Pieces (4)

Aug. 20th, 2007 03:38 pm
failegaidin: (sayid awesome)
Two chapters in one day. I must be insane.

Chapter 4

            Jack and Kim moved quickly, looking for a car they could hotwire and drive to the next meeting place. They stayed low, using the vehicles as cover should Mandy be nearby. As Jack tried the handle of a red Mazda, his gaze drifted across the parking lot and came to rest on something happening out front.
            His blood ran cold as he watched Nina march Milo and Chloe out of the building and toward an SUV nearby. He struggled to breathe, the knowledge that for the second time that day Chloe's life was in danger because of him weighing heavily on him. All thoughts of escape fled as he struggled to think of a way to save her.
            Kim noticed his sudden preoccupation and her gaze followed his. She swallowed hard when she saw their friends being taken away.
            "I knew it."
            "Knew what?"
            "That I shouldn't have left her. Not with Milo. Not with anybody," he added quietly.
            She put her hand on his arm, making him focus on her.
            "Then we need to go get her back."
            He shook his head. "I need to get you out of here."
            "You can't let Nina have her, Dad. She's already taken Mom – you can't lose another woman you love to her."
            His eyes narrowed at her words. "You know?"
            Kim laughed. "Please. It's obvious. Well, to everyone but her."
            He hung his head. "I can't risk it."
            She grabbed his chin and forced his eyes back up to hers. "No, what you can't do is let that bitch get away with this. Let's follow her. Then you can end this. Once and for all."
            Jack marveled at the strength his daughter possessed, and her confidence snapped him out of his despair. He looked at the car they were standing next to and nodded quickly, tugging at the door and breathing a sigh of relief when it opened.
            "Let's go then."
            He drove quickly, but made sure that he stayed far enough back that Nina wouldn't realize she had a tail. Constant worry flooded him as he followed her, his mind imagining what she would do to Chloe when they got to wherever they were going. Kim was right – he couldn't lose anyone else to that woman, especially not his best friend.
            Kim watched her father out of the corner of her eye. She could tell that this new development was weighing heavily on him, that it was threatening to pull him under. But she could also see his determination. He wasn't going to let Nina win this time – he would finish this no matter what.
            Her thoughts shifted as a car passed them on the right. Her eyes skimmed over the driver absently, her mind still focusing on the problem at hand. But her mouth dropped open as her gaze rested on someone in the backseat.
            "I think we have another problem."
            She pointed and Jack turned to look at the car next to them. Staring back at them was Nadia, pleading with her eyes for them to see her, not wanting to draw Mandy's attention. Jack was momentarily stunned at the coincidence – and then he found himself wondering where Tony was.
            Before his thoughts could go much further, Mandy turned her head and stared at him in surprise. She quickly got her expression under control though, and promptly slammed her car into theirs. Jack gripped the wheel in an effort to keep control, but Mandy simply continued to ram them. Cursing, he decided that he'd had enough and turned the wheel sharply, pushing the other car back across the road.
            The two cars sped down the road, crashing into each other and then pulling apart again while they prepared for another hit. Jack clenched his jaw at the pain racing through his body – his left side was going to be one big bruise in a few hours. He knew they couldn’t keep this up much longer. Traffic had been sparse so far, but they couldn't count on that. And the cars weren't faring well - he had to put an end to this now.
            He slowed down slightly, letting Mandy gain a little bit of a lead. She turned to look at him with suspicious eyes, but for the moment she couldn't figure out what he was doing. Then Jack swung the car out to the right before turning the wheel sharply left and plowing his front end into the very back of the side of the other car. The vehicle went into a violent spin, its front end slamming into Kim's side before careening off the road and into a line of parked cars on the side of the street.
            Jack pulled over, immediately turning to Kim.
            "Are you alright?"
            She nodded, still in a daze from what had just happened.
            Jack got out of the car and pulled his gun, moving slowly toward the other vehicle. The back door opened and Tony clambered out, rubbing his head. Nadia followed him – neither looked seriously injured.
            "Are you two alright?"
            Tony nodded, and then winced.
            "She knocked me out. I woke up while you were slamming us across the road."
            "She started it."
            Kim moved closer as Nadia spoke up.
            "So what do we do now?"
            "Do you guys have any idea where Mandy was taking you?"
            "I was unconscious," Tony pointed out sadly.
            "She said something about mansions by the beach," Nadia told them. "I didn't really understand what she was talking about."
            Jack thought for a moment. "I think I know where it is. There's a place by the beach where there are a bunch of warehouses. Their known ironically as the Seaside Mansions – a lot of druggies hole up there."
            "Alright," Nadia nodded. "So what's the plan?"
            Jack looked at his friend. "Tony, I need you to get Nadia and Kim someplace safe."
            "I can't put Kim in any more danger, and Nadia isn't even a target. There's no reason for her to put her life on the line."
            "How about you stop talking about us as though we're not here?" Kim demanded, stepping in. "I'm not leaving you."
            "And neither am I," Nadia asserted. "You need help, Jack. I don't care who's after you guys. I can't just walk away. Chloe and Milo are my friends, and so are you two." She looked at Kim. "I don't actually know you very well, but you're Jack's daughter and that's all I need to know."
            Kim nodded her agreement.
            "I'm not letting you do this alone," Tony added. "You'll just get into more trouble. You're going to need someone to watch your back."
            Jack hung his head at the onslaught of argument. After a minute he looked up again, his eyes hard with determination.
            "Fine. Tony, you come with me. Nadia, I want you to take Kim away from here."
            "No!" Kim argued.
            Jack turned to face her. "Kim, I couldn't stand it if something happened to you because of me. Go with Nadia. Please."
            She opened her mouth to protest again, but Nadia caught her eye, nodding her head just a little to let her know that it was okay. Kim huffed and crossed her arms.
            "You'd better not get hurt," she warned. "Either of you."
            Jack breathed a sigh of relief when she relented. Leaning in, he gave her a kiss on the cheek.
            "We'll try our best," he murmured. "You two go back to CTU. See what you can find, okay?"
            Kim nodded and hugged her father as Nadia moved closer to Tony, brushing her hand against his.
            "Kim's right. You two better be careful. I want you both back in one piece."
            Tony stared at her for a moment, a smile teasing at his lips. He reached out and squeezed her hand gently.
            "Don't worry."
            They pulled back when Jack turned to talk to them again.
            "You two take the Mazda. Tony and I will find another car."
            "What about Mandy?" Kim asked.
            Jack stared at the crumpled car that was still on the side of the road. A crowd had gathered and there were sirens in the distance, but he couldn't leave Mandy as a loose end. Striding toward the car, he cocked his gun, deciding that a bullet in the head would put a stop to her coming after them.
            As he walked across the street, the car burst into flame. Jack was thrown back against the pavement as a fireball erupted and shot into the sky. He stared in shock at it, suddenly realizing that he must have punctured the gas tank while they were crashing into each other.
            Tony came over to help him up.
            "At least we don't have to shoot her in front of a bunch of witnesses," he murmured. "But we should get out of here. Before the police show up."
            Jack nodded, still in a daze from the explosion, his eyes fixated on the flames. Finally he shook his head and turned to the two women.
            "Call me when you get to CTU," he told them. "We'll see you soon."
            Nadia and Kim watched as the two men casually walked up to another car, opened the door and hotwired it before they drove off.
            Nadia turned to look at the other woman.
            "You don't really want to go back to CTU, do you?"
            Kim shook her head. "I was hoping you had an alternate plan."
            "I say we follow them."
            Kim pondered that for a moment. "They'll probably need help. I doubt Nina's alone. It could even be a trap."
            Nadia nodded. "Exactly. So we're agreed?"
            Kim thought a moment longer and then nodded her assent. They walked over to their badly beaten car and got in, breathing a collective sigh of relief when it started back up. Ignoring the looks of the crowd, they drove off, following Jack and Tony.

Pieces (2)

Aug. 8th, 2007 03:51 pm
failegaidin: (Default)
            "You get more junk mail than anyone I know," Tony commented as he sifted through the stack of paper on the kitchen table.
            "I know. You would think that being dead and then taken by the Chinese would get me off their radar," Jack replied.
            They were quiet for a minute as Jack continued to make dinner and Tony rifled through the mail, checking to see if anything was worth keeping. It seemed Jack just piled it on the table every day and then forgot about it. There was at least two months worth there.
            "Dinner's almost ready," Jack said, his attention on the stove in front of him.
            When Tony didn't respond, he turned around to look at his friend. The other man stood stock still at the table, his back to him and an open letter in his hands. Jack walked around so he could see his face, and he was shocked to see how pale he was.
            "I think we have a problem," he said, handing him the letter.
            Jack took it and started to read. As the words began to sink in, his stomach tied in knots and he found it difficult to breathe.
            Agent Bauer,
                        A man who holds nothing close has nothing to lose. After all these years, you have lost much, and have very little left. But those three things that you hold closest to your heart leave you exposed to more pain. Unless you can save them in time.
I come when called
I never falter
I can be what you ask
What you want
What you need
But I never change
I never leave
I am a weapon
I am a shield.
I go in first
I follow behind.
I draw fire
I spew it forth.
My blood for yours
And yours for mine.
I am part of you
And of someone else.
I am never one thing
But always another.
I own your heart
Your soul
Your mind.
But then I leave
I go away.
I run to another
And possess them as well.
            "What the hell is this?" Jack demanded when he had read it through twice.
            "They're riddles. Somebody is coming after you."
            "I don't know. But they want to hurt you, and it looks like they're going after where your heart lies instead of just killing you."
            Jack sighed in frustration. "But I don't get it. I don't do riddles. These make no sense!"
            Tony took the letter from him gently. "Actually, they do. Just give me a couple minutes. I can figure them out."
            "I used to do a lot of puzzles and cryptology stuff. Now be quiet."
            He sat down at the table, trying to ignore Jack's pacing as he scoured the letter again. His finger ran along the lines and his lips moved as he worked his way through the riddles as fast as he could.
            "The first one's easy," he finally declared. "Chloe."
            "She's your net, Jack. She's always there, always ready to do whatever you need. She'll be an analyst, hacker, field agent…whatever you ask of her. But she never changes. She's always a loyal friend."
            "They're going after Chloe?"
            "Not just Chloe. There's two more riddles, and I'm pretty sure they're not about her."
            "Then who?"
            "Hang on. My blood for yours and yours for mine. That pretty much describes a partner. They sacrifice their lives for each other. I draw fire. Maybe that's not real fire, but bullets. A partner draws fire to keep the other safe and does this by shooting his own gun."
            "You. You're my partner."
            "I haven't been for years."
            "Curtis is dead and Chase is on the other side of the country with a brand new family. You three were the only partners I was ever close to, and you're my best friend. That one's about you."
            "In danger again. Lucky me," Tony muttered.
            "What about the last one?" Jack asked anxiously.
            They read over it again and again, both wracking their brains in an attempt to decipher who the riddle was about. Jack started pacing again, muttering under his breath. Finally, he turned back to Tony.
            "This is ridiculous! It sounds like a demon or something. I own your heart, your soul, your mind and then I run to another and possess them as well? It's like a parasite."
            Tony scratched his head. "What owns your heart? A spouse. You don't have one of those. A child…Kim."
            Jack stared at him. "Does the rest of the riddle fit?"
            "I am part of you and of someone else. She's you and Teri. I am never one thing but always another. That pretty much describes any child. And the last part – that reminded you of a parasite or demon? A daughter rules her dad's heart, soul and mind. And then she gets married and rules another man. It fits. It's Kim."
            "We need to go get them. Now."
            But Tony remained seated, staring at the envelope that the letter had come in.
            "Tony? Come on! We've got to move!"
            "Jack…this letter came two days ago."
            He froze. "What are you saying?"
            "That we have no idea how much time we have."
            Jack closed his eyes and nodded. "Okay. Well, you're here with me. So I know you're safe. Chloe lives nearby. Kim is a few towns over."
            "Is there anybody that can get to Kim faster than we can?"
            He was silent for a long time, his eyes glued to the floor as he tried to think.
            "There's only one person I can think of who lives there."
            Jack looked up. "Milo."
            "Can we trust him?"
            "I think so. The important thing is that we get Kim out, right?"
            Tony nodded. "Call him. Tell him to get her and meet us at the safe house in Silverlake."
            "I'll call him on the way to Chloe's. Let's go."
            Jack's heart stopped when they pulled up in front of Chloe's house – or what used to be Chloe's house. There was nothing left. Debris lay everywhere, charred, some of it still on fire. Firefighters were already there, digging through the wreckage, but it was clear that if anyone had been inside, they hadn't survived.
            Tony was out of the car immediately, but he stopped when he realized that Jack wasn't with him. Turning, he saw that his friend was still sitting behind the steering wheel, obviously in shock. He raced around to the driver's door and yanked it open.
            "Let's go, Jack."
            "We're too late."
            "You don't know that. You don't know that she was home."
            "I've lost her."
            Tony knelt down and grabbed Jack's chin, forcing him to look at him. "You would know, Jack. If Chloe were dead, you would know it. You would feel it in every nerve and tissue. Stop and feel for a second. Is she dead?"
            He took a few deep breaths, calming himself and letting his body relax just a little. Finally he lifted his eyes to Tony's again.
            "No. She's alive."
            "Good. That means we have to find her. So get your ass out of the car and help me look."
            He got up that time, and the two of them moved onto Chloe's property. Policemen tried to stop them, but backed off once they saw their badges. They moved slowly, picking their way through the debris, looking for any sign that Chloe was there or maybe that she hadn't been there when the bomb went off.
            Straightening from some wood he was examining, Jack stared into what would have been her backyard before the explosion. His eyes swept over it, pausing when he saw a dog pawing at something on the ground. Even from a distance, he could see that the dog's fur was singed and it was limping slightly. The animal whined, scratching against a large piece of wood that lay on the ground at an odd angle. He continued staring until everything finally clicked in his head.
            Jack surged forward, running across the property after yelling over his shoulder to get Tony's attention. As he neared it, the dog backed up slightly, still whining and staring at the wood. Jack reached forward and took hold of the debris, trying to move it, but it was too large for him. Tony joined him, and together they managed to lift it and throw it to the side.
            His heart stopped again as he found himself staring at an unmoving Chloe. Her face was covered in suit and the edges of her clothes were burned, but she looked as though she had missed the worst of it. Bending down, fear choking him, he reached out a hand and felt for a pulse. After a moment, he breathed a deep sigh of relief.
            "She's alive."
            Kim sighed as her doorbell rang. She stood up from the box she was emptying and took a moment to survey the room. She had only moved in a couple weeks ago, and she was still unpacking her stuff. But slowly it was starting to look like a real home and she was really quite proud of herself. She was single, but she was making it on her own. She had her own house, she had a great job, and she was speaking to her father again. All in all, things were finally looking up.
            The person at the door grew impatient, and started pounding on the door with their fist. Kim bit back a rude comment and moved down her hallway, wondering who could be so anxious to see her. Her dad would have called first, and there really wasn't anyone else who would come visit her.
            She found herself staring with her mouth open when she opened the door and was faced with Milo Pressman. She hadn't seen him in years – not since the day her mother died. They had met before that of course. He worked at CTU sometimes, and whenever she was there to visit her father, she ended up talking to him because he was the closest to her in age. But she could think of no reason why he would be standing on her doorstep right now.
            "Hey, Kim. I need to come in."
            "I'll explain once we're inside."
            "Why are you here?"
            "Kim, please. This is important. Just let me in."
            "How do you even know where I live?"
            He sighed, realizing that she required some explanation. "Jack sent me."
            Frowning as even deeper confusion set in, she stepped aside and let him in. Closing the door behind him, she led him into the living room, which was still full of boxes. Milo looked around curiously.
            "You just move in?"
            "Yeah. Couple weeks ago."
            He nodded. "Nice. I live a few blocks over. It's a good neighborhood."
            "That's what I heard. Milo, why are you here?"
            "Right. Your dad called me a little while ago. Said you were in danger and I need to get you out of town. We're supposed to meet him and Tony and Chloe at a CTU safe house."
            "Why didn't he come himself?"
            "He was afraid he wouldn't get here in time. I was a lot closer. And he had to go get Chloe. She's in danger too."
            "Anyone else?"
            "So we need to go. Now. My car-" He paused as his gaze drifted out the window. He could see his car from there, parked in the driveway. But further down the street, he could also see a blue Lancer. It had been there when he got onto the road, and now a woman was stepping out of it, one he was sure he had seen before in his work at CTU…
            He pulled her to the ground just in time, as bullets came flying through the large picture window. They crawled across the floor toward the kitchen, trying to move quickly without making themselves into targets. When they reached the safety of the other room, they stood, jumping when they heard someone kick down the front door.
            "Is there a back door?" Milo whispered, his gun out.
            "Yeah, but we'd have to jump. They're going to build a deck, but for now it just opens up onto thin air."
            "Shit! Okay, here's what we do. We're gonna move into the room with that door in it, and I want you to open it and then close it loudly. I want her to think we went out that way. If it works, we can sneak out the front."
            "And if it doesn't?"
            "Then we'll be finding out how rusty my aim is."
            Kim led him slowly through the kitchen, pausing when she had to cross the entrance into the hallway. She had no idea if the assassin was still there or if she had moved into one of the adjoining rooms or even up the stairs. If she got to the dining room before they did, they weren't going to be able to protect themselves.
            She peeked around the corner, breathing a little easier when she saw that the hall was empty. Motioning to Milo, she led him across the rest of the kitchen, moving into the dining room. When she saw that that room was empty as well, she picked up the pace, heading straight for the back door.
            She felt Milo grab her before her brain registered the pop. He pushed her to the ground, crying out in pain as the bullet grazed his side and lodged itself in the door. Sitting up, he fired back, forcing the assassin back into the kitchen. Kim opened the door and slammed it while Milo fired again, covering them as they moved out of the dining room through the other door. They walked quietly toward the hall again, listening closely to discern where the woman had gone.
            When they heard the back door open again, Milo grabbed Kim's hand and they slipped out the front door with as little noise as possible. Kim instantly ran for his car parked in the driveway, but Milo pulled her up short.
            "What are you doing?"
            "I want her car."
            "The bitch shot me. I want her car."
            Ignoring her protests, he pulled her down the street, keeping his gun at the ready. When they reached the car, Milo went for the driver's door, but Kim reached it first.
            "You're injured and you're the only one of us that really knows how to shoot. I'll drive."
            He nodded, running around to the passenger's side. As he sat down, he opened his mouth to explain how to hotwire the car, but ended up staring in astonishment as he watched her do it without any help. When the car roared to life, she gave him a small smile.
            "A friend taught me."
            "Thank God for that."
            As they sped down the road, neither noticed Milo's car pulling out of the driveway and following them.
            She sat in the backseat of the SUV, staring out at the apartment building. It had been years since she had seen Tony, and part of her wished that she could show herself to him before finishing this. But her job was simple and the pay was good, and she knew that making herself known to him would only complicate things.
            Turning her attention back inside the car, she reached for the RPG-7 rocket launcher sitting on the seat next to her. She took careful aim, double checking that the other backseat window was already open so that it didn't shatter. With only the slightest second of hesitation, she pulled the trigger and watched as the rocket flew toward its target.
            As people on the street screamed and ran and pointed at the billowing smoke coming from the burning apartment building, Nina got out of the backseat and moved to the front, putting on her sunglasses and driving out of the city.

Pieces (1)

Jul. 23rd, 2007 04:50 pm
failegaidin: (Default)
Title: Pieces (1)
Rating: R
Prompt: Kitchen
Requested by: [profile] stefernie2
Written for: [profile] 100_situations

            Chloe just barely bit back her curse as she opened her front door and found herself staring at Spencer. His hands were in his pockets and he was giving her a hesitant smile that immediately faded as he was assaulted by her deep scowl. Shuffling his feet nervously, he cleared his throat.
            "Hey Chloe."
            "What the hell do you want?"
            "I, uh…" He saw her eyes narrow at him suspiciously, and he hurried to his point. "My car broke down a little ways back. You're the first person that actually answered their door."
            "What, your car just happened to break down on my street?"
            "Sadly, yes. You don't really think I was looking for you, do you? You're not exactly a part of my life that I'd like to remember." He would have missed the flash of hurt in her eyes if he hadn't been looking for it. "Look…can we just…can I please just use your phone to call AAA?"
            "Don't you have a cell?" she asked, making no move to let him in.
            He held up his phone and smiled ruefully. "Battery died."
            She continued to frown at him, but he could tell that she was mulling over his request. He could see the battle raging in her eyes, and he realized that she wasn't going to slam the door in his face.
            "Fine," she muttered, rolling her eyes and moving to the side so that he could come in.
            Shutting the door after him, she led him through the living room and into the kitchen. She pointed to the phone without looking at him, and then moved over to the opposite wall and turned o face him, her arms crossed. Spencer stared back.
            "You're just going to stand there?"
            "Don’t you trust me?"
            "Not in the least."
            Shaking his head, he moved to lift the receiver from it's cradle. Before he could dial, a ringing came from upstairs. Chloe stood her ground for a moment before sighing and stomping out of the kitchen. As soon as she was out of sight, Spencer smiled and hung up the phone.
By the time she came back downstairs, Spencer was waiting for her in the living room. He was holding one of her pictures that belonged on the mantel, and he put it back quickly when he saw her enter the room.
            "Well?" Chloe asked without preamble.
            "They're on the way." He paused, waiting for a reaction but getting none. "I should probably head back to my car."
            "Yes. Please."
            She moved toward the door, reaching out to turn the knob. Without a sound he was there, gripping her wrist and pushing the door close. Chloe tried to free herself from his grasp, but he twisted her arm and she cried out in pain.
            "You know, O'Brian," he said quietly. "Your attitude hasn't changed at all, but your appearance…" His eyes raked up and down her body "has definitely improved. What do you say you and I get together sometime? Just for fun?"
            Chloe spat in his face and finally managed to wrench her arm away.
            "Get out."
            Chuckling, he let his eyes run the length of her again. "You weren't really worth the trouble anyway," he murmured as he opened the door and walked out.
            When the door had shut behind him, Chloe struggled to fight back her tears. She had never expected to see Spencer again, and his behavior had really thrown her off. He was just as cocky as ever, but there seemed to be…a certain malice underlying his words and actions. Her wrist still hurt from where he had grabbed her, and she was pretty sure that she was going to have a bruise by morning.
            Torn between wanting a shower and being starving, she finally decided that she would eat before scrubbing her skin until she couldn't feel his hand or eyes anymore. Heading into the kitchen, she walked over to the fridge, opening it and searching for something that resembled a meal.
            Her head was halfway in when a sound caught her attention. Closing the door, she moved to the kitchen window, looking out at her back yard. It took her a minute to find the source of the noise, as her eyes rested a large German Shepherd. She had seen the dog before in the neighborhood, and she wasn't a fan. Especially not now when it was terrorizing her cat. She flew out the back door, striding across the lawn and yelling at the animal to get away. It just stared at her cat, growling until the feline hissed one last time and bounded off across one of the neighbor's yards. When she reached the dog, she carefully took him by the collar and started to drag him off her property.
            The blast was so sudden, that Chloe had barely even registered the sound before she felt an intense heat on her back and she found herself flying through the air towards her shed.


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