||[Nov. 8th, 2007|09:21 pm]
chloe/jack = chlack!
|||||Little Shop of Horrors - Prologue||]|
Ladies and Gentlemen! I have returned. I have no idea how long it may be until the next chapter is up! But this is the rewritten Prologue to INTEGRATION! The sequel to Extrapolation.
I want to, before I do anything else, thank everyone for the nomination in the J/C fic awards. I lost to one of my absolutely favorite fics, The Constant, which is the fic that got me into J/C to begin with, and it was an honor to be nominated! THANKS EVERYONE!!!
Now then, without further ado, I present to you, the rewritten and 100 percent better Prologue to Integration. (I'm rewriting the whole story!)
Enjoy! And remember, just like always, comments are love!!
- Four Months Ago -
It didn't seem to matter that he didn't want to be here. It didn't seem to matter that he'd railed against it. It didn't matter because here he was, in a tuxedo... No, he was in a tuxedo in a room of dignitaries. It felt very James Bond, very surreal... This hadn't been what he'd signed up for, not here, not in Boston. And yet here he was.
He was trying to fit in, doing his best not to draw attention to himself - still unsure why he'd been chosen for this assignment. There were so many other agents who could have done this better...
"Are we certain that he's going to be here tonight?"
He looked around him and didn't see anyone familiar.
"According to the intel."
He knew that the security camera feed was being monitored by the staff back at the hub.
"Well it's been wrong before," he sighed. Normally in a situation like this he would have had his cellular phone held to his ear, so he didn't look like he was talking to himself, but he didn't have that option at the moment.... he'd only lowered it from his ear several moments before. To repeat the action might have drawn undue attention to himself...
"Just focus," the voice came through his earpiece. Thankfully the earpiece was small, thankfully... "Keep your eyes open for anything unusual."
Saying something like that was telling a person to breathe. There was no other course of action! But at this point it had been hours, and there had still been nothing. He'd half hoped that Buchanan would call it off by now. When he'd voiced this an hour before... needless to say the response was anything but affirmation.
The fact that he'd asked it seemed to frustrate the poeople on the other side of the comm line. Even now he could hear their comments and it brought a small smile to his face.
"Hey, I know that look," the voice said, Liana Schwartz, shaking her head.
"How's he doing?"
"I'm still here, you know," he said rolling his eyes.
There was silence after that.
At the hub of CTU LA, the two technicians were shaking their heads. Someone else should have been chosen for this assignment... Even if Liana had to admit that he looked pretty good in a tux.
Watching the monitors was rather tedious. It wasn't a high-tension situation at this moment, and either way they needed someone to watch the screen. It was important. The facial recognition software they used, the wonder of biometrics, wasn't one hundred percent.
Liana's eyes were focused on the screen when someone at the party bumped into their man on the floor. For a split second, a face was on the screen in front of them... and the face caused the person looking over Liana's shoulder to widen his eyes...
That face... for a split second he was sure that he saw it... saw her? He blinked a few times adjusting his glasses, but as soon as he'd batted an eye the face was gone as if it was never there... But that made no sense. Before he knew what he was doing, he found himself speaking into the microphone, "Everything alright?"
"Not sure what you mean," the field agent seemed confused by the question. "Everything's fine." The agent shook his head and ignored the question... until he tried to adjust his jacket. A piece of paper fell out of his pocket... one that he hadn't put there himself.
Take out your earpiece and meet me in the hall. Tell no one.
If finding a piece of paper scrawled in what looked like a Sharpie marker wasn't odd, in a situation a piece of paper could mean death... It occurred to him how strange it seemed, a piece of paper leading to someone's death... very Mission Impossible it was. 'This piece of paper will self-distruct in five seconds,' he thought with a roll of his eyes.
He was a field agent. The first rule was to report any and everything suspicous. And that would have meant this, but for one thing... the note said 'Rookie'. Only one person called him that... And that fact gave him pause.
It could mean something else, but the handwriting... It was against his better judgement, but he looked around, not seeing anyone...well what were the odds that the person was actually going to stick around? If it was who he thought it was it wouldn't be long. Against his better judgement he started walking towards the hallway, taking his earpiece out casually so no one watching would think anything was wrong... But something was.
He was armed, so if worse came to worse he wasn't completely in trouble, but this was risky...
He was ready for this... he thought he was anyway, but as soon as he was far enough into the hallway something grabbed him.
Instantly he grabbed for the hand until he heard a familiar voice.
"What are you doing here, Marcus?"
And there it was... in that one moment, there was a voice that he hadn't heard in 18 months. He'd known that it had to be her... she was the only one who'd called him that. Well not the only one, but the last one. And he knew that it had to be her...
"I could ask you the same thing," he said after a moment. He'd had to regain his composure. A blast from the past like this... it would have thrown anyone off of their game. "You're missing you know."
"I'm aware of that," she said coldly. She was very to the point tonight... seeing him out on the floor had taken her by surprise. She was all business. "Answer the question, Collier, what are you doing here?"
"CTU got a tip that a suspect is supposed to be here tonight."
The name was the one and he just nodded. This was what she'd been hoping wasn't the case... She brought her hand up to her temple, forgetting that she had an earpiece in... the voice in her ear was trying to get her attention, asking what the problem was... "Not now Raines." She snapped, taking Marcus by surprise.
She returned her attention to him, a sharp look in her eyes.
"Division sent me," she said curtly. "CTU LA was not supposed to be here." She was not happy.
"Division? But we-"
"They knew where I was." She looked over his shoulder...she saw something. Someone was coming towards them... someone she knew. Panicking for a moment, she grabbed the fabric of his coat and pulled him to her, kissing him... Internally she shook her head. How is it it always led to this?
Once the person was gone she pushed him away with a frown. "That was him," she said quietly looking at the back of the man who had just passed them.
Marcus had been startled by her action then reverse action... anyone looking at him could tell that. "Well if that's the guy, how do we handle this?" he asked. "I have my team here in place and at the hub, if I don't report in soon then they'll be concerned and probably order an immediate 46-E."
He knew his code, that much was evident. What was to be done... Raines was supposed to be keeping any other CTU units from being sat this... the operatioon was supposed to go down without any outside involvement, but now... "Looks like that's not going to be an option," she muttered to herself.
"Are you listening to me, O'Brian?" Marcus wasn't expecting the hand that shot up to cover his mouth.
"Don't say my name!"
He didn't understand this one. But he didn't entirely care at the moment... There more important things.
"So what's the plan?" he asked.
"The plan," she said sharply. "is you stay out of my way." She meant it. "And you don't tell a soul that you saw me. Division has this under control."
He'd never been able to overcome the intimidation of that look... it was damn scary. But the question was, if Division had this, why had he been sent.
Chloe Agatha O'Brian had walked off before he could stopped her... ran off was more like it. Her dress was flying behind her. It was only then that he noted somewhere at the back of his mind that he'd never seen his former partner in a dress before, but he'd cleared his head immediately. But before he could get to her, she was gone...
- Two Months Ago -
Death was a constant. He was a shadow that seemed to take pleasure in taunting her. In bed, he brought the past to her. During the day he'd stand behind her, watching for his next victim...even now.
The Counter Terrorism Unit was like a whirlpool. As hard as you tried to get away, it always seemed to suck you back in. She'd gotten lucky. The one time she'd been forced to come out of hiding, he'd been away, visiting his daughter out in Washington DC.
She'd walked through the hallways, her old stomping grounds, and heads had turned. Looks on the faces of her co-workers telling the one thing on their minds: what was she doing here?
There was only one reason that she was here, and that was because she had been called. It was something that she really and truly did not have time for. She was already in danger. And the last time she was here she had been the cause of danger.
She walked down the corridor and made her way to his office, the eyes of her former co-workers wide and their jaws dropped.
'So much for not letting anyone see me,' she sighed. She was thinking that when she got back she was going to kill her handler... It didn't matter what the boss of Division, Harry Dentoni sa-
Her thoughts got cut off abruptly as she opened the door to Bill Buchanan's office and she was assaulted by a redhead.
She hadn't changed a bit. Dressed in a business suit with pearl teardrop earrings hanging from her ears, she looked wonderful...
She hadn't been called that in too long... the sound of the name itself made her take a breath...one that was instantly crushed out of her by the hug. Bringing her arms around the girl... no the young woman who she had been so close with, only for a moment did she even wonder what she was doing here.
"It's good to see you, Maggs," she said looking at the girl with a small sad smile.
The girl's eyes flashed for a moment with a child-like spark at being called the nickname by the favorite 'relative' she now held.
Bill Buchanan watched this interaction between his aide and his former field agent with a small smile on his lips. In truth, the scene played out exactly as he thought it would, as the two women made small talk for several minutes, covering everything from the Kessler family and how they were doing to why Margaret was here... Bill had hired her as a personal assistant. She was a go-for for the hub and occationally helped out with data analysis... she acted not only as Bill's PA, but Edgar had adopted her as a younger sibling and, in addition to her few college courses, as she was "interning" this year, he was teaching her everything he knew. She had a bright future here at CTU... Chloe was sure to point out that she would be "Safe, behind a terminal."
Bill finally took a step up from the table and put a hand on each of their shoulders. Maggie had known he was here, but the older former-field agent hadn't and was rather surprised to see the face of the man who was a second father to her.
"Welcome back, Chloe," he said gently with a smile.
She just nodded. She felt at home here, as much as she hated CTU, being here felt normal... The thought left her head as soon as it had arrived. Things were different now. And it could never go back...
Bill indicated the chairs around the table and motioned for Maggie to draw the blinds. They didn't need anyone else to see her... Rumors flew around here quicker than information did. Rather sad for an organization that lived and died on information.
All three persons seated, the table knew that this had to be done quickly... Forces were working against the now dark-haired woman at the center of this meeting. Time was short, the sooner that she was out of this place and back to her life, back to the District of Columbia, the better it would be...
As soon as they were seated, it was all business. Chloe sat back in her chair, hands folded neatly in front of her, her eyes going colder. It bothered Maggie a bit, but this wasn't her aunt anymore, this was buisness mode-Chloe.
"You called this meeting, Bill," Chloe said flatly. "So talk. What does CTU LA want with me this time?" There was a tinge of ironic humor to her tone, as if she knew that this was completely absurd.
Bill took some papers that Maggie handed to him and pushed them across the table.
"I know that you've seen these before, Chloe. We came across the information during the course of an operation." He glanced at his assistant. It had been Maggie who had found it, and had in turn showed them to Edgar before the two had decided it was best to call Bill directly. "We've kept them from anyone else," he assured her. In her head, Chloe knew he meant Jack specifically. "Now we have to decide what the best course of action is...."
- October 13 -
He hadn't heard from her in some time. He tried not to let it bother him, but sometimes it was worse than others.
Today he'd been late. There had been an accident. Car crash and fire on 19th and 1st. He'd been late to work, but Bill had had other things on his mind at the time. He'd seemed very distracted this morning. Maggie Kessler was following him around like a hawk. Even Gerry Stinemore who normally made scaving comments about how she was like a puppy following Bill around was silent and solomn as they passed his work station.
Jack realized that they were coming towards his station, and everyone was quiet, watching what was going to happen... It was like they knew something that he didn't. And he didn't like that one bit.
Bill had a serious but understanding look on his face, Maggie looked like she'd been crying but had washed her face and pulled herself together. She was holding a folder in her hands in a deathgrip.
"Jack," Bill's voice was quiet, "we need to talk." He sighed and put a hand on the man's shoulder. "Jack," Bill continued. "There's been an accident..."
Jack was liking this now less than before. Instantly a picture of his daughter's face flashed in his head - until he saw the folder Maggie was holding... Clipped to it was a picture of Chloe O'Brian.