ashmusing: (don't have to put on that red light)
Ash ([personal profile] ashmusing) wrote2010-07-25 07:05 pm

FIC: I would've carried your heart, but it's covered in holes (M'ways)

TITLE: I would've carried your heart, but it's covered in holes
FANDOM: M'ways (24/Avatar)
WORDS: 649
PAIRING: Trudy/Jack, Trudy/Carl, implied Trudy/Carl/Jack
SUMMARY: Grief can draw people together; it can also drive them apart.
A/N: written for [profile] kcountess, who asked for Trudy/Jack post-24: Redemption. Title comes from Eskimo Joe's exceedingly apt song Falling For You.

She hit him when he told her. Carl's dead, and he explained how, and he explained why, and he explained what Carl said and did. And she nodded and said I see. And then she said so, you left him, and she slapped him.

Yes, Jack said, his hands remaining by his sides.

You bastard, and this time, Trudy punched him.

His reaction to loss was to lock down, retreat, but she lived in what was functionally a warzone; to retreat would be to embrace the cool, impersonal oblivion of death. He knew this, knew it was a typical soldier's reaction, but he knew he couldn't handle the price it cost.

For her, the price of feeling alive was to feel all her love turn to rage and grief so deep that sometimes she couldn't breathe.

(but at least she knew she was alive to feel it)

He accepted it. I know, I know that doesn't make it right, but he-

I don't care.


I DON'T CARE! Don't you understand? I know, he went down and killed the bad guys while he was it. And it's all noble and so Carl it makes me sick, but I don't. care. I just...I've lost too many people, Jack. Do you understand that? So many. Family. Friends. People under my command. Kids who screamed for me. Two co-pilots and my best friend while I could do nothing. And I can't...I told him, he wasn't allowed to die on me. He promised he'd try his best. And he died anyway. And I can't, I just, I can't...

C'mere, Jack said as Trudy finally broke and shattered and started to weep. He drew her into his arms, like he'd done before. He pressed his lips to her hair, murmured things in English and in Spanish. When she finally drew in a shuddering breath, pulled back to look at him, he didn't think before he kissed her mouth.

Then he thought. He went still and thought and watched the emotions wash across the edges of her expression. She smiled a little, entirely without humour, and kissed him back.

It was enough of a trigger.

The kiss turned hard, almost violent; their hands rough and impatient as they pulled at clothes and then at each other. They fell onto Jack's bed and were heedless of bruises and the lamp on the bedside table that got knocked to the floor. What they wanted was the oblivion of sex, nothing but warm bodies and lust enough to burn away the grief. But their grief was for their third, and his absence made a mockery of their desperation.

In something of a reversal, she ended up crying out with her (hollow) release while he did not; he shut his eyes, slumped forward, ignored the way her nails slowly ran up and down his spine. He kept his eyes close as she pushed him off her, got up, pulled on her clothes.

I'm off, she said, and there was a note in her voice that did, finally, make him look at her. I mean, I'm leavin'.

I can see that.

No, Jack
, and there was a trace of impatience that was both familiar and completely alien. I'm leaving.

I wasn't aware that we were actually going out.

Fuck off
, she said, more tired than angry. You know what I mean. I can't keep doing this.

You can't-

Every time I look at you, I remember him
, which made him stop as if she'd shot him. Every time I hear you, or see you around the bar, I remember him. And I remember he's dead. And I remember how, and I remember why, and I can't keep doin' this. I won't keep doing this. So. I'm leavin', and I don't know when I'll be back.


Goodbye, Jack,
she said softly, and she walked out the door.