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TORTURED LOGIC

posted in 24_fanfic

Title: Tortured Logic
Author: marinw
Rating: PG but angsty
Characters: Jack/Renee
Summery: Post Day 8 AU. Jack and Renee get their stories straight.
Disclaimer: 24 is the property of  Fox.
A/N: Another extremely late not-so-prompt response to an armbell prompt. Thanks to my beta cybertoothtiger. Minor spoilers for 8x09.
 
“This is my fault. You’re here because of me. I put you back in the hospital.”
 
Jack had ignored the medic’s instructions, not seeking further medical attention until he and Renee had recovered the nuclear fuel rods. Exposure to the pathogen and the subsequent stem cell treatment had compromised his immune system. In the following hours his stab wound had become infected. By the time Hastings had ordered Jack to the hospital he had been too feverish to resist.
 
“No. You didn’t do this,” Jack replied.
 
“You don’t have to lie for me.”
 
“It was one of Bazhaev’s men. While he was interrogating me he stabbed me.”
 
“That’s not how it happened.”
 
“Yes it was. That’s exactly how it happened. That’s what I put my statement. That’s what I remember.” 
 
Jack wasn’t lying. Not entirely. Jack had always been good at that. Sometimes he could re-write his memories to suit certain outcomes.
 
Nina had reached for her gun. Nina had reached for her gun. Nina had reached for her gun…
 
That’s what Jack had told himself, over and over again, hours after the fact and while in the throes of heroin withdrawal. He had repeated that to himself until it was true.
 
Memories were spongy things at first. It took awhile for them to set. Sometimes Jack could play with them, shape them.
 
Yes. Nina had reached for the gun first. Jack remembered it that way because even he couldn’t kill someone only for revenge. No matter how much the person deserved it.
 
Jack killed. But he didn’t murder. He needed to believe that about himself.
 
Renee needed to believe that about herself, too.
 
Already Jack was laying down the new memory: he had been held prisoner in a restaurant. So there were knives. All kinds of knives. The thug had grabbed one and stabbed him while Jack was suspended from the water pipe. First the knife. Then the jumper cables.
 
The interrogation at the restaurant was a bad memory. One Jack hoped to soon put in the crowded corner of his mind where he attempted to banish so many recollections, where the incongruous presence of the knife wouldn’t make much difference.
 
“Our statements. They don’t match up,” Renee pointed out.
 
Jack half-smiled. “It doesn’t matter. I saw your psych eval.”
 
Shit. Renee bit the inside of her cheek. She didn’t want to lose it again.
 
Jack brought his hand to her cheek, “It’s okay. You don’t have to be embarrassed. You should see some of my psych reports.”
 
Renee almost smiled. “I did.”
 
“Hey,” he said weakly, bringing his hand back down to his freshly bandaged torso. He leaned back against the pillow. He could feel the antibiotics and painkiller stating to take effect.  He was tempted to close his eyes but resisted, for if he did it would be hours before he could open them again. “Hastings doesn’t have to know.”
 
“Why are you doing this?”
 
“I don’t want to put this on you.”
 
“Then tell me how to make this right.”
 
“Get the help you need.”
 
“I will. I’m ready now.”
 
“It’s going to be okay. You didn’t do this to me.”
 
You didn’t do this to me. That was Jack’s new mantra.
 
It wasn’t a lie because Jack believed it.
 
THE END

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
irony_rocks
Feb. 27th, 2010 05:25 am (UTC)
Great dialog between them. It sounds exactly like them. Especially the last few lines in the fic.

Great mention of Nina!
marinw
Feb. 27th, 2010 12:47 pm (UTC)
Nina was great. I kinda miss her, even after all this time.

Thanks for reading.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )