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HALFWAY TO CHINA

posted in 24_fanfic

Title: Halfway To China
Author: marinw
Characters: Bill/Karen
Summery: The following takes place between Day 5 and Day 6. Bill and Karen find time for a short honeymoon.
Rating: R for angst, schmoop, and mentions of sexual situations. (Like that’s a bad thing?)
Disclaimer: 24 is and was the property of Fox.
A/N: I promised leigh57 a Bill/Karen fic some time ago, and I owe 24n’more a response to their Christmas Fic challenge. Thanks to cybertoothtiger for the beta.

Second weddings were almost always modest affairs. Bill and Karen’s had been no exception. A short, simple ceremony at City Hall with a Justice of the Peace. Bill had worn one of the half-dozen black suits he had in rotation. Karen had opted for a white skirt suit. The only extravagance had been a diamond engagement ring, an inheritance from Bill’s late grandmother.

The guests were a few close friends and a handful of CTU employees who could get away from their stations for an hour. Including Chloe and Morris, who seemed to have rekindled their relationship. Chloe had colored her hair brown for reasons Bill decided not to investigate.

Now they sat in the business class section of a jetliner. It would be the their last commercial flight for some time. Once Karen was officially sworn in as the Director of Homeland Security, all travel would need to be on military transports or private jets.

My final adventure as a private citizen, Karen thought to herself. She was surprised that she was already feeling nostalgic about the tedium of commercial air travel.

Bill reached over the wide armrest and squeezed his wife’s hand.

“I’m happy.” He said. He had taken off his tie and undone the top button on his white shirt.

“You’re also feeling guilty. I can tell.”

“There’s so much to do. Maybe this isn’t the best time to leave CTU.”

“They’re will never be a good time, Bill. Only some times that aren’t as bad as others. We’re taking a long weekend in Hawaii. That’s all. Then you’ll go back to CTU, and I’ll leave for Washington.”

Bill gave Karen a quick kiss. “You’re absolutely right. CTU can manage for one weekend. We deserve this time together. It’s our Honeymoon. It’s almost Christmas. Let’s just enjoy ourselves.”

Bill meant what he said. Even so, Karen could detect the hesitancy, the undertone of regret.

“Leaving CTU isn’t the only thing you’re feeling guilty about. Is it?”

“No. I should have done more for him.”

“We did everything we could, Bill.”

Bill stared straight ahead. “It wasn’t enough.”

••••

Their tropical Honeymoon combined with Christmas was as simple as their wedding. Bill and Karen didn’t even exchange gifts. Their gifts to each other were time, good food, perhaps a bit too much wine. A lush hotel with a few perfunctory Christmas decorations. The lobby had a palm tree with a token angle on top.

The time passed too quickly, as it always did.

Karen awoke early on their final morning in Hawaii. She was still enveloped in the afterglow of last night’s lovemaking. She closed her eyes and memorized every detail of her new husband. The cobalt blue eyes, the gentle but chiseled features of his face. The astonishingly fit and muscular body Bill always hid beneath clothes that were ever so slightly too big.

Bill was beautiful.

I don’t have to remember what my husband looks like. I can look at him whenever I want.

Sadly, that was going to be true only for the next few days.

Karen was determined to savor the last few hours of her honeymoon. She stretched beneath the white sheet of the huge double bed, and let her head sink deeper into the obscenely plump pillow. Her eyes still closed, she reached over to the other side of the bed.

Bill’s side of the bed was empty.

“Bill?” Karen got out of bed and pulled on a light bathrobe. She wandered to the other room of their suite.

Bill sat at the table, staring at his laptop. He was wearing knee-length shorts and a t-shirt. He was covered in sweat, indicating that he had just gone for a run along the beach.

Bill was so calm, so serene. Those were two of the many qualities Karen loved in him.

He was still that on this morning. But he was something else. He was sad.

“Bill? What is it?”

Bill turned the laptop towards Karen. Karen sat down in the chair next to her husband and regarded a screen full of Bill’s emails.

“The American consulate in China? You contacted them again?” Karen asked.

“They hired some new diplomats. I thought they could help. They gave me the usual response. There’s nothing they can do for us.”

Karen put her hand on Bill’s shoulder. “Where you really expecting a different answer?”

“I was. Dammit, Karen. We’re almost halfway to China already. I just want to get on a plane and fly to Shanghai or Beijing or wherever the hell it is they’re holding him. I want to find him and bring him back to the United States. Take care of him. Audrey Raines would have wanted that”

“You know that’s impossible, Bill. We both have other obligations.”

“I know.” There it was again, the sorrow beneath the serenity. The disappointment Bill had in himself, in the government, in the entire universe.

She could already sense Bill’s next request.

“I’ll tell you what,” Karen said, “When Wayne Palmer is sworn him I can ask him to intervene. Maybe he can convince the Chinese to release Jack.”

“I can’t ask you to do that.”

“I want to. I know what this means to you.”

“I’ve lost agents before. I accept that as part of the job. But this is different. Jack is in prison because of what he did for CTU. For this country. When I think about what they must be doing to him…”

“Don’t think about that, Bill. It won’t do anybody any good. Not you, and certainly not Jack. I’ll see what I can do when I get to Washington. I promise.”

“I love you Karen.”

Tears sprung to Karen’s eyes. “I love you too, Bill.”

Bill and Karen, embraced, saying nothing.

“Our flight leaves in two hours,” Bill realized.

“I’ll go pack,” said Karen. She stood up and touched Bill’s cheek.

“Merry Christmas,” she whispered.

THE END

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
ellie987
Dec. 22nd, 2010 04:14 pm (UTC)
This is great! But it makes me so sad at the same time! :( Poor Bill and Karen, they didn't even have some time to realy relax!
marinw
Dec. 22nd, 2010 04:22 pm (UTC)
Thanks-that was the thing I was trying to get across. Bill and Karen needed and deserved some time with each other, but time in a limeted thing, so they had to steal time from somewhere else.

I need more B/K icons.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )