2008-02-16: Anything For You


Jack_icon.gif Trina_icon.gif

Summary: Jack pays Trina a long overdue visit and more promises are made.

Date It Happened: February 16th, 2008

Anything For You

Trina's hotel room - NYC

"Nnng…" Jack stops halfway down the walk to Trina's hotel room and droops down until his hands are resting on his knees and his body forms a ragged 'L' shape. Deep breaths. Deep, deep breaths.

Though several hours of sleep under Yael's watchful eye have done him well, Jack's condition has continued to deteriorate. It's only been a little more than a day since the last time he shot up, but his face is already chalk-white and heavily lined with wrinkles. He's done his best to clean up, though. Fresh patches of gauze over his injured eye and nose, a clean shave, a change of clothes… They're good, but they can only do so much.

Deep breaths. Jack straightens, brushes his hands down the front of his peacoat, and squares his shoulders. Time to knock, which is another awkward process. He shifts the boquet of orchids and the box of strawberries he's carrying to one arm and raps out 'shave and a haircut,' but leaves off the 'two bits.'

When Trina comes to the door, she doesn't immediately move the chain latch. Her shoulders are hunched, and her head is tilted. Her thin hand rests upon the door. After taking a deep breath, she cracks open the door and peers out. Her face quickly changes from tentative concern to a grateful rush of relief. "Baby?! Hold on a sec. Just a sec…" She shuts the door, there's the harsh jangle of chain, and then it opens up. She's well hidden behind it, but her Southern accent floods out the door in thick, warm waves. "Get in here. Y'ain't been here for days! I was so worried."

Jack limps inside with his head ducked abashedly. His attempt to keep the injured side of his face pointing away from Trina is as unconscious as it is ineffective. An anticipatory shiver runs through his bony body, but he doesn't embrace her. Not right away. There's a self-conscious hesitance in his bearing and demeanor.

"For you," he says simply, offering her the flowers and the strawberries. "Happy Valentine's Day?"

Better late than never.

As Trina closes and latches the door behind her lover, she turns to face him. There are flowers and strawberries. She blinks and then a soft smile cracks her lips, but his nervousness fuels a kindred emotion in her as she lifts a hand to tuck an unbrushed strand of black hair behind her ear. "Sugar. You didn't have to do that." But… but she's glad he did. Tentatively, she steps towards him. Dressed in one of her wife beater tanks and a pair of sweats, the ring he gave her dangles prominently against her breastbone. She stretches hands out to take the items, head ducking down as she tries to catch Jack's gaze with her pale blue eyes. Hey. Hey, you. Look here. "Thank you."

The ring catches Jack's attention first. He reaches out and brushes his trembling fingers against it briefly. "It looks good on you," he whispers. Slowly, he shifts his head so he can meet Trina's eyes with his one good one. "You look good. Missed you."

He swallows, sniffs, and clears his throat audibly. "Missed you lots," he repeats. The toying with the ring has turned into an excuse for a gentle caress with the backs of his knuckles.

"And I missed you." Gentle sincerity is not something that Trina knows how to handle right now, and so she shifts it quickly to teasing. Something to disarm him. To banish this cloud that came in with him. The only thing she has in her arsenal that seems even remotely appropriate is to crack a joke. "Guy who got me this ring had good taste about a few things, you know? Gawd awful taste in girls, but he did alright on the jewelry." A push of a smile, and a sheepish shrug. "Ever meet someone like that?"

It's enough to pull a small smile from Jack in return. "I know a guy like that," he replies. "Except this great girl finally found him and started tryin' to straighten 'im out."

It's time to take the plunge. The risk that Trina will pull away like many other people have. He steps forward and holds his arms out to her, inviting her into an embrace.

The smile Trina holds is tinted momentarily rueful, but then she quickly strides the rest of the distance towards Jack to wrap her arms around him with strawberries and bouquet crashing against his back. She squishes her nose against his boney shoulder, breathing in the smell of him. "Baby, I missed you so much. You scared the shit outta me. And did you get the number of the car that hit you? I'm totally gonna put sugar in their gas tank."

What little fat was on Jack's frame is gone now, along with too much muscle mass for comfort. Despite being cadaverously underweight, he still has the strength to scoop Trina into his arms and cradle her against his chest. "Missed you," he whispers against her hair. "I'm trying to get better, lover. It's so hard, but I'm trying." For just an instant, the depth of his guilt and shame bleeds through into his voice. Detoxification is an emotional process just as much as it's a physical one, and both parts are painful. "It's gonna be okay, though," he finishes more steadily. "I can do this. I can fix things."

From before the car wreck that nearly killed her until now, it's been such a sharp slide down. Trina barely recognizes the mass of bone and skin beneath her fingertips, but she knows the voice they house. The frame of a house, little more burnt-shell, but still entirely and hopelessly recognized as home. She sighs as she tries to think of something to say. Some great pearl of wisdom that will make this all make sense or be magically okay.

Unfortunately, she is not wise. Nor is she learned. Nor does she possess some ability to make this all magically okay. She's just… her. And that is not enough.

The girl frowns, unseen. "I know you're tryin', honey." More thinking, a sigh, and then she pulls back to fix him with a concerned look under a furrowed brow. "But… But if you can't do it yourself, that's okay, you know? We… We could see about gettin' somewhere to help you. A real place. People who know how to take care of you better than I can." She wants her Jack back. Her Jack. The one who got lost somewhere out there in the madness.

Jack immediately stiffens and his good eye darts away from Trina's gaze nervously. Rehab. Giving up his freedom to choose and move about. Sticking himself under someone else's rules and care. Letting them decide what's best for him. It's everything he hates. Everything he fears. Everything he swore he'd never go back to.

"I'll do it," he whispers. "If that's what it takes. He gulps and looks back to her with a nervous smile on his face. Slowly, he forces his muscles to relax. "Hopefully, I won't have to."

"You know I wouldn't want you to go unless… Unless… You know," she finishes lamely. Unless this gets further out of control. Trina doesn't know the half of it, blissfully sheltered away here.

The arm holding the strawberries rubs up and down his back, trying to think of something that could repair the damage that she just loosed on the conversation and falling up so sadly short that she feels a change of topic is needed, stat.

Or maybe just a casual brush off of the discussion altogether. She smiles up at her fiance again, trying to encourage. To soothe. And a smile's all she's got. "Why don't you come sit down, honey? Take your coat and shoes off. Stay a while."

Painfully aware of his own awkwardness, Jack reaches up to stroke Trina's cheek affectionately. Words are difficult and cumbersome. Sometimes a gentle touch is all it takes. Sometimes it's all a person can really give.

I'd do anything for you. Even that.

"Sure," he murmurs. Then once again, with more conviction. "Sure. Yeah, that sounds nice. Cuddle with me?" It's an innocent question, free of guile. "You're soft and you smell good."

Tenderness. She drinks it in like a sponge, absorbing it deep within to hold. "You go 'head and get comfy," Trina suggests tightly with a smile and a roll up onto the balls of her bare feet in order to press a kiss to his cheek. She's exceptionally careful to not lean too hard against him. "I'll be there in just a sec." She pulls away at that to put the strawberries in the mini-fridge and then heads into the bathroom to give the flowers water by sticking them in the sink.

Jack's unbandaged eye follows his love as she bustles too and fro about the hotel room. After a moment, his visual exploration expands to include the room itself. It's not a dive by any stretch of the imagination, but it is what it is. One room in a filing cabinet for businessmen and family vacationers. A room that he stuck her in because he destroyed everything else that they shared.

By the time Trina makes it back, he's all smiles again. He holds both hands out to her and makes childish grasping gestures. "C'mere. I can't stay long. I wanna soak you up as much as I can before I leave."

Jack's declaration draws a flicker of a frown. It hides in the corners of her mouth, souring Trina's gaze. "Where else you goin'?" Questions she probably shouldn't ask because they have answers she won't want to hear. When the slender woman settles on the bed beside him, drawing up her legs to curl as much of her body against him as humanly possible. "I mean…" She trails off again. There's a frown and a sigh, and then a hard push of a smile. "Forget it." If she doesn't have long, she doesn't want to start a fight.

"The flowers're real pretty." There! That's happy talk, right?

Clinging to her fiercely, Jack hides his face in Trina's hair and snuffles in a breath. Warm. Soft. Safe. "Nowhere near as pretty as you," he whispers. He takes another deep breath and lets it out very slowly. "I'm gonna put that ring on your finger soon. Promise, baby."

Then he just holds her. He strokes her hair and kisses her face and presses his bruised body against hers.

Soon can't come soon enough.

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