2007-06-01: Giant Underpants And Falling In Love


Jack_icon.gif Trina_icon.gif

Summary: Jack is NYC's Bachelor Of The Year, but only for a day.

Date It Happened: June 1st, 2007

Log Title Giant Underpants And Falling In Love

Location The Den Of Iniquity, Brooklyn, NYC

After his day-long bender with Nathan Petrelli, Jack was completely wrecked. He went home, set the deadbolt, and proceeded to sleep for about eighteen hours. Now he's deglammed, dressed in comfortably worn jeans and a dark blue t-shirt. As always, his scuffed black boots are present, and there's a faint but definitely present amount of pink glitter in his hair and on his face. He's holding a brown paper bag that's filled to the brim with envelopes of every size and description as he unlocks the front door to the Den and turns on the light. After setting his bag down on the bar, he goes about the business of flipping down chairs, setting out ashtrays, and clicking on signs.

It's early. Ish. Heavy on the ish. And Trina is, much to her dismay, running late. Stupid friggin' train filled with stupid people and making her later. By the time she gets into the neighborhood, she's practically racing to the shop — hair loose and swishing against her back and black-heeled Mary Janes pounding against the concrete. She's gonna be late. Late, late, late, late… And then her hand goes to the door, only to find it already open. CRAP.

Okay, Trina. Do what you're best at: act like you meant to be late. She collects herself with a deep breath, and then the dark haired woman makes her way into the bar with a smile only partially lined with guilt. "Helloooooo," she croons. "Wasn't expecting to see you in so early."

Jack smiles back crookedly. Now behind the bar where he's most comfortable, he gives an easy shrug of his broad shoulders. If anything seems odd about Trina's time of arrival, it's lost on him. After all, before she showed up the bar's official opening time was about thirty minutes after whenever he had his first cup of coffee. "Slept an odd set of hours, and I usually come here after I wake up," he replies.

Time to attend to the paper bag. Never before has Jack gotten quite so much post in twenty-four hours. He digs through the envelopes briefly, then sighs and pulls out a handful at random. As he tears into one, he glances back up at his girlfriend. "You ok? You look a little out of sorts."

"I'm… I'm alright," Trina fibs. She didn't sleep well and ended up nursing a cup of some pretty foul instant coffee for half the night. Hence the late up. Hence the late here. He's lucky that she's changed shirts since then, her black tee with its deep V-neck and cap sleeves free from wrinkles. Fortunately, Trina doesn't have to linger in that guilty place for long. Instead, her attention is seized by the very large paper bag in Jack's possession. As she fixes a chair at one of the tables to be perfectly aligned as she passes, she makes her way to one of the bar stools and perches upon it. Once there, her head tilts to one side curiously. "…What's all that, darlin'?"

"Dunno. Mailbox outside was crammed full when I got here. I wonder—" Jack's expression is one part confused, one part embarrassed, and one part intrigued as he pulls a flimsy pair of pink panties from the torn envelope. An improper offer that prominently figures in the word glitter is written above a phone number.

Jack lifts one hand and coughs delicately into his fist. Not embarrassed, no sir.

Trina stares for a moment, shocked into silence for a few moments as the offer of all night love is pulled out of an envelope. She stares at Jack. She stares at the note. She stares at the ungodly Pepto Bismol pink underwear in his hands. To say that she is remarkably confused is a gross understatement. "You moonlightin' as a rock star now or somethin'? Should I even *ask*?"

And then… then she can't help it. She reaches over to pull the paper bag over so she can look inside. Her hand rifles through the bag only to find that there's a whoooole lot of credit card offers and feminine handwriting. "Good God. What *were* you up to two days ago?"

"I. Um." There aren't a lot of possibilities here. Jack shakes his head, sending a bit of leftover glitter scattering from his hair and onto the bar. "I went to a party. A costume party. It ended up in the paper, I think." Operating on a mixture of instinct and a need to keep his suddenly nervous hands occupied, Jack rips into an envelope that's substantially larger than the rest. The wadded up cloth that comes out it easily big enough to be a nightgown, and it confuses Jack. Like the others, it has obscene offers written on it, but due to the sheer amount of cloth, the writing borders on novella status. "What is this?" he queries, puzzled. "Is this a t-shirt?" Once it's completely unrolled, it's clear that isn't the case. "No. It's not a t-shirt. It doesn't have enough holes."

Suddenly it dawns on him. His face puckers up unhappily and he throws the enormous underpants aside. Defiant, they catch the air like a miniature parachute and boomerang back at him. Flapping his hands and squawking like a chicken, he wards them off and tosses them to the floor. "SHIT!"

At that, Trina can only cackle. It's a pure, unadulterated and kinda evil sound. It's totally mocking. What else is she supposed to do? Well, other than quickly pitch herself off of the stool in order to race along the floor with high heels clacking against the commercial linoleum and claim the XXL undergarment along with the stapler typically used for receipts. "Mine." Then she turns to tear off again, looking for a bare spot of wall. "Oh, these are *so* the new wallpaper," she explains amidst absolutely hysterically giggles. She's never, ever letting him live this down.

Jack opens his mouth, then clacks it shut. On the one hand, Trina is taking all of this remarkably well. On the other hand, giant underpants on the wall for all to see. In the end, he figures it's better to let her have her way. Grimly, he goes to work systematically tearing open envelopes. Most of them are from normal-sized people and the contents are either tiny, see-through, or tiny and see-through. There are a couple more large sets, though. And a set of tightie whities with 'SPLINT CHESTHAIR WANTS YOU' written on them in bold, blocky print. These find their way to the garbage with remarkable swiftness. When the empty envelopes are cleared away, all that's left on the bar is a pile of lace. "This is just awesome," he murmurs.

Once the underwear is proudly waving in a breeze by the jukebox, Trina the Terror makes her way back to the bar stool. "So. I'm guessing I can't string these all up sail-flag-thing style, right?" She means pennants. "I'm also guessin' all these came with numbers." Her slender hand goes out, extended towards Jack with only a slightly tense smile. She hates doin' this, but… "You gonna fork 'em over?"

Again, Jack's mouth pops open and closed, fishlike. Then he pushes the pile of panties over, surrendering the goods. "The number are all on the knickers, I think. What the hell, you can put 'em up. At least then it won't look like I'm bein' stalked by a fat novel writer." Smirking, he waves in the general direction of the juke. "Just keep it to one area, yes?"

Climbing up onto her knees on the stool so that she can properly lean on the bar, Trina smile is nothing if not perfectly pleased as she moves in on her boyfriend. He didn't even *argue*. Best guy EVER. Leaning over the competition's efforts like the world's biggest Alpha female, the brunette sighs one of her contented and smitten sighs. She is gonna get such a *kick* lighting some numbers on fire. "You must have been one hell of a somethin' in costume, sugar."

Jack leans up and presses a kiss to his lady's lips. Strangely, his thoughts mirror hers. He just got half a Victoria's secret catalogue in the mail and got off with a little teasing. Best girl EVER. Reaching up, he brushes the backs of his knuckles down her cheek fondly. "I was," he replies, not even pretending to be modest. Jack and Nate Dogg are sexy in glam. "Me and a buddy, we dressed up as.. Err. Here." By way of explanation, he snaps his fingers and relocates a copy of yesterday's paper. After setting a fingertip in his mouth, he quickly flips to the society page and its picture of him pelvic-thrusting to the Dropkick Murphys. "We did that."

Kisses can go a long way to soothe a savage beast, so one can only imagine their power over the already docile. The tenderness of Jack's touch is enough to melt Trina where she sits, and she's merrily led down the road to a bliss coma. Until he takes his hand back. Then she's forced to wake back up, blue eyes reopening at the snap she cranes her neck to peer in Jack's direction. And then there's a paper. Trina blinks. Then she fights very hard to keep a straight face as she nods solemnly. "I see," she finally answers, the vowels slightly drawn out. "…And who's the other guy?"

"Nathan Petrelli, our future senator." Jack grins and shakes his head ruefully. "Lucky for him, he hasn't showed up in the paper yet. He's slick, but I think even he might have trouble explainin' that away, y'know?" Oblivious to Trina's amusement, he touches his fingertips to the photo and lets out a wistful sigh. "That was a hell of a night. For twenty-four hours, Poison rode once more."

This would be hilarious if he weren't being serious. Ok, I'm not fooling. It's funny anyway.

"HA!" That is Trina's reply to that! Long live Glam. "Poison's still touring. No one's dead. People still have time to come back to their senses and realize what they left behind." Then there's a dangerously serious look on her face as she considers. "Metallica versus Poison." She ponders that for a moment more and then peers in Jack's direction. "Lock 'em in the same house for two months and see who emerges victorious. Why hasn't *that* hit reality television yet? If that came on, I might actually buy a TV." That said, Trina settles back onto her stool and begins extracting a pin from the first pair of panties to loose the note. Next comes the lighter. Setting the scrap of paper on an ashtray, Trina puts her chin on the counter as she sets it ablaze. "And senate debates done in Glam drag might actually make me show up to vote for somebody. Well, if I ever got off my ass and actually registered."

Jack lets out a snort of laughter as Trina begins to set fire to what most men would refer to as a wealth of opportunity. Not him, though. No sigh, no wistful glance, he just laughs along with his lady. Because honestly, at this point, a well-intentioned Irish drunkard knows there's no trading up for him. "I don't vote either," he responds. His lips twist into a small, sarcastic smile. "Never saw the point, really. I'm an independent, self-sustaining nation, remember?"

"Don't trash that paper, I wanna see it once I'm done." With Jack's ease, what might otherwise be an act of torture is demoted to a simple chore on Trina's part. A wordless declaration on her part of her desired claim. It's important that she do it. Which is why as soon as the perfumed paper is no more, she drops the pennant fodder back into the bag and starts on the next one. "How is the land of Derex, anyway? Ain't seen you in a couple of days." Then her eyes leave the piece of paper to look in his direction finally. "Oh, and some broad named Jane says 'Hi'." Back to the careful vigil over the burning. "Eat that, bitch," she quietly whispers to the curling, smoldering sheet.

Jack cackles at Trina's antics. He can't help it. She's just so damn cute, huddled over an ashtray and setting fire to the nonexistent competition. "Things are good. Just had too much fun and needed some recovery time." He pauses and scratches a hand along his stubbly jaw. "Jane came by, eh? Yeh, she did a few gigs here. Decent sort of girl."

"S'what she said. Sounded like she might be back 'round at some point." Two notes down… a whole mountain to go. The major catharsis out of the way, Trina takes to speeding through her work now, removing notes in all the various ways they're attached. Pins. Staples. A …kinda disturbing earring with spikes coming out of every which end. They're all subjected to Trina's slender fingers as she removes them one and all. She's quiet for a little bit, but finally starts talking again without ever really lifting her eyes from her handiwork. "Jack, I got a question for you."

With little else to do, Jack is watching Trina as she disassembles the panties and attached literature, then disposes of the latter. He quirks an eyebrow upward and peers over at her. "What's up?"

Trina falls silent for a second as she debates back and forth how to say what she thought she was just gonna blurt out and get over with, suddenly embarrassed by the way she was gonna phrase things. She just works, and keeps her eyes there. It's not her intention to offend. "Y'always know you were… different?" she finally manages. Much better than the 'freak' phrasing that was her first inclination.

Reaching across the bar, Jack carefully gathers Trina's hands up in his and looks her in the eyes. "Not always," he replies, his voice low and soothing. "But early. When I was little. Both my parents were as well, so it seemed more normal to me than anything else."

There's a glance given towards the front door, which gives Jack a chance to take her hands and take her by surprise in doing so and catch her eyes with a breath-stealing sincerity. Parents. She hadn't even thought of that yet. Never even occurred to her to think past Jack. "Musta been nice." Her fingers curl through his, but finally her eyes go back down to her ash pile. "You're a right wonder, you know. All with the… poof." Her blue eyes shoot back up, wide. "I mean like the poof-smoke-magic poof, not poof freak-ass-British-for-gay poof." A beat passes. "Newspaper evidence aside." A small smile, tight and tentative, curls her lips.

Jack blushes under the weight of this considerable praise. As often as Trina says nice things to him, it never stops affecting him. He gives her hands a squeeze and glances down shyly, a rare outward sign of his pleasure. "You. You've been really great for me. Really understanding." Now he looks up, and there's a smile on his face. "Man, I know I'm different from other people. You seem to like me anyway, though. Makes me feel lucky."

"A girl'd have to be a fucking moron not to hold on to a catch like you," Trina shoots back. "I'm guessin' there were a few before me to get you thinkin' anything less, so all I have to say is 'nanny-nanny-boo-boo, I win'." Her face becomes almost smug at that, nose tilting up into the air and head bobbing in time to the sing-song. And then her head goes back to the pile of paper in between them, addressing it with that same smugness. "And fuck a bunch of you bitches, too." Her hands slip out of his, moving to rest between her legs as she squeezes her thighs tight against them… A sign of nerves as she sobers up a bit. She should really tell him about Archer. She really should. But then her attention goes back to why she didn't tell him the night after it happened, and again she shies away from that plunge. "Speakin' of girls, though, how's Cassie?"

"She's on the mend," Jack replies vaugely. The vaugeness is due to the fact that he's absolutely terrified of Cass's doctor and he's not about to admit it. "Now that everyone's had a chance to calm down, I don't know what else might happen. I'm worried that whoever came after her might do it again, though." Or someone else who's close to him. These days, it seems it's never just one person who gets hurt. The look he shoots in Trina's direction is brief and and a little guilty. After all, he's the one who brought her into his circle, and his circle is freakin' dangerous.

If there's any acknowledgment of Jack's guilt on Trina's part, none of it is on her face. Instead, it's her turn to be reassuring. "Didn't end up using the grenade launcher after all, huh?"

"Not so much," Jack replies. "Though I was certainly tempted. Always wanted one, y'know, but never had a justifiable reason until now." Yes. Revenge is a justifiable reason for owning a grenade launcher. Just go with it. "Anyway, that sort of thing attracts a lot of attention."

"They do," Trina agrees with a distant chuckle. "Revenge or not, I'm glad to hear she's doin' better." Now the joyous moment has come. Trina grabs another couple of ashtrays and shreds the paper mementos among the three. It is from there that she can properly set the pyre to the hopes of dozens of girls. "If there's anything I can do, lemme know. The basket for Cassie's in the back room for whenever you go back."

"I really appreciate it." Jack's smile is warm and honest. He points to Trina's growing piles of shreds. "You're really enjoying this," he comments. "Man, you must really like me." Thoroughly pleased with himself, he leans forward to steal a quick smooch before the wall of fire can grow too large.

"You got grenade launchers," Trina replies once the smooch is returned, clicking the lighter with a feigned maniac quality to the action. "I, on the other hand, got a lighter." Once the new stuff is burning, she narrows her eyes at it. At the talk of really liking the man on the other side of the bar, she heaves a sigh. She really, really does. And that means honesty, right? It does. She's asked it of him. And the easy way for him to walk in flaming high enough that it borders on hazardous with its black smoke.

"Jack? You know all that honest talk, we've been tossin' around?"

That's not the least bit ominous, no sir. Jack can't help but look a little concerned. He moves down a few inches so that his view of Trina won't be obscured by flame and smoke. "Yeah, hon. It's been good. I like being able to share what's on my mind with you." It's a gentle nudge, and reassurance that he's here to listen.

"I… I ain't exactly been a hundred percent with you." Blue eyes flit up to look at Jack. Trina can't believe she's doing this. She shouldn't be according to her instincts. Survivor's instinct, however, takes a back seat to building trust. "Honest, I mean. I mean, I haven't *lied*. It's just…" God, she can't even look at him, now. One more ashtray is now claimed. Just one more. This time to be something of a makeshift snuffer.

The way fire heats up glass is a welcomed distraction, starting to burn at her fingertips and the discomfort making talking seem less painful by comparison. "…I didn't think anyone would ever find somethin' out. And I was really, really okay with that."

Conversations that start like this would make most boyfriends extremely nervous, but Jack isn't most boyfriends. He knows enough about regret to fill several volumes. His voice is gentle and his eyes sympathetic as he looks his girl over and asks, "Why don't you tell me about it? You might be surprised by what I can understand."

Switch hands. Snuff anew. "You make things go poof." Trina sets her mouth into a thin line as she watches the fire send out smoke to curl a path around the impending doom brought by the clone of the object that gently cradles it. Burn her hand. Make the words hurt less. Burn skin. Then there's the clink of glass against glass as the second hope pyre is extinguished. Trina's voice drops very low. Time to get herself kicked out of here and out of Jack's life. "…I killed somebody, Jack. Two years ago." Then her eyes look up at the Irishman opposite her, voice very heavy and somber despite the lump in her throat that threatens to strangle it out. "And somebody knows."

Admittedly, this is not what Jack expected. Momentarily overwhelmed, he lets out a long sigh. Then he chews briefly at his lower lip, and one of his long-fingered hands snakes out to catch Trina's and draw it away from the painful glow of heated glass. "I have, too," he admits. "But they were all bad. Who is it that knows?" Despite his desire to comfort and console, he can't entirely keep this businesslike portion of his personality from asserting itself.

The last fire is beginning to burn out on its own, which is probably for the best. When Trina's hand is caught, the tender red fingers shoot away from his skin, leaving them hanging uselessly by Jack's wrists. She doesn't look up. Looking up would mean she'd have to admit she's friggin' crying. "I dunno. A detective. Said he was hired by other people looking for me. And I didn't wanna say anything. I know you've had a lot on your mind and I really didn't wanna be another problem."

"Hmm. You don't hire a detective, you hire an investigator. So at least whoever it is, he isn't a cop." Realizing he's both aggravating Trina's self-inflicted injury and being a little insensitive, Jack releases her with a mumbled apology. "Sorry." Though she doesn't want to look at him, he can't stop looking at her. Even when she cries she's beautiful. "Katrina," he begins again tentatively. "You aren't a problem. Not now, not ever. I—er. I care about you. A lot. People who care help each other." Unsurprisingly, his statement gives him the willpower to look away.

That gets Trina to look up. Black heels clink against the support rails of the stool as she shifts her feet. She tries to say something in a cool, collected voice. "It-" She only gets a syllable out before she starts outright sobbing. Damn it. If she had the coherence to think about it, she'd curse as her cool points go sailing out the window. "It was an *accident*. I swear it was. I didn't—"

Despite his partial healed injury, Jack vaults directly over the bar rather than walk around it. If his lady is hurting, there isn't a second to spare. Gingerly, as if afraid that he might break her, he wraps his arms around Trina and pulls her against his chest for a comforting hug. One hand cups the back of her head and he murmurs into her ear, "Shhhh. I know you, baby. You wouldn't hurt somebody on purpose."

It takes her a little bit to soften, but eventually Trina's crying slows down. It's hard not to when she's in the arms of the man who cares about her. Who understands. Who know what she's saying. After a few minutes, she can finally process what Jack is saying. Moreover, it takes her that long to finally process those words enough to respond. "And no one's gonna believe me but you, darlin'."

Jack pulls back just far enough to kiss Trina on the forehead, then nuzzles his cheek against hers again. "We'll work it out. We will, hon." That's right. We. "Whatever it takes to shake this guy from your tail, you and I can do it." It aches for him to see her ache. It's good that his face isn't visible, because it's contorted into a frustrated grimace. Somebody upset his Trina. And right now, he really wants to punch that somebody around.

The magic 'we' isn't lost on Trina. All comfort given is drunk in like a sponge. "I'm sorry," she mumbles. "I'm so sorry." Arms move, stretching up to wrap themselves about Jack's neck. "You sure don't wanna just come to North Dakota with me? No people. Just you and me. Nobody but me and you."

In a trademark Jack move, the Irishman opens his mouth to speak, then closes it again. He almost just said yes. Deep breath. Breathe, Jack. You have to breathe. "I don't think I'd be much good at growing corn or milking cows," he admits. "But if this business goes south, I won't rule it out. At least we'd be together, right?" Because that's what's important.

Sniffling once, Trina finally pulls herself back. Her reddened blue eyes dart back and forth as they search his. From forth that dark halo of nearly black hair, the Southern girl assesses him as she takes in deep, calming breaths. After a healthy dose of consideration, she slowly nods. "Right." Then there's a small, scared smile. "God help me, I think I love you."

"Jesus, I was scared to say it first. I do. Love you, I mean," Jack blurts out. Scared. That's a good word. Jack has been scared before. He does own a grenade launcher, after all. Scared sort of comes with the territory. But this is different. Right now it feels good to be scared. He studies Trina's face, drinking in each detail, committing this moment to memory. Full lips. Cried-out eyes. Hair askew. "You look beautiful right now. I don't ever want to forget this."

"Oh, sure," Trina finally jests, moving to lightly butt his shoulder with the top of her head since she doesn't feel particularly inclined to give her hands any more abuse by grinding in salt and oil. Jack's face, however, is salve most sweet. Everything about him just makes her want to hide in his arms for forever. That's why she needs to say something. So she won't just hide there. Big girls, after all, need to be able to stand on their own. "Make me do all the hard work."

When Trina's hands pull back, they cup the sides of his face with the base of her palms. "We're one hell of a pair."

Jack's hands slide up to catch Trina's carefully. Mindful of her burns, he pulls her fingers close to his lips and presses a gentle kiss to the tip of each. "We are," he agrees between kisses. "One hell of a pair." Kiss. "And I think it's perfect. I've never been in love before. Makes me feel all squishy and emotional. In a good way."

No questions. No demanding. No dismissal. No fear. Trina tells him that she kills a guy by accident, and he offers nothing but tenderness. Words are incapable of describing the profound effect of Jack's simple acceptance on Trina. Still perched on her barstool, the brunette starts to wiggle her way closer to Jack, a knee moving to slide along his thigh with a tentativeness utterly wary of such a moment's fragility. "I don't think I ever been accused of makin' a man 'squishy'."

Jack likewise leans closer obligingly. When he looks Trina over, his eyes linger on her curves and he winks suggestively. "I bet you haven't," he replies, his tone light and teasing. He's wearing his familiar crooked smile, and the corners of his eyes are crinkled merrily. He's basking right now. The Independent Republic Of Derex declares this day a national holiday, and the people shall rejoice.

"So watcha say, Mr. Derex? Ain't no one here yet. You could close up shop for fifteen minutes…" The statement is left unfinished. Verbally, anyway. Trina bites her lower lip as her fingers drift down over Jack's stomach with a feather's lightness, only to slip under the edge of his shirt.

Suddenly, nothing has ever sounded quite so good. Jack's face flushes and he nods. Both of his hands slide down Trina's back, then he cups them again her ass and tugs her up off of her stool. "Better make it thirty," he replies with a roguish grin.

"Do I hear a forty-five?" Trina shoots back with a quiet echo of an auction caller's impression, even as she slides off the stool and starts tugging her way towards the front door so it can be latched back up and keep away any early starters. This is the way to chase off worry, fear, and doubt. "C'mon. You know you wanna gimme forty-five…"

"Psh. I see your forty-five and raise you an hour." Jack follows Trina to the door. Once it's locked, he scoops her up into his arms and carries her toward the back, showering her with kisses and whispering endearments on the way. This is good. This is great. Man, this is love.

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