2007-05-10: Not Alone

Starring:

Jack_icon.gif Trina_icon.gif

Summary: After the explosive clash between Jessica and Elle in the Den of Inequity, the aftermath between Trina and Jack doesn't go as smoothly as it could. Just be glad they didn't get to punching each other.

Date It Happened: May 10, 2007

Not Alone


Brooklyn, NYC - Den of Iniquity

The Den of Inequity is aptly named. A dive bar of the highest order situated in the heart of Brooklyn, it's prominent characteristics are cheap liquor, easy women, cigarette burns, and the heavily musky, otherwise indefinable smell that permeates the atmosphere. A bar formed from the rusted, welded-together wings of retired biplanes dominates one long wall of the small, rectangular room. A sheet of thick glass sits atop it, providing a smooth surface to set drinks upon and a barrier between the metal hulks and whatever patrons may arrive that bear delicate sensibilities. The customers around it are a mix of old codgers nursing boilermakers, Irishmen drinking dark beer and whiskey, working-class men stopping for a nightcap after finishing up for the day (or a bracer on the way to the job) and the barflies that attend to all of them with too-red smiles and lifeless eyes.

Behind the three pool tables in the center of the room and the jukebox against the wall there are three doors at the rear of the pub. Men's and women's restrooms, and a door prominently marked 'PRIVATE' in white-on-red lettering. Floor-to-ceiling mirrors cover the rest of the wall on either side of the door. Hung high up are a series of signs that read things like, 'Unmarked Nuclear Warheads Travel These Roads - Keep Your Children Radiation Free,' and 'Caution - Hitchhikers May Be Escaped Inmates.'

When Trina comes out of the back room, she's trailing smoke from another cigarette. Entirely oblivious to what was said before her return to the room, she gives Elena a more thorough once-over now. She doesn't, however, interrupt. Rather, she just leans against the door frame, head and shoulder resting against it. If they notice her, she'll wave. If they don't, she'll just smoke and spy.

"…and they were -not- sex dreams," Elena grumbles, flashing Jack a look. Seeing that expression on his face, she -groans- and palms her face. "What the hell, Jack. WHY do I hang out with you again?" She slings her backpack over one shoulder. "Anyways I ought to get going home, and sleep." And pretend this day never happened, because CLEARLY this was the worst night ever. Smelling smoke, she turns her eyes to Trina, and she gives her a small smile and a wave, before pushing off the bar. "I'll let you two get down to risky business."

"You hang out with me because you love me, of course." With a wink, Jack uses his bar rag to wave Elena toward the door. "Careful on your way home, Scrappy. You get outta here too." The last sentence is directed at the waitress, who's more than happy to comply. Leaving the rest of the tidying for tommorow, he crosses over to the doorway and leans against the wall. "Man. The things a guy's gotta do to be alone with his lady. I set that whole fight up to clear the bar out, y'know," he quips.

"Of course," Trina replies with a chuckle, dropping the cigarette to hang loosely at her side and exhaling the rest of the smoke between pursed lips in order to direct the stream of toxic calm downwards. Her head rests against the frame of the door with a lazy bravado. His lady, huh? The thought of the words, whether he means 'em the way they sound to her or not, curls up one side of her mouth higher than the other. "But you better be careful with that kinda talk. Julia might get jealous."

"I'll never tell," Jack promises, his eyes twinkling merrily. He lets his head hang and rubs a hand against the back of his neck, working out knots of tension that seemed to appear magically when the fighting started. "Besides, after our little frolic in the backseat, I think she might already be suspectin'." This last bit is spoken solemnly, but he can't keep from cracking a smile.

"You may be right," Trina offers with a nod of false solemnity to match that offered her, finally pushing off the wall to press closer to the Den's seemingly fearless owner. Her non-cigarette bearing hand comes casually up, looking to offer the use of its thin fingers to help press into those knots. "But she might think of me as just a passing distraction. Kinda like the Marauder."

Jack lets out a disdainful chuckle, but it drags out into a purr when Trina goes to work on his neck. "Mmmmm.. Distraction? I don't think so." He slips one of his own hands to the top of her thigh and gives a quick, fond squeeze. "I'm not one to throw m'self into things, but you've got a classic Mustang. I never stood a chance."

"Hey, hey. Baby and I are just really good friends. With benefits." Leaning in, she moves to grab a brief kiss, hand pausing its kneading momentarily in order to pull him close. "She ain't got everything a girl needs, and she's okay with that." That said, she twists her arm across her body in order to blow her smoke over the working arm and away from the wall into the room at large as she takes another puff of the cigarette. "What was all that shit about, anyway?"

"Oh man." Halfway leaned-in to snag a kiss of his own, Jack pauses and frowns. "Things are strange these days. People are changing. You just met some of 'em." He scratches absently at his stubbled jaw. "Man. I can't believe this shit. I meet a nice girl, she's got beautiful taste and a dynamite set of.. And here I go, screwin' it up at warp speed." This entire chunk of conversation is mumbled, mostly to himself. "Ok. I got somethin' I have to show you. S'only fair." Holding out one hand in front of Trina's face, he snaps his fingers and relocates the cigarette from her grasp. With a coolness he doesn't feel, he raises it to lips and takes a drag.

Trina doesn't panic… by choice. She instead goes to puff on a cigarette… that is suddenly not in her hands anymore. Her blue eyes narrow as she looks at her hand and then his, and her lips tighten into a very thin line. Her breath, however, becomes very shallow and her massaging hand stops all movement. She's silent for a good long time because she knows that she's not gonna like the way her voice sounds. And as soon as she finally does, it removes all doubt. It trembles slightly and completely betrays the tears that are hiding behind those very narrowed eyes. She's trying very hard to keep it together. She knew it was too perfect. She *knew*. "How long you 'been able to do that?"

Jack was ready for a lot of things. Shouting. Quiet dismissal. Fear. Tears and quiet questioning wasn't one of them. "Uh. Ever since I was a lad," he replies. The cigarette falls from his slack grip and spirals to the floor, where he snuffs it out with a boot. He seems to shrink a bit, his broad shoulders hunching inward and his posture slumping. "You don't seem very surprised," At the moment, he's looking everywhere but at Trina.

"I didn't say that," Trina answers after a moment, choosing her words very, very carefully. "Now. When exactly were you going to tell me if this bullshit hadn't gone down tonight. Ever?" Not that she has any room to talk, but she sure as hell ain't tell him *that* right now. Her hand then rips away, pointing towards the site of the scene earlier. It's a slow burn, but anger and fear start to rise up like a ball in the back of her throat. "And how the fuck often does *that* happen? Because I have this feelin' this ain't the first time you've seen either of them." You know. What with both of them being very comfortable with being behind his bar during business hours. *She's* not comfortable being behind his bar during business hours.

"Hey! Why don't you take your self-righteous indignation and stuff it in your fuckin' Ford!" Jack's not about to lie down and get yelled at. "Ask yourself this: If you could do what I can do, would you have told me? Ever?" It's a mocking mimicry of Trina's tone. Smoldering, he crosses his arms over his chest and narrows his eyes. "And it's not the first time I've seen them. I've worked with them both in the past. I am who I am." That's a serious oversimplification, but it's true in the strictest sense of the world.

And that's it. Trina jaw shifts, and she leans in. "Fuck you. You aren't the only fucking person in this whole Gawd dammed world with fucking problems. Because yeah, eventually, I can say that I would have Gawd damned fucking told you." Diggin' down into her back pocket, she drags out the polaroid that Jack gave her and moves to hold it up an inch from his nose. "And if you meant half of what I thought this did, I would have fucking thought that you'd be at *least* able to fucking lie to me and tell me you would, too." She wants to break things. His nose. His bar glasses. But that would be *wrong*. And dammit, there go the stupid angry girl tears.

The tears are Jack's Achilles' heel. They always have been. As fast as it appeared, the anger and frustration melt away from his features, leaving him looking tired and sad. "There are people who want to hurt people like me. They capture us, study us, and do their best to break us. When they're done, they have a way of erasing memories. Any memories, even those of your family and friends." It's an abbreviated description of the Company, but accurate enough. Clearly, the entire concept makes him extremely uncomfortable. He steps closer, aware now that he's on the verge of losing Trina. "I shouldn't be here at all. I should know better by now. But I couldn't help it, I like you. I'm sorry."

"Well, you know what? That's not good enough. Look, Jack. I got my own pretty set of skeletons sittin' in the back of my fuckin' Ford, and no matter how absolutely otherwise perfect you are, I can't have you hiding shit like this. You have two choices right now. Two. You can tell me from here on in, you'll at least *try* to be honest with me and I can trust you. That, in case you can't figure it out, means I stay. If you can't give me that, then I walk. It's three days we're into this, and I'm feeling like the whole world's upside down. I called out sick from work tonight to see you. I don't *do* that, and, " she continues in the rant, a finger sweeping across her face, "before you say anything, I know that's not your fault."

She shakes her head, and then looks up at him, a hand moving to cup that beautifully cut jaw of his. "I dig you in the worst way, but I need to trust you. If I can't, no harm, no foul. We'll meet on the weekends and talk cars if you want. I'll disappear and never come back to Brooklyn if you want. But you *need* to be honest with me now." Her blue eyes level on his, heart racing to the point that it feels like it's going to break out of her chest to escape the traitorous bitch who happens to currently be housing it. "Should I stay? Should I go? You know you better than I can ever hope to."

Jack closes his eyes, takes a deep breath, and exhales. "Man. Bust balls much? I just went out on a limb for you, and you're precariously close to cuttin' it off behind me. Of course I don't want you to leave. I just showed you my most secret of secrets. It's not like I was goin' out of my way to deceive you, either." Defeated, he shakes his head and drags a long-fingered hang through his hair. "What, was I supposed to tell you sooner? 'Hi, my name is Jack, and I can move stuff around with my mind?' That'd be rich."

"Didn't ask about *sooner*, just if you ever *would*. Which… I guess you did. So… sorry." The last word is soft and fast. Blink and you might miss it. Trina bounces a few times, looking off to the side as she drops her hand and then promptly flees to the bar without explanation. Because she needs something stiff and fast. Something like the bottle of rail vodka. She ain't gonna go after anything decent after that little scene. She also doesn't want him taking it back. Please, don't take it back because she's got a confession to make. "Also, that's mucho less lame than saying there's someone in this room right now that's part of the freak show, but has no fucking way to prove it." There. Her turn at honesty is done, now her guilty conscience can rest. So stop making her feel like crap already! Well, vodka's good for medicating a conscience.

Wait, what? For a ponderously long moment, Jack stares at Trina blankly. Then, slowly, he starts to figure out this giant, fucked up scenario. The lack of surprise. The anger and fear, similar emotions but expressed far differently from what he's come to expect. The telltale bottle of vodka. Rather than shout or grow angry, a smile tugs at his lips. "You.. You can.. ?" He gestures dramatically, an exaggeration of the flourishes he performs to help focus himself. This is sign language for 'do strange stuff.'

Drinking deeply from the bottle without so much a sputter, simply a sharp inhalation, Trina looks far less amused. "Unless you see someone else, that leaves one of us. 'Cuz we know that you ain't the one with performance problems." Funny, ha ha. Her own dirty little joke gets a hollow chuckle. "Ain't proud of it. Can't control it. Most of the time, 'been just telling myself I imagined it 'cuz I took one to many to the head." She taps her temple with the mouth of the bottle before taking another long draught. "Never met anyone else before."

Without another word, Jack crosses to Trina's side and relieves her of the vodka bottle. Rather than set it aside, he tips it back. Bubbles of air float to the upturned bottom, and when he comes up for air he is spluttering, unlike Trina. "Wow! Whooo." After taking a moment to collect himself, he smiles crookedly and wraps an arm around her waist. "So up until now, you thought you were alone? No wonder you were scared. Man, sorry I snapped at you." As quick to forgive as he is to anger, he gives her a one-armed hug.

Okay, he's drinking far more of that than she is. She watches him tip the bottle back, both eyebrows lifting and she just watches. She's stiff in his arms at first, brain still trying to process the information that's desperately flying at it and failing to do with it at any speed. Eventually, however, she just melts in that arm, moving to rest her head against his shoulder. "I didn't say I was scared," she offers in a mumbled mass of syllables as a half-hearted attempt to recover her pride, making her play for the vodka once more with one hand while she moves to wipe her cheek with her upper arm to help dry it off. She feels the need to catch up to Senor Jack, whom she has a sneaking feeling is now a good few mL up on her.

Despite the speed of his intake, Jack seems to be carrying himself well. He willingly surrenders the bottle to Trina, then reaches up to thumb away the last of her tears. "Of course not." He smiles, and his voice is warm and unmocking as cups the back of her head and squeezes her in another quick, reassuring hug. As difficult and confusing as this day has been, he feels better for it rather than worse.

Taking one more swig from the bottle, Trina then sets it back in place with its speed nozzle and then looks up at Jack, blue eyes searching and then offering a very small reflection of the very small smile at the still strange but wonderful sensation of those warm, tender hands. Taking hold of it with her slender, cool ones she smiles. "So. What do we do now? S'that girl gonna be back tonight?"

Jack shakes his head by way of reply. "She better not be. Keepin' that one safe is drivin' me to my wits' end." He laces his fingers through Trina's and lets out a low laugh. "We could spend the next few hours catching each other up on all the weird shit that's happened in our lives. I s'pose." He doesn't seem thrilled at the prospect, today's already been filled with far too much information. Still, it's an offer that has to be made.

They talk. Some. In the end, it seems more prudent to shed clothing and properly christen the bar.

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