack touched her wrist.

“Why don’t we get a drink somewhere?”

Chloe looked uncertainly at him and glanced at her watch, “I-I don’t know, Jack.”

“I’m sorry. You probably have somewhere to be. I shouldn’t just presume…”

“No, it’s fine.”

They walked around from bar to bar, all too crowded and full for them to talk properly.

“This is ridiculous,” Chloe huffed and hesitated before adding, “I know somewhere. It’s not the most happening of places though.”

“That’s fine.”

She lead Jack to a pub at the back of an alley a couple of blocks away. The bar was dark and had a slightly depressing air about it, but it was quiet and nobody would pay any attention to them sitting in a booth at the end of the bar.

Their drinks were delivered quickly by a barman who looked pissed off at being made leave the comfort zone of his space behind the bar.

“So, I told you why I’m in New York on Christmas Eve, what’s your excuse?” Jack asked sipping his whiskey.

Chloe shrugged, “I wish I had some exciting story, but I just work here. It’s an Internet security firm; we mainly deal with Banks and e-com companies. It’s not as exciting as CTU, but at least it’s a paycheque. I hear your line of work isn’t much different.”

He nodded, “yeah, I set up the protection agency a few years back. It’s actually doing really well too and the pay is better!”

“I propose a toast,” she said, raising her glass, “to new jobs and better money!”

“Now that I’ll drink to!” their glasses clinked together and they grinned at each other.

As she reached forward to put her glass back, something glinted beneath the dull lights that caught his eye. Instinctively, he reached out and touched her left hand.

“What’s this?” his eyebrows drew together as he studied the shining diamond in front of him.

“It’s nothing.” She self-consciously tried to pull her hand away but he held on firmly, tracing the back of her fingers with the pad of his thumb.

“Chloe, are you engaged?” his eyebrows shot up and she glared at him.

“No need to sound so surprised!”

“I’m sorry, I,” he paused, frustrated and ran a hand through his now greying hair. “I’m sorry, Chloe. Congratulations.”

“Thanks,” she whispered studying the table top. They were in danger of falling into a tense silence and he tried to sound more enthusiastic about her upcoming wedding.

“So…what’s his name?”

“Colin. He’s an architect. He makes more money in a month than I do in a year and buys a new car every January.”

She looked deflated at her habitual babbling and he caught her eye, sending a concerned and questioning look to her.

“I don’t love him,” she blurted, immediately turning red. “You know I don’t like to lie, Jack. I don’t love him, but I wish I did because he loves me.”

“Then why are you marrying him?”

“Why?” she looked up at him, a sarcastic smirk marring her elf like face. “Look at me, Jack. I’m the wrong side of forty, childless and alone. I don’t want to be one of those people who die alone in their crummy flat, and the only time anyone knows they are actually dead is when the smell starts permeating the walls! Besides,” she added quietly, “he’s a good man. He may be a bit extravagant at times and spend money like there’s no tomorrow, but he has a good heart and like I said he loves me. Don’t know why really, he loves stunningly beautiful things and I seem to be the exception to that rule.”

“Chloe,” Jack chuckled, “the fact that you can’t even see your own beauty makes you even easier to love.”

She looked sceptically at him, swallowing another mouthful of Baileys.

“How do you do that?” he asked softly, more to himself than her.

“Do what?”

“Your eyes,” he shifted forward looking more intensely at her, “they’re still as clear and bright as the last day I saw you. I swear Chloe, they haven’t aged at all.”

Her eyes widened and she sat in silence, mouth hanging open slightly. A pang of regret ran through his body. There was a time when he could interpret her silence over a phone line. Now, he couldn’t tell if it was surprise or doubt in the dark eyes that stared back at him.

“How’s Audrey?” she asked suddenly.

Now it was Jack’s turn to avoid her gaze and shift uncomfortably. He shrugged, and drained his glass, calling the attention of the barman for a refill. “I wouldn’t know. We got divorced two years ago.”

“I’m sorry.”

The worst of it was, he knew she meant it. He looked up at her and saw the regret in her steady gaze.

“Don’t be, Chloe. You saw before I ever did that we wouldn’t work.”

“I didn’t really,” she admitted her lips twisting in a self-deprecating manner, “I just didn’t want you to go back to her. She knew how I felt about you, and she didn’t like me. I couldn’t understand how you could be with her. She wasn’t even there when you came back from China, Jack!” She shook her head, eyes narrowed trying to make sense of an inexplicable puzzle. “I know we weren’t serious, and we had sort of broken up, but…she turned up nearly eighteen months after you came back, Jack,” her eyes met him, all the hurt and confusion visible in their dark depths and he squeezed his own eyes shut from seeing her pain.

“Chloe.”

Her name came out in a painful, ragged breath and she leaned forward, touching his hand with a gentleness he thought he’d lost.

His mind flashed back to that day, so long ago, when she’d been younger, had fewer wrinkles and lines, but the tracks of her tears had been clearly visible.

Her bottom lip had been caught between her teeth in a futile attempt to stem her crying.

“I’m marrying Audrey, Chloe. I-,” his throat had constricted unable to say any more.

She looked so vulnerable and small sitting on her couch, her hair tied up in a messy ponytail. Even though they’d broken up several months before hand, their strange relationship had been unusually close and he pulled her to him, his eyes closed as he tried to comfort her, but already knowing he wouldn’t succeed.

He knew he could never tell her, never make her understand. He was doing this for all of them. Chloe would be better off without him, safer without him. She had spoken at length about leaving CTU, and without him in her life she would finally do it without having him there to anchor her.

Then he wouldn’t have to worry about any terrorists taking out their anger on her to get to him. Like they’d done with Terri.

Audrey loved him and he believed he cared for her enough to build a life with her. Besides, they’d soon move to Washington, and as a high ranking employee of the DoD and the daughter of a high profile politician, she would have her own protection detail. He just hoped to God she’d never need them, even if he was transferring to the Washington division of CTU.

“Do you love her?” she’d asked quietly, pulling back from his embrace to look at him while he answered. He searched her face, seeing the thinly veiled hurt in her eyes.

He nodded, finding himself suddenly unable to say the words out loud to her. He pulled her to him and kissed her lightly on the lips, his hands framing her tearstained face, taking in every feature, knowing it would be the last time she’d let him see her so vulnerable, so intimately. Before he could change his mind, he stood up and left her apartment, the closing of her door, signalling the closing of a part of his life he didn’t think he’d ever experience again.

He watched her now, across from him in a dark bar, her face suddenly devoid of all emotion as she stared back at him across the table.

“That was a long time ago, Jack. I never should have brought it up.”

She raised her glass again. “How about another toast? This time to keeping the past firmly in the past.”

But his glass remained untouched on the scuffed surface of the table. His hand scrubbed across his face and he considered her in silence, before biting out in a horse whisper. “I lied.”

“What?” her face scrunched up in confusion. She unsteadily placed the glass down.

“That day I told you I loved Audrey,” he swallowed visibly, “I lied Chloe. I knew I didn’t love her, not like I should have. I thought she knew that too.”

The look he sent her was full self recrimination and self loathing.

“She didn’t.” his fingers ran across his stubbled jaw absentmindedly. “It came as a bit of a shock to her to find out that I was still in love with you.”

Chloe gasped, her eyes widening in surprise.

“Of course I loved you, Chloe. How could I not? You were the only person I trusted, the only person I could rely on. I went to work every morning with a smile on my face knowing I was going to see you, and wondering what ingenious plans or sharp wit you’d come out with that day.”

“Why are you telling me this?” Her voice shook and sat back in the booth, her back straight and stiff.

“Because it’s the truth, Chloe. And because I never thought I’d see you again. And yet,” his eyes softened, “here you are. What are the chances of us running into each other across the country in another city? I married someone I didn’t love, Chloe, don’t make the same mistake I did. You’ll regret it. Just like I do.”

They sat in silence for he didn’t know how many minutes. She finished the drink in front of her in one final gulp and stood up, taking her coat with her.

“I think I should go.”

He followed her out the door, hastily putting on his coat and scarf, pulling his gloves on as he called her name before she disappeared among the throng of people.

She turned to him, sending him a look of pure annoyance. He walked up to her, only a breath away from her.

“Chloe, please.”

“Please what, Jack?” she asked angrily, “what is it you want from me! You turn up on Christmas Eve in the middle of a store five years after your broke my heart and tell me that you loved back then. What am I meant to say to that, Jack?” she looked almost pleadingly up at him.

“Chloe, I…I’ve missed you.” His gloved finger traced the curve of her cheek and she squeezed her eyes tightly shut.

“Jack, please don’t do this to me.”

She felt him shift towards her and her eyes snapped open, only to be trapped in his own blue ones, faded with time and age, but still very much alive, and still full of passion.

He leaned forward and tentatively brushed his lips against hers, expecting her to push him away, but when she didn’t he was encouraged to kiss her again, deepening it, pulling her to him, wrapping his arms around her and protecting her from the icy cold air around them. She responded to him with the same energetic passion she had all those years ago, and managed to draw a groan from him.

“I love you, Chloe,” he mumbled against her lips.

Suddenly she drew back from him, stepping away from him. But he reached forward and caught hold of her hand, refusing to let go of it.

“That was a long time ago, Jack. I’m, I’m getting married. I have a new life now.”

“You don’t love him,” he countered. “You love me. I know you do.”

“You’re a cocky bastard, Jack,” she hissed, glaring at him.

“Tell me you don’t then,” he challenged her.

She stared at him, but then her head fell forward and her hands curled into fists at her side. “Damn you, Jack Bauer.”

She took a breath and calmed down, eventually turning to look at him again, finding him closer than she’d expected. “You know what, Jack? You’re right, but it doesn’t matter anymore. One lousy drink in a dump of a bar like that, with some half hearted attempt to explain what happened five years ago doesn’t make up for five years with nothing. Nothing, Jack. Not even one a Christmas card. But it’s okay.”

She smiled sadly at him, and touched his cheek. “I’ve always known I loved you Jack. Loving you was something I did without even thinking – like breathing. And yeah, seeing you today reminded me that those feelings didn’t disappear, that they can’t disappear. We tried and it didn’t work.” She shrugged, letting her hand fall away from his face, and leaned up to kiss him on the cheek. “I love you Jack Bauer, and I hope you have a good life.”

She turned and took a few steps away from him, but he couldn’t let her go that easily.

“Chloe!”

She turned and he jogged towards her. “Here.”

She looked down at the small, white card he’d given her. “I’m in town for the next few weeks. Call me.”

She smirked up at him. “Do you really think that’s a good idea, Jack?”

He smiled down at her, a confident look in his eyes. “Call me,” he repeated.

She looked down at the card again, twisting it between her fingers, before she pocketed it safely in her coat.

“Merry Christmas, Jack,” she called as she finally disappeared in the sea of people.

“Merry Christmas, Chloe,” he replied, his eyes suddenly alight with something he hadn’t felt in a long time. He had a feeling this Christmas was going to be very merry indeed.



~Finis~



Copyright © 2006, held by the author.

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Comments

It's all very, very lovely.
Thank you :)
Glad you liked them!
OMG! Please forgive my only seeing this now. I actually have enough neurons firing to sit up and read. lol This was such a nice surprise and very, very kind of you! You're a very good writer and a dear person.
I'm glad to hear you're feeling better for the New Year, and that you liked the story. I've been away the past week in London myself, so I'm only just catching up on everything I've missed, so sorry for not replying sooner. But I'm thrilled you liked it :D

(Anonymous)

perfect

OMG the story The Night Before Christmas is so great. I found this site in yahoo. I'm from germany and I love Chloe O'Bauer (or J/C, Jaloe. Chlack- or another telling) do you want to write a story after this "night before christmas"? so, i mean for example the night at christmas or new year's eve special... please tell me: chloeobrian_ctu@yahoo.com


bye, Chloe O'Brian (Pia) from Yahoo!360°
He didn’t realise he was standing staring at her until his shoulder was jostled by an obviously annoyed New Yorker.

NICE! (I'm a native manhattanite!) <3 the story... a little late i know but still it counts lmfao
Thanks :)