2007-11-02: Wayward


Trina_icon.gif Jack_icon.gif

Summary: Jack confesses to his girlfriend about his unerring ability to make things infinitely more complicated.

Date It Happened: November 2, 2007


Jack & Trina's Apt — Prestige Midtown Apartments

Three days and a bottle of scotch. They saw the ends of each other with a grim awareness, leaving only Trina clueless for hours of their passing. When she woke up with an empty bottle, and — while she's still not sober — she's closer to it than she's been for God knows how long. She toys briefly with going out to get more, but that would mean the possibility of missing Jack, should he so choose to make a brief appearance.

That means that other things need to fill the time. In her panties and tee-shirt, she's standing at his heavy bag with her hair pulled back into a sloppy ponytail. The fists that she's sending at the thing are slow, weak, and shamefully off-center. She misses it altogether more than once. There are, however, remembrances hidden away in some parts of her muscles. Her hands remember how to curl, and her arms how to bend, and her stance hails back to better balance than she currently possesses. She glowers at it with a dark intensity.

After unlocking the door and easing it open, Jack spends several seconds admiring his lady in action. The play of her rapidly strengthening muscles under smooth skin. Long, shapely legs. Even her untidy hair is beautiful. He closes the door just a little harder than necessary, letting the noise announce his arrival and then mumuring, "You're dropping your lead hand."

Whatever Jack has been doing while he was away, he obviously didn't spend much time resting. The dark circles around his eyes have widened and deepened, he's lost a little weight from skipping meals, and his forehead is unconsciously pinched into a frown. Despite all of this, he's smiling and he looked relatively healthy. His wounds are healing, at least.

When the door shuts, Trina whirls around to face the door with blue eyes opened wide in surprise. She really does need to put a bell on that man. Alas, the woman moves too quickly for herself, feet twisting on themselves and the brunette landing squarely on her rear end. She tugs the edge of her shirt down over the scar on her side, even as she starts pulling herself to her feet. There's a visible relief that washes over her, but its fleeting. She was angry. She reminds herself at this as she forces the small smile off of her lips for a curl more stern. "And I can't hit the broadside of a barn," she offers back. An eyebrow flicks upward. "Where you been?"

"Taking care of business," Jack replies. He crosses the room and holds out a hand to help Trina to her feet, his smudged, scuffed dress shoes clicking against the granite as he moves. Though his eyes find their way to her briefly ex posed scar, he doesn't mention it aloud, he just flares his nostrils and looks away. "Sorry I haven't been home. Things came up." A sudden tightness takes hold around his mouth. "I found a doctor, though. He's going to fix me."

Looking down at her feet as she gets up, Trina entirely misses the discomfort that comes from her being just a hair too slow to get herself covered up. She takes the assistance, but she doesn't immediately know what to say back. Jack is saying good things. Fix is good. She wants fixed. She wants this nightmare to be over and done with; no more sneaking about and no more lies. She heaves a small breath as she stares down the front of her shirt. When she manages to lift her gaze, there's a small, strained smile she manages with it. "That's great news, Jack."

Jack sighs and gently takes his girlfriend in his arms. "Baby…" he murmurs. "I know you don't like this. I don't like it either. I'm trying to work everything out as fast as I can, okay?" With his hands cupped around her shoulders, he gives her an affectionate squeeze and looks her directly in the eye. "I just want to fix all of this so I can stay with you."

Trina rubs the back of her leg with the top of her other foot. He knows she doesn't like it, and he's doing it anyway. If it were anybody else in the world, she'd right cross him, get her pants, and walk out the door. The problem is that it's not. And he has to look at her like that. And be so tender. It's really flippin' hard to stay mad at someone when all they're doing is being gentle with you and saying that they're doing something so they never have to go.

It's hard, but clearly not impossible because Trina manages.

Under Jack's gaze, her mouth sets into a hard line. "I just want you to stay."

"I." Jack pauses, turns his face away, and wets his lips with the tip of his tongue. Then, slowly, he shakes his head. "I'm sorry. I can't stay yet. If I want to get better, I have to keep tackling this." Now he pulls his lower lip between his teeth and chews at it nervously. "All I can do is try to fix things the best way I know how."

Jack looks away. Trina doesn't. Not immediately, anyway. When she closes her eyes, there's a deep breath that slips out through her lips, and she stands very still. Then the young woman's voice proves to be the coward of this scenario, skulking around in the shadows of a whisper. "This doctor ain't on the up and up, is he."

"He's the best doctor I know," Jack replies, which is technically true. The only other people he knows with medical training are Cass, Peter, and Elena, and he's pretty sure that none of them are doctors. "He wasn't thrilled about taking on my case, but I managed to convince him." Also technically true. He's still hiding something, though.

Trina's eyes reopen and narrow. She's considers the man before her for a moment, breath shallow in her chest. "Then what? What's the catch?"

No more lies. No more deception cannily concealed by half-truths. Jack just opens his mouth and lets words fly out. "I sort of borrowed him without asking because he works for some mean people but it's okay I put him somewhere safe and everything is going to be cool because he's going to fix me I love you."

is right.

Trina just stares at Jack for a long moment. Then she moves to slip out of his arms, intending to grab up her pants draped over the arm of the couch. She honestly doesn't know what to say. He kidnapped a doctor. If she chastises him too much, he may never share anything with her ever again. If she encourages him, she's encouraging this lunacy. Thus, the only course of action that she can think of is to get on her clothes and get a fresh bottle of reality softener. "I clearly stopped drinkin' waaaaay too early today."

"Whoa-whoa-whoa!" Jack sprints around to put his body between Trina and the door. "Just hear me out, okay? Give me two minutes. If you don't like what I have to say, I won't try and stop you."

He bows his head and his voice drops to an uncertain whisper. "I'm afraid if I let you walk out of here… that you'll decide to leave for good."

With her pants in hand, Trina spins on her heel — staying upright this time — and thrusts the denim emphatically at Jack. "You kidnapped a doctor, Jack! Kidnapped." Another hand comes up to her temple, only to fly out into the air with fingers spread wide in another frantic gesture. "They put people in jail for that!" Belatedly, what he's saying seems to sink in. She heaves a shaky sigh and then slumps down onto the couch, burying her face in her jeans as she just shakes her head in disbelief. This can't possibly be happening. "Jack, what could possibly make you think that this was a good plan?"

Jack holds both open hands out in a gentle warding gesture and solemnly replies, "I know it's not a good plan, but it's the only one I could come up with. I need help and he's the best there is. I didn't know what else to do. You can't just walk up to a guy like him and ask him to take you on as a patient, especially with who he works for."

One of Jack's hands starts to quiver and tremble, then the other. Quickly, he folds them under his arms to conceal it and fights to keep the tremors from showing on his face. "I need help," he repeats morosely. "Baby. I'm starting to like the drugs. I mean really like them. I have to fix this."

Muffled by her jeans, Trina doesn't even look up. She's just going to hide here. If she looks up, she'll see Jack. If she sees Jack, she'll be torn as to whether she should try to strangle him or just cry at him. Neither solution will help what is going on here. Besides. It isn't as though she has a whole lot of room to talk. She's been naughty herself. But she just ignored her doctor. She didn't kidnap him.

It may not have started out as binge runs, but now Trina has absolutely no idea of what to think about anything. The proverbial water only continues to grow more murky and dark. "You're gonna get yourself killed," she finally manages through the vice grip that feels like its closing off her throat, making it painful to breathe.

Jack approaches Trina one slow step at a time. Still several feet away, he reaches out toward her but doesn't make contact. That will be for her to decide. "I'm trying to keep that from happening," he whispers. "Baby, I love you. Really, really love you. I can't stay with you forever like I want if I die from the drugs or from whatever's wrong with me."

When Trina looks up at last, she just looks at Jack for a long moment from underneath the shallow crevices of distress that travel her brow. Her face is reddened from fighting back the watery evidence of her weakness, and her lips struggle to maintain the taut line they seem to prefer for right now. Finally, she hauls herself quietly up from her seat and moves to wrap her arms around Jack's waist and settle her head against the flat of his shoulder. "I love you, too. It's why you're scarin' the hell out of me."

With a long, relieved sigh, Jack curls his body around Trina's and cradles her against his chest tenderly. "Thank God. I thought I lost you for a second." His long fingers drag through her hair and trail across her scalp as he melts against her gratefully. "I'm sorry I kept things from you."

Trina clings tightly to her boyfriend, breathing him in. Her jeans still in hand, she clenches her fingers more tightly about them, digging her nails into the fabric to relieve some of the tension that feels like its setting her whole body on fire. "You don't get this set right, Jack, you will. I love you too much to just watch you throw everythin' away. I won't just sit here and watch you do it. Do you hear me?"

"I hear you, baby," Jack whispers as he nuzzles against Trina's ear and strokes her hair rhythmically. "I'll fix it all. I promise." His voice is hoarse with emotion and he gives his lady an unconscious squeeze.

There's a sniffle as Trina nestles in a little tighter against Jack's taller form, but then she only heaves another sigh and closes her eyes. "You stayin' here tonight, sugar, or are you leavin' again?"

"I have a couple of hours," he whispers unhappily. "But after that I have to go. The sooner I get back to work, the sooner this will all be over. I'm sorry." Jack's muscles tense up noticeably and a a quiet, wordless growl of frustration builds at the back of his throat. As if bucking against his own declaration, he clings closer to Trina and presses his cheek against the top of her head.

Another unhappy sigh, but Trina doesn't bother fighting Jack's statement. It wouldn't do any good to, anyhow. Of course, he's leaving. She just starts to pull away and batten down the emotional hatches for another night by herself. "Well, why don't you sit down, and I'll go make you a sandwich. You look like you ain't takin' care of yourself again."

"I could never deserve you," Jack rumbles, gazing after his lady adoringly. Then, shaking his head incredulously, he makes his way over to the couch and flops down. For some reason… For some ridiculous reason, this woman loves him. Still loves him, despite his latest bout of screw ups. "Never," he emphasizes, smiling like a lovesick schoolboy.

Even in the wake of the chocolates he sent by courier to sweeten his footsteps and such high praise, Trina can't find it in herself to smile honestly as she crosses the room to the kitchen. Not a genuine smile at any rate. All that's left is the faded one that's about spent that she's kept stashed in her back pocket. It's that content facade, worn and stretched thin, that she pastes back on her lips. She can keep it there for two more hours for him. "You're lucky it ain't about who's deserving, then," she quips back, sticking her head into the refrigerator to pull out fixings and a beer.

Because Jack might not otherwise qualify today.

But it's gonna get better.

It has to get better.

It's gonna get better, right?

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