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Posted in 24_fanfic

Title: Psych Evaluation
Author: marinw
Rating: PG for angst
Characters: Jack and his Shrink
Summary: Set a few days after the Day 6 Debrief. Jack endures another type of interrogation.
Disclaimer: 24 is the property of the Fox Production Company. Whatever.
A/N: Thanks to my awesome beta and grammar nazi, wordthatfail. More thanks to cybertoothtiger, who nagged me into writing this. A sequel of sorts to Standard Procedure.

“I was ready to die.”

“Go on.”

“They brought me back to trade to Fayed. I knew what he wanted from me. I was ready.”

“You’ve been ready to die many times. How many times have you been willing to sacrifice yourself? Ten? Twenty?”

“What’s your point?”

“You weren’t willing to die when you were in China.”

“I didn’t have a good reason.”

“You were in hell. For some people that would be reason enough.”

“Not for me.”

“Because your death wouldn’t have saved anybody. It wouldn’t have any meaning. Your death would just have been a death. Not a sacrifice.”

“Yeah. That’s it. What else do you need from me?”

“This isn’t an interrogation, Jack.”

“Then why are you taking notes?”

“I have to give CTU some sort of report. You know that. Now, according to Division’s debrief, you claim that you didn’t talk. For almost two years.. When did you make that decision?”

“I know how Cheng works. If I talked, Cheng could have gotten me to say anything. So I didn’t talk. It was simple.”

“Hmm. First Cheng claimed that you didn’t talk, and then after he was taken into custody he told Division that you did talk. Under the influence of the silobeam penathol.”

“They should let me interrogate Cheng. I can get to the truth.”

“I don’t think that would be healthy. You do seem to have a stunning disregard for your own well-being.”

“That’s not true. I’m here. I’m co-operating,” Jack motioned to the hospital room. He wasn’t being held here against his will. Not exactly.

He had recently snuck into the bathroom, taken off the top half of his scrubs, twisted his head around, and finally saw his back in the mirror, sticky with the antibiotic ointment the nurse had put there. He hadn’t realized it was that bad.

“It’s good they got those rib fragments out before they had the chance to puncture something important.”

That had happened yesterday. Jack was sedated before they even brought him into surgery. When he awoke his jaw ached, and he had been told that they had decided to get the dental work out of the way, while he was still under, so that he wouldn’t have to experience any further trauma. That news had left him feeling more than a little violated. His body still wasn’t his.

He hadn’t complained. He was trying not to complain now. It wasn’t easy.

“The broken ribs didn’t happen in China. Isn’t China what we’re suppose to be talking about?” Jack asked.

“I’d like to talk about your not talking. Staying silent was obviously very important to you. I’d like to know why.”

“I’ve already told you. I couldn’t give Cheng what he wanted,” Jack’s voice was beginning to shake. “Ramirez claimed that I gave up Marcus Holt. I know I didn’t give up Marcus. Or anyone else. I would have remembered.”

It always came back to that. Whether or not he talked. Who he gave up. Who he betrayed. Whether or not he broke.

“Ramirez and Burke couldn’t get me to tell them what they wanted to hear. So they sent you. Is that how this works?” Jack asked the other man.

Jack immediately regretted saying that. Now I’m going be diagnosed as ‘paranoid’ and medicated appropriately.

“No, that’s not it at all. I’m not interested in the value of whatever intel you may or may not have given to Cheng.”

“You have to understand if I’m having trouble believing that.”

“It’s been a long time since anyone cared about your well-being, hasn’t it?”

Jack rubbed the bridge of his nose with the thumb and forefinger. He dug his bare toes –somehow he still had all ten - into the mattress. He didn’t know how much more of this he could take.

This wasn’t the first time Jack had found himself being grilled by a psychiatrist. Tony had insisted that he see someone after Teri died. He was almost frogged-marched into therapy after he quit heroin. In both cases he had been able to manipulate his side of the conversation, given the shrinks what they wanted, and sent them away. Jack had used the same techniques he had developed in order to fake his way through the Delta Force psych examination, once it had become obvious –I f only to Jack - that he didn’t fit the ideal personality profile.

Psychiatrists. Most of them wouldn’t pass Interrogation 101.

This time was different.

I need your help. Please. But Jack couldn’t make himself say the words.

“Jack? You still there?”

“Yeah. Sorry.”

“I think you don’t remember everything.”

I don't want to go there.

“There’s something I want you to consider: your memory lapses might not be due to the silobeam pentathol. You might be blocking things out on your own. It’s one of the things the mind does to protect itself.”

Jack was forced to consider that possibility. “So let’s say I don’t recall everything. How do I get those memories back?”

Drugs. More drugs. I shouldn’t have asked.

“You don’t.”

Jack blinked. He hadn’t expected that.

“A little repression can be a good thing, Jack. Down the road, we can try some sort of regressive hypnotic therapy. But not now. I think you have enough to deal with as it is.”

“What else do you think?” Jack asked.

He wondered why he even cared.

“We respect the doctor-patient privilege…” Jack once recalled reading in the CTU Operations Manual.* He had never been naïve enough to believe that.

The man sat there, taking notes while he formed his answer, notes that would end up in Jack’s official file. Jack shouldn’t have been too concerned, he wasn’t planning on applying for any federal agent jobs, only to be rejected as damaged goods.

He still needed to know. His life was in that file. He was in that file.

The other man rested his hands beneath his chin. “Jack, I don’t want this to sound patronizing. I really don’t. But I am just amazed that you’re as functional as you are.”

“I appreciate that.”

“They haven’t told me that much about what happened the day you got back, but from what I know, you seem to have gotten back to work literally within hours of returning. Not the most orthodox treatment, but it seems to have, well, shocked you back into this world. Without whatever it was that happened on that day, I think you’d a whole lot worse.”

I would be like Audrey. I am like Audrey. I’ve been able to hide it. Until now.

“I told them I was fine.”

“I never said you were fine, Jack. You’ve obviously endured a great deal of trauma. So far you’ve been able to compartamenatalize it, put it to one side. But it’s still there."

Here it comes.

“I’m going to prescribe something to help you sleep.”

“I don’t want any more drugs.”

“I know that. But right now you’re incapable of relaxing, which is completely understandable. You can’t heal unless you rest.”

“What else are you going to do to me?”

“I have what I need for my report. But I would like to come back tomorrow. And when you’re released from this clinic, you can come to my office. If you want to.”

“You’re giving me a choice?” Another thing he hadn’t expected.

“Yes. I am. I have a lot of experience with this sort of thing. I can help. But it has to be your decision. It won’t work otherwise.”

He was being given a choice.

“Fine.” One word, spoken with infinite resignation. The one word that could change everything.

The other man stood up. “Good. I’ll see you tomorrow.”


* Page 18.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 10th, 2008 05:55 pm (UTC)
"When he awoke his jaw ached, and he had been told that they had decided to get the dental work out of the way, while he was still under, so that he wouldn’t have to experience any further trauma. That news had left him feeling more than a little violated. His body still wasn’t his."

Good fic, and hard situation, loved this idea "his body still wasn't his", he's still in somebody's hands who is deciding over his head.
Also the part about coming back, hiding that he was like Audrey.

And "I need your help. Please. But Jack couldn’t make himself say the words."
I've always been wondering how he would get over this, and I can't really imagine that he would ask for help, not with words anyway.

Thanks for posting the link to this over at the forum.

Aug. 10th, 2008 06:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you Bernice, I didn't even know you had an LJ account!

I wrote this fic quite some time ago. I am fascinated (not in a healthy way) of all the similarities between torture and medical care. The shrink didn’t have a name in this one.

Aug. 10th, 2008 07:43 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I do have one, but I rarely ever use it because I prefer the forum. Easier to find someone's stories on the forum than here on LJ.
And there are similaritues between torture and medical care. Just to mention the dentists ...
Aug. 10th, 2008 09:41 pm (UTC)
Just to mention the dentists ...

Would YOU want to approach a fully awake Jack Bauer with a drill? Me, no!
Aug. 11th, 2008 06:44 am (UTC)
Lol, no, not really. Especially not when he's just back from 20 months of torture.
That's why I thought it was quite a good idea they decided to do it this way, I really liked that - even though it must give him the feeling of "his body still not his".
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )