2007-08-23: DF: Game. Set. Match.

Starring:

DFNathanReal_icon.gif DFJack_icon.gif

Summary: Nathan and Jack plot. Maturely. The world is doomed.

Dark Future Date: August 23rd, 2009

Game. Set. Match.


Level 5

It takes a remarkably short time for a person to grow accustomed to pain. Agony that was once unbearable, so sharp as to prevent coherent thought, can fade to a throbbing background murmur. Such is the case with Jack. He still hurts. His legstump is an aching knot of gut-wrenchingly exposed nerve endings. His chest is covered with first and second degree burns. After so many hours spent alone with these facts, they have become nothing more than that. Facts. He has detached himself from the desperate, driving need to keep his flesh whole at all costs, for it is already too late. Now he is able to truly inspect his own wounds in a clinical fashion for the first time. The knob of bone protruding from where the bottom half of his leg used to be is a definite cause for concern. He has unwrapped his bandages to view it with flat, detached eyes.

You will never fight again.

The crippled warrior is unable to fully repress a shudder as he begins to wind fresh lengths of cotton around the wound.

Unbeknownst to Jack, in the timeless square of concrete and hard lighting, it's late at night when Nathan unlocks the door to the cell to let himself in. There is very little about him now that resembles the President his body had appeared to be before he was kidnapped. A casual, corduroy jacket pulled over a T-shirt, jeans ending in boots, but then again, he has been busy today, still a little windswept as he walks steps inside. Looking as ordinary as possible has its uses. In one hand, a small bottle of water, and a featureless white cardboard box about the size of his palm.

Upon seeing Jack, Nathan freezes, gaze drawn down to the gruesome injury before almost sharply turning away to spend a little too much attention on relocking the door behind him, whatever greeting he had dying on his tongue.

Wrapping up your own wounds is delicate, unpleasant business. It consumes a lot of attention. Jack's lower lip is pinched between his teeth and his eyes are narrowed to slits as he focuses intently on the procedure. With a hissing, shuddering breath, he tucks the loose end of the bandage in to keep it from coming undone. He's so intent on not poking himself in the stump and provoking untold levels of agony that he doesn't hear the door swing open, though with his poor hearing he might not've anyway. He hears it click closed though, and glances up at Nathan. The arrival of his friend is enough to earn a smile, but it's the bottle of water Jack really has his eyes on. He makes grabbyhands and licks at lips that seem perpetually dry and chapped. "Good Lord, you brought water. Jackie want."

"Presents," Nathan agrees, walking closer and offering out the water bottle for Jack to snatch away as he wants. The cardboard box is also rattled and then offered. "Painkillers. Probably won't do you a hell of a lot of good but it'll take the edge off." He glances around the cell, eyeing over the limited supplies. No where, really, to sit down - it's no hotel room, that's for sure. So he locates himself on the shelf-cot, where Jack's leg would have been, keeping his eyes trained on his friend's face rather than the injury. "Did they bring a doctor round to check on it in here?" While this place is kind of his, he's finding it increasingly difficult to make things happen the way he wants them to. Like it has its own system.

"Gor', Nate. You shouldn't have. Gimmegimmme." As soon as it hits his hands, Jack has the cap off of the bottle and the neck raised to his mouth. Despite the urge to gulp it and soothe his fevered, healing body, he sips slowly and sparingly. All the same, it doesn't take him long to consume half of it. He tears into the painkillers next, chomping down on several to faster disperse them in his system and washing them down with a final swallow of water. Then, reluctantly, sets his goodies between himself and Nate on the shelf-bed. "Thanks, man." The glance Jack shoots at Nathan is equal parts guilty and grateful. He hasn't forgotten the deprivation he forced upon his friend's body at the meat packing plant. "No doctors yet," he continues. "But I've seen enough war wounds to know that this one's healin' up proper. No worry of it goin' septic, I think."

Nathan rolls his eyes at the news that no, no doctor yet. What's the good of being President if people don't snap to attention? "I'll tell 'em again," he mutters, despite the reassurance. "By rights you should be in hospital." He pauses, thoughtful, but whatever it is, he doesn't voice allowed. Instead, he skips passed 'so how was your day', because, well, he can guess, and approaches the topic of his own. "I talked to Trina."

Jack immediately perks up and grabs at the sleeve of Nathan's jacket. The miniscule issue of 'doctors' and 'appropriate medical treatment' is forgotten in favor of something far, far more important. "Is she okay?" he asks urgently. "I know I've got a bushel of other things to worry about right now, but damnit, I just wanna see my lady." He huffs out a breath and tugtugs at Nathan's sleeve again.

The tugging is tolerated, understood, even if he does instinctively fix his jacket. "I want you to see her too," Nathan says, vaguely. "She's— she's handling it. And she wasn't happy to hear from me until I had some good news for her." As he speaks, he's taking out a small notepad from his jacket pocket, along with a pen, casually flicking it open and writing something down. "But she understood the situation." He doesn't really want to go into detail about the obvious sounds of a woman breaking from sheer relief - that will be for Trina and Jack to discuss someday.

Jack breathes a sigh of relief and releases Nathan's arm in favor of clasping his hands together over his belly. As always, he's careful to avoid brushing against the bandaged burns on his chest. "Thank you," he murmurs. "After…" he glances up into Nathan's eyes briefly, then glances away. Best not to dwell on Logan's visit. It's not something either of them can change, or something to cast blame for. It's in the past. "Yeah. I just wanted her to know. Plus, if I'm ever gonna get outta here, she's one we can trust to do whatever it takes to help."

He almost wants to ask, but at the same time, he doesn't want to know what Logan said to make Jack so concerned. The former, because maybe there's something Nathan can say to undo it, and the latter, because… probably not. The pen is paused, before the last word is underlined and the notepad passed over. "I'm not sure when they intend to release you," Nathan says, grimly, although the note reads:

Trina will help get you home. Working out how to get you out of here. Hospital?

Avoiding sound recordings? Perhaps, although nothing is visible. Still, better safe than sorry.

The note is quickly scanned, and Jack begins to nod his head vigorously even as he scratches out a reply on the pad. For all his attempts at higher education over the last year, one thing has remain constant. His penmanship would probably be better if he held the pen in his mouth. Still, he scribbles away dutifully. When he's finished, he flips the pad around so Nathan can read it and taps it to emphasize the message.

Hospitals good. Drive away insted and meat up with Trina?.

Meanwhile, the people listening in on the conversation glance at each other in confusion. "Why'd they stop talking?" "Maybe they're making out." "Yeah, I thought there was something weird there too."

Nathan says nothing of Jack's spelling, or chicken-scratch writing. Just a slight eyebrow raise, but otherwise, he's flipping open to the next page to apply his much neater handwriting.

Yes.

Not sure how to take over transfer yet. Will figure it out. Main thing is to get you out of facility.

And passed back. It's a silent process, pen scratchings nearly inaudible.

Jack sucks in a deep breath, holds it for a moment, then expells it with a 'WHOOSH'. Even when Elena was tutoring him, he spent more time on a keyboard that holding a pen. This is hard work. Anything for the cause, though. Scribblescribblescribble. When he surrenders the pad to Nathan, his jaw is set and his eyes are steely. It's his most serious and intense do-or-die expression.

Agreed i want to go home and bang my wife. do you still have the agency around they are loyal to both of us. Prime is my best soldier he can help

Jack has thoughtfully provided a hastily scrawled picture of a penis under the words 'bang my wife.'

Penis. That's. Nathan kind of stares at the little drawing, then at Jack, then back down. Rolling his eyes ceilingwards, woe, he quickly flips to another page.

The Agency were loyal to Logan.

He blinks down at that statement. Not emphatic enough. He then writes:

?!?!?!?

For a moment, the only sound in the room is Jack's victorious snickering.

Still shaking and shuddering with repressed chuckles, Jack goes about skritching down a reply.

as far as thay know you ARE logan right? I know you like (——> pointing to the picture of a penis) but dont be a (|) (Jack apparently has some trouble drawing a vagina, but the message is conveyed well enough on paper.)

The rest of the message reads: thayre linked to Primes thoughts somehow. I think he knows evrething thay know? If so Prime will help us

Jack taps the question at the end of his message and cocks an eyebrow inquisitively.

STARING. Stares down at the paper in disbelief. They're orchestrating a potentially dangerous get away plan and Jack is drawing vaginas and penises in the mean time. Not looking at Jack this time, Nathan applies pen to paper, but it's obvious he's drawing, not writing. Finally, he shows off what he's done, and because he's about as awesome at drawing as Peter's stick figures, the pen sketch of the monster MOTHRA is captioned thusly.

MOTHRA

Moving on. He tears off this page and tosses it at Jack, and writes down his message.

Then I'll talk to Agency. They were personal security so it should work if linked to Jaden. They could even do the driving.

Jack blinks owlishly and his jaw drops. Part of him wants to laugh and part of him wants to cry. He claps both hands over his face and squeezes his eyes as tightly shut as he is able, groaning all the while like a man who has just been punched in the guts.

With his head bowed shamefully, he reaches down between his legs, grabs his imaginary 'wings', and spreads them wide.

Game. Set. Match.

When he's finished pantomiming, Jack writes out his reply.

sure whatever man agency can drive

When Nathan takes back the notepad, he… isn't actually gloating. He gives Jack a very mild smile, almost haloed with innocence, flips the page, and jots down one last reply.

:D

With that, he repockets the notepad, and reaches right on over to clap Jack on the shoulder in a sportsmanlike way. "Then you just have to hang tight for a while, it shouldn't take so long," he says, now that the secretive part of the conversation is over.

The faux innocence is wasted on Jack. He glares at Nathan openly for several very long second after glancing at the :D. Then, slowly, a smile spreads across his face. Shaking his head ruefully, he starts to chuckle. He can't help it. "You son of a bitch," he mutters without conviction. It's too funny, and really, he can't stay mad at Nate Dogg. "I'll be able to handle it. Just hurry it up, willya? I'm ready for a steak and a glass of bourbon."

"Alright," Nathan agrees, still with that same half-smirk. Because he won, and Jack can't stay mad. But also, he conjured up an exchange that would have seemed impossible to have not a month ago. Standing up, he moves to draw Jack into a one-armed hugged, careful of those burn injuries but still accompanied with a manly back pat. "And tell me if Donovan comes to see you again. I still want to keep track of what he's doing."

Despite what he's just been subjected to, Jack hugs Nathan back as fiercely as his battered condition permits. Truly, can't stay mad. They've been through too many scrapes together, helped each other over too many hurdles. "Will do," he replies. "I expect I'll see him again. We've already done too much lofty plottin' for him to up an' disappear." He claps the older man on the back, then pushes him away and gives him a mock-slap across the face.

"Geez, you wanna cuddle? What a fag."

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