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IN FORM AND MOVEMENT

posted in 24_fanfic

Title: In Form And Movement
Author: marinw
Rating: PG for fluff
Characters: Jack/Renee. Jenee? Rack?
Summery: Post Day 7. Renee helps Jack with his rehab efforts.
Disclaimer: 24 is the property of Fox
A/N: A tardy response to an armbell prompt. Thanks to my beta cybertoothtiger. Thanks as well to leigh57 for entertaining my random questions.

Renee threw Jack to that mat for the third time that hour.

The first two times Jack had smoothly rolled backwards and was instantly back on his feet. This time he stayed where he was, supine on the mat and grimacing, a gesture that made the crows feet next to his eyes all the more pronounced.

“Jack!”

“I’m…fine.”

“I think we’ve had enough practice for now.”

Jack sat up. “Renee, please. Stop treating me like I’m still sick.”

Dammit. He had done it again. He had let become overly sensitive about his health. Sometimes it was hard not to. Jack was suddenly aware of how his new gi bore a very uncomfortable resemblance to the white scrubs the CDC had issued him just after he had been exposed to the virus.

Renee was unapologetic. “Does Dr. Macer know that you’re doing this?” She asked

“It was her idea. This is the only way to find out how much muscle memory I still have. I ran two miles yesterday. I can handle it.. Really,”

“Okay. We’ll try again,” Renee relented.

Jack nodded and got to his feet. After getting into the proper stance, Jack and Renee gripped each other by the upper arms.

One person flipping the other wasn’t a matter of brute strength. It was subtle thing, keeping the centre of gravity low, using the hips, using your partner’s strength against her.

Not to letting yourself become tense.

He used to be so good at this.

Without closing his eyes, Jack could visualize where Renee’s centre of gravity was, where she was pushing against him, where her momentum was going. To his left. All he needed to do was shift his own weight. Very slightly.

Practicing in this manner could be so intimate. Like interrogation. Or sex

He threw Renee over his left hip. She landed at his feet, expertly slapping her arm on the mat to protect her ribs.

A year ago, Jack would have never taken pleasure in throwing a woman twenty pounds lighter than he was. This was different. This felt good. The fact that Renee hadn’t gone easy on him made it feel even better.

Using exactly half his mouth Jack allowed himself to smile.

Getting to her feet, Renee was smiling too. Her smile was beautiful and all too infrequent.

“Okay,” Jack said softly, “Now we can stop.”

Jack and Renee left the mat and went to sit on one of the benches lining the dojo. Other people were still practicing. It was an open practice, with the students free to practice as they saw necessary, to practice for upcoming gradings or demonstrations.

The dojo was muggy with the afternoon heat. Renee slipped off the jacket of her gi, revealing a form-fitting white tank top. Her hair was in a damp ponytail.

She wasn’t worried about how she looked when she was with him. She was comfortable around him. Jack liked that.

Jack followed suite, removing his own jacket, showing the white t-shirt underneath. The thin cotton fabric was soaked through, revealing the shape of his broad, straight shoulders and his toned chest. He really needed to buy one of those fancy microfibre shirts. The sleeves of the shirt he was wearing now ended just above his biceps, revealing at least one of his more prominent scars. Strangely, he no longer felt as self-conscious as he once did. His scars were like his blue eyes and sandy hair, simply part of who he was.

Jack reached into his gym bag and retrieved a bottle of water. He was careful about not allowing himself to become dehydrated. Another thing that had changed.

“What were we just doing?” Jack asked.

“Jujitsu. It’s part of the FBI curriculum. What did they use at CTU?”

“Several things. Mostly Krav Magra. Tony taught an advanced class.” Jack couldn’t help but be a bit sad as he mentioned that name.

He looked at the other people practicing with various degrees of competence. Their practice was vigorous and intense, but there was no punching or kicking, just highly telegraphed strikes. It was more like an elaborate dance.

“I’m surprised you would join this particular dojo,” Jack noted, “Aikido seems rather…theoretical. Not much in the way of real-world application.”

“That’s the point. My career is over. I want to do something else that has nothing to do with the FBI. I thought this would bring me some peace.”

“It hasn’t worked, has it?”

“No.” She leaned he head against the concrete wall.

It was almost a visible thing, the sadness that came from her. Her career was her greatest love. And now it was gone. She bore her grief stoically, but it was still there.

You’ll find a way to live with it. Try to make decisions you can live with. Jack mentally ran through his usual list of platitudes. They all seemed trite.

“C’mon,” Jack said, “I’ll buy you dinner.”

Renee brightened somewhat. “Really?”

“Yeah, it’s my turn. Outside. Ten minutes.”

Renee nodded. The two stood up. Jack went to his locker room and Renee went to hers.

THE END