2007-11-06: Compromise


Trina_icon.gif Jack_icon.gif

Summary: Two lovers talk it out. Sort of.

Date It Happened: November 6th, 2007


Jack and Trina's Apartment

"After a long day's work, I was sleeping like a Chinese whore," Jack is explaining into his phone. "My bad for missing the switch, okay? I'll head that way soon. 'Kay." Rolling his eyes, he thumbs the off button and tosses the infernal piece of tech across the room. It bounces off of a couch cushion and lands on the floor with a clatter. Glaring at it, Jack goes back to putting his pants on and muttering to himself. "God forbid… try to get some damn… little whiny bitch. That's right."

He doesn't look good. He's very pale, he's covered with a thin sheen of sweat, and his eyes are heavily bloodshot. Green around the gills would be an understatement. As he moves around the living room to collect articles of clothing, his lack of coordination becomes more evident. He's not limping. More like staggering. The nimble deftness is gone from his long, thin fingers.

He doesn't look good at all.

It takes Trina a good amount of time to finally come back to the world of the living. From her place passed out on the chair, she didn't even move through the majority of the conversation. As the phone goes flying and makes a different sort of noise, however, her right eyelids crack open in a draconic slit. The blue eye slides behind, tracking movement before what is moving even really registers.

As realization cuts through the fog, however, the slender brunette pushes against the arm of the chair she had been resting her head on and forces herself into a sit to look bleary eyed at her moving boyfriend. Her voice is groggy, but its got its volume back at least. "Baby?" Her brow furrows in fuzzy concern and she blinks against what feels like burning bright lights. Is something the matter? Where are you going? There are more questions than her body is willing to allow her to speak.

"Uh?" Jack turns his bleary gaze in Trina's direction, partway through (improperly) buttoning up his shirt. After a moment he blinks and smiles raggedly. "Hey baby. Did I wake you? Sorry." He clomps across the room and drops into an unsteady squat next to her chair. One of his clammy hands seeks out one of hers. "Love you. Really, really love you."

As the hand takes hers and the strangeness of the sensation hits her, Trina's awareness starts coming back to her in a hurry. Her other hand quickly comes out to clamp on top of the one that Jack offers her, doing its best to trap his. "And I love you. Where are you going?"

Jack's hand quivers between hers, but he clings to her gratefully. She's still here. Despite all he's done and all he's put her through, she's still here. He licks his lips, trying to wet skin that becomes more dry and cracked every day. "I have to go look after the doctor," he rasps without meeting her eyes. "See if he's made any progress."

Trina looks at Jack for a moment, blue eyes narrowing behind a partial veil of unbrushed, sleep-tousled dark hair. There's something distrusting in her gaze, but she doesn't mean to. Or maybe it's just because she's still entirely unhappy about the fact that Jack kidnapped a doctor. "That's it? And then you're comin' back home? You don't look so great, sugar. Y-you need to be restin'."

"I know." It the first time that Jack has openly aknowledged how bad his condition has gotten. "I'd stay if I could, but I have to make sure he's doing what he's supposed to be doing." Absently, he scratches at the worn adhesive bandage that's pasted across the side of his neck, digging and worrying at the welt beneath.

Trina frowns plainly, then she heaves a sigh and lifts a hand up to rest on his sweat-moistened cheek. Her head leans in a little; her voice drops. "You shouldn't be goin' anywhere. Let me drive you." At least if she goes, she can see where Jack has the doctor stashed, make sure Jack is behaving himself with said doctor because she is not at all certain that he is, and, lastly, ensure that he just goes to the doctor and comes RIGHT back.

"Oh shit."

Because it's a good idea. It is. No one is more trustworthy than Trina. No one cares about Jack more than she does. He should let her take care of him. He should.

Of course, that would mean letting her see what he does.

"Ahhh. Don't worry about it, honey. I'll be back before you know it."

Trina's eyes narrow again as she feels something tighten in her gut. Then, because she is apparently inherently stupid, she takes a deep breath. "You ain't goin' without me, Jack. If it's just a trip to the doctor, you ain't got anythin' to worry about, now, do you?" And with that, she carefully pushes herself to her feet and starts walking towards the loft without waiting for a reply. "Jes' gimme five minutes so I can look a little more human."

"I. Um." Jack's shoulders slump helplessly. There's no way he can bring Trina in while he talks to Suresh. It would expose her identity, his, and worst of all it would expose her to the way he's been treating the doctor. Niether can he push her away, or casually insist that she stay at the apartment. "Compromise. Okay? You drive me, I talk to him alone. That sound good?"

Trina pauses, and her head turns. She chooses her tone very, very, very carefully. Jack is acting damnably suspicious, and it calls for more delicacy than is her first inclination. A single eyebrow pops up, and her frown only grows. "Why, Jack?" Every inch of her face is screaming that she is playing dumb very much on purpose, her rigid posture only lends credence.

Jack's jaw clenches tightly. The bunching of muscles is visible, and the sound of grinding is audible. Slowly, very slowly, he pulls in a whistling breath through his teeth and exhales through his nose. "Because that's the way it has to be." When he speaks his voice is carefully controlled, not emotionless, but tightly reigned in. The irrational, unfounded anger and frustration are taking hold again. The irritability. "I need a goddamn shot," he mutters under his breath as he pats his pockets.

"You need to take a good look in the mirror and really figure out what's lookin' back," Trina offers unhelpfully, head slanting. "If you're scared for me to see somethin', maybe that means you shouldn't be doin' it." Then she turns away and starts climbing up the stairs with her careful step, moving towards her clothes and away from Jack and those horrible, dreadful shots. "But you want me to wait in the car? Fine. I'll wait in the damn car. Your rubber and needle're on the table, if that's what you're lookin' for."

"I don't have anything to put in it," Jack admits unhappily. What he pulls from his pockets are a fistful of pill bottles. Some are discarded onto the counter, but he shakes tablets out of two. One labeled 'MORPHIUM' and the other 'ATIVAN'. All at once, the half-dozen pills get tossed into his mouth and chewed up like so many breath mints. When the bits are pulverized, he sucks his teeth clean in a painfully unsexy fashion and lets out a huffing sigh.

If there is a 'fortunately' about the situation, it is that Trina's ability is not some sort of improved vision or hearing. She doesn't even know she has to worry about pills, and Jack's relative sexiness can remain intact. A few minutes pass, and then the rail-thin Trina is slipping down the steps in a fresh pair of jeans and a button down black shirt with its sleeves rolled up to her elbows. On her feet are a pair of thick-soled black boots. She doesn't look at the man in the room with her right away, instead focusing on going to the kitchen and getting a paper cup out of the freezer.

She then proceeds to take the paper cup, tear it apart to get to the ice within. Upon closer inspection, one might note a car key suspended partway in. The cylindrical block of ice is then set under a hot stream of water from the sink faucet. Still not looking up. "It'll just be a second."

"You're certainly prepared for this," Jack murmurs, already calming under the influence of powerful painkillers and sedatives. Without the adrenaline and atropine it doesn't quite scratch the same itch, but his relief is still perceptible. The irritation is already gone. Even the frozen key earns no further snide remarks. Instead, he changes the script up. There's gratitude in his voice and love in his eyes. "You always take care of me, y'know? No matter what I do, you always make sure I'll be okay when it's over."

Trina still doesn't look up. Her attention is absorbed by the steaming stream, watching it whittle away the El Cheapo security system on her car key. "You take care of me. I take care of you. That's the way this is supposed to work." The shift in his mannerism isn't lost on her, either. "I tol' you, long as you'll have me." Her fingertips play at the edge of the ice, where it's already cooled the water a little. "But this is the last time I'm driving you without going in with you. This time, alright, but now you've got some time to get used to the idea."

"Okay," Jack gives in. With any luck, he won't be faced by this issue a second time. He reaches out and lays his hands on Trina's shoulders from behind, squeezing gently and massaging at the inevitable tenseness. "This guy can fix me, baby. He'll come up with a cure, or cut this freakin' thing out of my neck. He'll do something."

Yes, he will. Suresh will solve this problem, because if he doesn't Jack will… punish him. The grip on Trina's shoulders grows unconsciously tighter at the thought.

The gentle rubbing earns Jack a quiet murmur of appreciation. But then his thumb digs in a little too deeply. She sharply inhales and ducks the offended shoulder, pushing a smile back on her lips and trying to mask the wince with a laugh. "Careful, sugar. 'M mostly bone back there yet." Turning around to face Jack fully, the young woman lifts both of her hands to gingerly cup his jaw. "You're mine, Jack Derex. And I ain't intendin' to let anything get in the way of it. Not even you." She then rolls up onto the balls of her feet and tentatively moves to plant a light kiss on his lips.

Jack instantly melts against her, both her lips and her body. It's not a passionate kiss so much as one that speaks of adoration and devotion. It takes another second for him to realize that he's hurting Trina, and when he does his hands jump away from her shoulders as if burned. He breaks the kiss and leans his cheek against hers, soaking her in and basking in her. "Sorry," he mumbles. "Didn't mean to squeeze down. Love you, baby. Don't pretend to understand why you keep putting up with me, but by God, I'm glad that you do."

At that, Trina just snorts a little and smiles, a hint of twinkle coming to her eye. As she just settles against him, she heaves a sigh. He's sweaty and clammy and shaky and broken, but he's still here. That has to count for something. "I was born stupid," she teases before pulling away at last to turn back to the sink. There, the key rests on the steel bottom of the sink. She picks it up in her slender fingers and pushes it into her pocket. "Does your doctor need anythin'? Food? Somethin' to drink? Beer?" His freedom back? "We could pick it up on the way."

"Uhhh… Nah, he's okay. The kinda guy who likes to have a sandwich and then go right back to work." Jack shifts uncomfortably away from the topic and instead focuses on the girl that he's snuggling. He wraps his arms around her and holds her against his chest gently, cradling her with his chin resting on the top of her head. For a moment he just cuddles, but unfortunately the topic can't just be ignored. "Baby," he begins tentatively. "I don't want you to empathize with this guy. He's done wrong. Done things that hurt people. Helped the wrong people. If you start thinking of him as someone that needs rescuing…" he trails off, but it's clear he doesn't consider it a favorable situation.

"Jack, that's not the point, and you know it." Trina sighs and looks back to the sink. Only she doesn't really look there. Her eyes close as her frown comes back with a vengeance. "It doesn't matter what he's done. We're still responsible for what we do. The moment we start makin' everything relative, where nothin' points north anymore, that's when we start gettin' lost."

Jack shakes his head slowly and sighs. "We think of justice in different terms. If this man has used others, what does it matter if I use him? He's earned that and more by working for the damn Company that's trying to chase us all down." He cuts the air with one hand in a brisk, dismissive slicing motion. "It's not like I killed him, or plan to. I'm going to let him go once I have what I need."

"It still ain't right," Trina says quietly, slipping between Jack and the sink with a serpentine curl of her body so she can get towards the door. "Come on. Let's get that doctor to take a look at you. Baby got gas in her?" Trina hasn't driven her car in months. She can only assume that Jack has in the wake of the incident that stole Julia away.

"Yeah. She's sitting down in parking with a full tank, all covered up and ready for you." Jack ducks his head low. "I tried driving her once, but it wasn't the same without you. I've kept her wrapped up and waxed her every week or so. She's got enough shine to blind you." It a minute attempt at good humor, but it's an attempt. With one hand on the small of his lover's back, he guides her out the door so they can get started on their expedition.

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