2007-08-17: DF: What Is Lost

Starring:

DFJack_icon.gif DFTrina_icon.gif

Summary: For there is nothing that is lost that can't be found again.

Dark Future Date: August 17, 2009

What Is Lost


Dark Future — Loft — Weischel Carcass House

Sunday morning, before dawn. Dawn is hours off, and was even further away when the Saints' mechanic snuck out of Phoenix Rising to quietly make her way here. She didn't want questions. She didn't want to lie for another moment. She just wanted Jack. And, come hell or high water, she was gonna find him.

The packing plant is cold and uninviting, seemingly darker for what is kept within. There's a murdering animal downstairs in a cage awaiting his Appointed Day and, when she came in, Trina was alone with him. It should not be a recipe for sleep.

And it's not. Not entirely. Sleep has become something caught between missions and nightmares, and a caged monster isn't going to scare her away from waiting for her lover to come back. There really isn't anything in the world that could keep her from waiting. She is also extremely cautious, and intent on not leaving herself vulnerable to chance. Hidden in the loft, where she'd have the most opportunity to hear Nathan move from his cage and coming were he to get out, Trina waits, perched on a beat up chair turned backwards and straddled. Her arms are crossed over the back of the thing, chin nestled in the tiny valley between her forearms. After an hour of waiting in silence, however, her eyes softly close. It's just a tiny thing. A cat nap.

Oh, Garage. You understand all of Man's ills. You don't judge or mock. You just sit there quietly with your open space for cars and your bevy of tools that serve as perfect distractions.

When Jack needed to hide from people in the recent past, he could always count on the packing room. Full of rusty cutting implements, smelling heavily of death, and always several degrees colder than normal room temperature, it's a place that few besides himself would consider comforting. With Nathan penned up there, now he doesn't even have that. He's been forced to seek sanctuary in other parts of his own hideaway. Like the garage.

Frustrated, he gives up working on Julia and tosses his wrench to the floor with a clanging clatter. After arriving about fifty-seven minutes ago and narrowly missing Trina, he took a pit stop to dork around under the hood of his car. No relief to be had here, though. Go upstairs and get some sleep, Jackie. Just do it.

When he cracks the door to the loft and spots Trina on the other side, the frustrated wrinkles grrr-marks slide off of his face in an instant and are replaced with a smile. He's a mess, though. Bruised, cut, and scraped all across his face and torso, he looks like he lost a fight with a whole hockey team. Quietly, he pads up beside her and touches his gloved fingertips to her cheek. "Hey baby."

Trina wakes up with a gasp and a start, taken aback by Jack, even with his gentle touch. Her lightly muscled arm, without even thinking, draws back with a loosely balled up fist at its end, ready to punch for a moment. Seems someone got a little deeper into that slumbering thing than she intended. She blinks a few times before finally realizing who it is, and then the tension drains visibly from her form as relief rushes in to take its place. Her fist promptly drops so she can push herself out of her chair and move to wrap her arms around Jack's neck. There. Night all better now. It doesn't seem to immediately sink in that he isn't in the best shape ever. At least it's not a crushing hug. Just a normal one. …Which might feel like a crushing hug, considering. But she's burying her face in his shoulder all the same. "Oh, sugar. I'm sorry."

Jack lets out a low, quiet 'oof' and wraps the better of his two arms around Trina's waist. For a long time he stays there, clinging to her, his face buried in her long, soft hair. He pulls in an unsteady breath and nuzzles against her, reveling in the comfort that her presence provides. He wants to stay there forever, but eventually he has to loosen his grip enough that they can both breathe. "No," he grates out. "I'm the one wot should be sorry. I didn't tell you anything. Got no 'scuse."

When Jack pulls away, it takes Trina a second to get her bearings. Jack World is a beautiful place, filled with lots of him and nothing but him. He's talking to her, and her brow furrows for a moment. He should have told her. She doesn't want to lie and say otherwise. Unfortunately, neither does she want to linger on this issue. Maybe that's why she simply pastes on a transparent smile that both of them know to be little more than facade. Softly, her hands move to cup his jaw. Here, there's nothing to prove. No images to maintain. No chain of command to obey. No leadership standing between them like an insurmountable wall. Just them. "I know why you didn't." Because she would have said something. Because she'd have been obligated to say something. And that's not what he wanted. It doesn't make it right. It just makes it known. And now that she's there, looking so intently at him, rosy lips fall into a frown and blue eyes narrow in tentative concern. He's bruised to high holy Hell. "What happened?"

Jack ducks his head and turns his face away slightly, though it's a futile gesture. One side is as messed up as the other. "For a while the situation here was… fluid. Unpredictable. Things are under control now." Lie. Big lie. It's one that has to be told, though. What's he supposed to say?

Hey baby. Oh, the bruises? No big. Just had my worst enemy beat me up because I hate what I've become.

Sure. That'd be fucking peachy. Predictably, he keeps that tidbit of information to himself. He just shakes his head and shrugs. "Interrogation's goin' well enough now that things have settled down."

Trina doesn't look convinced. But she doesn't need to be. The fact that everything on her face — from the deepening frown to the disappointed softening of her eyes — betrays the fact that she knows she's being lied to. What really happened? She'll likely never know. Instead, she just stretches up on the balls of her feet to softly kiss one of the bruises. "Can we not?" Logan is probably seeing more of her boyfriend in recent days than she has in months. In a lot of ways, Jack's probably being more honest with him than he's been with her for longer than that.

Trina really doesn't want to think about it.

Rather, she wants to bathe in the glowing presence of the parts of Jack that she knows and remembers. The parts that she loves and that need her. The parts that need to be nurtured like frail English roses in a desert. Another kiss is set to one of his cuts, lips brushing against his skin before continuing in a voice she keeps only loud enough to be sure that he hears her. "I don't want to talk about that thing downstairs anymore. Not now, anyway." Her fingers move to lightly run down the seam of his ribs, as if trying to access the tender core inside. "I want you to be my Jack. No one knows I'm here. You can be my Jack."

The last of Jack's cautiously defensive mask cracks and breaks away. Slowly, awkwardly, he brings out a crooked smile that's honest and earnest, if a bit rusty with disuse. There's no sinister subtext. No hint of bristling threat. He brings up the arm that Logan wrenched around in its socket to cup a hand against the back of her head. With a happy sigh, he hugs her against his chest again. This is what he needs. "I love you, baby," he rumbles as he brushes his lips against her cheek. "Every time I think I've stepped off the ragged edge, you come 'round and haul me back. You're right. No more shop talk." His smooches trail up to her temple and are punctuated by an affectionate nudge of his nose.

There's a boy. Trina's breath catches in her throat, unwilling to leave at first, for fear that it'll shatter everything. When it finally leaves, it's in a halting, tentative, percussive rhythm. He's here. Jack is here, and she doesn't ever want to let him leave. Her hands thread around his, keeping their place on his jaw as her eyes close. She revels in the nearness for a moment. "You're not allowed to go off any cliffs without me," she jests. Mostly. She punctuates the sentiment with a semi-formed laugh. "I love you too much for that." She can't fix the bruises that paint the canvas of his skin, but she can rest here, against him, and pretend that the world has stopped. She laughs again. "Y'know, it's not too late for North Dakota." Like it would make a difference.

Talk of the 'escape plan' that they came up with together such a long time ago pulls a robust, hearty chuckle from Jack, too. "One day, baby. One day we'll get married and ditch all this. We'll take off the next day and I'll plant corn on our honeymoon." He gives Trina a happy squeeze and bends down so he can bury his face in the crook of her neck. Soft. Warm. Smells like girl. This is his favorite place in the whole world. If there were room for a hammock and a cooler of beer, he'd live here forever. Wait. Wait. "Uh. Assumin' you'd want—y'know. We've never talked about baseball. You like baseball? I think it's fuckin' boring. So many clubs and helmets and nobody gettin' hit."

Smooth. Very smooth.

Trina pulls her head back at the though, one eye squinting and the other eyebrow lifting as she gives Jack a thoroughly quizzical look. Then a very slow smile starts to replace it. "One day, yeah. That'd… I'd… yeah." Again, Trina shows her amazing gift of eloquence. To cover the blush that's starting to creep into her cheeks for fear it'll be seen in the dim light, she continues. "Someday." She's not really getting her hopes up. Seriously. Look at Cass and Lachlan. And Lachlan and Jack are like > < close. Any blonde could do the math, and Trina is a brunette. The math is, thus, not lost on her. "Also, because you hate baseball, that's why we never talk about it."

Tension that built in Jack's neck and shoulders sloughs away when he realizes that he hasn't just made a complete and utter poop of himself in front of his girlfriend. Unlike her, he does seem hopeful about the idea. Though his bruises and aches are internally groan-worthy, he picks her up high enough that her toes won't brush the floor when he spins in a happy circle. "/Yes/," he proclaims victoriously. "Um." When he sets Trina's feet back on the floor she's not the only one blushing. Embarrassed, Jack seems to be able to look everywhere but her face. "Does this mean I can tell people we're… Y'know? I can wait 'til I get you a ring. I was just. Y'know." He nods earnestly.

Jack, again, takes her entirely by surprise as Trina suddenly finds herself not only off of the ground but spinning, legs getting just enough clearance to spin out. For a fleeting moment in time, they are nothing more than giddy kids. It's an illusion only further bolstered by the fact that Trina sends a pleased squeal into the air at her …fiance(?!)'s sudden playfulness. Her eyes squeeze shut and she just enjoys the ride, clinging on as she laughs. And then, there she is. Back on the ground, but glowing. Jack's enthusiasm makes it seem more real. Like maybe he really means it. She bites her lower lip, as she looks up at him. She's… giddy. She's genuinely giddy and it's ridiculously hard to temper it. Maybe it's because she's not supposed to. That doesn't, however, stop her from trying. It could be years, she tells herself. "Whatever you want to do, baby. Don't matter to me, 'long as you're happy."

"You're all I need to be happy," Jack's answer is instant and decisive. He slides his hands up Trina's back and then cups them fondly around her face so he can pull her in for a kiss. When he's done smooching the hell out of her face he lets out a sound of pure contentment; somewhere between a purr and a sigh. This is what he wants. What he needs. The desperate urge he always carries to run and fight and defend his territory like an animal can give way to something peaceful and beautiful.

Kisses. The world is passionate kisses, and Trina can live with that. When his hands find her face, she lightly covers them with hers. Yes. He's there, and he's hers. And there's nothing that monster downstairs can do or say to take him away. No scars thick enough that he can deliver that will be able to keep her from getting under Jack's skin and making a happy home in his heart. She's already built a shelter for her lover in hers. That's enough revenge to keep her content for a lifetime.

"God," she professes, with a worshipful gaze as though she were still looking at him for the first time. The man who knew how to drive her car. "You're amazing. I don't know how I ever managed without you." And, one day, he's gonna marry her. Her. He's gonna marry her.

"Awwwww… Baby. You're. You. I. Damnit, I love you so fucking much." This is a wonderful thing. For the first time since the world went all to hell around them, Jack's not worried about anything. No war. No toy soldier Alliance with delusions of grandeur. No Kate and Peter Petrelli confusing things with their miscellaneous what-have-you. Just happy. Have girl. In love.

Jack basks in Trina's adoration like a well-loved puppy, even going as far to wiggle excitedly. When he's done dancing in place, he presses against her against and closes his eyes tightly for several seconds. "Man. I'm hoping if I concentrate hard enough that this night will last forever. I can't remember the last time I felt this good."

And for all Jack's wiggling, Trina is just very still and quiet. Her laughs are soft, and she is easily drawn into his arms again. She never really wanted to be out of them in the first place. She nestles her head under his chin, settling there. There aren't thoughts broad enough for to be able to even comprehend how good it is to see him like this. How he was before they watched good friends die. Before the Den. Before everything. When did they get so old before their time?

It must have been for want of moments like this, because Trina could just dance. Maybe that's why her hand, calloused and slender, reaches out to take his gloved one in hers. She's not very good at this. Never really was. But she can pretend. The other hand she slowly moves to rest on his shoulder. There's no music. It doesn't really matter, though. Because she just starts moving to an unheard beat anyway, swaying to take Jack with her. "Don't gotta make it last forever. Jus' gotta make sure we don't forget."

Dancing isn't something that comes naturally to Jack either, but it's something that he's more than happy to do. Awkwardly dragging his bad leg along behind them, he gracelessly allows Trina to lead him through the improvised steps. He hums a basso profundo tune under his breath, something low enough that his raspy voice won't make a mockery of it. He turns his head sideways and presses his cheek against Trina's hair, both leaning into her and supporting her. Though neither of them are experts, that's not what's important. What matters is that they're doing it together; flowing and swaying symbiotically. "I'll never forget this," he promises. "I… I feel like myself. I feel like I've been lost and you just found me. Thank you." He gives her a squeeze, then lifts their joined hands above her head and twirls her around gleefully. His smile takes on a boyish, innocent quality that hasn't been seen by anyone in a very long time. "We're gonna get married!"

Someday.

The radiant smile that Trina flashes as she gets spun about, combat boots slipping enough that she doesn't look like too much of an idiot, is unmistakable. "We are," she finally allows, pressing back in before a small bounce on her feet. "You know that means that the world's gonna explode, right?"

And she has no doubt that, somehow, Elena Gomez is going to be involved.

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