2007-07-30: Love Song for a Terrorist


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Summary: Late at night, Trina and Jack meet and start planning.

Dark Future Date: July 31, 2009

Love Song for a Terrorist

Dark Future - WCH - Manager's Office

One wall of this office is dominated by flatscreen monitors, each hooked to their own oversized computer tower set directly on the floor. All are operated from a single workstation at the lavish manager's desk. Another wall is taken up by a long wooden table weighed down with a wide array of portable broadcasting equipment. Filing cabinets behind the desk that were once packed with sales reports and employment applications are instead filled with diagrams of explosives, Homeland Security dossiers, and blueprints of many major buildings in NYC. A heavily-laden rifle rack is bolted to the wall next to them.

It's late. Damnably late. As usual, Jack isn't sleeping. He's holed up in his office, typing away at the master workstation for his computer setup. That's right, Jack is typing. Things really have changed.


Jack pounds the keyboard with one scarred hand. The more things change, the more they stay the same. He's wearing a snug white athletic shirt and sweats, leaving his arms exposed from the shoulders down. The left bears several large, fresh scars, but its appearance is no match for the gruesome, twisted ropes of pink tissue that encircle his right all the way down to the fingertips. He's in his sanctuary. This is one of few places where he has nothing to hide and his gloves can come off.

"Bless me Father, for I have sinned. It's been twenty-four hours since my last confession."

When one of the radio units crackles to life, Jack hurries over to pick up the handset and respond with his own prearranged phrase now that the caller has properly coded in. "What troubles you, my son?"

The report that follows is a grim detailing of a lost ammunition shipment. The Irishman looks more vexed than ever when he settles back down at his desk.

Quietly, ever so quietly, there's the sound of the door knob turning and the door creaks open. Damnably late means that it's that much easier to traverse the streets of New York unseen. While Katrina doesn't really expect her darling Jack to be asleep, hope springs eternal. As soon as the woman starts slipping through the door, however, all pretense of silence falls to the floor.
High heeled pumps, wrapping her feet in shiny black leather, step inside more fully as she catches the tail end of the transmission. It's been a couple of days since she's been comfortable enough to come home to roost, and it seems that the bad news followed her in. There's a deep frown that plays upon her painted lips, accompanied by a look of concern. Good news is so hard to come by these days, and its absence makes the bad news hit all that much harder. Trina doesn't say anything at first, afraid to be the first to break the silence in the wake of disappointment. She just waits near the door for his business to conclude, dressed in a short, fitted black skirt and smooth-knit turtleneck with her hair pulled back in a ponytail and lookin' so friggin' respectable that it could make a girl wanna puke.

It's not until after Jack has replaced the handset in its cradle and retaken his seat that he realizes Trina's standing in the door way. Slightly surprised, he sucks in a deep breath and glares at Gere and Freke. The two Vallhunds are curled together into a furry doggypile around the Irishman's feet. Sure, they can recognize Trina's scent just like the rest of the Saints, but the least they could've done is stir so that he wouldn't have to rely on his battered and only partially operational eardrums to let him know when people are home. Lazy, lazy guard dogs.

Jack rubs wearily at his eyes. "Hey. You look beaut—what's wrong?" Raspy. Irregular. His voice rattles like gravel shaken around the bottom of a metal pail.

At Jack's start, Trina flashes a glimmer of a smile before it fades away again, sucked down into the void. "Sorry, baby. I didn't mean to startle you." Crossing the room, she makes her way to Jack, looking to perch herself delicately on his knee if there's room enough. Even as she walks, her careful, neutral accent gives way to the more comfortable light Southern drawl that comes to it naturally. "S'nothin I can't handle on my end, so don't you worry your head none 'bout it." Her head tilts, even as she starts to rip out the elastic binding her hair up. "S'everythin' alright on yours? That didn't sound so great."

Jack's happy to slide back in his chair and make room for Trina to sit down. He rubs one hand against her back reassuringly and shrugs. "Bad news is bad news. Gonna have to bring in a new shipment of 20mm HE, and I dunno where the hell from. I'll figure it out." His hand slides down to rest comfortably on her hip and his leans against her, inhaling her clean, feminine smell. "Mmm. Missed you."

Once her hair is free from its tight confines, Trina wraps her arms around Jack's neck and buries her face in the crook of his neck. She mumbles against his skin for a moment before pulling her head back to speak more clearly. Her fingertips move to his stubbled chin, running fondly over the shrouded jawline. "And I missed you somethin' fierce, too. 'm sorry I couldn't get back sooner. With Senor Presidente des Assholes all up in arms, better safe 'n sorry. People gettin' nosy."

"No problem, baby," Jack replies. He wraps his arms around his lover and hugs her against his chest. One hand creeps up to stroke her hair back behind her ears. "Better to have you back late than not at all." Unlike most people who fought in the war, Jack was lucky enough to escape with his face unscarred, at least. He nuzzles against Trina's hands and lets out a low, pleased rumble. "Prime got us another job while you were out. Armored convoy. Should be fun."

Against his chest, Trina feels the steady beat of his heart pound. Coupled with Jack's arms around her, it's the closest thing to paradise that this world's got to offer. She breathes deeply, drinking in that calm that comes from shutting out everything else so that things momentarily make sense again. Centers herself. But war again intrudes on their lives, and she has to stir herself back out of her contented silence. "Yeah? You know, you 'n me, we have really different ideas on what makes for fun some days." However, to offset any ruffled feathers that such a thought may be prone to bring, there's again the flash of a smile and a soft kiss pressed to his nose. "'m I on the roll call, or do y'need me somewhere else?"

Jack grins crookedly and for a moment, he looks like his old self again. As moments usually do, it passes. He frowns, pinching his heavy brows together. "I need you for this one. We've got a real doozy planned. We're gonna take out the convoy, hijack a truck full of prisoners, and try and take down a flight of LaGuardia's attack choppers all in one sitting. I'll be handling the armored vehicles. I'd feel a helluva lot safer with you watchin' my back."

"Then that's where I'll be." It's said with no hesitation and infinite resolve. Trina is nothing if not decided on the matter. There's a small pause, but then she continues with her own brow furrowing now as a delicate mirror of Jack's own expression. The fine creases show more deeply along her forehead with the expression, but on-going war's profound effect on the aging process has never really been denied. "But ain't that a little on the… overzealous side? Not sayin' not necessary. Just askin'."

"It is," Jack replies quietly. "That's why it's gonna work." He's got on his Determined Face now. Once he hits this point there's usually no stopping him. "We've gotta get those refugees outta there. It's a bunch of priests and nuns, for cryin' out loud." He's not trying to convince Trina. He's trying to convince himself that the danger to his crew is justified. Like any commander leading a team into battle, he worries that some of them may not come back. The wrinkles around his mouth stand out more prominently as he sighs. "The armor will be there anyway, and it won't take long to scramble the choppers to our location. We'll make the best of it. The Primes will be manning the rooftops with Stingers to take down the birds. I've got another toy prepped for the armored detachment, which should only be a couple of humvees."

Trina doesn't like the sound of the plan. It's got Bad Idea tattooed across its ugly, bumpy forehead. However, any second-guessing is thrown out the window as soon as her man tells her that the cargo is nothing less than a case full of holy people. If they don't make a play for 'em, that's gotta be mucho negative points with the Big Guy Upstairs. The One who probably saved the man who holds her now on that fateful day at the Den. She owes God a little extra effort to pay him back.
Swallowing down the lump in her throat so that she can talk without choking up, Trina's other hand reaches up so that she can gently cup Jack's face in her hands. He needs her support and encouragement now, not more doubt. "Paint the road to Hell on my map, darlin', and I'll follow you there and back again."

The sentiment is heartwarming. It's ironic that moments like these are the ones that they're fighting to save. The Irishman cuddles his girlfriend against his chest once again. He presses his scruffy face against her soft cheek. Gently, he rubs his fingers up the firm, lean muscles in her back. "I dunno what I did to deserve you, baby. I never would've made it this far without you. Love you." The closest he can come to a gentle whisper is a froggy croak, but he does his best.

Drawn close, Trina sighs as the mutilated whisper dances across her ears. To her, that croak is every bit as sweet and treasured as the husky, seductive whispers he once commanded. Whispers that Nathan Petrelli stole from them both. Once the words are said, the dark haired woman settles her head on his shoulder and closes her eyes tightly to keep back the tears. She's careful to point her words towards his ear, knowing how easily the quiet ones can be lost. "Even if I weren't here, Jack, you'd do what needs doin'. I love you more'n anythin' I've ever loved my whole life, and that's a part of you that I couldn't be more proud of." It just isn't fair. None of this is *fair*. The petulent part of Trina's lingering youth just can't seem to let that go. Finally, she lifts her head again and starts into the dirty details. "When's all this supposed to go down? We know yet? And who's gettin' my prep sheet ready? I'll get to work on it soon as I can and keep Gene on schedule if need be."

Jack doesn't cry either, even though he kind of wants to. In the end, he's too damn manly. He settles for another crushingly tight hug, as he can't speak around the lump in his throat yet. It takes him a few seconds to fully compose himself. He spends those seconds gazing into his lover's beautiful, clear eyes. He gulps and his tongue flicks out to wet his lips. "Love you," he repeats. After another handful of seconds he continues a little more coherently. "Dunno when we'll be going. Next few days. I should know more soon. I'll be keepin' you updated and givin' you your checklist."

As Trina gets a good dose of her beloved's unlying gaze, everything's said that needs to be said in the veiled tongue of an unspoken language and she moves to rest her forehead against his. 'It'll be alright, baby. It'll all be alright.' And then it's back to business and actual words, although all of them are now imbued with that reverent hush reserved these tender moments. "If I need to find any special parts for the cars or your techno whiz, I'll need as much time as you can give me. S'gettin' harder for me to safely get in what we need." The fact that she's what many would consider overly cautious, bordering on paranoid, may have something to do with it, but these are times that warrant it. 'Tis better, after all, to be overly cautious than caught.

"The list is already finished," Jack replies with a small, fond, tight-lipped smile. They've been working together long enough to anticipate most of one another's needs. Speaking of needs…

"I've missed you," Jack repeats huskily. "Come to bed?"

At Jack's request, Trina offers a smile that manages to hold its ground, even as she rises to her feet and takes a few swaying steps in the direction of said resting place. Turning to sit down upon it, she holds out her arms expectantly. When she pushes off her shoes with her feet and tilts her head invitingly, dark hair spills over her shoulder in the process. "S'the best plan I've heard all night."

War can wait 'til morning.

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