action_antihero: (Waugh!)
[personal profile] action_antihero
July 4, 2012
6:37pm

Jack stares at the screen of his laptop, little finger tapping gently at the enter key as he tries to think of the right word for what he's trying to describe in this proposal. It's hovering somewhere at the back of his mind, but he can't seem to catch it.

Frustrated, he hits the save icon and minimises the window. He's been working on reports and client files all day, and he's starting to feel like he's trying to find ten different ways to say the same thing. Technically he doesn't have to work today--he and Michelle had agreed that they'd take the day off, enjoy the holiday. But after the explosion in Chicago the night before, it hadn't felt much like a holiday. He and Chris had had plans to get together with Kim, Chase and Angie for a barbecue but they had all been called into CTU, not that any of them would have felt in much of a celebratory mood.

He clicks over to his email, checking for any new mail but there isn't any. He's about to turn off the laptop and get something to eat, when there's a soft ping! and a text box pops up near the toolbar. It's the program he downloaded from CNB, notifying him of important breaking news.

He reads the headline once, then again, not quite believing what he's seeing.

Explosion at Boston fireworks, suspected suicide bomber.

Clicking on the text button, an Internet Explorer page opens, but nothing loads; the bar that shows the progess of the page is still only halfway full.

"Come on, dammit..." Jack hisses, hitting F5, but still the page isn't loading, a "servers overloaded with heavy traffic" message coming up. Somehow that just makes his stomach sink even more.  Shit, no, not today of all days...   An explosion on Independence Day; there's no way that's a coincidence, no way it's an accident.

Pushing the laptop aside, he hops off the bed and hurries to the living room, turning the TV on, planning to change the channel to CNB.

He doesn't have to. The networks are covering it, live, a harried reporter standing in front of the camera, his eyes betraying his own fear as he tries to keep them on the camera.

"--ation. Apparently the bomb went off right in front of the stage in between songs; witnesses report hearing someone scream something before the explosion, similar to last night's explosion in Chicago which may mean that this explosion was also the work of a suicide bomber."

Slowly, Jack sinks onto the couch, knees feeling weak with shock. Two suicide bombings in two days; this doesn't feel like a coincidence.

It feels like the start of a pattern.

He's almost reaching for the phone when he stops himself. He can't call CTU, can't go in and see if they can use his help, even if that's his first instinct. He's persona non grata there now, barred from doing anything for the government. Even now, when they need everyone they can get; even if the bombing was all the way across the country, there would be threads to follow here, precautions that needed to be taken. Even now, when he's practically jumping out of his skin to do something instead of just sitting here and watching the footage unfold in front of him.

His next instinct is to call Chris, but then that doesn't last as long as his first instinct; she'll be busy, as will Kim. They don't need to hear from him, he'll just have to sit back and wait until Chris calls, or gets home. He has to admit, though, now he really does understand what it must have been like for Teri, whenever something big was happening.

Picking up the remote, he flips through the channels, looking at all the different stations covering the same thing, trying not to think of how much he doesn't want to be sitting on the couch doing fuck all when he knows there's got to be something he can do.

When he knows that this isn't over yet.
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