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Nov. 17th, 2009

Jack is vaguely unhappy

(no subject)

[From here.]

It's slow going as they make their way down to Jack's room, though that's mostly on Jack's part. He's more than a little tense, as light-headedness keeps his eyes firmly on the next step in front of him, which is never quite where he expects it to be. Not to mention trying to stay himself, instead of letting those other memories and that other personality take over.

He's not sure he's ever been quite so glad to see his door once they finally make it there. Unlocking his door, he steps inside, making a beeline for the bedroom. All he wants to do is lie down, so he no longer feels like he's listing to one side, or that the floor is further away than it is.

Nov. 10th, 2009

Jack needs a default icon

(no subject)

Jack's been keeping an eye on Beckett, and he's starting to have to admit to himself that it's not just out of ordinary human concern.  He's worried about her, particularly considering the hallucinations she'd had.  Which means that he's started to see her as more than an acquaintance.  Maybe not quite a friend, yet, but more than just someone whose name he knows.

He's not sure how he feels about this.  He doesn't want to get close to anyone; getting close means getting hurt eventually.  And it's not himself getting hurt that he's really worried about.

But even with those misgivings he can't not head up to Beckett's room, carrying a tray from Bar with the kinds of things she needs, or should have.  Chicken soup, orange juice, ginger ale, kleenex; it might have been Bar's idea, but Jack had been intending to get a few things anyway.

He shifts the tray to one hand so he can knock on the door.  He has her key, of course, but he can't be sure she isn't taking a bath to try and cool off or that she wants the company.

Oct. 24th, 2009

Jack is not thinking happy thoughts

(no subject)

darkness

concrete walls

stained floors

steel doors on either side

the hallway outside his cell

a voice, distant, pleading: "Jack, please help me!  Jack?!"

Audrey's voice.

trying to run, feet feeling like they're encased in cement

hallway doesn't end, stretching on into infinity

a hand on his shoulder, holding him back

turning, Curtis is behind him, shirt covered in blood as he holds his neck where Jack shot him

can't hear what Curtis is saying, but he doesn't have to, the expression in Curtis' eyes says everything

can't pull away, can't run, tries to speak and nothing comes out, trapped, no way to escape--


Jack opens his eyes with a gasp, for a moment unsure of where he is as the darkness presses in around him.  For a moment, he thinks he's back there, in his cell, before he realizes that he's on a bed, not a concrete floor.  That he's wearing jeans and a long-sleeved t-shirt, not the loose, prison uniform.

He sits up, slowly, wincing at the pain in his ribs and his left shoulder, his heart still hammering.  He's safe, but that feeling of danger isn't gone yet, and doesn't seem to be dissipating.  If anything, it's getting worse; that inner instinct that a threat is nearby getting louder.  Something isn't right.  Something is triggering his defenses, telling him to get out of there, that he isn't safe.  In the dim light, it feels like the walls are starting to close in on him, his chest getting tight.

Shoving his feet into his shoes, he grabs his room key and hurries out the door of his room.

Oct. 10th, 2009

Jack needs a default icon

Pre-Entrance Post

"I can snap his neck and kill him before you get a shot off."

With every step he takes down the hallway at District, he half-expects to feel the clamp of a hand falling on his shoulder, to feel something jab into the back of his neck, hear someone call his name to stop him.

They aren't just going to let him go, are they? This has to be some kind of trick. Let him think he's going to get away, then grab him, drag him back to the interrogation room.

He'd fallen for it once before, thinking he was safe. He isn't going to fall for it again. They didn't fucking trust him enough to believe that he hadn't talked under twenty months of torture in China, he isn't going to believe them when they said he could just walk away.

"I've known Agent Holt for years. He was my friend. He was a partner."

He reaches the security checkpoint, presents his visitor's badge and watches as the guard types his name into the computer. Any minute, he expects the guard to say that there's some problem and can he just wait a minute?

The guard's sitting behind a desk; no cage, no plexiglass, nothing to stop Jack from diving over the desk. It'll make his ribs hurt like a bitch, but he's had a lot of experience in dealing with pain. From where he's standing, Jack can see that the snap on the guard's holster is loose; that will shave a second off Jack's ability to pull the gun out of the holster. The security guards' training is pathetic, he knows from experience; no match for someone with his skills. The guard will finish telling him to wait while some problem is sorted out and thirty seconds later Jack could be out of the building, without a shot fired.

Probably.

"Okay, you're signed out, Mr. Bauer," the guard says, breaking into Jack's thoughts. For a moment he isn't sure he'd heard right, and even as he turns to walk out the door, he expects to be stopped.

Then he's out in the warm, breezy night, the doors to District closed behind him, and still, as he takes each step away from the building, he can't believe they're going to let him go.

"And if you think I forgot a second of what happened to me in China, then go ahead, shoot me. But don't you dare try and make me responsible for Marcus Holt's death."

He walks back to the apartment, as he hadn't grabbed any money and doesn't know what bus routes to take. It takes him an hour; an hour of glancing over his shoulder every couple minutes, of listening to every sound. An hour where every step he takes might increase the distance between him and the people he never wants to see again, but only heightens the anxiety of waiting for that to change.

He goes up the stairs two at a time, ribs screaming in pain as he tries to catch his breath. He can't take the time to stop and rest; he has to get out of there. They know where he is, and might come looking for him again, even though he'd threatened to shoot first if he ever saw Ramirez on his doorstep again. If they really want him, that won't stop them.

Grabbing his bag, still damp and smelling like saltwater after he'd washed it out, he tosses his few meager possessions into it before unscrewing the vent cover and digging out his cash and his gun from their hiding place. Leaving the key on the table, he walks out, the button lock closing behind him. The room is paid up for a week, so maybe no one will realize he's gone before the landlord comes looking for the rent.

Taking the stairs more slowly this time, he tries to think of where he's going to go, without much luck. He has to find a place to stay, but he isn't sure whether to leave town first, or to find a night's accommodation and do it then. It's been nearly two years since he's had to make any kind of choices, since he's thought further ahead than the next torture session under Cheng's hands.

He's also nearing exhaustion; he's only slept a couple hours in the last thirty-six, and hasn't eaten much either. He can feel the broken rib fragments grating against each other every time he breathes too deeply.

He needs somewhere to sleep, but even more than that, he wants something to drink. Something to dull the memories that dog him at every step, something to let him sleep without dreaming, something to make the shaking in his hands and anxious feeling in his chest go away.

Heroin would do a better job of helping him relax, and if he hadn't been clean for so long, the thought might actually have some sway. It isn't like he has anything to lose, other than the little amount of money he has. He'd seriously considered jumping off the cliff at Heller's house; an overdose has to be a more peaceful way to go. But then he hadn't jumped when he had the chance, and he can't intentionally OD now; god only knows why. Maybe because of what he'd told Bill earlier that day, that he'd stayed alive in China because he wanted to die for something. Killing himself would be dying for nothing, as otherwise appealing as it is.

"Come on! Shoot!"

Besides, unless he's willing to take that final step, there's no point in trying to find a dealer and wasting his money on smack. He's used to dosing intravenously, and after almost two years of being injected with a range of chemicals by Cheng's men, he isn't sure he could actually get himself to stick the needle in his skin.

His stomach clenches. Ramirez had said one of those things that the Chinese had injected him would have wiped his memory of giving up information...

No. No fucking way. He didn't talk; Cheng was just making it up as one last way to save his own skin and put Jack through hell. Just like he had when he'd let Jack believe that Audrey was all right.

He remembers every minute of his time in China, remembers everything they'd done to him, and he knows he hadn't talked. Hadn't spoken a word in almost two years. If he'd really spilled about Agent Holt within two months of his capture, then why the fuck hadn't Cheng just used that drug to get everything else from him? Why continue with the beatings, with the hours of prodding him with electric batons or pouring acid on his skin?

The anger that bubbles up inside him thinking about the last few hours--the last twenty months--gives Jack the energy he needs. His government let him rot in a cell in China, at least until they needed their blood sacrifice. They can all go to hell now, and if any of them comes near him again, he intends to honour the promise he'd given Ramirez.

"You ever see me again, you better start saying the Lord's Prayer, because it'll mean I've come to kill you."

By the time he's reached the lobby, he's made something of a plan: find a spot to sleep for a few hours, then make his way to the bus terminal or train station and get the hell out of town. It'll do for now, and hopefully it'll keep Division from finding him.

Shifting his bag on his shoulder with another twinge in his ribs, he crosses the lobby and opens the building's front door.

Sep. 28th, 2007

Jack needs a default icon

Writing Sample: "Expendable"

Fandom: 24
Characters: Jack Bauer
Rating: PG-13
Summary: He's always known he was expendable.
Spoilers: 6x01
Warnings: Torture, psychological trauma, angst
Challenges: Written for the psych_30 challenge, prompt #6 - Inferiority Complex
Originally written: November 5, 2006

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