2007-07-10: Far From Over


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Summary: Nathan and Jack talk after the events in Syracuse.

Date It Happened: 10th of July, 2007

Far From Over

Beth Israel Hospital

Beth Israel Hospital. Late evening.

"…so everybody made it out in time. An' we got 'im, baby. We got the fucker good." Jack squeezes Trina's hand. She's been situated in a private room. Sheets and blankets drawn up to her chin conceal the worst of her injuries. Though there's a bandage wrapped around the top of her head, her beautiful face is unmarred. She appears to be sleeping peacefully. But Jack knows that's not the case. He gives her hand another squeeze and continues around the lump in his throat. "So sorry, baby. So sorry. Don't die. I can't go back to the way things were."

The Irishman is still wearing the same faded grey denims and beat-up, bloody t-shirt he had on during the lengthy battle with Carter. It's been more than two days since he's slept and he's covered with minor injuries. There are scrapes and bruises up and down his arms, and more are visible through rips in his jeans. His head has been shaved so the gash in his head could be stitched. Fresh blood spots the back of his shirt indicate yet more wounds.

Jack called Nathan on his way back from Syracuse. The politician isn't just his employer, he's Jack's best friend. Not much information was conveyed. Only that there had been a devolpment in their security situation, and he would be happy to meet Nathan at the hospital on blahblah street in room number blahblah for a debriefing. It's a polite request, but there's a tightness in the bartender's voice that makes it clear that something is greviously wrong.

There have been too many reasons in the last few months for Nathan to be walking through a hospital, whether it be Mt. Sinai or Beth Israel. This time, he's not even sure why he's here. He walks briskly down a corridor of private rooms, and though he came from home to here, he's still dressed as if to impress, with a metal-grey suit over a black shirt, sunglasses in one hand which get pocketed as he nears his destination. Very much in contrast to the man he's about to meet, aside from one now faintish bruise beside his mouth.

Once at the room, Nathan knocks his presence against the closed door before letting himself in, as he's wont to do. He almost hesitates, not really recognising Jack at first and wondering for a fraction of a second if he just walked into the wrong room. But no, Nathan sort of got the feeling something was wrong before needing to see it. He opens the door a little wider, stepping inside. He could ask the obvious question here, but instead, he waits.

"Nathan." Jack stands and extends a hand to his friend for shaking. His other hand keeps a firm grip on Trina's, as it has since the minute he walked through the door. "Thanks for comin'. Things got bad. Real bad." He jerks his head in the direction of Trina's prone, comatose form. "Man. Where the fuck do I start? 'Lena got possessed by the scary murderer guy. My baby here…" Another glance at his girlfriend. "I. She. This is my fault." He gulps and takes a breath. When he continues his voice is steadier. "It was a mess. We ended up in Syracuse tryin' to track down 'Lena. But we killed the fucker that did all this. Sarge killed him good."

The door is shut behind him before Nathan steps forward to grip and shake Jack's hand, watching him almost warily, gaze drawn again towards the woman in the bed. Trina, right, he does recognise her. Nathan hand finds itself on Jack's shoulder, an urging for him to sit down again, as the explanation begins. No interruptions, as Nathan tries to draw out what information is immediately relevant to him. His attention perks up sharply at this last part, eyes fixing on Jack's face. "He's dead," he repeats, flatly, now bringing a nearby chair closer to sit down on. "The man that killed those women." That could have killed my wife, is the silent portion of that sentence. He sits back in his chair, a hand coming up to restless run through his own hair, almost tugging. "Who else— " A glance to Trina, and it lingers. "Who else is hurt."

"Dead," Jack confirms emotionlessly. "But he was workin' for someone else. Dunno who yet, but I plan to find 'em and bite their fuckin' fingers off." As urged, he takes his seat again. He reaches out to tuck of wisp of hair behind Trina's ear, his fingers lingering against her face tenderly. "Manny Gomez got hurt bad, but he's gonna make it. Lachlan took one in the arm, but I'm pretty sure it was just a flesh wound. Sarge…" He trails off, his forehead pinching into a frown. "Sarge lost an eye. He's gonna be okay. And Peter got a bit banged up." He flashes a guilty glance in Nathan's direction. "I checked him out m'self, though. He seemed none the worse for wear."

Names he recognises, some he doesn't. One name of a man he doesn't even like. At the news of Peter's recovery, Nathan smiles, just a little, as if to dismiss Jack's guilty look. "He usually pulls through, yeah," he says, dryly. You know what question Nathan hated to be asked when he had stayed by Heidi's bedside, in those initial days she spent in a drug-induced coma as her body neglected to heal? 'What happened'. Judging by Jack's addition that it was his own fault, whether that be true or not, Nathan deems this a question to steer clear from. At least for right now. Something else is nagging him, though, and whether it's a good idea or not, he goes ahead and asks it. "Why didn't you call me, if you needed help?" he asks. "Sounds like you could have done with an extra hand." Maybe not, but maybe so. Either way.

If Jack looked guilty before, now his resolve strengthens substantially. He sniffs and wipes the back of his hand across his still-dirty face. "I thought about it," he admits. "We really could've used the help." He purses his lips, then wets them with the tip of his tongue. "But you, man… You can't die. People believe in you. I believe in you. You're gonna make the world a better place an' all that." He smiles crookedly, looking a bit like his usual self for just a moment. "Guys like me and Lach and Ramon? We're replacable. Our families and friends miss us, but the world keeps spinnin'. Your brother's a different story altogether."

That flash of a crooked smile almost gets one in return, this answer catching him off guard. Perhaps Nathan expected a response like 'do you even know how to hold a gun straight?' or some other similar answer that implied he was being put out to pasture. "The world would keep spinning anyway," he says, with a slight shake of his head. "With Gray after Mara, my family in and out of danger, you and Peter— it's a war just keeping the people you care about alive, some days. Point is, I'm not going to be anyone special if the world around me goes to hell. Next time, just humour me and pick up the phone." This isn't said sharply, because really, what's done is done and Nathan is just glad Carter is dead. He's just making a point for the future.

"I know what you mean," Jack agrees. He reaches up to drag his fingers through his hair as he often does when he's lost in thought, and is once again surprised to find that it's all short and stubbly. "I keep tellin' Peter that he can't save the world all by hisself. I should listen to m'own advice once in a while." His shoulders slump a bit. He's tired. Very tired. But he won't be getting any sleep tonight. "Besides, I been tryin' to watch your back. S'only fair I let you watch mine sometimes. Speakin' o' which, I'd like to ask a favor. Can I borrow one o' the security boys to keep an eye on Trina whenever I gotta leave? I know Carter's dead, but…" He leaves the thought unfinished and the implication clear.

"I'll make a call," Nathan says with a nod. "Long as you get some sleep at some stage. You do look like hell, Jack." This is put mildly - he's not one for throwing stones in glass houses. Well. He is. But he understands, to some degree, what Jack is going through, or fancies he does at the very least. "Carter's dead, but?" he then repeats, raising an eyebrow. He lets some silence fall between them as this sinks in, and for a moment, he looks slightly sick. "This isn't really over, is it."

Jack's face goes grim and cold. He shakes his head, one short, sharp jerk to the left and right. "I'm thinkin' it's far from over, but next time we'll be ready for 'em." His gaze wanders back to his comatose lover and the numerous wires and tubes snaking in and out of her inert form. "I think we can breathe easy for now, but you can never be too safe."

Nathan nods, not looking any happier, but he trusts Jack's word on this as he doesn't go to argue either point. He brings his hands up to rub wearily at his face, trying not to think about what next big bad would crop up to finish off this guy's work. "No, you can't," he agrees, looking back at Jack still watching his girlfriend.

"We can handle this, man." Jack brings out a ghost of his usual grin. "Think of it this way. If you were the bad guys, would you want to fuck with us?"

What accompanies Jack's rhetoric is the steady beep and whir of hospital equipment, and a low, rough chuckle from Nathan. "Not in my right mind, no." Breaking glass and being able to let go, knowing it'd kill someone. Jack sitting here and living to tell his comatose girlfriend the tale. These things do put it all into perspective. He stands, now, picking up his chair to shift it out of the way. "Take your time, here. I'll keep an eye on Heidi myself. Need anything?" He would have brought a drink, had he known.

"I'm good," Jack replies. "But thanks. I know bein' here won't make her get better any faster, but I can't bring myself to leave just yet." He lifts his hand in a lazy salute. "And thanks for comin' down."

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