2007-11-16: The Caged Irishman


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Summary: Elena makes an unexpected discovery in the Den of Iniquity, having been compelled by her worry for Jack to break quarantine again and try some of his usual haunts.

Date It Happened: November 16th, 2007

The Caged Irishman

Den of Iniquity, Brooklyn, New York

The Den has changed. It's no longer a cheerful watering hole for working class folk. The water damage has been repaired, but dropcloths still cover most of the furniture and a substantial layer of dust has built up. Everything from Jack's office has been moved out into the pub and stacked in a slipshod heap. Everything. His desk and chairs, the poker table, all of the bottles from behind the small bar. Even the carpet and padding has been torn up. The office door has been torn out and replaced with a heavy set of bars that is bolted to the walls, floor, and ceiling. The tiny cell door is held shut by a heavy chain and padlock.

In the center of the room, a single bar table has been dusted off and a number of items have been laid out on it carefully. Jack's cellular phone, and wallet. A bottle of bourbon. A fresh syringe and a vial of morphine. An enormous bottle of vicodin. A loaded pistol. The key to the cell door.

Jack is clinging to the bars and staring at the vial of morphine with haunted eyes. They're bloodshot and have heavy bags beneath them. He's wasted away in his self-imposed confinement. He's lost almost ten pounds and it shows. He's still wearing the same t-shirt and sweats he had on when he locked himself in, though now they're dirty and stained with sweat and vomit.

The inside of the modified office has been stripped of all but the barest necessities. A large bucket of water, half full. Protein bars. A single blanket. It's almost as if he's punishing himself.

Suddenly, a creaky, horribly off key voice begins to rasp out in a lilting singsong. "Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so. Little ones to him belong. They are weak, but he is strong."

She was ill. And now, powerless. Elena is bundled up in a thick, North Face coat, with a hat pulled low on her head and a scarf around her nose and mouth. Hands stuffed in her pockets, she makes her way to the Den of Iniquity considering the fact that…well. She had tried calling Jack all through this week and he hasn't responded to any of her messages. So she starts going through his known haunts, and this is her first stop. She lifts a gloved hand to open the door, rattling it. Locked. Sigh.

She takes a step back, eyeing the establishment. There's a dim light inside the room that she can make out in the darkness - but she doesn't know if it's just an autolight or someone was in there. She's hopeful it's the latter. So she goes around the building, testing the windows. She knows at least one of them is open - she's used it to enter the Den before. And when she finds it, she looks left, right, and grunts, bracing her feet on the ground and jerks it upwards. If she were normal, she would've done this easily. Since she's sick…it takes a few tries.

She crawls in, and drops hard on the floor. Crawling on her knees, she looks around, trying to adjust her eyes to the dimness. "Jack?" she croaks, standing up slowly and clearing her throat. "Jack?" Louder this time, groping for the light switch and turning it on. And what she sees…causes her to stare. She can even hear the singing before she even sees anything.

"Oh my god. Oh my god. Jack!" She staggers forward, ignoring the things on the table to get to the cell door. "Jack, what are you…oh my god what did you DO?!"


Jack doesn't just shake the bars, he throws his whole body at them. He's done his work well, though. They creak, but they don't budge. He's covered with bruises. It seems this isn't the first time he's tried this.

"GIVE IT TO ME! GIVEITGIVEITGIVEITGIVEIT!" His ranting dissolves into inane gibberish as he kicks and thrashes. "They're here and I keep seeing everyone I've every killed and I can't take it anymore ohGodohGodohGod please give me the morphine please I can't look at the faces."

She takes several steps back at the sudden roar, and Jack slamming his body hard into the bars like a caged animal…because right now, he -was- one, and Elena can't help but stare at him wide-eyed. "I— Jack….JACK! It's me!" Elena attempts to move closer to the cage, and reach out with both gloved hands to touch the fingers gripping the bars. "Jack, please, what's WRONG with you?! What do you mean you see them?!" Oh god. Oh god. What the fuck? What the FUCK? What was wrong with him? She examines his face, the bloodshot eyes. Bloodshot eyes that weren't really seeing her.

And the morphine.

The 'fucking morphine'.

She looks at the table where his things are. She looks at the cage where he's held. This is when she sees it. All those years of volunteering at clinics and hospitals flooding back into her mind.

"….oh my god, you're addicted." He never really explained what was wrong with him. He never told her what had been done to him. But it's as plain as day now. "Jack, JACK, listen to me." She tries to grab his hands and pin them at the bars - though she's so weak he can probably pull away and shove her back no problem. "This isn't the way to do it, you can't just detox yourself this way! I'll….I'll have to call for help. You're way too far gone and I…I don't have my powers anymore!" She starts digging for her cellphone.

"NO!" Jack squints his eyes closed and leans back slightly. Then he abruptly launches himself forward again and strikes his forehead against the cell door. Though the impact raises a bloody welt, it seems to focus him. "No," he repeats. "No help. Just morphine. Now. Or get the fuck out." Almost as an afterthought, Jack lunges through the bars and makes a swipe for Elena's phone with one claw-fingered hand. His nails are broken and bloody, as if he's been scrabbling at the walls or floor.

"NO, Jack!" Elena says, putting her foot down. "You need HELP. I'm not just going to—" And while he's addled, she's also sick, and the man manages to swipe her jPhone off her hand. Thankfully, it doesn't fall into the makeshift cell. Rather it bounces sharply off the floor, the battery cartidge separating from the phone as it clatters in two halves across the floorboards and under the table where he keeps his cellphone, vicodin, and things.

There is silence. She glares at him defiantly from under her hat. "No," she tells him softly. Firmly. "No morphine." There's a pasue. "….and your cellphone's out here, dumbass."

But she doesn't make a move to open the door, or give him anything. "Jack. I need to call somebody. You can't just…does Trina know you're here?"

"Elena. I love you, so I'm going to say this as politely as possible." Jack grips the bars and presses his face between them so his forehead, nose, and mouth bulge out weirdly. "Give me the goddamn morphine or I'm going to kill you. A lot." And then he smiles, not kindly or humorously, but a vicious, snarling twist of his lips. "NOW! GIVE IT TO ME!"

"I love you too, Jack, but no. No," Elena tells him…though just in case he breaks away from the bars, she backs away from the door. "I'm not giving you any more than what's pumped in your body. Jack…." Her voice can't help but plead at him. "Please, just let me call somebody. Rook. Trina, somebody. You can't just…if you don't want me to call the hospital someone should be looking in on you now and then. You can't just…this is the wrong way to do it, you could die!"

"Don't pout at me, you little bitch!"

It takes a great deal of effort for Jack to master himself, and even then his muscles quiver with barely repressed rage. He digs a crumpled photograph from his pocket and holds it through the bars for Elena. Taken sometime in the summer, it captures an Indian man with beautiful hair and an adorable child in mid frisbee-throw.

"Go on, take it," Jack urges her. "That's… my doctor. Mohinder Suresh. There's an address on the back. Talk him to him, bring him here, I don't care as long as I get my morphine. For Christ's sake, can I at least have some of the pills?"

"Call me that one more time and I'll punch you in the face!" Elena yells back at him, losing her temper and breathing raggedly. This wasn't Jack. This wasn't Jack. This wasn't the Jack she knows. Her shoulders are stiff, and she's torn between crying and railing at him. She didn't even know who she was mad at. Heat stings her eyes, but she doesn't let the tears fall.

She takes a deep breath, and steels herself. She watches his quivering fingers reach beyond the bars to hand the picture to her. She reaches out to take the picture and looks at it. "I know who he is," she says hollowly. Jack kidnapped Mohinder? She can't even confront him about it because Trina asked her not to tell him she knew. "He's helping cure us. Do you have his number?"

She eyes Jack's cellphone on the table. She looks over at him and shakes her head. "No, Jack. Except maybe the aspirin."

"Number's in my phone," Jack mumbles. He sags against the bars heavily and lets out a ragged sigh. He closes his eyes and seems on the verge of losing both hope and consciousness when suddenly, his lids snap open and another grin stretches across his face. This one is slightly less vindictive, but no less frightening. He cups his hands together, hunches his upper body forward, and grits his teeth. As he focuses his will, his entire body begins to shake with effort. Sweat gathers on his face and neck, and a single, red tear seeps from the corner of one eye.

Finally, it works. Jack is holding something he didn't have before. "Uncle Jackie got his treats," he taunts as he waves the syringe out for Elena to see. After that he wastes no time in filling it and prepping himself for an injection.

"………" Sonuvabitch. "Jack. Jack no." Elena grabs the key from the table and moves over to the cell door, fumbling for the lock - but then she stops. She can't really overpower him at this state, even if they are both weak. He was still a better fighter than her, and right now she was powerless. "Jack! What the hell is the point of this set up then if you could just magic the shit in where you are?! You set this up so you can stop yourself from doing this. Jack!" She rattles the door. "Stop it! Just…just give me the syringe, okay? You're not going to get better this way."

With drugs in his hands, clarity is easier for Jack to find. "I didn't know I could do it," he explains as he points the needle at the sky and taps it to remove any air bubbles. "I left all that shit out there in case someone found me and I needed help." His last sentence is cold and accusing. Deliberately, he meets Elena's eyes and jams the spike into an arm vein.

"Do you think this is helping?!" Elena grates hoarsely. She wasn't in any shape to deal with this, but she is - because there was no choice and if he continued on the way he was, he could die. "Jack, more drugs aren't going to….you need help. Please. Even if it's not me or the hospital, you need someone to look out for you while you're…." She eyes the bars. "Detoxing." She glances at the key in her hand, and then she moves to open the door, tucking the key securely in her pocket and moving in. She stays near the door, but she extends her hand out. "Jack, please. Give me the needle."

Jack's thumb hovers above the plunger. He stares at the needle. He stares at Elena. Finally, with a disgusted snort, he jerks the hypo free and tosses it through the bars. It bounces several times and skitters to a stop at his niece's feet.

The dowtrodden, dejected, detoxing Irishman staggers backward until he contacts a wall. Leaning heavily on it for support, he slides down until he's seated on the floor with his arms wrapped around his knees. "I need help," he whines, both piteously and needlessly.

She swiftly takes the needle, capping it back up and tucking it in her pocket. Elena walks further into the cell when Jack slides to the floor and she crouches down in front of him. She reaches out, to try and take his hand, and squeeze it tightly. "You'll get it. You just have to let me find someone who can. I'll call Dr. Suresh, but you shouldn't be alone while you're like this, Jack. It's dangerous. If you intend to ….if you intend to stay here, someone has to keep tabs on you now and then. Trina's….Trina's really worried about you, you know. I know you don't want her to see you like this, but Trina's a good soul."

"Oh no. Oh God, no." Though he knows she's right, Jack shakes his head vigorously. "Please, no. Just tell her I'm fine. Tell her I'm okay. Tell her anything, but don't bring her here. Please." He grimaces and his muscles clench with DT pain. "Grraaaahr. God, this sucks."

"Jack, what do you want me to do? God, by all rights I should have you hauled out of here by the EMTs," Elena tells him, shaking her head. "Do you want me to let you stay here? Call Dr. Suresh in the morning? I need….to know what you need. That isn't drugs. You keep saying you need help but you're so damned picky about the help you receive."

The Irishman curls up and clenches around himself, covering his belly protectively. Several seconds pass as he sucks in short, sharp gasps of air. After a few minute he lifts his face and peers at Elena blearily. "Just go," He groans and waves her off. "Hurry. I think I'm gonna be sick and I don't want you to see. Tell Trina I'm okay and I'll be home soon. And tell Suresh… Tell him I'm sorry, and that I need his help again.""

She reaches down and kisses Jack's hair through the scarf. "I'll see you again soon," Elena promises. And with that, she stands up and leaves the cell. But not before locking it back up…and taking the vicodin with her in case something happens. She slips this in her pocket, and turns to go. "And I will. I'll try." She gets his number off Jack's phone, and then she heads out of the Den.

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