2008-01-31: Don't Say Goodbye, Say Goodnight


Jack_icon.gif Trina_icon.gif

Summary: Jack makes his choice. And, if you want a soundtrack: Here you go.

Date It Happened: January 31, 2008

Don't Say Goodbye, Say Goodnight

Jack and Trina's Apartment.

Where rest would do most injured men well, several hours have only made Jack's condition worse. Though he's injured, he's been injured before. More than the pain in legs, chest, and face, it's the pain of detox that's killing him. Minute by minute, it's shredding his soul and his sanity. Every so often, he stretches his unpinned arm toward the syringe that's just barely out of reach. Salvation is only a few inches away, but it may as well be miles.

He's still trapped under the ladder that Peter used as an improvised weapon. With him growing weaker by the moment, he's barely even been able to shift it. No small amount of blood has leaked out from his shrapnel wounds, the worst of which has bifurcated his nose into two halves. Though he made a token attempt to remove them, fragments of wood and metal are still embedded in the flesh of his chest and abdomen.

There's more blood. Peter's blood. It's all over the kitchen and the living room. Most of the apartment has been wrecked. The kitchen is scorched and destroyed. Water from the shattered fish tank still puddles here and there on the floor. The fish themselves have fared… not so well. There are pieces of cabinet, countertop, and coffeepot everywhere.

Welcome home.

Trina was gone for a few hours. It gave Jack the space he wanted so dearly, and it gave her the opportunity to run a few… errands. Namely, running by the Den of Iniquity and carefully searching Jack's office for anything that shouldn't be there. The bar, too, was searched. Everything. Everything in the whole of the Den was torn apart, inspected to the best of her ability, and then cleaned up.

She very intentionally avoided looking at the carving that marked so deeply the bar's beautiful wooden surface.

She fumbles with the keys, slipping them at last into the lock. Taking a deep breath and closing her eyes, the motorhead braces to enter hell. Then she turns the knob and pushes inside, heralded by the rustle of a brown paper bag and the clomp of her black army boots. Then she opens her eyes. …Then she freezes in her tracks.

The door shuts behind her with little fanfare, failing to latch closed all the way. Her groceries remain on her hip. All Trina can do for several precious moments is breathe, and she only barely manages that. Finally, once she comes to her senses, her voice tentatively cuts into the air. "Jack?"

Jack is mostly incoherent and his eyes have long since lost focus. He's operating on primitive instinct, now more responsive to sound than to visual stimuli. Trina's approach causes him to jerk partially upright against the heavy weight holding him down. Clinging to the rungs of the ladder the way a drowning man clings to a floating spar, for an instant he looks completely terrified when she calls out to him. Sick, sad, and bleeding, he's like an injured child who doesn't understand why it hurts.

"Father?" he queries hoarsely, lost in some long-forgotten memory. "Father, I'm sorry. Please… Please help me."

"Oh, God. Jack!" The groceries, to Trina's credit, aren't spilled all over the decimated remains of their belongings on the floor, but instead shoved roughly into a chair as she dashes to his side. The first thing she does is stoop over and start struggling to pull the ladder up off of him. "Baby? Talk to me, honey. It's gonna be okay." There's a grunt as she then awkwardly turns the ladder onto one of its corners and tries to get it back into place against the loft—off of and away from her fiancee. There's so much blood. And his nose. She's barely containing the panic, blue eyes wildly taking in everything about them but really not comprehending much beyond that Jack is hurt and their apartment is destroyed. …Really, is there much beyond that?

With a blink and a shake of his head, Jack clears his mind and his vision enough to tell the difference between his father and his wife-to-be. There's fresh pain and fresh blood. The memory starts to fade, and with it much of his panic fades as well. He reaches out with his free hand and latches onto Trina's forearm, clinging to it with the same intensity that he did the ladder. "Ow," he mumbles. "Hurts. Help?"

Pathetically, Jack's bloodshot eyes flicker over to the only thing he can think of that will take away his pain. The syringe.

Trina's too busy peeling off her thick, wool-lined denim coat to immediately notice what Jack's up to, revealing her black ribbed tank top underneath. "I'm workin' on it, sugar. Jus' gimme a second, 'kay? Everythin's gonna be jus' fine." She pulls his hand off of her just long enough to get her arm out of the sleeve and start balling up the coat to put it under his bleeding head. A hand then moves to stroke over his forehead, trying to calm him down as she fights for his attention. "Where's the book with the numbers, baby? I'll… I'll call the doc." As much as she's loathed to do it, there really isn't any choice.

Something to focus on. That helps. Jack's brow furls more tightly as he cudgels his brain for the answer to Trina's question. "Bedside table?" he supplies hopefully. "Yeah. There."

When a nod dislodges clotted red droplets down onto his shirt, he reaches up to find the source. Thin, probing fingers find their way to the vertical gash in his nose that's exposed tissue and cartelige. "Nnng," he grunts. It makes sense to try and pinch the two halves back together, so he tries. It's untidy and incredibly painful, but it stems the flow for the moment.

Trina makes a face as Jack closes his nose back up, her stomach churning violently against the sight. Fortunately, something to focus on helps her, too. "Bedside table. Right. Got it. Stay put, and I'll be right back." Pushing herself up to her feet, the brunette is then frantically climbing her way up the ladder to get to the bedside table. To get to the numbers there. As soon as she's got it, she's practically throwing herself back off the ladder again as she flies down its length, stumbling on the last few steps but surviving the awkward jump to the bottom with only an unsteady shake at the end.

Then it's back to Jack's side.

As she nervously flies through the pages for the right series of digits, Trina makes important, relevant conversation. "What happened?"

Bit by bit, Jack is starting to collect himself. Instead of being fuzzy, his vision is now fever-bright and vivid. While Trina is away, fresh surges from his battered endocrine system gain him the crawling inches he needs to lay his hands on his prize.

Like a kiss, the action of the syringe is near-silent as the Irishman pumps a dose into his veins. The effect is immediate. His body writhes against the floor as his muscles all spasm and contract simultaneously. A heavy, excited gasp of air escapes from between his tightly clenched teeth. Vicelike, his hands clench around the remains of the scorched carpet.

And then it's over. The agony is gone, replaced by the warm, muzzy effects of morphine and the harsh biting of powerful stimulants. All is right in the world by the time Trina returns. Right enough for a lie, anyway. "Peter did this," Jack mumbles. "Came here and tried to kill me."

"…" Trina pauses in her work to stare at Jack with all the incredulity that such a statement deserves, not entirely catching that her lover is suddenly far more collected than he was. She does notice, however, that he's moved. She tries several times to speak, but all that comes out is a choked halt. Blue eyes look down at the book in her hands, as if the answer might suddenly come to her there if she looks at it long enough. After a few seconds of darting around aimlessly on the page, that crystalline gaze comes back to Jack, bewilderment plain in the deep furrows on her brow. "But… But why?"

"It's like Nathan said. He's gone bad," Jack replies. "Something isn't right in his head." Covertly, the pot palms his used spike and tucks it into his waistband. As the seconds tick by, his voice grows clearer and his responses sharper. He's sweating again and his pupils are beginning to dilate. Back to calling the kettle black. "I tried to talk to him over coffee, but he wouldn't have it. He just snapped."

Something isn't right. For a man who was hallucinating a few moments ago, he's making an awfully quick recovery.

Trina's head rears back as she catches something. An important something. It's in his eyes. Her face falls, her eyes close, and her lips purse up. She breathes. For several lungs filled and emptied, that's all she can do. Breathe. And then she starts dialing.

Lifting it to her ear, Trina listens for a time to that ringing sound that is suddenly so loud, it feels as though it might rattle her brain to pieces. Then the ringing stops, replaced by a voice. There's a brief conversation, quiet and calm. Come. Come and fix Jack. You know where to come. He's home. And then a click.

The young woman heaves another slow breath, and then looks back to Jack with her chin tucked and a strand of black hair falling in her face. Everything in her chest is heavy and stabbing pain. Her heartbeat is so loud that it's deafening. "He'll be here, soon." A pause. Then, "But how can you lie to me like that, baby? How can you look me in the eye and lie?"

Jack's mouth drops open silently. For all the things he's put Trina through, all the lies he's told her and secrets he's kept, she's never called him out on it. Not like this.

He pulls in a shuddering breath of his own and glances up at her through hooded, angry eyes. Stubborn. Intractable. Addicted. He refuses to give. "FINE!" he shouts. "If my word's not good enough for you, then go. Go out there, talk to him. See what happens. If you end up with a face like this—" he pauses and gestures to his split nose. "Don't come crying to me."

There's a funny thing about words. They can sometimes hurt more than any man's fist. He's on the drugs, Trina can see it as plain as daylight. "I won't," she whispers, collecting herself with a breath. She sets her phone down on top of Jack's chest and then lowers herself down to try to kiss him on the cheek, black hair becoming a paint brush to spread blood in delicate trails across places where it wasn't before. Her voice finds itself more carefully monitored, more generically American when next she speaks. "The doc's coming, honey. He's gonna take care of you."

If anything, Jack is more stunned by his cutting remarks than Trina. He'd take them back, but it's too late. He could apologize… but how? What could he possibly say to make up for that?

"I…" He turns his cheek into the kiss and accepts it, well aware that it might be the last one he ever gets from her. "You should go," he continues more quietly, unable to meet her eyes. "My doctor's not exactly licensed, and he doesn't trust strangers. I'll call you, okay?"

And there it is. The choice between lover and chemical mistress is made.

There's a sniff, and Trina nods. No fight. Somehow, she really hoped there would be. Some magnificent row and violent displays of passion. Something to make it feel like her departure even matters.

Instead, there's only this.

"I… I think I'll leave my phone here. Doc calls, he's gonna use that number. You don't wanna mess around with that nose. Try… Try to keep pressure on it." Then she carefully pulls herself up to her feet, taking a good long time in dusting herself off, removing debris from the denim with slow sweeps of her hand. "I… I'm just gonna go grab a change of clothes." There's a forced smile and a shrug as she desperately tries to stave off the tears from forming. "These got a little bloody." And then she turns to go back up to the loft, grabbing out her duffel and shoving things inside.

Once she's got as much of her clothes as will fit, she throws the bag over her shoulder. Then she slips the battered, knotted white twisty-tie off of her left ring finger, leaving it on the bedside table next to the keys to the apartment and the bar that she separates from the key to her car.

Jack just stares at the ceiling. When Trina leaves, he doesn't even look up. He's made his bed. Now he has to sleep in it.

Without her.

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