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 slam of the door reverberated throughout the house and was quickly followed by quick, light, but irritated steps.
Jack followed Chloe into the living room where she automatically turned on her computer and waited for it boot up.
“Chloe, what’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” she snapped, pacing up and down the living room.
Jack sighed, throwing his jacket onto the back of the sofa. Reaching out, he gently got hold of her shoulders and forced her to stop and look at him.
“Chloe, something is obviously wrong. Why won’t you tell me what it is?”
She glanced guiltily away from his concerned, probing gaze.
“I’m late,” she mumbled.
“I said, I’m late,” she huffed pushing his arms off her. She watched as his eyes widened and shock hit his face, a moment before the rational side of him took over.
“You mean you’re…”
“Pregnant? Yes, Jack that’s exactly what I mean!”
He took a breath, obviously still trying to process what she had told him. “Have you taken a test, or seen a doctor? Just because you’re late doesn’t mean you’re pregnant, Chloe.”
She glared at him dangerously, “I’m i never /i late, Jack. Never! And now, I’m four days late. Four!”
“I know, but you’ve been under a lot of stress lately. We all have. You worked twenty fours hours straight last week, that’s bound to have some sort of physiological effect.”
“And when did you become a gynaecologist?” she asked cocking an inquisitive eyebrow.
“Look, why don’t you just take the test, and you’ll know for certain.”
“Because, I’m right Jack, and having some little blue line suddenly appear is just going to make it all the more real, and I’m not ready for that yet.”
He gazed at her a few minutes in silence. “Would it really be such a bad thing if you were pregnant?”
She stared at him in horror. “Yes, Jack! I’m not Mommy material. Babies, they’re so…unpredictable, I wouldn’t know what to do with a baby.”
“You manage all right with Angela.”
“That’s different,” she twisted her hands nervously. “When she gets difficult I can hand her back to Chase to look after her.”
“I know you’re a little freaked out by this, but I think you’re overreacting, especially since you don’t even know if you are pregnant.”
“I am pregnant! I can feel it. I’m never late,” she paced up and down the floor, worry creasing her forehead.
“Chloe, we were careful,” he reasoned, halting her pacing.
She glared at him, “that’s no excuse. No contraception is 100 besides, what about the night I got those new boots.”
He groaned and hung his head. “The red healed ones with the zip that goes all the way to the top? I love those boots. They’re so sexy on you.”
He grinned lasciviously but Chloe hit him on the side of the arm.
He sighed and rubbed his forehead, he really did love those boots. She marched towards her computer and sat in front of it, becoming immersed in it.
It was at times like this he hated that computer and her ability to completely lose herself in it. Resented how she could somehow seek comfort in it that she would ask him for.
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
She watched him walk away and disappear into the kitchen, gnawing at her bottom lip. She hadn’t meant to be so harsh but she was having trouble coming to terms with this.
He reappeared beside her and silently placed a cup of coffee beside her. She smiled up at him and he smiled back before sitting on the couch and flicking through the sports channels.
By the next morning she had calmed down but still refused to talk about her possible pregnancy or the possibility of taking a test. Jack watched her carefully at work and discovered he wasn’t the only one. Bill frowned and stood by him at the window of the upper office.
“Jack, I’ve had a few complaints about Chloe the last few days. I’ve three this morning alone.”
Jack sighed, and lowered his head, rubbing his hand across his eyes, “I’m sorry, Bill. I don’t know what’s wrong with her. I’ll have a word with her, I promise.”
“Jack,” Bill frowned, his hands slipping into his pockets. “You promised me when you told me about your relationship with Chloe, that you wouldn’t allow it to affect your jobs at CTU.” He paused, and made sure Jack was looking him straight in the eye, “I would hate to think that you were wrong and I’d be forced to let one of you go. I happen to like Chloe very much. I’d be sorry to see her go. If there’s a problem she has to get over it and if she can’t, then I’ve no choice other than to tell her to leave.”
Jack stared at him, disbelief and anger in the set of his jaw and the clenching of his fists. “Don’t you think you’re overreacting here, Bill? Chloe’s been under a lot of stress lately and she’s the best analyst we have. You know that!”
“Chloe’s good Jack, I’ll admit. But she’s not the only clever computer tech in the world. There are others that can replace her. Others that would give their right eye for a chance to replace her.” Bill stared him down before looking out over the floor to see Chloe snap at another analyst. “Look, I know this isn’t easy, Jack, but she needs to settle down again before she does something stupid and somebody gets killed.”
“I’ll take care of it,” Jack replied, between clenched teeth.
“I said I’ll deal with it, Bill!”
Buchanon studied him for a moment, before nodding and leaving the office quietly.
“Dammit,” Jack seethed, hitting his palm off the side of wall. He walked over to his desk and called Chloe up to his office.
She walked into his office after lightly rapping on his door, looking a little annoyed to be pulled away from her station.
“You wanted to see me?”
“Sit down,” he kept his face neutral, which made her frown all the more.
“Chloe, I want you to go home.”
“What?” her head snapped up and she stared at him in shock, not believing the words that had come from his mouth.
“I can’t go home, Jack. I’ve to get satellite surveillance images for the tac team going to the Alpha cell in Pakistan.”
“Milo can do that. You need to go home.”
“Chloe, your work is suffering, you’re making mistakes and biting peoples heads off for no good reason. I’ve had Bill in here telling me how he has a record number of complaints against you and how he has no problem replacing you if you don’t get your act together!”
She crossed her arms and looked down at the floor, tears stinging her eyes. Jack sighed and walked around the desk, ignoring their deal to keep professional lives and personal lives separate. He crouched down beside her and tilted her chin towards him to force her to look into his eyes. “Baby, I know you’re having a difficult time at the moment, and you’re scared and you don’t know what to do. But, darling, you have to face this.”
She shook her head, and blinked away any tears that might have dared to fall.
“Listen to me. I know we never really planned on having any kids, but if you’re pregnant I’ll be with you every step of the way.”
She looked at him, nervously biting her bottom lip. “I’m scared,” she admitted with a shaky breath.
“I know,” he pushed a loose strand of hair behind her ear, and caressed her cheek, “but I think you’d be a great mom and I can’t imagine our child not being perfect. I’m sorry you obviously don’t see it like that, but it’s starting to affect your work and it’s become noticeable to others around you. No arguments Chloe, go home. When I get back tonight, we’ll do the test, and then decide where we go from there. Is that okay?”
“It looks like I don’t have much choice,” she leaned against him for a moment, and pulled back, standing up. “I guess I’ll see you later?”
“I won’t stay late, I promise.”
She rolled her as she opened the door. “Yeah, yeah you say that now.” She smiled crookedly at him and he let out a relieved breath.
As soon as he stepped through the door later that evening he could tell something was wrong. The constant, gentle hum of the computer and other assorted machinery was missing. She’d left the office hours before him, he had expected to find her seated by the couch, tapping happily away on her computer, doing something to keep herself busy and occupied. But even her laptop looked like it hadn’t been switched on since they left the house earlier that day.
He went from room to room calling her name, eventually ending up in the bedroom, with the sheets still in disarray from earlier that morning, but the small sniffle alerting him to her presence in the en suite.
He entered slowly, cautiously, and found her leaning against the bathtub, her face red and blotchy, her hair in an untidy pony tail.
She looked up at him, a large tear falling down her cheek. When she saw him, her eyes filled up again, blurring her vision and a sob racked her small frame.
In an instant he was by her side, pulling her towards his comforting embrace. He whispered soothing, comforting words until she calmed down enough that the sobs had turned to hiccups and she pulled away.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered, brushing her eyes with the sleeve of her top.
“Don’t be,” he stopped and waited a second, the tension palpable in the air. “You took the test, didn’t you?”
She nodded and met his eyes, “I couldn’t stand just sitting around waiting, especially when I convinced myself I knew what the result would be anyway.” She hiccupped and he brushed away the moisture beneath her eyes. “It’s so stupid,” she admitted quietly. “I, I didn’t even want a baby, but when it came up negative…I don’t know,” she sniffled again.
He pulled her back towards him and she clung on to him.
“I don’t understand,” she continued, her words muffled against his neck, “I feel like I’ve lost something, like someone died, but it doesn’t make any sense. How can you loose something you never had?”
“Because you believed it, Chloe,” he said intently, “you believed it, and when it’s taken away…you really have lost something.”
She sniffled and pulled away from him, moisture still pooling at the bottom of her large, wet eyes.
“This doesn’t change anything, Jack. I still don’t think I’d make a good mother. I just want you to know in case…well in case you ever want to have kids and I don’t. And then you might leave me, but I couldn’t have kids just to keep you Jack. That would be wrong. I couldn’t do that.”
“Chloe, I have a daughter,” Jack told her, kissing her temple, “I may not have done as well as I might have wanted, but I love Kim with all my heart, and if we never have children, I’ll be okay with that. And if we do…well, I’ll be okay with that too.” He sighed and pulled her closer to him, her head fitted so perfectly beneath his chin. “I love you, Chloe. Don’t ever forget that.”
“I know, I just,” she shifted uncomfortably and shrugged, “Morris wanted to have kids, but I never felt the same way. It was the reason we started drifting apart and why eventually he started cheating.”
“Hey,” Jack tugged her chin and forced her to look into his eyes, “it’s not your fault he couldn’t see what a wonderful person you are. In a way I’m glad he didn’t because if he had he’d never have let you go and I wouldn’t be the lucky man with you now.”
“Jack,” she sighed his name like a caress and leaned forward, brushing her lips against his, “I love you too.”
“Even though I sent you home from work early?”
She poked him the arm playfully, “just don’t make a habit of it, or I’ll get hooked on Oprah and never work again.”
He laughed, kissing her again, “okay, I wouldn’t subject either of us to a fate worse than death.”
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