action_antihero: (ThinkingUnhappyThoughs!Jack)
[personal profile] action_antihero
Jack stands at the kitchen sink at a little after three in the morning, drying a couple dishes and staring out the window, thinking.

The day after he and Chris had switched back, he'd headed back out of the bar, glad to have his usual body back, glad to be able to get home for a while. There are a few things he needs to think about, and it's hard to do them in the middle of the busy bar. Particularly while distracted by the fact that your body isn't the same one you're used to, and you're not sure when--or if--you'll be able to switch back.

Coming back wasn't entirely a relief, though. Not with the news still showing round-the-clock coverage on the nuclear bomb and the other attacks. With reminders of what had happened everywhere, it's not surprising that he hasn't been able to sleep, which is how he ended up down here, washing dishes in the middle of the night.

Chris had been fast asleep when he'd given up on trying to sleep and come downstairs. Lying next to her, listening to her breathe, he hadn't been able to stop thinking about his conversation with Ryan.

Why do you think Henderson went after Caiti?

Because of me.

He'd always tried to keep a distance between his work and his family; with Teri, he'd seen that there was no way to keep it that way. No way to keep the people close to him safe. Chris and her family would be safer if she wasn't with him, but selfishness is stopping him from doing it. He doesn't want to let her go, and he knows if he tried breaking up with her for that reason she'd just be pissed at him.

He wants to be with her, wants to wake up next to her for the rest of their lives. The thing that's worrying him, though, is the price that they'll have to pay for that happiness.

The best things in life are never free. Standing in Michelle's kitchen--the kitchen that used to be Tony's too--he's not about to forget that any time soon.

Date: 2007-09-08 03:24 am (UTC)
chelleuncurled: (looking down)
From: [personal profile] chelleuncurled
"Why won't you die," Michelle mutters from the couch. Henderson and Logan keep reappearing, one face morphing into the other, and no matter how many times she shoots at them, they come back.

Blood coats her from head to foot and she's still looking for more bullets.

"Stop moving..."

In the distance she hears a baby crying.

Date: 2007-09-08 03:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] action-antihero.livejournal.com
Jack starts a little at the sound of a muffled voice coming from the living room. He knows Michelle is sleeping in there, but she'd been sleeping so soundly, he's almost forgotten that she's there.

Putting the dish back in the drying rack, he tosses the towel on the counter and walks over to the living room. Her forehead is furrowed, her expression making it clear that this isn't a pleasant dream.

He gently touches her shoulder, shaking her a little. "Michelle?"

Date: 2007-09-08 03:36 am (UTC)
chelleuncurled: (why?//nomorecasualty)
From: [personal profile] chelleuncurled
Before she wakes up, her fingers twitch. "Gun's not enough..." she whispers.

Her eyes open slowly and focus on him.

"Jack? What time is it?"

Date: 2007-09-08 03:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] action-antihero.livejournal.com
"About twenty after three in the morning. You were talking in your sleep," he says, taking a seat in the armchair nearby. "Why're you sleeping down here?"

Date: 2007-09-08 03:38 am (UTC)
chelleuncurled: (morose)
From: [personal profile] chelleuncurled
She tries to sit up a little, not used to the extra weight, and settles for propping her head higher on the pillow. "It always worked for Mulder," she moves her arms to get some leverage and raises herself into a sitting position. "Why aren't you upstairs?" Her voice is slightly flat.

Date: 2007-09-08 03:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] action-antihero.livejournal.com
"Couldn't sleep, so I decided to get up and do something. You were sleeping in here, so I was doing a couple dishes," he says, rubbing his forehead. "Why couldn't you sleep?"

Date: 2007-09-08 03:40 am (UTC)
chelleuncurled: (why?//nomorecasualty)
From: [personal profile] chelleuncurled
She glances at him, wondering if he also cleans when upset.

"I - " she starts, ready to give him a reason that sounds rational, but she doesn't have the energy to lie. "Jack, tell me again why we're letting Logan live." She sounds subdued, the way she's been since she came home from CTU.

Date: 2007-09-08 03:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] action-antihero.livejournal.com
Jack sighs, leaning forward and resting his elbows on his knees. "Because there's no way we could kill the President and not have to have someone take the fall, and I know I'm not willing to give up my freedom just so I can kill him. That and he'd be getting off too easy."

Date: 2007-09-08 03:43 am (UTC)
chelleuncurled: (unhappy//indilime)
From: [personal profile] chelleuncurled
"I am," she says softly. "Exposing or killing Logan is for the greater good. I already killed his accomplice, I can kill him too, and I don't care what they do to me."

At one time this would frighten her, but, she thought she'd be satisfied with killing Henderson, and instead keeps thinking about Logan vanishing. Everything else pales in comparison to her desire for revenge. If she could figure out some way to blame Logan for Saunders she would. Each night she dreams about his death and each night he gets away.

Date: 2007-09-08 03:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] action-antihero.livejournal.com
It's the matter-of-fact tone, the look in her eyes that worries him the most. He doesn't doubt that she wouldn't do it, and wouldn't regret it, at least at the time.

"Whatever you do, it won't bring Tony back. Do you really think he'd want you to do that? For his son or daughter to be born in prison and grow up with the stigma that its mother murdered the President?" he asks, sternly.

Date: 2007-09-08 03:46 am (UTC)
chelleuncurled: (unhappy//indilime)
From: [personal profile] chelleuncurled
She rests her hand against her very slightly rounded stomach. "Do you think he wanted his son or daughter to grow up in a country where all the values he fought to defend mean nothing? I should already be in prison. I killed Henderson in cold blood. But until Logan pays...it's not enough."

Date: 2007-09-08 03:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] action-antihero.livejournal.com
"He's already been removed from office, and from what I've heard from Bill, at the very least he's going to be under house arrest for the rest of his life. It might not be everything he deserves, but it's some punishment." He shifts in his chair. "And by that logic, Tony should never have been pardoned. Would you really turn back the clock and have the law served to the letter in that case?"

Date: 2007-09-08 03:46 am (UTC)
chelleuncurled: (determined//bridget)
From: [personal profile] chelleuncurled
Her response is almost a fuck you, but she knows that won't help. "Tony wasn't pardoned to help with a cover-up," she says. "I know how Gael's wife felt now. I couldn't understand how she could put so many lives at risk for revenge, but I -- Logan is a murderer and he should be treated like one."

Date: 2007-09-08 03:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] action-antihero.livejournal.com
"In the eyes of the law, he committed treason; the reasons don't matter."

He looks her in the eyes, his expression steely. "You think I don't want the same thing? You think I'd pass up the chance to just spend ten minutes with him, no questions asked, no matter the result? Don't think the thought of killing Logan hasn't crossed my mind. But I've been through a hell of a lot just to get this far and I'm not throwing it away on his account. He's not fucking worth it, and you've still got a lot to lose."

Date: 2007-09-08 03:48 am (UTC)
chelleuncurled: (determined//bridget)
From: [personal profile] chelleuncurled
"Most of what you've been through has been his fault. He's the one responsible for everything. While you were being tortured he was at State dinners. Thousands died in Valencia and he was campaigning for re-election. Tony - " she looks away, seeing one of many framed pictures. Tony was smiling and had his arm around her shoulders.

"When Tony came back from prison all he wanted to do was die. I want Logan to know how that feels and if he can't, then, I want him dead."

Date: 2007-09-08 03:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] action-antihero.livejournal.com
"Trust me, Michelle, I remember what he's responsible for," Jack says, a little snappishly. "Living with everything he's done--without his freedom--is more a of a punishment than killing him will ever be. If someone kills him, there's no guarantee that any of what he's done will come out, and he'll be remembered like Kennedy or Lincoln or Palmer. Is that what you really want?

"Besides, it's not about what you want; right now it's about what's best for the child you're carrying, and that's not having to live with only seeing its mother once a month through a plexiglass window. Logan gets martyred, and you go down in history with Oswald and Booth."

Date: 2007-09-08 03:50 am (UTC)
chelleuncurled: (michelle3//midge)
From: [personal profile] chelleuncurled
The muscles in her neck and jaw are visibly tense as his words sink in. "I don't want to make him a martyr," she says after a few moments of silence.

"What if that is what's best for my child?" Her gaze shifts from Jack to her lap and back. "Maybe this is all telling me that I...my child deserves more than I can give. I still hear Tony. He was in the room at CTU. I can't stop hearing him," her voice trembles as she admits it out loud.

"I killed a man in cold blood and I don't regret it. And Tony - he - he would have never done that...he forgave Nina and Dina Araz and I still dream about shooting Logan. What kind of mother is consumed by those thoughts?"

Date: 2007-09-08 03:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] action-antihero.livejournal.com
Jack sighs, moving from the chair to the couch and taking a seat next to her. "The best thing you can do for your child is be there for them. Do that and you're already doing a better job than I did. Tony forgave them, but it took a time. You really think he didn't want to kill Stephen Saunders as much as you want Logan dead? Especially if something had happened to you?"

He puts a hand on her shoulder. "You're a mother who just found out who was responsible for their husband's death. It's not as uncommon as you think, when you lose someone suddenly, and violently."

Date: 2007-09-08 03:52 am (UTC)
chelleuncurled: (morose)
From: [personal profile] chelleuncurled
"I wanted them to have such a different world," she says softly. "I thought when I had a child they would be greeted into a loving family and everything would be perfect. We kept putting it off until things were right...and now I'm bringing a child into a life where the President's a traitor and their mom is me."

She doesn't look up as she feels his hand on her shoulder. "I was starting to get better before the attacks began..."

Date: 2007-09-08 03:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] action-antihero.livejournal.com
"I don't know if the world's ever been perfect enough to bring children into it, which means it's probably a good thing people haven't stopped having them anyway. And your child will be greeted into a loving family. It just might not be the stereotypical nuclear family. Hell, nowadays, the traditional family is probably the exception to the rule. I don't think he or she's going to be lacking for love, though, and that's the most important thing. You're going to be a great mom, because I know you're going to give your child the love and time they deserve," he says, putting an arm around her shoulders.

He sighs, rubbing her back for a moment. "We all were. Two steps forward, one step back. It'll just take time."

Date: 2007-09-08 03:54 am (UTC)
chelleuncurled: (woe//midge)
From: [personal profile] chelleuncurled
"I know," she nods slightly and for the first time in days, at his words, she feels hope. Her child's well-being and happiness have to be put above her personal need for revenge. Focusing on getting even is a good path to the dark side. Tony smirks in her mind at the reference.

You may not have a father, but you'll never feel alone.

"A while ago, Tony and I talked about names. Did I ever tell you what we decided on if we have a girl?"

Date: 2007-09-08 03:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] action-antihero.livejournal.com
He relaxes a little, as she seems to be coming to her senses. "No, I don't think so."

Date: 2007-09-08 03:55 am (UTC)
chelleuncurled: (woe//midge)
From: [personal profile] chelleuncurled
"Elaine Rose," she leans back against the couch, her muscles losing some of their tightness. "Elaine because she saved him - us - and Rose for his mom." She presses her lips together slightly. "If it's a boy...we planned to name our son after you." She tilts her head to look up at him. "I always thought it would be us remembering you, not you and I remembering him."

Date: 2007-09-08 03:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] action-antihero.livejournal.com
Jack would reply if his throat wasn't closing up at the moment, so he doesn't say anything immediately.

"Yeah, neither did I," he says, softly. With all the trouble he got into, with the number of times people had come after him or his family members, he'd assumed he'd be the one to go first. Then again, he hadn't expected to outlive Teri, either.

Date: 2007-09-08 03:56 am (UTC)
chelleuncurled: (woe//midge)
From: [personal profile] chelleuncurled
A few seconds pass before she reaches up and lays her hand on his shoulder. "If we never got you back, we would have missed you. I don't think Tony would have ever been the same."

She looks up at him again. "I miss him so much. If I'd known we'd only have a short time together...I would have tried harder after he got out of prison, I wouldn't have let him go, and when he asked me if I wanted kids, I would have said yes." She closes her eyes for a moment.

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