2007-11-20: Really Here


Jack_icon.gif Trina_icon.gif

Summary: With people trying to hunt down Jack, Trina stops waiting for him to come home. She drags him there.

Date It Happened: November 20, 2007

Really Here

Brooklyn, NYC - Back Room - Den of Iniquity

"Twenty-nine… Thirty… Thirty-one… Forty-one…"

It's now been eight days since Jack last tasted a drop of morphine. The most violent portion of his detoxing has already passed; the hallucinations have grown less frequent, his suicidal urges have almost completely subsided, and his appetite has returned. This isn't to say that he's entirely coherent, but he's at least conscious and relatively aware. Right now he's distracting himself from his pangs with exercise. Rhythmically, he pumps out crisp, one-armed push ups with his eyes fixed on the floor. Next to him, a cardboard box with a few pastry crumbs in the bottom is the only item in his office/cell that appears to have been touched recently. In any case, everything else but a blanket, some water, and a few protein bars has been hastily bustled out into the pub.

Jack is okay. That's all I can say.

If ever Elena Gomez could find something to send Trina into a frenzy, she seems to have stumbled upon it effectively enough. Trina called Jack's cell phone innumerable times after she got home from possibly the worst run to a liquor store ever. He didn't pick up.

When that didn't work, the dark haired woman called Jack's honorary niece. No matter how much Trina begged, cajoled, or yelled, the Gomez girl wouldn't budge on the matter. This, naturally, only made Mah more frantic.

That brings us to today. Up with the sun, Trina has been all over Manhattan, desperately scouring the city for the man who is supposed to be her boyfriend but who has, again, disappeared. Nine days. He's been gone for nine days. Garages. Auto shops. Liquor stores. A distributor. No Jack.

And now she's here. Trina is exhausted, and she looks it. Dark circles frame her eyes more prominently than the makeup she's used to try to obscure them. Her shoulders slump forward against the cold wind. Her forehead refuses to release the tiny wrinkles that trace their way like a map, trying to explain how it is that they got to this point. When did it go so wrong? When she parks her car in front of the Den of Iniquity, Trina looses a huge sigh and bangs her head backwards against her seat. With eyes closed, she rests there a moment. This is the last place she can think of to look. After this, there is nowhere else to search. She has to take a moment to brace herself for the possibility that he's not here, before finally pushing herself out of the car and onward towards the front door.

Memories rush back in a flood as she pushes her key into the latch and twists it open. Her black combat boots tromp inside, announcing her arrival even as she turns to latch the door back up behind her. She can't hear him in his office nor can she see light in the dimness of the barfront. Her hands slide along the wall, trying to remember where the switch is, even as she starts calling out into the too-still air. "Jack? Jack, you here?"

Jack has torn out the office door and replaced it with a set of heavy bars that have been chained and padlocked shut to form an impromptu cell. Trina's familiar voice carries to him easily, but instead of smiling he clenches his eyes shut and swears under his breath. "She's a hallucination, Jackie. A mirage. A very pretty mirage." He doesn't look up. He doesn't even open his eyes. He just goes back to doing push ups.

Eventually, Trina's hand finds the light switch, and the front half of the bar illuminates under the dim lamps that cast that je-ne-sais-quoi ambiance that bars seem to generate. "Jack?" she calls out again. As she crosses the room, she unwraps the winter white knit scarf from about her neck and pulls the matching white cap off of her head. When her voice ventures up into the air a third time, it's shakier and filled with an oppressive doubt. "Baby?" Please. Please be here. And with that, she pushes into the back room.

Jack is closed off from the rest of the pub, but still visible through the bars. He clenches his teeth until the muscles in his jaw bulge painfully, but he keeps his eyes shut and he doesn't reply. Talking to your own hallucinations is the last step on the road to madness. He switches arms and starts his count over. "One.. Two… Three…"

Trina is still prying layers off as she wanders through the back room… and then she hears grunting and …counting. Her expression becomes one of ripe confusion, and she leans further forward as she continues further in. Which would be when she spies Jack. Behind metal bars. Her eyes widen, and then she just drops everything in her hands on the floor.

Coat. Scarf. Gloves. Hat. Everything else is forsaken as she awkwardly scrambles towards the bars and moves to try to pull on them. When did he put this door in? Surely it opens. "Oh my gawd, baby! There you are! Are you okay?! What the hell happened?" When the bars don't move, Trina strains to try one more time. It, too, fails. That is when her eyes resettle on her lover, just beyond her reach. "Imma get you out of here, soon as I figure out how."

"Just a dream. It's just a dream," Jack repeats to himself. Half-raised for another rep, he halts and sucks in a deep, shuddering breath. "Detox hallucination. You miss her, that's all." His resolve is weakening, though. He glances up at the Trina apparition with heavily lidded eyes. Is it okay to tell a hallucination that you love it? Or her?

He's… ignoring her. On purpose. Trina is frantic, desperate, and not holding up very well. She pushes herself up from the place where she had partially slid down bars, now straining her fingers against chains that continue to deny her. He is seriously not helping her calm. "I will go and get a box of your glasses and start throwin' them at you if you don't start talking to me like I'm here and tell me what the hell is going on. Who the hell did this to you?"

"Baby?" Startled, Jack's propping arm folds and he thuds heavily to the floor. "Baby, I…" He rolls over and staggers to his feet. Though he's the one that set each lock and barrier in place to prevent his own escape, he instinctively rushes the cell door so he can fulfill the need to touch and hold his lover. To reassure himself that she's really here. As soon as his fingers brush against her sleeve he sags against the chain and reaches out farther to try and hug her through the bars. "God, it's really you. Oh my God. Thank you, God."

Abandoning the effort to get Jack free in the much greater call to touch, the woman on the other side of the bars is very much real. Trina's too-thin arms come in handy, as the woman is able to slide her arms a little further inside his self-imposed prison. He stinks, he looks a wreck, and he is one of the most beautiful things she's seen in her life, all at the same time. "Oh, sweetie, you're alright. You done scared the hell right out of me." Unbidden, tears of relief start escaping as she just clings to whatever piece of him she can catch. In the face of the weight that is seemingly dropping off of her shoulders by the pound, she entirely forgets her resolution made earlier in the day to kick his ass all the way home.

She has him. She has him; he's right here. And he really is alright. "I been lookin' everywhere for you," she offers between volleys of rapid sniffling.

"Oh my God," Jack says one last time. He crushes his torso against the bars and holds Trina against him, shaking and quivering with relief as he buries one of his hands in her long, dark hair. "I'm okay," he assures her. "Or I'm going to be. I had to lock myself away." He pauses, turns his head aside, and gulps. "Had to lock myself away from the drugs. You were right. I turned into a junkie."

"Well, you need to unlock yourself," Trina replies, matter of factly, pulling away to look him in the eyes. Her hands slip away from his waist, traveling to his stubbled jaw to take hold of it. She dips her head a little, leaning in. Listen to me. Listen to what I am saying. It's important. "S'good you're gettin' clean, I'm really glad for it, but you need to unlock this door and come with me. Right now. I'll take care of you, baby, I promise." Because if people are looking for Jack, the last thing he needs to be is a sitting duck, recovering and locked behind bars. She heaves a breath and then asks the Important Question. "Where are the keys?"

After a moment's hesitation, Jack gives in to Trina's superior wisdom. She's here for him. She's come to rescue him and take care of him. He lifts a finger to point at the one table in the pub that hasn't been covered by a dropcloth. Laid out on the top are a few essentials. A bottle of bourbon. Jack's cell phone and wallet. A pistol with a single antipersonnel round beside it. The casing has the word 'WEAKLING' scrawled down one side. Last but not least, there's a heavy iron key with rust and age spots that match those on the cell door's padlock.

Okay. This is going to be okay.

The brunette's form races across the room with her awkward stride, until she gets to the table. There, Trina's hands frantically sort through the times on the table, and then she grabs the key. She's inspecting it, even as she walks back across the room. "Baby, after this, we have got to talk about what makes a good plan." Into the lock the key then goes so she can go about jostling the lock open, blue eyes locked there. "…And about checkin' some of your 'good plans' with me first."

Jack doesn't even try to argue. He nods his head wearily and mumbles a quiet agreement. "Okay. I really haven't been myself." He reaches through the bars again, his fingers questing for clothing, hair, skin, anything of Trina that he can touch. "I haven't been thinking straight at all," he admits. "Love you. So much."

"And I love you," Trina replies, distracted. It's not that she's intentionally ignoring him; she's got a bad case of tunnel vision. And he's agreeing with her. It's… the time to make her demands. She takes a long, deep breath so that she can start talking at a normal pace. A calm pace… she thinks. "Which is why I am getting you home." Once the lock actually releases its hold, she starts hecticly pulling at the chain. "And then, in the morning, after you get some sleep, you are gonna call Elena Gomez and tell her that if she ever hides where you are from me ever again that I will break her over my knee." …Okay, that was fired a little faster than she intended. Hopefully, he caught all that. She's done now.


"Oh shit…" Jack claps a hand over his mouth. "Elena. The shit I said to her… Baby, you can't be too mad. She's just a kid. I probably scared her." Grunting with effort, Jack yanks the heavy boat chain out from between the bars and tosses it to the floor with a loud, clanking rattle. The cell door is harder to budge. It's not a door so much as a wall made of bars that's been wedged in the proper place. The muscles on his neck and the veins in his arms stand out as he puffs and heaves. An inch at a time, the bars give up their hold and squeal out of place.

Trina is not much help with the door, but she's trying, stretching arms up and trying to balance the thing. She at least can make sure that the wall doesn't fall over and kill him.

…Man, it'd be super helpful if she actually had a helpful super power at times like these. Ah, well.

Mah can't spend too much time focusing on that little wish because she's too preoccupied with trying to stay mad. Her forehead furrows deeply. "She hid where you were, Jack. From me." It hurt. It scared her. Neither of those things she wants to admit.

With a final grrrrrr of effort, Jack sets the metal wall down and dusts his hands off on his filthy sweats, which doesn't do much for the cloth or his hands. When he's finished he looks up at Trina, more than a little ashamed. "I hid where I was. Me. If you should be mad at anybody, you should be mad at me."

Trina folds her arms over her chest, the eyebrow over her left eye popping up. "Yeah, well, you already admitted you weren't thinkin' right. She was." Rapidly shaking her head, Trina lunges forward to grab her lover's wrist, fully intending to start dragging him towards her coat so they can get out of here. "We'll talk about this tomorrow. Right now we're going home."

"Okay," Jack mumbles again. He doesn't fight her, or resist in the least. In a daze, he allows his lady to tug him along through the pub and toward the door. "Can we stop and get an apple pie? I forgot how much I loved apple pie until an angel brought me one and convinced me not to kill myself." As outlandish as the statement may be, it seems to make perfect sense to Jack.

"Honey, you get in that car, and we will go through McDonald's and I will get you 100 apple pies if you want. I'm just so glad you're alright." Pushing back through the front door, Trina does pause and drop his wrist long enough to pull on her coat and start locking up the bar. The lights can burn tonight. She'll come back later and turn then off. She's frantically flipping through keys, trying to find the one to the bar. "And remind me to send your angel a thank you note."

Gently, Jack reaches out and takes the keyring from Trina. With practiced ease, he flips to the right key and fits it to the lock. When he's got it buttoned up, he passes the keys back to his girlfriend without a word. Operating on instinct and moving on autopilot, he nods and leans against his escort. "Mmm. Sleepy. Angel's nice. She knew to come and save me and she knew that apple pie was my favorite. She gave me a hug and when she left I cried. I should buy her some flowers."

When Jack takes the keys from her, her hands are shaking. She's only too glad to reclaim the keys from him, it gives her something to occupy her nervous fingers. One hand gets the keys, the other arm wraps around Jack to navigate him around the corner to her car. Whenever he starts walking too slowly, her arm is right there to nudge him forward to a pace more brisk. Jack is, as far as she can tell, talking nonsense. But he's being agreeable, so Trina is more than willing to string along. "I'm sure if you can find the address, she'd be more than happy to get them."

"Oh, I know where she lives," Jack confides. "I just didn't know she was an angel until she came to visit me. We'll stop by and I'll introduce you. Soon. Right now I just want to sleep in my own bed." Like a little boy being led off to get tucked in for the night, he clings to Trina's arm and leans his head against her shoulder.

Jack's languid manner is such a stark contrast to the wound up woman by his side, his self-appointed protector. "Well, then let's skip the pie tonight. We'll get it from the angel later." As soon as they get to her red Mustang, Trina is leading him to his side of the car. Letting him go to quickly slip past him, she unlocks the door and then straightens as she opens and holds it for him. "C'mon, sugar. A real bed'll do you good."

Then, once he's settled in and she's sure he's buckled up, the raven-tressed Trina gives a nervous glance both ways and scuttles to her own side of the car. Moments later, the red sports car is pulling away and heading for home.

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