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Posted in 24_fanfic

Title: Wishful Thinking
Author: marinw
Rating: R for violence and H/C
Characters: Jack/Cheng/Audrey
Summary: Post Day 5 AU. So there.
Disclaimer: 24 is the property of the Fox Production Company.
A/N: This was inspired by today's post by sardonicynic. I almost never post twice in one day, and I don’t usually write AU’s, but after reading “The More Things Change,” I just couldn’t resist. Completely unbeta’d as it is intended as retribution a surprise for my beta reader.

He had been here forever.

He couldn’t remember what it was like not to be miserable, not to be in pain.

If he talked he might say the wrong thing. So he didn’t talk. At all.

Cheng tried everything he could think of.

“You are outliving your usefulness, Mr. Bauer,” Cheng spat. “No one is coming for you. You have been abandoned.”

Tell me something I don’t know.

“You won’t talk, and your government isn’t willing to trade you. I once said you were too valuable to kill. I was mistaken.”

Cheng nodded to one of his henchman.

Jack was dragged outside into the courtyard. They didn’t even have to tell him to get on his knees.


“Shhh. It’s all right. Just a bad dream.”


Jack opened the one eye that wasn’t swollen shut. An icepack was being held to his other eye.

“Welcome back. You had us worried.”

This can’t be. This is impossible.

Audrey was wearing the same white blouse she was wearing that morning. The morning Jack had gone to take the phone call.

A phone call. From Kim. On a land line. How could I be so stupid?

He recognized the gray, mottled walls. He was in CTU medical.

There was still pain. But it was a different kind of pain.

“How long?” Jack managed to croak.

“About fourteen hours. Curtis found you in the hold of the China Queen. You have a concussion and some broken ribs, but you’re going to be fine.”


“Karen Hayes pulled some strings, so Bill and I could negotiate your release.”

“But the Chinese…”

“It’s complicated. I’ll explain everything later. I promise. Now you need to rest.”

“I was in China. Cheng had me for months. Years. No one came. The government abondoned me.”

Audrey kissed his bruised forehead. “Don’t be ridiculous. We would never abandon you.”