“Nadia! For the last time, NO!”
“Oh come on Chloe! It’s going to be fun!”
“Look, I don’t do blind dates. I just don’t.”
“I don’t understand why you won’t give him a chance!”
“I don’t want to be forced to have dinner with a complete stranger, trying to make awkward small talk all the while wishing that I wasn’t there! I just can’t do it, ok?”
“I’ll buy you a new laptop.”
“Anyone I want?”
“Alright. Fine. Can you at least tell me who it is that I’m going out with?”
“Nope. It’s all part of the surprise.”
“Hey Jack, can I talk to you for a minute?”
“What is it Milo?”
“Well, are you busy on Saturday night?”
”What? Why are you asking?”
“Well, I was wondering if you would be interested in attending a blind date.”
“But the girl’s really nice. I know you’ll like her.”
“Who is it?”
“It’s a surprise. Please Jack. Just one date with this girl, and I know you’ll fall in love with her. Just one date.”
“I don’t know.”
“You’ll love her. I promise.”
Jack sighed. He had the feeling that he would keep annoying him if he didn't agree.
"Fine. I'll do it."
Milo sauntered up to Nadia’s desk and told her to follow her to the corridor which housed the interrogation rooms.
They whispered in hushed voices, and in serious tones, which would make an outsider think that they were talking about an important subject. Instead they were actually reveling in the success of their plan.
“He said yes!”
“And she said yes!”
“This is perfect! They’ll be together in no time!”
“Let’s hope so, Milo, because I have to buy Chloe a very expensive laptop to get her to agree to this.”
Before Chloe knew it, it was Saturday, the night of her big blind date.
Chloe still didn’t understand why she agreed to this. She guessed it was time to start dating again. She hadn’t had much of a love life since she divorced Morris. But she couldn’t help the feeling of dread at the pit of her stomach.
Would he be boring? She wondered. Would she have to sit across the table from this guy, pretending to be interested in what he was saying, all the while wishing she could leave? Would her eyes become so glazed over that they could have flavored a dozen donuts?
Or would he be a total jerk, preferring to stare at her chest than at her eyes? Either way, she felt herself become more and more agitated as she got ready for her date.
“You must have lost your mind.” Jack Bauer thought to himself. He was sitting at the restaurant, waiting for woman he was supposed to be on a date with. Milo had told her that she would be petite, with blonde hair, holding a rose so that he could identify her.
When Milo described her, he instantly thought of Chloe. He smiled slightly. Chloe.
Since when did he smile when he thought of her? She was his friend, his best friend, his most loyal and trusted confidante. That’s all. There isn’t anything else going on. Nothing, nada.
So why does he feel like his heart skips a beat every time he’s around her? Why does he feeling like grabbing her and kissing her? Why can’t he stop staring at her when he’s at CTU?
Jack put his head in his hands. “Stop it.” He told himself. “Chloe doesn’t like you that way, and you wouldn’t want to ruin what you have with her.”
He sighed, looked up and froze in shock when he saw who was standing in the doorway of the restaurant.
On the way to the restaurant, Chloe’s mind began to wonder. She stopped at a red light and leaned back in her seat.
Nadia had said that the man was blonde, with an athletic build. She told her to carry a rose so that he could recognize her.
How lame. This whole thing was ridiculous. She scoffed.
Why was she so against this? Why did she hate this so much?
Chloe’s logic kicked into place, and the answer popped into her mind.
Because she was already in love with some else, of course.
Jack. She was in love with Jack.
Chloe had had feelings for him for as long as she could remember. She remembered admiring his sense of loyalty, his kindness, his determination.
Even though she had these feelings for him, she wouldn’t act on them. Jack didn’t think of her that way, and she knew he was way out of her league. He dated women like Audrey – smart, beautiful, successful. Even though that didn’t work out, she knew Jack only went for those types. She was merely a CTU computer geek. She would have to settle for being his friend, the person he went to for help. It was better than nothing, right?
She arrived at the fancy little restaurant, picked up the rose that rested in the passenger seat, took a deep breath and entered the restaurant.
When she saw who was there, she gasped.
“Chloe? You’re my blind date?”
“You’re MY blind date?”
They both stared at each other for a while, and Jack had time to appreciate how nice she looked tonight. She was a little flushed and she had on a pair of jeans, and a blue top. She looked beautiful.
“What the hell? Stop thinking stuff like that!” Jack thought to himself.
“You sound disappointed.”
“No, no.” Chloe said. “Definitely not disappointed.”
“Well, you’re here. Why don’t you sit down?”
“I’m so going to kill Nadia.” She said quietly, taking a seat.
“Nothing. I just said you uh, look nice tonight.”
He did look nice. In Chloe’s opinion, he looked great. He was in jeans and a t-shirt. Nothing too fancy and it suited him just fine.
The rest of the evening went by in a blaze of laughter and enjoyment. Chloe’s earlier nervousness had vanished, and she was amazed at how easy it was to talk to Jack. They did talk outside of work, but they were always in the company of other people, so it was harder. Chloe really got to know the Jack Bauer outside of the non-CTU, non-terrorist threat environment, and she felt herself fall in love with him a little more.
Jack had a lot of fun as well. It was a while since he had laughed that much. He never knew Chloe was so damn funny! He genuinely enjoyed himself in her presence.
The band started to play, and couples started to spill onto the dance floor.
Chloe felt the wings of a thousand butterflies flutter inside her stomach. She turned to Jack. “Well, Jack” she said, surprised at her boldness, “why don’t you ask me to dance?”
Jack leaned towards Chloe, and their faces were no more than a hair’s breadth apart. It would have taken very little effort to press him lips to hers, and at that moment, he wanted nothing else.
“Chloe, would you like to dance?”
He stood up, and offered his hand. She took it and placing his hand at the small of her back, he led her onto the dance floor.
And they danced. He was graceful and he didn’t stumble or trip or step on her toes at all. The song to which they danced was up-tempo. They twirled and spun their way around the dance floor, oblivious to everything and everyone else. Each had one hand on the other’s hip. With the other, they twined their fingers. She was mesmerized by the look in his eyes, by the feel of his arms, by the gentle rhythm of his heart.
The band switched to a slower song, but Jack didn’t release her. A gentle tug on her arm brought her close against him. The hand she had rested on his hip she placed on his chest, just above his beating heart. She laid her head on his shoulder as he snaked his arms around her, pulling her even closer.
Chloe decided right then and there that this was where she wanted to be, always. Her life would never feel complete without him in it.
“Chloe. I have a confession to make.” He said.
“You do something to me. I can’t explain it…I don’t know, I guess you make me feel…” he stumbled out.
She pressed her lips to his and silenced him. It was soft and tender, but it spoke volumes. She poured all of her emotions into the kiss because there was no way she could adequately explain how she felt with words. He responded with full fervor, gripping the back of her head to deepen the kiss.
They broke apart, both of them gasping for air.
“That pretty much sums up how I feel about you.” Jack said quietly.
“Me too, Jack. Me too.”
“We did it! We actually did it!” Nadia said excitedly.
Milo and Nadia had been observing the two of them from the bar.
“Well, here’s to us, and a job well done.” Said Milo, raising his beer bottle.