2007-08-11: DF: Missions Can Wait


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Summary: Jack and Trina deal with goodbye in their own way.

Dark Future Date: August 11, 2009

Missions Can Wait

The Saints' Sooper Sekrit Base

The difficult meeting's done and Jack is off to finish up the tasks of the day. A few long moments after he passes the threshold and starts walking down the hall, there's another quick exit. "Jack, wait." The sound of boots lightly pounding against the carpeted floor as Trina jogs to his side can be heard, only to stop short once she's there. There's a small smile that she offers up to him, blue eyes searching for some purchase in his gaze. "I— Mind if I walk with you?"

Jack hasn't bothered to change, but it looks like he plans to at some point. He's got a sturdy, serviceable set of dark grey fatigues wadded up under one arm and a long, lightweight coat draped over his shoulder. He moves with purpose, but there's a lingering quality to his limping steps that slows him down a little more than usual. He occasionally pauses; once to poke his head into the gymnasium and sigh wistfully, once to gaze longingly at the coffeepot. This is a good place. This is a good home for his people.

It's the not sound of Trina's footsteps but her voice that startles him from his pensive mood. "Wha… ? Oh! Yeah, c'mon." He smiles back wearily and loops his unburdened arm around her shoulders. At first he glances at her face and just as quickly looks away, but a few seconds later he meets her eyes again more steadily.

Settling heavily into the crook of his arm, Trina is only too happy to press herself against Jack's side. Now that she's got his attention, her neck cranes a little to make sure she doesn't lose the eye contact as her brow furrows slightly. It's there that the faint grease smudge across her cheek becomes visible, the mechanic oblivious to its presence. "You sure I can't come with you? I know I ain't Laney, but." There's no trailing word. The unspoken 'but it's me' should be sufficient.

Jack frowns and tosses his wadded-up clothes into a chair. Now he has another free hand, so he reaches up to wipe away the telltale oil mark with the pad of his thumb. His hand lingers against her cheek tenderly. "It's not a matter of who's best. We're all apples and oranges. None of us is any better than the rest. No, I'm takin' a skeleton crew on this one to minimize potential losses. There are always more Primes, but I've only got one love o' my life."

As Jack's thumb drags across her cheek, Trina for a fleeting moment resembles a squirmy kid, nose scrunching up tightly and eyes squeezing shut. It's once the mark is gone and there's only fingers on her face that she allows her face to soften once more so she can look back up at him. She doesn't like making him frown, but sometimes it's just so friggin' hard to be quiet. Especially when one considers what a friggin' loudmouth she was in her past life. "I know. I do. But there's only one you, too." And they got Cass. Sure, Jack ain't Cass, but at the same time, Cass was so well-guarded and they took her anyway. "Can't blame a girl for tryin'," she finishes lamely.

The frown slides off of Jack's face. He gathers Trina up in his arms gently, encircling her with his still-sturdy arms and pressing his cheek against her soft hair. "You know I'd feel safer if I had you watchin' my back, but I need somebody with a level head to keep an eye on the others for me. 'Lena's good, but she can be a bit on the explosive side. Temper, temper."

Yes. Jack just accused someone else of having an explosive temper. Nomnom on that sweet slice of irony.

"Gee, I wonder where she got that from." In those arms, everything's still okay. Everything still makes sense. Trina's easily gathered up, and her arms get thrown about Jack's neck with an equal gentleness, thin fingers burying themselves in his scruffy hair. She breathes in deep, taking in the smell of him. Sure, it isn't oversweet cologne and aftershave that cloys to him, but it smells like Jack. There's nothing in the world that Trina would ever trade for it. "You better come back. Seems like things are gettin' worse out there by the minute, and I'd hate to have to kick your ass for bein' late to dinner tomorrow."

Gruffly, Jack replies, "You might have to wrap supper up for me, but I'll be back before it spoils." He strokes strands of hair back behind her her ears and away from her forehead with a gentle touch. He clings to her, soaking up the warmth, softness, and comfort that has always come from her steadying presence. "I love you," he murmurs, the sentiment roughened by his ruined voice. "You've stood by me through everything. Believed in me. I never could've come this far without you."

Trina doesn't want him to leave. She'd keep him locked up, safe and sound in a box where no stupid president with dreams of genocide could ever touch him, but other people need what he's doing more than she needs him to be trapped safely away. Maybe that's why she just pushes that superficial smile back onto her lips. It's so easy to see through, but she offers it anyway as she finally pulls her hands back to gingerly cup his jaw. "Hey. You're damn near the only thing worth believin' in anymore, and you ain't let me down yet."

Jack nuzzles his face into Trina's hands and lets out a soft, low sigh of satisfaction. "If I had my way, we'd stay here forever. We have coffee and liquor and fresh food. We're safe. It's quiet, and it doesn't smell like blood. We deserve this. We've earned it." Tiredly, his shoulders slump. "The problem is, everybody else deserves it, too. We might not be able to fix things on our own, but by God we have to try."

"We do the best we can, sugar." Softly, Trina lifts her head and rises onto the balls of her feet in order to plant the barest brush of a kiss against Jack's lips. "Just remember that you can't do anyone any good if you're dead." She lingers in her closeness for only a moment before shying away from the morbid topic. "But… here is good. It feels like a fuckin' luxury resort after what we been puttin' up with the past year and a half."

Jack closes his eyes to meet the brief, gentle kiss, letting it soothe his worries and wash away the concerns of a battered, overworked body and mind. When Trina mentions the possibility of his death, he smiles and shrugs without lifting his lids. "Me? Die? Psh. Not yet. I've got shit to do tomorrow." He cracks his eyes open and winks, showing a hint of his old, roguish self. "We live the life we live, I figure it's best not to think on it too much. Right now we have everything we need. While we have it, we'd do well to enjoy it."

"Well, I enjoy the hell outta you." That glint to his eyes strikes a chord, and Trina's hardly about to let him go and have all the playful fun of pretending that he's not doing anything more than going around the corner for a loaf of bread. She sways a little, crooning to him. "It's a damn shame you gotta go runnin' off to play hero again. I had a helluva plan for you. It involved a lot less action and adventure and a lot more naked." With that, there's a devious smile in kind. Two can play at this game, boy-o.

Jack shiftyeyes for a moment, then glances toward the door. When he looks back at Trina, he's grinning wider than ever. He steps close again and bends his head to breathe in her unique smell. Girl and motor oil and coffee. Mmm. "Prime can wait for an hour," he murmurs. "Or three."

AH HA. EVIL PLAN OF DISTRACTION WINS. Trina laughs out loud at her victory, the melodic sound escaping her throat and dancing partway down the hall as she clings to her boyfriend's neck. "C'mon, darlin'. If you're only gonna gimme a few hours, I ain't wastin' another minute." The slender woman then pulls back, grabbing his hand to start hauling him off in the direction of their room. Sorry, Prime.

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