2007-11-02: Bad Jack Hunting


Elena_icon.gif Trina_icon.gif

Summary: Having not heard from Jack for a few days, Trina decides to call Elena to see if she's seen him recently.

Date It Happened: November 2nd, 2007

Bad Jack Hunting

Over The Phone

Know what sucks about broken trust? The fact that it's broken. In need of repair.

It sucks even more when the two people responsible for repairing the trust don't seem to have the time or the tools to do so.

Maybe that's why Trina, camped out with her pretty, pretty glass of scotch and her prescription cocktail is sitting on the couch right now, staring at a piece of paper in her hands. It's the piece of paper that bears a single cell phone number scrawled upon it. A cell phone number that Trina snuck off Jack's contact list while he was in the shower.

The dark haired woman takes another long sip of her booze, pulling her upper lip against her teeth and hissing a breath afterwards as it burns its way down her gullet. Next, the television is muted and the remote neatly set down. Then the cheap drugstore cellphone is picked up from its place beside her bottle of Ballantine's on the coffee table. Trina pauses there for a moment, debating. However, after a long moment of consideration, she dials.

Somewhere, in another corner of New York City, there is a cherry-red jPhone ringing. It is from a number she doesn't recognize.

Elena is jarred awake by the sound, bleary eyes opening. She had fallen asleep from the evening before, when Peter went off with Nathan to get out of the mansion for a while. So deep had been her sleeping that she hadn't even woken up when Peter crawled into bed next to her. Feeling his solid arm draped over her torso, she casts her sleep-filled eyes towards him, and gropes for the phone while it rings. He must be tired, given how deeply he was sleeping. She answers the call, her other hand brushing a lock of hair away from Peter's forehead tenderly. "Hello?" she croaks. She sounded like death. Or death warmed over.

With that gentle gesture given, she moves his arm off her, and eases away from the bed. She was still clad in her pajamas, but she doesn't have to dress up these days anyway. She drags her robe off the chair by the desk, and shuffles zombie-like out the door, trying to be as quiet as possible while she ventures out of the guest room of the mansion, closing the door behind her. She doesn't know when he came back to the mansion, but it must have been really late and she doesn't want to deprive him of sleep.

"Laney? Sugar, s'achou?" Trina's voice drawls heavily, Southern speech slurred from fatigue and things combining in her blood that shouldn't be. It's taking everything in her to not hang up the phone and just pretend she never dialed Jack's not-niece. Instead, she bites her lip for a second and then offers an apology. "M'sorry to bother you." What time is it anyway? She forgot to check. You know what she needs? A cigarette. Badly. Pinching the phone between her ear and shoulder, she leans forward to reach for the soft pack of dime store smokes on the table and her lighter.

"….Trina…?" Elena can't help but be stunned. Only one person in this world called her 'Laney', so even if Trina's voice was husky and her accent thick with fatigue, she knows it's her. "I haven't heard your voice in ages. Are you alright? How are you recovering?" The guilt is back in full force, moving away slowly from the guest room and padding down the stairs. "And no, no it's okay. I'm awake…it's around six in the morning. I should be getting up earlier anyway…" She stubs her toe on the edge of the stairs when she gets to the end, and bites back a curse. "How are you?" There's something hesitant in her tone. It could be because of the guilt, something Trina probably expects from someone in her position. But in this case, it could also mean because she knows. She hobbles her way into the kitchen, probably to get herself something to drink, and digging out the box of latex gloves so she doesn't have to contaminate anything edible.

"M'alright," Trina mumbles over the cigarette that's now held between her lips, glazing over the little bits of truth she doesn't really want to talk about. There's the faint flicking sound of a lighter and then the telltale long, intake of breath as the stick flares and begins its short, poisonous life. After a slow exhale, she pulls up her jeans on her thighs so she can spread her legs a little further apart and rest her forearms on them. "Y'sound like hell, sweetie."

"I've got this really bad flu that just won't go away," Elena explains. It's more than that, but she also knows Trina and Jack are having a few problems. She doesn't want to burden the woman with any more than that. "It's the season, you know? I recommend flu shots. Nate and Peter have it too, so it's been a wild and crazy party where I am." She keeps the last light, or at the very least she tries. She shuffles over to the fridge, pulling it open and taking a look inside. Eggs. Bacon. Maybe she'll make pancakes today. "What's up, Trina…? I didn't even know you had my number." She could surmise the one, surefire way in which she got it. Jack and Trina had been together for a while after all. She doesn't know for how long, but she recalled it being several months before she even met the woman.

"I…" Okay, yeah. More scotch needed for this conversation. Trina quickly grabs up the glass and throws back the rest of its contents with a toss of the head and arch of the back, before loudly setting it back down. Resettling her arms on her thighs, one hand lifts up to help support the phone instead of leaving her shoulder to do all the work. "I didn't. I… I kinda stole it off Jack's phone a few days ago." After that's said, there's a rapid, drunken slew of syllables that sounds vaguely like, 'don't you dare tell him I did it'.

Grabbing some orange juice, eggs, and bacon, Elena moves over to set the items on the counter, her phone pressed against her ear and held there by her shoulder. She rummages for a glass, and she looks over the door frame to make sure no one's wandering in, before she continues. "I won't say anything, and it's okay. I've been meaning to get your number anyway. And….I have something for you from a trip a long time ago. It's kind of an 'I'm really sorry I got you into the hospital' sort of thing…" The last is said with no small amount of sheepishness. And then, there's silence. "….you haven't talked to him in a while, have you?" That's really the only reason why she could think Trina would be calling her so early, and why she sounds so tired. She might be sick, her powers might suck at the moment, but that doesn't mean her brain's stopped working altogether.

"…How did you get me into the hospital?" She doesn't really remember, she never really asked, and Jack never really said. With another sharp exhalation, Trina interrupts Elena before she can even start to answer. Unheard is the vigorous shake of her head as she tries to loose the foggy question from her own mind. All she manages to do is make her vision go very blurry temporarily. "I— It's been a couple days, Laney. I was kinda hopin' maybe you'd seen him. I ain't tryin' to be nosey, I really ain't, but he was makin' it sound like he was done with this nonsense. And then he ain't been home for two days."

"I….I'll tell you later," Elena says, sounding sort of hopeless. To revisit those moments wasn't exactly something she wanted to do. But she does move around the kitchen restlessly, knowing where this conversation is going to lead, and that it was going to be difficult. Taking a sip of the cool orange juice, she leans against the counter, crossing one arm over her torso. "Trina, he stopped by after….he left you guys's apartment that one day," she tells her, biting on her lip and feeling torn. On one hand, Jack was her nuncle - he trusted her. On the other hand, this was Trina, Jack's girlfriend and the only person in New York who loved him more than she did. "And then I saw him again at my apartment two days ago. He looks like crap. But I honestly don't know what he's been doing. I asked many times but he wouldn't tell me."

"So you ain't seen him either." There's a hushed slew of colorful expletives that escape Trina's mouth after that. A deep drag from her cigarette strives to stop the shaking that is taking over her hands. She will not panic, she wills herself. She will not panic.

When all is said and done, the displaced Southerner decides that a game of pretend is the only graceful way out of this. Just gloss past the part where Jack didn't tell her where he was going. Paint over the fact that he hasn't called to say where he is. "Look, sugar. You ain't gotta tell me nothin'. Way I figure, it's over and done with and there ain't no point in payin' the past a call. You… you just keep it between us that I called. Jack don't need to know. But if you see him…" Damn it. Hot in Trina's eyes are stupid tears. The scotch was supposed to be innoculating her against them! THE SCOTCH FAILED HER. The fact that this is surprising is only testament to how slow Trina learns her lesson sometimes. "If you see him, can you call me? You don't gotta tell me anythin' more than he's alright. Just that he's alright."

"Not since the morning of the 31st, no," Elena says softly, taking a slow seat on the high chairs set around the breakfast counter, rubbing her face. She hears the quiet, soft cursing - but she doesn't comment on it. If Peter had done this to her, she'd be doing more than just quietly cursing. In fact she was surprised that Trina wasn't panicking, because she would be. After a long moment of silence, she listens to the woman's entreaties, her heart going out to her in more ways than one. She owed Trina too, the mess with her and her family had almost killed the woman. Put her in a coma and drove Jack into the crazy sort of brooding mess he rarely got into. She owed her. And if she had been in her position…

She nods slowly. "Alright. If I see him again, I'll tell you how he is. But…Trina seriously I think you should try and talk to him. You have his number, you should call him. I tried asking if he's called you or seen you but he wouldn't say anything." She rubs her face again, and restrains from heaving a tired sigh. "But I will. He keeps me in the dark about what he's doing anyway so it's not…I guess he knows you and I better than I thought. I wouldn't be able to tell you since I don't know. I guess he likes keeping it that way." There is another bout of silence, Elena hesitating. "You know he's…..not well, right? He's been free about telling me a bit as to what happened, what he did, while he was away. But he wouldn't….tell me what's been done to him."

She doesn't know anything about who owes who. She just knows that Jack's been skating around behind her back. Trina's reply is bitterly short, Elena unable to see the way that the dark-haired older woman narrows her eyes. "You've seen those ing injections, then."

"….I had to do it for him," Elena says, not being able to help it. "One time. When he visited me a few days ago. He…couldn't do it himself." She's trying to tell Trina without really telling Trina, once again hopelessly in the middle of two people. She takes another thirsty gulp of juice. "I….I can't do anything more than that until he tells me what the hell happened to him while he was away. It's not like I don't have connections to help." Not just with Cass, but her father and a couple of her best friends are in the positions to ask for and probably get professional, scientific help in and outside of New York.

More cursing. Louder. "He's gonna have half of New York seein' him like this." Trina takes a deep breath. "Look, Laney, he told me. He told me all the crap that's happenin'… and… when he told me I'd been drinkin' and… and I don't remember what all he said, just that it was bad but this wasn't gonna keep happenin', and now he's been gone two f***in' days, he comes and goes like the damn wind. A couple of weeks ago, I overheard somethin' about a doctor and findin' a new one and tryin' to get his hands on somethin', but he hung up as soon as he knew I was listenin' and—" All of a sudden Trina stops short. "—I shouldn't be sayin' anythin'. You can't tell Jack I said any of that, either."

"He just…he wants his friends out of it. His family," Elena tells Trina, her hand still on her face. She wished she dra— oh hey, she could now. Now that her powers were pretty much useless, alcohol would have an effect on her. Yes. Her friends will drive her to drink, and it would be glorious. Still, she shakes her head once, and she listens to Trina. Something about getting a new doctor. Something about trying to get his hands on something. Her mind drifts to the past few nights. Was that was he was doing? Trying to steal something? Oh Jack, she can't help but groan inwardly. "I won't," she promises. "I just…" She sighs. "I wish I could tell you more but I don't know much about what's going on with him either. You know what I know."

"Then I guess I ain't go no choice but waitin'." Because Trina can't bring herself to call him. She's that scared of what she's going to hear on the other side. And it hasn't even dawned on her that he might be doing something ELSE that's highly illegal. It's probably best that way. The better plan for now is likely to just hang up and let the poor kid on the other side of the line get some rest.

For those unaware of what is going on in the fuzzy amber-hued world of Mahland, the shift in Trina's conversation may seem abrupt, even as she leans forward after a last drag to smash out her cigarette in the overflowing ashtray on the table. "Hope you feel better soon, Elena. M'sorry again for botherin' ya. Tell me if y'all need anythin' over there and I'll see if I can't swing it by."

"Trina…" Elena can't help but sigh. Part of her wants to encourage her to at the very least call Jack. But she's already told her she should. It's up to her to do it if she could, if she's ready. Finally she shakes her head and she exhales. "I hope he calls you soon," is what she says, finally, closing her eyes and rubbing her temple just a bit. Part of her wanted to SHAKE Jack. And she should check on his friend. She has no doubts Jack checks on him from time to time, but…. technically he was a patient. She should look into how he is. Perhaps later after she spends some time with her father.

"Thanks Trina. I…I hope so too," she tells her simply. "You take care of yourself, okay? If I see him…." She pauses. "If I see him, I'll tell you how he is. And I'll try to convince him to at least give you a call. Okay?" That's all she could do. Part of her is ready to scream in frustration. She wants this illness GONE. She wants to be free to roam around and be for the people she cares about.

"Thanks, sugar. G'night. And get some rest." The knife's edge that she feels like she's dancing with Jack is thin and sharp enough without making him feel like she's checking up on him. Policing him. The last thing she needs is him cutting her out entirely again; just another reason she can't call. She doesn't even wait for Elena's parting shot. With a press of the 'end' button, Trina sets the phone down and picks up the television remote. She unmutes the set, pours herself another glass, and then curls up on the couch. It's gearing up to be another long night.

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