Hey guys! Glory and I made a new fanfiction forum. It's multi-fandom. We have folders for:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Please join! Post your fics for any of those fandoms, try your hand at a new one, or just read and comment on the stories posted there. We need more members, so please please join!
Hey guys! Glory and I made a new fanfiction forum. It's multi-fandom. We have folders for:
"Jack, are you even listening to me?" Tony asked as he saw that the other man was once again staring down onto the floor below them.
Jack shook himself out of his thoughts and turned back to Tony. "Sorry. Just thinking."
Tony scoffed. "No you weren't, Jack. You were staring at Chloe. Again."
"I don't know what you're talking about," Jack growled, trying to busy himself with some of the paperwork sitting on his desk.
Sighing, Tony stood up and walked over to the window, staring down at the snarky computer analyst. "She's really starting to show."
"I know," Jack said quietly.
"Does it bother you?"
"Does what bother me?"
"That she's having another man's baby."
Jack sighed and set the papers down, admitting that he wasn't going to do any actual work. "It's not my place to be bothered. She's not mine, Tony."
Tony chuckled. "Please, Jack. She's always been yours." He turned his attention back to Chloe. "I don’t think I've seen her eat or take a break all day."
"That's because she hasn't," Jack growled.
Tony looked at him with a raised eyebrow. "And you're just going to let that slide?"
"Tony, I told you-"
"Oh, come on Jack! Don't give me any of that bullshit! She's your friend. You're in love with her. She's pregnant. She's single. GO TAKE CARE OF HER."
Jack stood up and went to stand by Tony, looking down at Chloe. "What if she won't let me?" he asked quietly.
Tony smiled. "Oh, she'll fight you for a while, Jack. But keep at it. She can't say no to you for very long."
"Hey, Chloe," Jack said warmly as he approached her station.
"What the hell do you want?" she snapped, not even raising her eyes from the computer screen.
Jack sat down on the edge of her desk, trying desperately to swallow his nervousness. "You okay?"
"I'm just dandy, Jack. I'm pregnant, and uncomfortable and everyone around here is an absolute idiot."
"I'm sorry," he said sincerely.
"What do you want?"
"Let's go get some lunch."
Chloe stopped suddenly and looked up at him, confusion in her eyes. "Excuse me?"
"Let's go get lunch," Jack repeated. "You must be starving."
"Uhhh…thanks, Jack. But I’m fine. I'm not hungry."
"You haven't eaten all day, Chloe."
"You need to eat."
She sighed. "Jack, just leave me alone."
"Because I'm worried about you, Chloe. You need to take care of yourself."
Standing up, Chloe locked her station and glared at him, pointing a finger at his chest. "I am not some obligation. I'm not one of your damsels in distress. I can take care of myself!" And with that she stomped off down the hallway.
"That didn't look like it went too well," Tony commented as he walked up to Jack.
"I told you she wouldn't let me."
"And I told you to keep trying. She'll give in eventually, Jack."
The older man turned to him, a pained expression on his face. "That's the whole point, Tony. I don't want to wear her down. If she doesn't want my help, then I'm not going to force it on her."
Tony looked at him in surprise. "You really don't get it, do you?"
"Hang on." He walked across the floor to Nadia's station, grabbing the woman by the arm and dragging her over to stand in front of Jack. "Tell him," he ordered.
Nadia looked at him like he had three heads. "Tell him what?"
"How Chloe feels about him."
Her eyes widened at the implications of his demand. "Tony…"
"The truth," he said in a tone that brooked no argument.
"She'll kill me," Nadia whispered in a strangled voice.
"No she won't. Just tell him."
Nadia frowned in consternation. "Does he…?"
Tony smiled at her. "Yes."
"Yes, I'm sure."
"What the hell are you two talking about?" Jack snapped, irritated by their secretive words.
Nadia turned to face him and took a deep breath. "Chloe loves you."
Jack stared at her in shock, his mouth opening and closing as he tried to come up with something in response.
She smiled at him gently. "She loves you, Jack. But she doesn't think she has a shot in hell with you. Especially not now that she's pregnant with Morris' kid. That's why she's snapping at you."
"Chloe loves me?" he asked in awe.
Tony placed a hand on his shoulder. "And you love her. So you still gonna give me that crap about letting her go and leaving her alone?"
"No," Jack replied. Taking a deep breath, he moved off the floor in search of Chloe.
One of the techs he passed told him that he had just seen Chloe entering the women's bathroom, so that's where Jack headed. He opened the door slowly, making sure that there was no one else inside, when the door came slamming back into his face. He cursed under his breath, rubbing his forehead in irritation.
"Chloe, dammit, let me in!"
"Go away, Jack. I'm not some charity case."
"I know that," he sighed, resting his hands on either side of the door. "Chloe, you're my friend. I want to help you. That's what friends do."
"Why are you doing this?"
"Pushing me away."
He heard her take a few deep breaths through the door. He pushed against it gently, but he could immediately tell that it was blocked. Jack guessed that Chloe was leaning against it.
"Please, Jack," she said in a weary tone. "I just need you to leave me alone. Please," her voice broke slightly and Jack sighed. He wanted to talk to her, to explain things. But he also knew that she wouldn't come out until she was ready. And he wasn't going to tell her how he felt through the bathroom door.
"Okay," he sighed. "I'm going. But I'm not through with you yet, Chloe. I promise you that."
“Chloe, I need you to come up to my office.”
She sighed in frustration. “Why?”
“I just do.”
“Can I say no?”
“No. Get up here, O’Brian. Now.”
Chloe hung the phone up and glared at it angrily for a few moments before redirecting her gaze up to Jack’s office. She could see him sitting there, but he was obviously avoiding her eyes, busying himself with papers that were on his desk. Jack Bauer never did paperwork.
Sighing again, she stood up and stomped toward the stairs. She took them hard, making sure that her foot his each step with some force, trying to rid her body of the frustration and tension that had settled in. When she got to the door, she opened it without knocking, a scowl clear upon her face.
“What do you want, Jack?”
“You’re having dinner with me tonight.”
“Excuse me?” she asked, her voice shrill.
“You. Are having dinner. With me. Tonight,” Jack repeated, emphasizing each word.
“No I’m not.”
“Yes you are.”
“No. I’m NOT,” she retorted, her face growing red and her voice getting louder.
“Look, Chloe,” Jack hissed, slamming one hand on his desk. “You have got to stop this. If you don’t care about yourself, fine. But you have someone else to think of now.”
Chloe pulled back slightly. “What are you saying?”
“I’m saying that you need to start taking better care of your baby. Because if you keep this up, it’s going to hurt your baby. You’re going to hurt your baby.”
Her lower lip trembled as his words sank in. She looked around the room frantically, trying to steady her breathing and control her emotions. Jack watched her, his heart hurting for what he had just said. But he needed her to understand, and it was the only thing he could think to do.
He automatically pulled back when she looked at him again, shocked at the rage and hurt in her eyes.
“SCREW YOU, JACK!” she screamed before storming out of his office.
“I yelled at her.”
Tony’s head shot up from the paper he was reading. “You did what?”
Jack sighed. “I was just trying to help.”
“By yelling at her?”
“I was trying to make her understand that she needs to take care of herself. For her baby’s sake if nothing else.”
Tony dropped his head into his hands. “Jack…” he groaned.
“I didn’t mean to hurt her,” the older man said quietly.
Tony looked back up at him. “So what are you going to do?”
Jack stood up and walked to his door. “I’m going to go apologize.”
Chloe scowled deeply as she slammed the keys of her computer. Jack’s words still rang in her head, and every time she let herself think, the emotions threatened to consume her. She closed her eyes and tried again to control her breathing, but she was interrupted by someone leaning over her shoulder and talking into her ear.
“Let’s go,” Jack said, his voice so low that it made her shiver.
“I told you to leave me alone,” she said in a strangled tone.
“Look, Chloe. This is only going to get worse if you don’t start taking care of yourself or let your friends help you. Because eventually you’re going to pass out from hunger and exhaustion and dehydration. When that happens, I’m going to have to carry you out of here in front of all these people and take you to the hospital. Then I’m going to sit by your bed until they release you. And then after, I’m going to move in with you and hover over you like a mother hen, making sure that you eat, drink and sleep. Now, you could avoid that whole fiasco by just coming to dinner with me. Now.”
She swallowed hard, one tear getting by her defenses. “Fine,” she hissed.
Getting up, she turned her computer off and reached for her coat, only to find Jack holding it out for her. She grimaced, but let him help her put it on and then lead her out into the parking lot.
“This is nice,” Chloe muttered as she ate her food.
Jack had taken her to a nice restaurant – not too flashy, but it wasn’t an Applebee’s or Ruby Tuesdays. The people around them were in dresses and suits, and Chloe was thankful that she had worn a skirt to work that morning.
Jack sighed. “I’m sorry,” he said quietly, staring down at his plate.
“I said it was nice, Jack. I meant it.”
He set his silverware down and looked at her. “No. I mean, I’m sorry for earlier. The things I said…I wasn’t trying to hurt you, Chloe. I’m sorry.”
The tears came streaming down her face unbidden. She reached out and grasped his hand, squeezing tightly.
“It’s okay, Jack. You were right. I need to start taking better care of myself. And of my baby.”
He held her hand tighter. “But you don’t have to do it alone, Chloe. Let me help.” She shook her head, pressing her lips closer together in an effort to quell her sobs. “Why not?” he asked.
“Because I’ll get used to it,” she whispered. “Because I’ll get used to having you around. And then you’ll be gone. You always leave me. I know it’s not always your fault, but…my heart can’t take much more, Jack.”
He closed his eyes as his own tears threatened to spill out. He took his hand away from hers slowly and reached for his wallet.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
“Paying,” he said gruffly. “We need to get out of here.”
Once outside, Chloe immediately headed for the car, but was stopped by Jack’s hand on her elbow. She looked at him in confusion.
“Let’s go for a walk,” he suggested quietly.
He led her across the street and down to the beach, tentatively taking her hand in his. As they started walking across the sand, Chloe stopped him, lifting up her knee in an effort to get at the straps on her shoes. Seeing her struggle, Jack let go of her hand and knelt down, undoing her shoes wordlessly. Tears sprung to her eyes again at his gentleness and she silently cursed her hormones. With the straps undone, she slid her feet out and Jack stood back up, handing her the shoes.
“Thank you,” she whispered.
Jack nodded and took her hand again, leading her down to the water. They walked along the water’s edge, neither saying anything. The crash of the waves filled the silence, and Chloe smiled sadly as the ocean rushed in and wrapped around her ankles. With no destination in mind they continued moving, both enjoying the simple pleasure of the other’s company.
Chloe stopped suddenly, her hand leaving Jack’s and flying to her stomach. She looked down in shock, this time not caring that she was crying again. Jack stopped as well, worry evident on his face.
“Chloe? Are you alright?”
She just looked up at him, her eyes shimmering in the moonlight.
He cradled her face in his hands. “Chloe, please. Are you okay?”
She smiled at him. “He kicked.”
Jack looked at her in confusion before an awed smile grew on his face. “He kicked? The baby kicked?” She nodded, laughing. Jack reached his hand toward her stomach. “May I?” Chloe nodded again.
He got down on one leg, kneeling in the wet sand. Gently, he placed both his hands on her stomach, his smile growing as he felt the movements of the baby. Then his face grew serious as he looked up at her.
“I want to take care of you. Both of you.”
He stood up, taking her face in his hands. “Please, Chloe. This isn’t about saving you or needing someone to help. This is about you. This is about how I feel about you. This is about how I love your baby when I haven’t even met him yet.”
“You love my baby?”
Jack smiled at her, brushing a stray hair from her face. “Because he’s a part of you. And…and I love you. Every single part.”
Nervously, he licked his lips and leaned in slowly. Chloe gave the slightest of nods, letting him know that it was alright. He smiled, brushing his lips against hers softly. She immediately wrapped her arms around his neck, tilting her head to deepen the kiss. Their tongues moved against each other slowly as the water continued to crash around their ankles.
Chloe pulled back first, resting her forehead against his and leaving one hand locked in his hair.
“I love you too,” she whispered.
“I don’t want to leave you, Chloe. And I will do everything in my power to never do it again.”
She smiled. “I know.” Leaning in, she kissed him deeply again. “I want to go home with you, Bauer.”
“I was hoping you’d say that,” he murmured.
The sound of her front door opening and slamming shut caused Chloe to jump, and sudden fear gripped her heart. She tried to control her breathing, telling herself that it was the middle of the afternoon and a thief or rapist wouldn't just waltz in through her front door. Picking up a pan from the stove, she inched out of her kitchen, only to stop dead in her tracks in the hallway.
Jack was standing directly across from her, his gaze intense and his breathing labored. He stared at her for a moment, his eyes roaming up and down her body as he took her in. He had left one year ago, and the very sight of her made his knees week.
Chloe's mouth opened as she tried to speak, tried to say anything to the man standing before her. She had cried when he left, certain that this time he wouldn't be coming back, not after everything that had happened with his father and Audrey. But there he was, standing in her house, looking at her as though she were his lifeline.
In a few quick strides, he came to her without a word. He took her face in both his hands and brought his lips crashing down to hers, pulling her up against him. His tongue plunged into her mouth, tasting her as his hands moved down her body until they were wrapped around her waist and holding her close. Chloe kissed him back with equal fervor, her mind clouded with the feel of him, but her body taking over and responding to his touch. One hand clamped in his hair while the other had the front of his shirt in a vice-like grip.
Finally Jack pulled back, knowing that they both needed to breathe. Lacing his fingers through her hair and holding her head steady, he forced her to look at him.
"I don't work without you," he growled.
Chloe found her voice. "Then don't be without me."
Nodding as though he hadn't thought of that before, Jack released his grip on her and took her gently by the hand, leading her upstairs.
Chloe poured herself a cup of coffee, staring out the kitchen window at the street below. She watched the traffic stream by, her mind unable to grasp onto anything significant. As she took a sip of her drink, she didn't even taste it. She just felt the hot liquid spill down her throat as she continued to look outside.
A noise behind her made her turn around, and she watched as Morris carried two suitcases out into the living room. He set them down and headed back to the bedroom, never looking at her. She watched as he made several more trips. It was then that she noticed there was nothing left of his in the kitchen or living room; she realized that he had to have been packing for the past week.
Finally he carried out the last of his things. They stood there staring at each other, neither sure of what to say. Chloe set her coffee down and crossed her arms, leaning against the counter.
"You're leaving?" she asked quietly, keeping her eyes locked on the boxes instead of Morris.
He nodded. "Yeah."
"When were you planning on telling me?"
Morris shrugged. "I've been packing for the past five days, Chloe. You didn’t seem to care."
It was Chloe's turn to nod as she raised her eyes to his. "We tried, didn't we?" she asked in a small voice.
He looked at her sadly. "Yeah, love. We tried." He paused, looking down at the ground before speaking again. "It's just that…after the baby…after…"
Chloe held her hand up to stop him, tears welling in her eyes – the first emotion she'd shown in weeks. Morris nodded, his own tears threatening to overcome him. Looking down at his things, he picked up a small shoebox. He stared at it for a moment before walking toward Chloe slowly, a pained expression on his face.
"I…" he stopped and tried to clear his throat of the emotion that had welled up there to form a lump. "Please don't hate me for this, Chloe. I didn't…I just didn't want to lose you. I was selfish. I'm sorry, darling."
Chloe looked at him in confusion. "What the hell are you talking about, Morris?" she snapped.
"Here." He handed her the shoebox. "You have every right to be angry at me for keeping these from you. I know now that I was wrong. I'm sorry," he whispered the last part. Clearing his throat again, he moved toward the door. "My brother is here. To help me move my stuff."
Chloe nodded dully. Then, picking her coffee cup back up and still holding the shoebox, she moved down the hall to the bedroom, shutting the door firmly behind her.
Chloe sat down on the bed, taking in the emptiness of the room. She knew that she should be feeling surprised, or angry or sad, but none of the appropriate emotions would come. She had barely noticed Morris for the past month; she couldn't even remember the last time she spoke more than two words to him. Setting her coffee down on the nightstand, she looked down at the box sitting in her lap.
Opening it, she was surprised to see a stack of envelopes addressed to her. They had all been opened, and Chloe frowned as she tried to figure out what kind of mail she would get that would make him intercept all the letters. Reaching her hand in, she pulled out the first envelope, frowning again when she saw that there was no name with the return address. Curiosity getting the best of her, she opened the letter, noting that it was sent five months ago, and began to read.
I feel stupid writing to you like this, but I couldn't bring myself to call you. I'm sorry. I know that I disappeared again without so much as a goodbye. But I knew that if I went back to CTU at all, I never would have been able to leave. And I needed to leave, Chloe. That place has been the source of too much pain in my life.
But I didn't want to walk away from you. I've missed you, more than I thought I could.
My address is on the envelope. I don’t know if you’d ever want to, but you’re welcome to come visit me. If you ever need me, I’m here.
I was hoping to have heard from you after my last letter. But why should I? I heard from Bill that you’ve left CTU. I hope that now you’re enjoying a real life where you’re not called on to make sacrifices day in and day out. I hope that you’re happy.
I miss you.
At first I thought I had made the right decision in walking away. I thought that it was the only way to save my sanity. But I’m slowly realizing that I walked away from more than a job. I walked away from friends who stood by me no matter what. I miss seeing you. I miss hearing you snap at people. I miss you rolling your eyes at me when I say something stupid. I miss you.
I hope you’re well.
I don’t know why I’m still writing these letters to you. I don’t blame you for moving on, for wanting nothing more to do with me. I did nothing but use you for years. I made ridiculous demands and never even thanked you when you came through every time.
But maybe I can say it now. I know it’s too late. I know I should have said it a long time ago. But I didn’t, and I’m sorry. You were my best friend, Chloe. Even though we never really got to know the little things, I always knew that you were there. You were the only thing that kept me going sometimes. In
I know I should leave you alone. Let you live your life. But I’m too selfish to let you go. I don’t even know if you read these anymore, or if you just throw them away when you see the return address. But if I don’t keep writing, I’ll have to admit that I’ve lost you. And that thought tears at my heart. It keeps me up at night, worrying that I’ll never see you again.
I have to say this. You might hate me. And you have every right to. But if I don’t say it now, I never will.
I love you, Chloe. That’s why I can’t let you go. You have such a hold on my heart, that if I admit that you’re gone…it would be the end of me. I love you. I don’t know when I fell, but I think it happened so slowly that I never noticed it until one day when I woke up and realized that I was head over heels in love you.
I know you don’t feel the same way. I know that you’ve pushed me out of your life – or maybe I just left so many times that I pushed myself out. I know you’re better off without me. But for five months I’ve been regretting walking away from you without even saying goodbye.
I love you, Chloe. And I’m sorry for all the pain I’ve caused you.
Chloe laid down on the bed and cried.
"Just leave it, Morris. I'm fine."
"Chloe, I need you to do this," Bill told her.
She frowned. "Why can't you just call him on the phone? Wouldn't that be much quicker?"
Bill sighed, leaning forward on his desk. "Yes. But if these people are really going to go through with this, then he's going to need your help hacking into their systems."
"Couldn't you just call the authorities over there and have them take care of it? It's their country."
"Chloe," he said sharply. "We know that some of their people are dirty, and we don't want the information to get into the wrong hands. You don't have a choice. You're going." Seeing her discomfort, he walked over to her and placed a fatherly hand on her shoulder. "I know you don't want to do this," he said gently. "I know you don't want to see him again. But I need you to do this. He's going to need you. Please."
Sighing deeply, Chloe scowled. "Fine. When's my flight?"
It was a nice house, Chloe thought as she stood nervously at his door. She had already been standing there for nearly three minutes, unable to convince herself to knock. It had been just over a year since she had seen him, and she knew that there was nothing she could do to prepare herself for this. Taking a deep breath, she raised her hand, steeling herself for the meeting ahead.
After knocking, she almost turned and ran back to the rental car. Her heart was in her throat and she could feel the panic starting to set in. Determinedly, she forced herself to remember how he had left her again, and she breathed a little easier as the bitterness overpowered the panic.
She nearly broke when the door opened and they were standing face-to-face. Emotion clogged her throat, threatening to choke her. As she took in his features, she struggled to get herself under control.
"Chloe," he whispered in wonder, a smile on his face.
"Jack," she spat out coldly.
His eyes narrowed at her tone, and the smile faded slightly. "What are you doing here?" he asked.
"Bill made me come."
"Are you going to let me in or do I have to explain everything on your front step?"
Jack looked down and chuckled at her bluntness. He moved to the side, making room for her. "Come on in."
Chloe walked in, refusing to look at him. As Jack shut the door behind them, Chloe stopped, looking around her.
"Jack, this is beautiful," she said before she could stop herself.
"Thanks," he said, coming to stand just behind her. "It needed a lot of work when I got here. That's what I've been spending all my time on since I got here."
At the mention of his time away from her, Chloe stiffened again, reminding herself that she was here for business and that would not get reattached to him. When she had finished doing what Bill had asked of her, she was going to get on a plane and fly back to the States, leaving Jack Bauer behind her forever. She took a couple steps forward and away from him before turning to face him again.
Her tension and coldness didn’t go unnoticed by Jack. He put his hands in his pockets awkwardly, not really knowing what to do. He had been so happy to see her when he opened the door, but now…Chloe had never been affectionate, but she had never been this distant either.
He cleared his throat. "You want something to drink?"
"No, I'm fine. Let's just get this done."
Nodding, Jack led her into the living room. He sat down on a large leather couch, motioning for her to join him. Instead, Chloe moved towards the chair, sitting down stiffly. Jack sighed.
"So what's this all about?"
Chloe looked down at her hands. "There's a small cell plotting to take out members of the Spanish government. We couldn't go to the authorities here because there's a mole that's helping the cell. Bill needs us to stop them. The only reason we know anything about their plans is because of a contact we have in the weapons black market. We only one opportunity to take these guys out –when they go to get the weapons. After that they'll be individually taking out key members of the government. This is the only time they'll all be together."
Jack nodded. "Why did he send you?"
"Why did Bill send you? Why not a field agent?"
Chloe scowled. "Because you're not going to be able to find out where they're buying the weapons if I'm not here to hack into their system."
"And you couldn’t do that from
"Believe me, Jack. I wish I could. But Bill told me I had to come here to do it."
They sat there in cold silence for a few moments, both hurt by the words of the other. Finally Jack stood up. "Will my computer work?"
"As long as I can access the internet, we'll be good."
"I doubt that," Jack muttered under his breath.
He led her down a long hallway and into a small study. Her shoes clicked on the stone floors and the sound echoed between them. He opened the laptop and logged on, gesturing for her to sit. She did, and immediately starting typing away. Jack stood there awkwardly for a moment before heading out of the room.
"I'll let you work," he said quietly.
He came back a couple hours later bearing sandwiches and drinks. Pulling up a chair, he sat next to her, using the desk as a table. Chloe ignored him and continued working.
Jack sighed. "Chloe, you have to eat."
"Just let me get this done, okay?"
He shut the lid of the laptop, giving her no choice but to pull out her hands. "No. You need to eat. Then you can get back to work."
Frowning, Chloe nodded, reaching for her sandwich. "Thank you," she mumbled as she took a bite. They ate in silence, both avoiding the other's eyes. Finally, Chloe had to say something, just to keep her from blurting out something stupid.
Jack looked up, startled. "Huh?"
She shrugged. "Why did you pick
"I'm not sure. After…what happened, I just went to the airport and got on a plane. This is where I ended up. After a couple weeks of staying a hotel, I realized that I really liked it here, so I decided to make it more permanent."
Chloe nodded. "Are you happy?" she asked quietly.
"For the most part," he replied. Then very quietly he added, "I missed you."
She laughed bitterly. "Yeah, well. Most days I wish I had never met you, Jack."
Jack paused, swallowing hard. Keeping his downcast, he stood up and gathered his plate and glass. "I'm sorry," he choked out as he left the room.
Chloe mentally kicked herself after he was gone. The last thing she wanted to do was hurt him. But it was too easy to enjoy his company again, to feel safe and comfortable, to fall in love with his smile for the thousandth time. She couldn't go through that again. She had to keep a safe distance, or she was just going to end up crying on the plane ride home. Then again, she thought, I'll probably be doing that anyway.
Two hours after the sun set, Chloe quietly walked out of the study, looking for Jack. She searched the entire lower level, worry eating at her when she couldn’t find him. Finally she looked out on the back porch and saw him, sitting in a chair with a beer in hand, staring up at the night sky.
She quietly opened the sliding door and stepped outside. She stood there nervously, not wanting to interrupt his thoughts and unsure of how to start after what she had said that afternoon.
"What?" he asked quietly, not even turning to look at her.
Chloe looked down at the ground. "I found it."
"Plaza de Espana. It's in
"Did you find out the exact time?"
He nodded. "Good. There won't be many people there."
"So when are we leaving?" she asked.
"You're not going."
"You're not going, Chloe. You're not a trained field agent. You'll just get in the way or get hurt."
Chloe felt as though she'd been slapped in the face, but she knew that she had deserved the blow. Strengthening her resolve, she replied in a tight voice, "I'm coming with you, Jack Bauer, whether you like it or not. You're not going in alone."
"No," she cut him off. "Look, you just worry about stopping the bad guys, okay? I can take care of myself. We'll go, we'll do this, and then we'll get out of each other's hair."
Jack reluctantly nodded. "There's a guest room next to the study. It's already set up for you. I'll come wake you at 4."
"Good," she said. As she turned to walk back into the house, she looked back at him, tears burning her eyes. "Good night," she whispered.
She didn't hear him when he responded in a broken voice, "Good night, Chloe."
They got ready the next morning in silence. Putting on Kevlar and loading their weapons, they tried to ignore everything that had been said the day before, focusing on the task at hand. They risked small glances at each other, both wanting to apologize and set things right. But before either could, they were loading their things into his car and driving toward the Plaza.
They stopped some distance from the park, not wanting to give themselves away. The morning had turned out to be stormy one, and Chloe watched the rain slide down the windshield as she looked out.
"Cervantes is going to be watching the whole thing go down," she pointed out.
"What?" Jack asked, pulling himself out of his thoughts.
Chloe pointed to a monument in the park. "Cervantes is sitting up there. The guy who wrote Don Quixote."
"Oh." He paused, unsure of what to do next. "We should get out."
She turned to look at him, a scowl on her face. "And do what? It's raining."
"I've got an umbrella. We'll look less suspicious walking around the park then we will sitting in a dark car on the side of the road."
She couldn't fault his logic. Rolling her eyes, she muttered, "Fine," and reached for her door handle. Jack's hand on her arm stopped her.
"Wait," he said quietly.
He reached behind him and grabbed a large umbrella, and then stepped out of the car. Opening the umbrella he went to the back seat and grabbed Chloe's large purse. Then he walked over to her door and opened it for her, using the umbrella to shield her from the rain. He reached out his hand and she nervously took it, standing up and shutting her door. Jack let go of her hand and handed her the purse.
"This thing is fucking huge," she muttered as she slung it over her shoulder.
"That's because we had to fit guns in it, Chloe," he said, the faintest hint of a smile teasing his lips.
As they walked over to the park, Jack reached his arm around her waist, tugging her in close to his body. He felt her stiffen immediately, but just as he was going to pull back, she relaxed, and he let his hand rest on her hip. They walked around the Plaza slowly, both lost in their own thoughts. Jack tried to keep an eye on everything at once, without seeming to. Chloe held her purse close, trying to push out how nice it was to be so close to Jack, to have him touching her.
As they finished their first time around, they saw a group of men materialize out of the gloom. Jack counted ten of them, and he saw that they were moving towards an older man standing by a big black van.
"That's our informant, Paulo," Chloe whispered.
"Is he alone?"
She nodded. "He has a serious reputation. No one would even think of trying to double-cross him or take the stuff without paying."
"Does he know we're here?"
"He knows something going down. He'll be ready."
Jack looked at her, unable to hide the concern in his eyes. "Are you?"
Giving him the smallest smile, she nodded. "Let's do this."
A shot rang out and Jack watched in horror as Chloe fell to the ground beside him. He looked up to see the men pulling out their weapons and aiming at him. He knelt down next to Chloe, the umbrella forgotten on the ground nearby.
"Are you okay?" he asked desperately.
She winced, trying to sit up. "I'm fine. It hit the vest! Go! Go!"
With that, Jack was up again, shrugging off his long coat and pulling out his twin 9mm Berettas. He opened fire as he ran toward them, taking down two of the would-be terrorists before they knew what hit them. One of the men ran at him from the side, lunging into him and knocking him onto the rain-soaked pavement. Out of the corner of his eye Jack saw Chloe standing up and pulling out a sawed-off shotgun from underneath her trench coat. She started shooting at the men closest to her, mowing them down without any hesitation.
Then Jack had to focus on himself and the man above him who was trying to choke the life out of him. Jack smashed his fist repeatedly into the man's kidneys until he loosened his grip, and then Jack rolled on top of him, pummeling his face. Then someone was grabbing him from behind and dragging him backwards. He was thrown to the ground and someone slammed their foot into is chest. As the foot came back down, Jack grabbed it and twisted, hearing something in the knee snap. The man fell down with a cry of pain.
Chloe’s shotgun had been yanked away from her, and she was forced to fight with her hands. Someone grabbed her from behind, lifting her into the air. As another man came forward to catch her legs, she kicked, catching him just under the chin with her heeled boots. She threw her head back and was rewarded with a crunching noise and the arms around her waist loosening. When the man dropped her, she ran toward her fallen purse, pulling out her own Berettas.
The gun battle was over in less than ten minutes. As the rain continued to come down in torrents, Jack and Chloe stood among the dead bodies, weapons still drawn, staring at each other. Paulo had gone down in the fight, taking four shots to the chest – he had been dead before he hit the ground. Sirens wailed in the distance as the great Cervantes stared down upon the grisly scene.
The morning was half-over by the time they got back to Jack’s house, but the sun had still not shown its face. The rain continued to come down hard, and both were shaking from the chill that had set into their bones.
Fumbling with his keys, Jack looked over at Chloe, who was trying not to visibly tremble. She kept her gaze down, not wanting to look at him, knowing that she would soon have to say goodbye again.
“I understand,” he said quietly, still trying to find the right key.
“Understand what?” Chloe asked, her brow furrowed in confusion.
“Why you wish you’d never met me. You wouldn’t be in the middle of gunfights and takedowns. You wouldn’t be dodging bullets and wearing Kevlar.”
“You think that’s why I said that?” Chloe asked incredulously.
Jack gave up even pretending to try and find the key and looked up at her. “Isn’t it? Your life would be safer without me, Chloe.”
“That’s not what I meant, Jack! I don’t care about getting shot at, or chased, or threatened. None of that bothers me. Well, I mean, it bothers me, but I don’t blame you for it. I would gladly put up with all of that if it meant having you around.”
He stared at her in shock. “But I thought-“
“You want to know why I said that Jack? Because I’ve been losing you since the day I met you! Every time we survive some major crisis, I turn around and you’re gone!” Chloe was screaming now, but she didn’t care. “Do you have any idea how much it hurts every time you leave without saying goodbye? Do you even care how much it kills me, to love you and to watch you walk away over and over again?”
Searching her eyes desperately, Jack reached his left hand behind her head and brought his lips crashing into hers. He brought his other arm to wrap around her waist and pull her tight against him. At the feel of his lips on hers, Chloe gasped in surprise, and Jack plunged his tongue into her mouth. They held onto each other desperately, their tongues tangling and bodies melding.
Jack pulled away suddenly, gripping the back of her head so that she couldn’t run. “I love you,” he whispered raggedly before moving in to kiss her again.
He struggled to unlock the door behind him while still kissing Chloe, and finally she grabbed the keys from him and did it herself, never breaking contact with his mouth. They crashed through the door as soon as it opened, Jack slamming it shut with his foot and simultaneously tugging at Chloe’s shirt.
He deftly backed her up the stairs towards his bedroom, never taking his mouth from hers and somehow managing to rid her of her shirt as they went. By the time Chloe felt the bed pressed against the backs of her knees his hand was on her naked breast, pinching her nipple between his thumb and forefinger. Chloe moaned in response and moved her own fingers to tug at the buttons of his shirt.
Soon they were both shirtless and their flesh was rubbing against each other in an attempt to get closer. Chloe’s breath hitched in her throat at the feel of her hardened nipples rubbing against the hairs on his chest. She dragged her lips from his.
“Are you sure?” she asked breathlessly, searching his face for any trace of doubt or hesitation.
“Does this feel like I’m not sure?” he asked, taking her hand and holding it against his groin, “I love you. I want you” he added, his voice hoarse.
Chloe moved her fingers against him, feeling him becoming harder still at her touch. A moment later he pushed her back onto the bed and, leaning over her he trailed hot kisses across her chest, capturing her nipple between his teeth and tugging gently.
“Jack” she urged, “please . . . .” She didn’t care that she was begging him, she needed him.
His lips fluttered across her abdomen as his fingers moved to the snap of her jeans. Chloe held her breath as she raised her hips to make the task of undressing her easier. He pulled the jeans from her easily before reaching up and taking her mouth with his for a brief but demanding kiss. Moments later he was once again dropping light kisses at her naval, his tongue leaving a trail of moisture against her heated flesh. Chloe shuddered as he kissed her though her panties. She could feel his lips curving in a smile against her as she whimpered.
Then he was hooking his fingers at the edges of the material, tugging it down gently as his mouth trailed against every inch of her as she was exposed to him. His tongue slipped between her moist folds, tasting her and twirling against her in a heady dance that had her squirming against him and calling his name desperately.
“Jack” she called, “please, now. I want you now.”
He gave a reluctant parting kiss to her core as he crawled up her body, his fingers replacing his tongue as he dropped a kiss to her mouth then pulled back to watch her expression, a smile of satisfaction combined with his own blatant need on his face.
“Now” she growled as her hips rocked against his fingers.
He pulled his hand away from her and moved off the bed to removed his jeans and boxers. Chloe watched him, her eyes wide. She swallowed nervously as she saw him hard and ready for her. Jack hesitated a moment before moving back to the bed, his gaze taking in her naked form both waiting and wanting.
“God you’re beautiful” he whispered as he climbed on top of her, “I need you so badly Chloe” he whispered.
“Well get on with it then” she urged, opening her thighs to accommodate him.
He smiled and brought his mouth to hers, kissing her softly as he entered her, reveling at her moan of delight at having him fill her so completely. Then they were both moaning as he thrust against her, Chloe’s hips arching into his. Their pace was slow at first, building to a near crescendo that had them moving more wildly, more urgently.
Jack’s hand moved to push her sweat soaked hair from her eyes as he moved against her, Chloe’s fingers scraping at his back and urging him on.
“I love you” she whispered as her body arched and convulsed around him.
“Love you” he replied as her muscles tightened and squeezed at his very being, dragging him with her as he came inside of her, his body jerking with pleasure.
“Chloe” he whispered as he collapsed beside her.
He pulled her into his side as they both struggled to regulate their breathing. Chloe’s arms reached around him so one hand rested at his shoulder the other laying flat against his chest. Jack’s own hands were busy stroking her hair, trailing down her back to pull her even tighter against him. Then they slept.
When Chloe woke up she was alone in the bed. She immediately felt panic begin to rise in her chest, as she sat up to look around the room. She paused and smiled happily as she saw a naked Jack Bauer tending the fireplace. He already had a good size fire going, and he turned back to the bed. When he saw her watching him, he smiled, pausing to just watch her. Then he crawled in beside her, wrapping an arm around her and pulling her closer.
“Hi,” he whispered.
“Hey,” she answered shyly.
They laid there silently for a few minutes, just watching the fire and enjoying the feel of being together. Finally, Chloe looked up at Jack and caught the far-off look in his eyes as he surveyed the room.
“What are you thinking about?” she asked quietly.
“How long it will take me to pack my stuff and sell this place,” he answered, still scanning the room.
Chloe frowned. “If you’re coming back just to be with me, then don’t bother, Jack.”
He couldn’t hide the pain that flashed across his face. Biting back tears, he began to take his arm from around her. Chloe snatched his hand, keeping him from moving away from her entirely.
“Jack, look at me.”
He shook his head, not wanting her to see just how much her words hurt him.
“Please, Jack. Look at me.”
At the gentle tone in her voice, he did as she asked. He was surprised to see a smile on her face. She reached up with her other hand to caress his cheek.
“I’ll just move here.”
She laughed at the shock on his face. This time the tears escaped his eyes without his notice.
“Are you sure?” he asked.
Chloe nodded. “Of course. I know you don’t want to go back there, Jack. And I don’t have anything to go back to anyway. So I’ll stay. With you.” She looked down at the bed. “That is, if you want me to.”
Jack tipped her chin up gently with his fingers and kissed her deeply. When he pulled back, they were both breathing hard.
“I want you to stay,” he whispered. “I love you.”
“I love you too, Jack.” She paused, cradling his face and looking at him seriously. “I’m sorry.”
“For hurting you. For telling you that I wished we’d never met. I didn’t really mean it. It just hurt so much when you left the last time.”
“I know,” he whispered with a small smile, running his hands through her dark hair. “And I’m sorry. I never should have left.” He paused, a twinkle in his eye. “Stay with me forever?” he asked
“Forever,” Chloe agreed, bringing her lips to his once again.
"Why?" she pressed.
She glared daggers at him. "I hate you, Jack."
She shook her head desperately, still refusing to lift her gaze. Jack cradled her face in both his hands and brought his lips to her ear. "You can tell me anything, Chloe. You don't have to be scared or embarrassed. Just tell me."
"Jack…" she whispered.
He stared out over the city. The fresh air helped clear his brain, and it calmed him after another hectic day at CTU. Sometimes he was still surprised by his decision to come back. But he had nowhere else to go.
He turned to see
“Yeah?” he asked as
“I kinda got a question for you.”
Jack smirked. “Kind of?”
“Wait – are you armed?”
Jack chuckled. “No,
“I’ll try not to.”
Jack looked at him sharply. “Excuse me?”
“I mean, you keep choosing women who can’t understand you. They can’t live in your world and they can’t deal with who you are and what you do.”
Jack turned his attention back to the scene below him, his face a dark mask.
“For example, and please remember your promise to not hit me – Teri. Now Jack, “ he rushed to calm the other man’s evident anger. “I know that you loved her. And that she loved you. Nobody is disputing that or belittling it. But you have to admit, she could never understand you. She could never make allowances for who you were or what your job demanded. It doesn’t matter how much you loved each other – she never would have come to accept it.”
It took a while, but Jack finally nodded. He knew that
“Keep going,” he said quietly.
“It seems like you have a list. So keep going.”
“And then there was Claudia. But I think she was an anomaly too. You felt you had to save her. And in that kind of intense situation, it led to more…but I don’t think you two ever would have hooked up otherwise.”
“It couldn’t,” the older man whispered. “It didn’t.”
“I just don’t understand why you don’t choose a woman who can accept all of you.”
Jack laughed a mirthless laugh. “And where do you expect me to find one,
But he was still surprised when Jack went tearing past him, rushing off the roof and down the stairs.
Jack looked around wildly, searching for something. His eyes rested on Chloe as she walked across the floor, completely oblivious to everything around her as she read a file she was carrying. Taking a deep breath, Jack rushed up to her, brought a hand behind her head, and pulled her mouth to his.
Everyone watched in shock as Chloe’s files fell to the floor completely forgotten. She reached her hands around Jack’s waist as his settled in her hair. She returned his kiss with equal passion, her tongue meeting his in a wild crash. They pulled away as the room erupted in applause and cheering, Jack blushing as he smiled down at her.
“It’s about damn time,” she snapped at him.
Jack stared glumly into his glass as those around him laughed. A bunch of people from CTU had decided to go for drinks after work, to relax from the hellish day they had just had. He had only agreed because he had nowhere else to go. He had called Kim to tell her that he was back, but it was going to be a day or two before she could fly out. Marilyn had taken Josh home, and Jack felt oddly relieved. Looking back on the day, he realized that he had clung to her because she was from a safer past, a time when things didn't hurt as much. And Audrey. She was gone now, too. He had been shocked when they rescued her from the Chinese, relieved to see that she was alive. But her father had stopped him outside of her hospital room, told him that they needed to have a talk. Jack hadn't been surprised, hadn't even put up a fight when Heller told him that Audrey would be better off without him. The truth was, he had known for a long time that things were over between them. So he had nodded and then gone in to say goodbye. She had held in her tears, with only a few escaping down her cheeks. But she had nodded because she knew the truth, too.
Title: Pop Tarts
A/N: Takes place the day after Day 6
Disclaimer: Not mine :(
Jack's eyes snapped open as he tried to remember where he was. He rolled over and glanced around the room, squinting in the sunlight. The bed beneath him was soft, and he reveled in the feel of it. His memory slowly came back to him as he heard noises from the kitchen. Smiling, he got out of bed and padded out of the bedroom. At the entrance to the kitchen he stopped and leaned on the door frame, watching as Chloe scowled at the coffeemaker. Her brown hair was tousled and she was still in her pajamas, but he couldn’t remember seeing anything so welcome in his life.
The day before she had practically ordered him to come home with her. He didn't really object though – he had nowhere else to go, and he found a peace in Chloe's presence that he had been seeking for a long time. After the day's events he had been nearly shell-shocked, and she had just taken him by the hand and gently led him to her car. When they had arrived at her apartment she had promptly marched him to her room and tucked him into her bed.
Hours later he had woken up and gone into the living room, only to find her sitting on the couch with her knees tucked under her chin, staring at nothing. Wordlessly he had taken her hand and led her back to the bedroom, where they had both fell asleep.
He continued to watch her as she fiddled with the coffeemaker, suddenly realizing just how much he had missed her. Not just in
"Got any breakfast?" he asked quietly.
Without looking at him, Chloe opened the cabinet above her head and pulled out a box of Pop Tarts, setting them down on the counter with a thud. Jack walked over to her and picked up the box, looking at her in amusement.
"Chloe, Pop Tarts are not breakfast."
"Yes they are."
"No they're not."
She grabbed the box from his hands and pointed to the label. "See? They have seven essential vitamins and minerals." She set the box back down on the counter.
"Look, Jack, feel free to look around for real food. I'll be very surprised if you find any."
He looked at her closely, wondering what had sparked her current foul mood. She was still refusing to look at him, puttering in the sink now that the coffee had been started.
"How about I go to the store and get some then?" he suggested gently.
Chloe shrugged and pointed to the living room. "There's money in my purse and a store down the block. Bill had some clothes bought for you yesterday and they're in the third drawer of the dresser in my room."
Jack nodded and headed back to the bedroom.
As he walked back into the apartment, Jack sighed in contentment. It had felt so good to go out and do something as normal as buy groceries. He had bought more than he had originally intended, but Chloe's kitchen seemed completely devoid of food, so he figured it was alright. Setting the bags down on the floor, he began to put them away.
When he was finished with that task he moved toward the kitchen table, wanting to clear it before he started to cook. He was amazed at how many papers were stacked haphazardly on the surface and he wondered where he was going to put everything.
It was then that Jack realized Chloe was watching him. She was leaning against the doorframe as he had done earlier and just stared at him as he tried to put the papers in order. Finally he put the papers down and looked at her.
"What? You just decided to give up on things like food and having a place to sit?" he asked, a small smile on his lips.
Chloe's frown grew deeper. "Yeah, well, some of us didn't do so well with you gone, Jack," she bit out before stomping out of the room.
For a minute, Jack just stared at the spot where she had been. He was used to Chloe snapping – it came with her personality – but he had heard hurt and worry and…anger in her voice as well. Walking out of the kitchen, he went down the hall and into her bedroom.
His heart broke as he saw her curled up on her bed, facing away from him. He saw her shoulders shake and heard the tiny sobs that escaped her mouth. Without hesitation he strode over to the bed and lay next to her, wrapping his arms around her and pulling her into his body. He suddenly realized how thin she was and he closed his eyes against his own tears. He hadn't thought about what his time in
"What's wrong?" he asked quietly when her tears had subsided.
Taking a deep breath, Chloe turned over so that she was facing him, her tear-stained face like a knife through his heart.
"When are you leaving?" she asked.
Her question caught him completely off-guard and he just stared at her, not knowing how to respond.
"When are you leaving?" she repeated.
"Why would I be leaving?" he countered.
Chloe shrugged. "That's what you always do. After days like these. Either you move to
Jack reached up and ran his fingers through her hair. "Oh Chloe," he whispered sadly. "That's why you were snapping out there?"
She nodded, glumly staring at his chest. "I don't want to get attached again if you're just going to leave."
Jack hugged her closer and brought his mouth to her ear. "Is there any reason I should stay?"
"What is it?" Jack gently prodded.
"I'm not sure it's good enough," she said, looking him straight in the eye.
Leaning in, Chloe gently brushed her lips against his. When he didn't pull away, she became more insistent with her kiss, nipping his bottom lip until he opened his mouth to her. She felt his arms wrap around her more tightly as he kissed her back, their tongues dancing together wildly. Jack rolled onto his back, dragging her on top of him and continuing his barrage on her mouth as they clung to each other.
Finally, out of a need for breath, they pulled back and Chloe leaned her forehead against his.
"So you're the reason?" he asked.
Chloe nodded, still unable to speak.
Jack smiled. "Best damn reason I've ever heard," he said before planting a short but firm kiss on her lips. "So how about that breakfast?"
Chloe returned his smile. "What's wrong with my Pop tarts?"
Jack laughed. "There is absolutely nothing wrong with your Pop Tarts," he replied. "But I suggest something with a little more protein – you're going to need your energy later."
"Really," he whispered before kissing her again.
He had nightmares every night. She wasn’t surprised, after everything he had been through. He had been staying with her for two weeks now. That first night she had pushed him down on the bed, telling him that she would sleep when he did, that he deserved to lie in a real bed for once. He reluctantly laid down and fell into a fitful sleep.
Two hours later she had run back into the room to find him thrashing around on the bed and yelling in a strained voice. She had leapt onto the bed and pulled him close to her, whispering comforting words in his ear and rocking him back and forth. He had eventually fallen into a restful sleep, curled up against her and clutching her desperately.
Every night he would fall asleep in her bed and she would go to him when the nightmares took hold and rescue him again and again.
She had nightmares, too. He wasn’t surprised, since he knew that she bottled everything up in order to do her job. That first night he had woken up in her arms, finally feeling safe. As he tried to figure out what exactly had woken him from his peaceful sleep, he noticed that Chloe’s face was contorted and that she was shaking. Tiny moans of pain escaped her lips as she began moving her head from side to side.
He tightened his grip around her and brushed the hair from her face. Brushing his lips against her forehead, he whispered soothing words in her ear, rocking her back and forth until the nightmares subsided.
Every night he would wake up in her arms and pull her closer to him when her nightmares took hold and rescue her again and again.
One morning she woke to him staring at her. His eyes were bright and a smile played on his lips as he continued stroking her hair, his other arm wrapped tight around her.
“Good morning,” he whispered.
“Why aren’t you sleeping?” she asked in her usual abrupt manner.
His smile grew. “I woke up.”
She rolled her eyes. “Duh, Jack. What woke you up?”
“I know about your nightmares, Chloe,” he said quietly, the smile gone.
She frowned. “I know about yours too.”
“We end up like this every night, you know.”
“Like what?” she asked, even though she knew the answer.
“I was just thinking it might be easier if we started out this way too.”
She looked at him, speechless. Searching her eyes, he leaned in slowly and brushed his lips softly against hers. He pulled back, unsure of how she felt.
“Oh,” she whispered.
Then she leaned in and kissed him back, tangling herself around every inch of him.