Characters: Jack, Renee
Word count: 767
Summary: 8x17 AU written for Rewriting History: A commentfic meme. The prompt is "What if Renee didn't answer the phone when Chloe called in 8x17?" To that I decided to add the idea that Tokarev isn't even there, because I'm the author, dammit, and that's how I roll.
Disclaimer: They’re not mine. Suck.
A/N: Thanks to lowriseflare for beta when she didn't feel well, and to adrenalin211 for putting up with all my bitching as always and listening to me bash my head into a wall while I tried to cut this down to comment length. For those of you who prefer angst to smush, a little angst is next in the queue. Promise.
The title is taken from Brooke Fraser's "The Thief." It's such a beautiful song:)
“Jack, your cell’s ringing.”
“Don’t worry about it. Let it go.”
Renee looked at the phone on the floor, torn between curiosity and the desire to relax into the pillow and wait. She heard Jack in the kitchen – water running, glasses clinking; he was moving quickly, rushing like he did through everything.
Well. Almost everything.
The ringing stopped. Her head throbbed (stress, dehydration, no food for almost a day – she didn’t know), her cheek stung, and the muscles in her thighs and shoulders ached.
Yet beneath all that, a warm sleepy hum skipped along her nerve endings and spread out over her skin.
She couldn’t remember the last time she’d felt better.
Jack walked back into the room holding two glasses of water. He sat on the edge of the bed, incongruously shy and formal when he’d spent the last half hour with his hands and his mouth all over her – stroking, licking, teasing. (Out of breath yet laughing, thumbs on the curve of her ribs and his mouth against her neck, he’d said, You gotta stop making that noise. I can’t concentrate on anything else. She’d lifted his face and kissed him, lost for a minute before she mumbled, smiling against the distraction of his lips, Then stop doing that with your tongue.)
He held out her glass. “It’s tap. I’m sorry. I didn’t buy more bottled because-”
“It’s fine. It’s-“ She stopped. “Why aren’t you drinking yours? You said you were thirsty.”
“I am. I guess I was-” He gave up that tiny smile, the one she hadn’t been able to resist since the first time she saw it (cutting through her insides, full force sucker-punch, because that first day, he hadn’t smiled once until he discovered he was dying). “Waiting for you.”
She pushed herself up and drained the glass. “There. Better?”
“Yeah.” He emptied his own glass and set it on the bedside table. He wasn’t looking at her.
“Hey,” she said. She tugged at the hem of his shirt, and when the sheet slid down she didn’t grab for it. “Why don’t you take this off and get back in here with me?”
“Okay.” Renee watched, quiet, as he undid the buttons. Her eyes mapped his scars, traveling from the ones he’d had so long they almost blended with his skin to the blotches of blood spreading into the bandages that covered the latest additions. Everything she needed to say (apologies, explanations, confessions) swirled and collided, fluttering moths in the back of her mind. She knew half an hour of happiness, giving because it felt good and taking because that felt good too, didn’t erase the last day, the last year, the last . . . whatever. The baggage (slice in her wrist, Vladimir, the cold fact that when she told him to pull the trigger, she’d meant it) would be waiting when she reluctantly climbed out of this bed, left the comforting shell of this warm sunlit room.
She didn’t care.
What she cared about was that Jack had slowed down, stopped moving as if someone were chasing him. He threw his pants on the floor (the casual carelessness of the gesture made her even warmer) and crawled in beside her, pushing back the hair that had fallen over her shoulder. “You sure you’re okay? I didn’t mean-”
She inched closer. “You didn’t? Felt like you did.” God, it was so nice to relax, have fun with him. Ridiculous, how she couldn’t stop smiling.
He grinned, resting his forehead on her shoulder. “Okay, I did. But -” He pulled back, his eyes suddenly serious. “You sounded like you thought I didn’t mean it.” He kissed her neck. “I did. Mean it.”
“I know. This day . . .”
“You wanna tell me?”
“Later. Now I want to curl up and never move.”
“Okay.” He stretched out on the bed and reached for her; she put her head on his chest (careful not to press the bandage on his stomach) and felt for his fingertips under the covers.
“I’m glad you’re okay,” he whispered into her hair as he began to rub her back, circular motion and rhythm so calming she was drifting within moments, sunlight and color fading as the weight of everything dragged and pulled. It was ludicrous, she thought, him saying that to her.
She forced her eyes open. “D’you need to get up? I don’t wanna fall asleep on you if . . . “
She felt the lift of his chest under her cheek. “I don’t need anything.”