2007-12-02: We


Jack_icon.gif Trina_icon.gif

Summary: Things may be starting to get back on the right road for Jack and Trina. Maybe.

Date It Happened: December 2, 2007


Jack & Trina's Apartment — Prestige Midtown Apts.

Time: 3:23 AM

Jack is awake. This is nothing new, his insomnia is permanent. Since he detoxed, that insomnia has worsened. This marks the 60th hour since he slept. Alone in his kitchen, terribly, terribly alone, he is considering something reckless. Something unwise.

A syringe is the definition of utilitarian art. Smooth lines and sharp protrusions meld together into a medical masterpiece. With a prick and a plunger push, any number of chemicals can be introduced to the bloodstream, fat cells, or muscle tissue. Jack rolls the loaded syringe between his fingertips. He can't stop staring at it. An empty vial with traces of purple fluid puddling in the bottom is sitting on the counter next to his elbow. With a now-or-never sort of swiftness, he stabs himself in the thigh muscle. He doesn't depress the plunger, though. Not yet.

Time: 5:11 AM

Jack is still sitting with the syringe protruding from his thigh. Gravity has drawn a few drops from the ampule and pushed them into his body, but not much. The plunger remains undepressed. His eyes are haunted, and he sways unsteadily as he stares at the foreign object poking out of his body. He sucks in a deep, shuddering breath. Another. Then, very quietly, he starts to weep.

Trina sleeps. Since Peter's visit, she's begun weaning herself off of the dreaded medicine that has ruled her days. She hasn't told Jack yet. He's had so much on his mind. There's a new rug, though! She told him Peter brought it by and left it at that.

Somewhere about five o'clock, the brunette rolls over. It takes more than a few moments for her to begin rubbing the empty spot where Jack should be lying and then a few minutes for that to sink in properly. Prying her eyes open and smacking her lips a few times, she eventually finds enough awareness to pull herself out of bed. In her tee shirt and boy shorts, the woman quietly slips down the ladder. (No more butt sliding for her!) Then she hears… crying?

Drawn to it, Trina turns to look at the kitchen. And she blinks blearily, confusion readily apparent in her furrowed brow. "Jack? Baby? Zat you?"

For once in his life, Jack doesn't attempt to hide his weakness. With his shoulders hunched and his arms wrapped protectively around his own body, he appears much smaller than he really is. Trina's arrival and beckoning are what finally breaks his emotional dam. With her awake and present, concealing his painful sobs is not only futile, it's unhelpful.

"Help me," he pleads hoarsely. "I don't want it. I really don't. I've been sitting here looking at it for hours. But now…" he shivers and hugs himself tighter. "Take it out. Please. I can't do it."

Trina stares at Jack and an empty syringe on the counter. What the hell? Where did he get that? Fighting down her notorious temper, the brunette carefully uses her time in the shadows deeper in the apartment, choking down the bile and rage that threatens to overtake her. "S'gonna be alright, sugar," she offers softly, creeping into the kitchen as though the tiles beneath her bare feet might break.

As soon as Trina's close enough, betraying makeup not washed off before bed in its smears and her black hair all awry abouther face, those skeletal-thin fingers of hers tentatively stretch out, moving to carefully extricate the needle from his leg. "S'gonna be alright."

When Jack finally looks up and at Trina's face, he reveals fully dilated pupils and heavy, blood-red webs of irritated veins across his corneas. His breath is coming quickly, not just from the sobs. Though only traces of whatever's in the syringe have leaked into his system, the mixture is very potent. His hands are shaking and his heart is hammering so hard that the pulses are visible against his bare chest.

"I'm sorry," he says thickly. "I couldn't stop looking at it. I don't even know what it is. I couldn't stop."

With a fearful, reverent slowness, Trina draws the needle out of Jack's leg. Once she has the important item in hand, she holds it up in plain view of her boyfriend. Just in case there was any doubt as to what she could possibly want to discuss. Her eyes in their smoky frames are wide, pale and demanding. "Sweetie. Where did you get this?" Because if there's more, she's going to make sure she gets all of it out.

"S'the last one I had left," Jack replies honestly. He looks back down, too ashamed to meet Trina's eyes properly. "Don't throw it away. You can't," he pleads, tying his fingers into intricate, nervous knots in his lap. "It's not just drugs. It's something more. Something special. You can't throw it away," he emphasizes. "Please."

Trina's gaze darkens at that, and she frowns a more pronounced frown. Not a muscle moves, however. She doesn't even straighten from where she squats in front of him, doesn't drop the needle. "You tell me why I should when I walk downstairs to find you with it sittin' out of your leg like that." It's not a question. It's not a request. It's a demand, plain and simple.

"Because all this pain, all this angst and anguish… It all boils down to that." Jack unfurls enough to point a long, quivering finger at the syringe. "People have killed and died for what you've got in your hand. I've killed."

And the truth shall set you free.

"My father created it," he continues quietly. "To try and make people better. Stronger. What if he was right? Who are we to throw that away?"

Trina softens at that. Setting the syringe down on the counter, she then has both hands free to take Jack's in hers. It's then that she looks to her lover, trying to comprehend. It doesn't come easily. "What if he wasn't? What if it's somethin' that makes people into monsters? Or kills people? What then? Who are we to keep it?"

Just talking about the possibilities has built Jack's excitement up to a near-tangible level. No longer afraid or uncertain, his eyes shine feverishly and his wiry fingers grasp at Trina's hands as he considers what the future could hold. "There's so much potential," he whispers. "So much power. If it can do half of what he wanted… Trina, I could change the world with that kind of power. I could make it better. No more crazy people chasing us. No more dead people on the living room rug. Things could be different."

"Baby, people are always after somethin' more than themselves. Even if it worked, there'd be someone wanting to knock you down." Trina tries again, head softly shaking as one of her hands disentangling his to trail fingers across her brow. "You're enough to me the way you are. Come back to bed."

"Okay. You're right." Jack clearly isn't convinced, but he's willing to play along. Guiltily, he glances at the syringe again. It's several seconds before he can tear his gaze away and fix it on his lover. "He could've been wrong," he admits. "My dad. You could be right, and it could make monsters instead of heroes. We'll never know until we try it…" he trails off, chewing absently at his lower lip. "Nevermind. You're right," he repeats. "Let's go back to bed."

Trina knows the lie when she sees it, and it can only draw a deeper from from her lips. She's not dealing in any more lies. "And what are we doing with… with that?" There's a pointed glance and jerk of her head towards the dreaded syringe. She's so tired of needles and drugs now that she can barely stand it. "We're just gonna end up talking about it again, so we might as well figure this out now." Cupping Jack's jowl with her hand, she tries to offer a smile to help lighten the mood. "I don't wanna catch you off making googly eyes at it again when I ain't payin' attention." She smile fades a little after that, leaving only the faintest curl on her mouth — simultaneously fond and sad. "You're worryin' me, darlin'."

Halfway toward shifting in the syringe's direction, Jack catches his gaze and reattaches it to Trina's face. He pulls in a slow, deep breath to steady himself and give himself a moment to think. "You're right," he says again, this time more decisively. "I'm sorry. We can put it somewhere safe. A deposit box or something. I have somebody analyzing the other half of the sample. When that info comes back, we can decide what to do next." The drugged, feverish expression brought on by the scant droplets of the mixture that seeped into his body hasn't faded, but he's begun to master himself. The realization that he almost pumped himself full of a completely unknown substance has hit him hard.

Trina brings her head forward, intending to rest her forehead against Jack's own as she closes her eyes and breathes in softly. That's not 'let's pour it down the drain right now!', but it's not 'I'm going to throw you into a gravel pit for threatening the Precious', either. At a whisper, she continues, bringing her other hand up to cradle the other side of his face. "But we will talk about what to do, right, Jack? You mean that 'we', right?"

"We will," he confirms strongly. "I know I have to start talking to you. Telling you what's going on. Just because I think something's best, that doesn't mean it is." It's a difficult admission for Jack. Very difficult. He pinches his eyes shut and leans against Trina, soaking up her warmth and her reassuring presence. His next admission is even more difficult. "It hurt so bad. Just looking at it. For a second, it didn't matter what was inside. I just needed to get back on the spike. We'll take it away first thing when we wake up. Promise."

Leaning forward, Trina then slips her arms around Jack's neck, clinging tightly as she just presses her body against his. "That sounds good. And… and know what else sounds good? Gettin' the bar back up. That guy… he never called back. Left a couple messages. Probably a douchebag." Resting her head on her lover's shoulder, she lifts a couple fingers up to lightly brush over the hair at the nape of his neck. "But we should get the bar open again. It'll be good. Give you somethin' else to think about. I'll pull the extra shifts 'til we pull down enough to afford more folks again. Honest work is good for the soul."

Jack seems to melt at Trina's words, the tension flowing from his body as he clings back and nestles his face in the crook of her neck and shoulder. "I could never deserve you," he says, his voice muffled by her skin. "You're right, of course. You usually are. We can hit the pub and start cleaning up after we drop off our little friend on the counter. Sound good to you?"

"Sounds just 'bout perfect," Trina agrees with a more honest grin beginning to creep out on her face where Jack can't see it. "And no more of this deservin' crap talk! You got me. You're stuck with me. Someone clearly thinks you must." She pulls back at that, moving to pull Jack up with her. "C'mon, baby. I wanna get some more sleep, and I want you to pretend you're sleepin' next to me."

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