2007-10-26: Shot Through The Heart

Starring:

Elena_icon.gif Jack_icon.gif

Summary: In the process of fixing Peter breakfast in bed, and Nathan breakfast in general, Elena gets a visit from a miserable Jack Derex….whose condition worsens in front of her eyes.

Date It Happened: October 26th, 2007

Shot Through The Heart


Petrelli Mansion, New York City

She looks like she's in a good mood. It's early morning, the sun's barely risen yet considering that the year was slowly tilting towards winter. At six in the morning, it was still dark as night outside - but that will change come the hour. There are ingredients for the sickies in the house that all of them carefully keep in a spare fridge so they wouldn't have to share their food with the others in the house. Still, whatever she's making looks good…and simple. A vegetable omelette, fresh squeezed orange juice, toast with preserves and butter laid out, bacon (for herself - and Nathan whenever he gets up) and…well. Waffles. She even bothered to masticate some strawberries in sugar and kept it in the fridge for a while for them. Elena didn't know why, but for some reason, she was compelled to make them.

Hyde Park is an upscale neighborhood. As such, Jack garners plenty of attention as he makes his way toward the Petrelli mansion on foot. He's dressed in a close-fitting black undershirt, flannel pajama bottoms, a hip-length leather coat, and dress shoes. Hair mussed, face flushed, unshaven and unkempt, he's obviously been drinking heavily and given no care at all to his appearance. He keeps his hands crammed into his pockets and his head low, purposely avoiding making eye contact with anyone as he passes.

His appearance is enough to (rightfully) be suspicious when he reaches the front door to the Petrelli home. Jack looks much different than he did when he was working security here a few months ago. Today he's a man with things on his mind, though. He doesn't even pause when the guard at the door challenges him, he just reaches out, grabs the man by the balls, and squeezes like he's turning coals into diamonds.

A moment later he pops his grizzled face into the kitchen. "Oi. Morning, kiddo."

There is a sudden, loud SCREAM of pain that echoes through the first floor of the mansion, and Elena almost drops an egg with her latex-gloved hands. She turns around to stare wide-eyed at the door leading out of the kitchen, gawking. What happened? Should she get something to defend herself with? Should she wake the brothers up? Thankfully before she could do anything, Jack walks in, and she relaxes. "….Jack, what did you do?" She honestly doesn't mean to greet him that way, but come on, someone had been screaming outside and a few minutes later, Jack shows up. It had to be his fault!

"I made breakfast," she says, waving a gloved hand on the kitchen island in the middle of the room. "If you want to eat something. There's coffee brewing too. How have you been?" She scrutinizes his face carefully, and she frowns. She would inquire if her nuncle was okay. But he'd only tell her the same thing. He's fine. It's no big deal. He'll be right as rain once everything heals. Still, that doesn't mean she can't be concerned. She just won't say anything. Instead… "So what's up? Trina glad you're back?" she asks.

Jack limps the rest of the way into the kitchen and glances at Elena. That one look tells it all. His eyes are ringed with dark circles, so he hasn't slept. The flesh around his face is drawn and taut, so he still hasn't been eating properly. Most apparent of all is the haunted, hollow look is his eyes. They're continually held open just a fraction wider than they should be, giving him a air of perpetual surprise and distress. "I didn't do shit," he insists with faux innocence. "I was just reintroducing myself. I'm good on food, but I'd love some coffee." As always, he carries his drunkenness well. He speaks carefully to avoid slurring, his posture is erect, and his features are expressive and aware. "As for Trina," he continues, "She's… It's complicated."

He looks terrible. Hell he doesn't look like he's improving at all. Elena walks over to the coffee pot and pours her nuncle a mug of coffee. She doesn't say anything for a while, and she busies herself into putting together something for him. When she returns, she manages to score the biggest honkin' coffee mug in the house. It was so enormous Jack can almost fit his head inside it. In many cases it was an homage to the first time they met….not at the coffee shop in the East Village, but in her Starbucks which felt forever ago, when she specifically stashed a giant mug at the back of the counter to give him whenever he showed up. It guaranteed that he'd be back. She fills it up with straight up strong, black coffee, and sets it in front of him. "It's complicated because she's worried about you because you're clearly not well," she tells him simply, propping her chin on both her hands as she looks at him. "Jack….maybe you should see a doctor…I mean, I know it isn't the virus or anything but…" There was something wrong with him. She can't pinpoint the specifics but she could detect it.

The sight of the oversized mug isn't lost on Jack. He trails one fingertip around the limb and glances up Elena, fondly and sadly at the same time. He doesn't meet her eyes, though, and he drops his own to stare into his coffee after a few scant seconds. "My doctor is… He's not around anymore. Don't worry, I'm making new arrangements right now. Finest scientific minds are working on the problem, and all that."

Jack blows across the top of his mug to dispel steam, then takes a sip. 'Scientific minds.' Right. Sal, his expert on illegal drugs. Troy, his man in the scientific field. Isher, his medic. Not exactly an Ivy League group.

"…." Yeah, that skeptical look on Elena's face? Means….well, she believes Jack is going to seek help. Unfortunately she doesn't think said help meant that whoever it was he intends to go to, that the person would actually still have his license. Oblivious, still, at Jack's connection with Sal 'Tattoo Man' Ortega, she reaches out across the counter when her nuncle stares at the coffee mug in front of him with that hollow-eyed stare, her fingers covering his scarred and beaten knuckles that are pressed over the ceramic. She doesn't say anything for a while, she's just looking at him. "You're my nuncle. I'm going to worry about you no matter what," she tells him simply. "You know I try not to press it but it's like you're….I don't know. Wasting away bit by bit. Are you…sure you're not in trouble?" Either things with Trina are complicated because he didn't tell his girlfriend (and the woman he ended up marrying in the future Peter prevented), or he did, but she didn't like what she heard.

Jack shrugs his broad shoulders and hunches his upper body protectively over his steaming cup. It's an instinctive, animalistic gesture. 'I like this, and I plan to protect it.' His upper lip even curls into a bare, unconscious snarl as the primitive caveman in him considers the possibility of giving up this small comfort. When Elena's hand wraps around his he starts visibly, then glances up at her with a small smile. Over the next few seconds his countenance relaxes slightly, not back to his old, cheerful self, but to something less intense than the thin-lipped, predatory grimace he was just sporting. "I'm pretty sure I have everything under control," he replies. "I think. Just… trying to get my prescription refilled." Absently, he reaches up with his free hand to scratch at the bandage that's pasted to his neck. Despite Peter's successful attempt to heal him, this one bandage remains.

The smile causes her to smile back. Elena glances down to where her hands have covered his….but then her gaze catches something else. Small, pin-pricks of something in the fleshy area between a few of his digits. The discovery causes something deep inside her to freeze. What. Track marks?? He never had those before. The thing at the side of his neck, she dismisses as an injury - she didn't have X-ray vision after all. But the small, reddened areas she sees in between his digits can't help but alarm her just a little bit. She can't help but look up at him. What was he doing to himself? She has to let go, finally, when he lifts one hand to scratch his neck. Instead, she sighs, and rubs her eyes. "You know I won't judge you or anything like that, right?" she tells him simply. "You know I won't force you to talk about….anything. Just…." She sighs. "Just remember I'll love you no matter what, okay?"

Jack's gaze remain fixed on the liquid inside his coffee mug. After a length pause, he lifts it and takes another bracing drink of the dark, bitter brew. When he sets his cup back down, his face is pulled into a tight, expressionless mask, though the muscles around his left eye occasionally twitch. "Iuvutoo," he mutters, slightly embarrassed. "Just… I just told Trina. That's why I'm here in my smallclothes, drunk at 6am with no shower or shave. G… G-g-g. Give me t-t. Time?" A wracking shiver runs through his body and his eyes bulge open widely. His adam's apple bobs up and down as he swallows convulsively and tugs at his collar.

Quickly, Jack turns his head away from Elena. His nimble, long-fingered hands move clumsily and confusedly, patting his coat, digging in his pajama pockets, and occasionally massaging his throat.

Something was wrong.

When Jack starts stuttering his words, Elena is left with the impression that all he needs is water. She pushes away from the counter, and she's about to go get it, but when he starts frantically fumbling for his clothes, and the way his eyes look, and what her abilities are telling her… "Jack….." Instinct takes over. If the counter were lower, she'd practically hurdle over it. But she's rushing around it, to get to her nuncle when he's clearly looking for something in his clothes. She tries to help him look for it….by now, she knows what she's looking for. She doesn't like it, but she has to help him - to let him go on the way he is, was probably extremely dangerous for him at present. So whatever she finds in his pockets that's not what she suspects he's looking for, she tosses haphazardly on the floor in the haste of the moment.

Jack's convulsions quickly grow more severe. He claws at his windpipe as his airway closes completely and his breath is reduced to a harsh, quiet rattle. A single drop of blood leaks from one nostril, and a more profuse flow oozes from his left ear. He spasms violently, knocking over his coffee cup and tipping his chair backward. He crashes heavily to the floor with one hand buried inside his jacket. There's a RRRTTTCHing sound as he tears open a seam in the silk lining and pulls out the one thing that definitely doesn't belong on the average person. A syringe. Not one of his innocuous pen injectors, but a large hypodermic with a long, heavy needle. The label on the side reads 'EPINEPHRINE - DANGER!' A great deal of warnings follow.

Scrambling on the floor desperately, Jack pantomimes a sharp stabbing motion, then taps his own chest sharply right above his heart. His face is the picture of desperation as he holds the syringe out to Elena with one quivering hand.

When he crashes down on the ground, Elena tries not to panic. She can't FIND what she's looking for. However when Jack hands her the syringe, she grabs it. It looks strange, and heavy, metallic in her hands…and the needle was even retractable. So she grabs at it, and upon grabbing it, her thumb accidentally depresses the button that shoots out the biggest gauge of needle she's ever seen. She stares at the potentially deadly/life saving mechanism in her hands, having dropped to her knees to try and get Jack steady. His convulsions are becoming bad. She reaches up the counter, knocking down a few things that shatter on the floor, but she manages to grab a butter knife. Before she does anything, she moves to straddle the man's bigger body on the floor, to try and pin him down. A hand reaches out, balancing the syringe while trying to do what she does, prying his mouth open so she could have her nuncle bite into the knife, pressed between his teeth and his tongue - so he won't bite off or swallow his own tongue and choke to death while this is going on.

She's trying to concentrate. But when she watches him gesture/flail frantically to his heart, she stares at the GIANT FREAKING NEEDLE in her hand, and then to where he's gesturing.

"You….want me to…STICK THIS IN WHERE?!" She's never done this before. She's HEARD of it. But she, herself, has never done it before.

Taking a breath, she grips the needle with both hands, and jabs the tip of the needle through his clothing. The cold metal slides into him. Her thumb dispenses the Epinephrine in his body…and she lets go, scrambling off him, and breathing raggedly.

When Elena inserts the knife between his teeth, Jack clamps down like a pirate climbing the rigging for a fight. Despite the fear and pain that's etched clearly across his face and in his eyes, he keeps himself as still as possible when Elena administers the injection.

BAM!

This is unlike the mild doses of adrenaline that he's grown accustomed to receiving with his 'medication.' This is a live-saving dose. Potentially life ending. As soon as it hits his system, he begins to buck and flop wildly with the needle still protruding from his chest. This is different from the seizure he was just having. More intense, but somehow healthier, as if each muscular jerk is purging something from his system. When it comes to an end, he's lying on his side, curled into the fetal position with his hands cradled protectively around the syringe that's protruding from his heart. "Ahhhhhsggghhlll," he explains, not looking up at Elena. Smaller tremors and jerks flash through his body like aftershocks. "Mmmmghhhlllfffnn," he thanks her. Hesitantly, his fingertips brush against the hypo, but he doesn't remove it.

She's crabbed onto the ground, her feet braced on the floor, and her arms holding her up behind her, staring at Jack as he clamps onto the knife, twitches and goes into throes….they looked like death throes. Oh god. Did she kill him? But he TOLD her to do it! Her heart is in her throat, so choked with her own nervousness that she doesn't say anything. She's just staring at him, her mouth parted slightly and her dark, gold-flecked eyes wide as he flops and jerks on the ground like a fish out of water. When garbled noises escape his throat….his voice snaps her out of it. She scrambles forwards, grabbing his shoulder and pulling him back so he rests with his back on the ground.

"Oh god. Jack. Oh god," she whispers, watching his shaking fingers move up to brush on the needle sticking out of his heart. She reaches out, curling her fingers around the end. When she knows it's done dispensing the shot in his system, she tightens her grip, and pulls it out as fast as she can, letting the thing drop and clatter on the floor.

"AHHHHHH!" Jack screams unabashedly when the needle is pulled from his second favorite muscle. (50 points if you can guess which one is more important than his heart.) He convulses again, and again this tremor is different, a reaction by his nervous system to being stabbed in the heart.

"AHHHHHHH!" he screams at her again, completely unnecessarily. "SONOFABITCH!" Agonizingly, he raises himself to a half-sitting position with his hands still pressed to his check. The artificial adrenaline pumping through his system is screaming for him to run, or to fight. To break and tear and rend with his hands and teeth, or to cower.

"Ahhhhh," he finishes, somewhat anticlimactically. "I… I really didn't think. Heh. Heh-heh. I didn't think you'd have the stones to stab me. Too many s-s-sex…" he gasps out a cough. "Sex jokes?"

Oh god. She looks up at the ceiling nervously. She doesn't want Peter or Nathan or Heidi to hear this! So when Jack starts screaming, she tries to shut him up by putting the knife back in his mouth, but he isn't cooperating. He was convulsing too much. All she can do is brace herself and hope that Nathan and Peter are so dead asleep from their own illness-induced exhaustion that they think someone is just watching TV. She drops heavily to sit back down on her heels, staring at Jack as he recovers from whatever she just gave him. However, when the fits subside, she stares at him. "….Jack, I'd rather stab you to keep you alive then not do anything and watch you die or worse," she protests, shaking her head. She eyes the mess she made in the kitchen, and she drags the spent syringe over to hand it to him. And then she shifts, slumping on her seated position so she could lean against the counter wall with Jack. She doesn't say anything for a while, all she wants to do at the moment is calm down her heart.

When the fits have subsided, she looks over at him. "What the hell just happened, Jack? This can't…this can't just be withdrawal," she tells him quietly.

Through no fault of Elena's, the jostling of the table knife results in a Joker-esque cut at the corner of Jack's mouth as he spits, screams, and bites down on the sharp metal. When he's finally finished flopping about, he tosses the bloodied utensil aside with disgust and clamps the gash closed with two fingers. "S'not w'thdrwl," he mutters around the injury. "S'just. M'sick. L'get bettr." Slowly, he comes to a slouched, crouching position and accepts the syringe with his free hand. He stares it silently, somewhere between the fond gaze saved for a favored lover and the haughty glare reserved for one's worst enemy. The glass and metal construction creaks ominously inside his fist as he squeezes down on it, his strength bolstered by the epinephrine. "M'gettin' new doctor soon," he finishes lamely. "S'need new prscripshin."

"Yes, I see that, but you were as healthy as a horse when you left," Elena says, worry making her tone a little sharper than normal. "And now you're all…twitchy and floppy. Nobody gets this sick and dependent on…on….giant needles when out on vacation." Because that's what he told her before leaving. When he still looks weak and disheveled, she looks around, and she sighs. "Come on, we should get you out of here…you need a bed, you need rest, and you need the kind of TLC I can't give you, because you're my nuncle and that'll be wrong." The last is a bit of a joke, to interject some levity into what just happened. But she's extremely worried, it's on her face. She reaches out. "Come on….we'll go to George. He'll drive us back to your place." Might encourage him to go get a hug from Trina too, since it looks like he needs it. And then maybe she can drag the story out of him in the car.

"No!" Jack insists far more sharply than is strictly necessary. Grunting with pain and effort, he comes to his knees, then staggers to his feet with the aid of one hand grabbing onto the table.

"No," he repeats again when he's standing, far more quietly this time. "L'take a ride," he continues, still pinching one side of his mouth shut to staunch the flow of blood. "But not home. Gotta new place. Brooklyn. L'go there, 'kay? Got bandages n'stuff. L'be fine."

"Jack, don't be stubborn! Let me help you!" Elena cries, finally losing her patience in the heat and worry of the moment. When he tries to stand up on his own, she's there, grabbing onto him so she could support him properly. She wasn't exactly in the best shape either, and it's a miracle she hasn't coughed on him. However, when he insists on not going back to him and Trina's apartment, she sighs, and nods. "Okay…that's where we'll go." She slowly moves to steer him towards the door. "We'll go there then, okay? Wherever just….I know you don't want Nate to see you like this."

Jack nods wearily, reluctantly allowing Elena to support part of his weight on the way to the door. As they move, he finally notices the wetness at his ear. He reaches his fingers up to touch it, then stares at them blankly when he sees the blood. "That's new…" he observes quietly. Unnoticed, the drop that leaked from his nose curls over his lips and drips off his chin. Still only partially coherent, the Irishman sighs and allows his niece to take care of him for a change.

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