Jack/Renee blue

leigh57


Out where the dreams are high

Straight to the valley of the great divide


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Fic: Our arms fill with miracles
8x17 Bed Smile Renee's Eyes Closed
leigh57
fandom: 24
title: Our arms fill with miracles
word count: 927
warnings: Series spoilers, language, AU like woah
a/n: This is for [profile] century_fox, who prompted with, "Come head on, full circle / our arms fill with miracles.” Given that it’s you, Cinna, I’m hoping the fact that it’s almost June won’t squash the Christmas spirit. I will get all of these done eventually. The complete list of prompts is here. Ginormous thanks to [personal profile] adrenalin211 for being a great beta and a cheerleader when I needed one.

The title is taken from 'Go Places,' by The New Pornographers.



************

It’s only after the doctor disappears behind the giant double doors that Jack realizes.

The blood all over the man’s scrubs is Renee’s.

Time stops working.

+++++++

A timid orderly approaches him, neatly folded clothes stacked on her arm. “Mr. Bauer? These might fit you, well enough at least. I can show you where the showers are if you’d like to change.”

He nods and follows her. Her scrubs have pink elephants and multi-colored gumballs on them.

He steams in the shower until he’s scrubbed every part of his body at least three times.

But he does it all with his eyes closed, so he won’t have to watch Renee’s blood drain away in an endless swirling circle.

+++++++

He can’t stay still, but he doesn’t know what to do with his own body, muscle and bone that won’t settle, that keep him uncomfortable no matter how he shifts or rearranges.

He walks the long white hallway outside the ICU waiting room until he knows the number of tiles that make up the floor (18 x 6 = 108), until he’s afraid that exhaustion and terror might make him talk back to the screams in his head.

It’s quiet in the tiny chapel, a refuge from PA system static, from the smell of blood and disinfectant. He kneels (relic of reverence) in the stained-glass silence, watching the way the sun lights up the dust, haloed specks floating in front of the windows.

When he was young, they went to church every Sunday, the eight a.m. service.

He remembers it only in fragments. Itchy shirt and a grey and blue striped tie he could feel every time he swallowed. Graem poking his ribs with the edge of a hymnal. Driving home to receive the promised beating from his father for opening his eyes during prayer. (He’d always wanted to ask how you could know someone else’s eyes were open if your eyes were closed, but he assumed the pain would end sooner if he kept his mouth shut.)

Now, he doesn’t dare to pray.

(People like him have no right to ask anything of God.)

But he does light a candle.

The flame sputters and hesitates before it catches and burns with conviction.

His hand trembles as he holds it, studying the glow.

He’s not ready to put it with all the others.

Not yet.

+++++++

When even the triple shot latte can’t revive him and his body gives out, he falls asleep on a stiff chair in the waiting room.

His dreams are a relentless clash of the bizarre and the horrifying.

Blood and bullets and cracking glass.

Barbies and orange juice and Charles Dickens and Kool-Aid popsicles.

When he opens his eyes, the giant flat-screen TV in the corner is closed-captioning news about Syria.

Black body bags and more blood.

+++++++

Kim flies in, despite his protests.

(The second day? Maybe the third?)

It’s only when he feels her hand on his cheek, hears the achy comfort of her voice, that he realizes he’s been seeing in sepia.

Her presence dials color back into the room.

And when she says, Daddy, talk to me, he doesn’t try not to cry this time.

+++++++

Contrary as always, Renee opens her eyes for the first time in the middle of the night.

He’s cold and uncomfortable, in the usual half-doze he manages for a few hours, curled in the pull-out chair that’s farther from her bed than he likes it.

He has no idea what alerts him to the change in the air. (Did she move? Make a noise?)

But he blinks awake, and when his eyes snap to her body, so small and pale in the giant mechanical bed, they land directly on hers.

Wide, green, terrified.

She’s already reaching for the tube in her throat.

His fucking foot is asleep, but he ignores the stabbing pins and needles, stumbles the few steps to the rail that separates them.

He grabs for her arm, words spilling out.

“Hey. It’s me. It’s okay. Don’t touch anything. Just breathe. Okay? Please?”

He really has no idea what he’s saying, but all he has to do is watch her eyes to follow what’s happening in her mind.

First, confusion. Forehead furrowed, sheets clenched in her hands.

Then, memory and horror. Frantic, her focus darts everywhere in half a second.

Her chest, the machines, the door, her chest again, and finally back to his face.

The beep that signals her pulse monitor is going nuts.

He can hear her breathing now, even over the rush of all the equipment, and it scares the shit out of him.

“Look at me. Look at me, please.”

She does, her eyes shiny. Way too bright.

He can only imagine how much she hurts.

“You remember?” he whispers.

She nods, barely.

He swallows (everything inside his heart is spinning) and tries to process what he’s supposed to do.

“I should get the nurse.”

She shakes her head, the motion so vehement that all the equipment attached to her body wiggles.

“Renee, I’ll only be gone for a second, but I need to-”

He stops when he sees her small white hand (dash of freckles) sliding slowly over the sheet, working its way toward the bars until her fingers can sneak through.

He wraps her hand in both of his. The rapid-fire beep of her pulse monitor begins to slow.

After a few seconds, her fingers tighten, soft grip on his skin.

The barely-there squeeze reminds him of the candle.

************


In entirely unrelated news, I continue to be amused by the collection of random that is tumblr. I'm getting used to it, although I still maintain that I'm not smart enough to use it. Also, one of the tags I track is "Jeremy Renner," and seriously, there must be ten posts a minute. I've given up even trying to see them all, although with those arms, unf.

What's up with you guys?

eta: OH. I have heard Brandi's new album. (Shhhh, don't ask me how. I'm 100% going to buy it as soon as it comes out.) AND ZOMG, IT IS AMAZING. All the music flail. All of it.

This entry was originally posted at dreamwidth. If you wish to leave a comment, please do so wherever it makes you happy.

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This was too sad to read before I am even dressed!!!! (That's right. I'm in a towel. Sexy.) Gorgeous writing though. Yay your words worked!!!!!! I just love the flow of your words. I love the memories. I love the math you did on the tiles. The closing of eyes so as not to watch her blood drain. It was so hauntingly beautiful. And I love that her barely there had squeeze brought him back to the candle. Love love. So happy you got to writing!

You are totally the sexist in a towel. I am gross because I am too lazy to shower twice today so I'm waiting until after my lift. /tmi

I'm so glad you think they worked. I'm 100% on the fence, but I'm still glad that I at least sat down and wrote something. I often feel that regardless of whether or not I feel good about the final product, putting my brain in that place is good for me, or something like that. I have no idea if that makes sense.

Hee, all your making out icons. I love them!

Jeez, you don't need to call me a sexist ;)

I'm just jealous you wrote. And the sad thing is I actually WANT to write and just none of the words make sense.I can't figure out how to change it.

But regardless, I still think what you wrote is gorgeous. And if this is what you do when you're unsure, daaaamn.

And thank you I like my making out icons too! I still don't fully believe it's canon lol.

Jeez, you don't need to call me a sexist ;)

J, I wish you could see my face right now, because I am crying with laughter. Not only did I call you a sexist, I called you a sexist in a towel! Oh god I can't stop laughing. Also, that is one of my top ten most common typos, which is a problem. *wipes eyes*

And thank you. You know what's so super weird? Even stylistically I'm never sure what's going to come out of me anymore. It's like sometimes it's all long sentences and wtfever and then sometimes it's like this and sometimes it's in between. Wow, that was deep. But it's true. I DON'T EVEN KNOW.

I am super sorry you're so blocked, although I have nothing but faith that this will change and lift and you'll get back on it. One of the most frustrating things about writing is exactly that uncertainty -- never knowing where your brain will be when you want to do it.

I don't blame you for not believing it's canon, but it IS.

Yes, I am a sexist in a towel. You know me so well. I will forever be known as: Sexist in a towel. Nothing else. SiT. HA. Sit.

I'm actually jealous that you change it up stylistically. I feel like I am so set in how I write that even when I want to change it just feels wrong and I end up going right back to where I was to begin with. I think that's why I liked that 100 word thing you told me to do. I had no other choice than to be different and that's still one of my favorite things that I've done.

I guess what annoys me about this is I actually want to write. Sometimes I'm like Oh shit, I guess I should do this and then it doesn't work because I don't actually want to, I just feel like I should. Now I actually want to and the words don't work and that's something I am not sure how to get past. I keep thinking about that dumb article and what a failure it is, hahaha.

Now I actually want to and the words don't work and that's something I am not sure how to get past. I keep thinking about that dumb article and what a failure it is, hahaha.

Dude, I know exactly what you mean about really really wanting to write and then writing and feeling as if everything you write is shit. Seriously. It's the most frustrating thing in the world and it happens to me all the time, and I swear sometimes I just wish that my creative energy wanted to do something else, because writing is effing hard.

Those drabbles are the BOMB. But I still think that if you're going to change it up stylistically, it should be on purpose! It happens to me by accident, wtf?

That article is such a failure, and I'm super glad that you, K, E, and A all backed me up. I didn't want to say anything before you read it in case you guys thought I was nuts.

I just wish that my creative energy wanted to do something else, because writing is effing hard.
THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My brain doesn't shut off with all of this shit and yet I literally cannot write it.

Keeping my fingers crossed that you'll be able to write soon!!! *hugs*

Sexists in towels shouldn't write, psh.

eta: Man, I cannot type today, can I?

Edited at 2012-05-31 03:43 pm (UTC)

SEXISTS IN TOWELS NEED TO WRITE.

Thanks, Cinna. You know when Rick Castle was blocked he got Kate Beckett. WHERE IS MY MUSE???????????????

You know when Rick Castle was blocked he got Kate Beckett.

That just made me laugh so much. All I ever get is like, hint of jalapeno Tostitos.

Is that your muse? Tostitos?

I'm eating a fortune cookie. Should that be my muse?

Fortune says... NO SUCH LUCK.

YES, TOSTITOS ARE MY MUSE.

Or, something.

That's not what your fortune said:P What did it actually say?

Something about my home being a place where I am happy? Fucking dumb.

Yeah, that's not very musey at all. Then again, neither are Tostitos:-(

Edited at 2012-05-31 06:15 pm (UTC)

NOooooooooooooo Jalapeno kettle cooked chips are much musier.

Those just make my muse wonder how much wider her ass is getting.

Then she becomes even more grumpy:P

(People like him have no right to ask anything of God.)
ajshfgkajdghjkadhad ugh JACK i love you :(

holy fuckcakes in fuckland this is fucking beautiful and painful yet hopeful and I LOVE IT YOUR WORDS ARE THE GREATEST THING. my heartttttt. asjhfajkgha the hand squeeze i am dying your writing makes me feel all the things. Thank you!!!!!! ♥

You are doing tumblr perfectly fine, in my opinion! And I love that you track Jeremy Renner, hehe. The only two tags I track at the moment are my username (in case someone tags me in a post they want me to see) and Idris Elba /dork

So glad you've been able to hear Brandi's new album and that you love it!!! Two months from tomorrow, you and Adrienne will be seeing her :D

Two months from tomorrow, you and Adrienne will be seeing her :D

OMG, I know. I flip out every time I think about it. Not that the last time wasn't fun, because it was a blast, but this time it's inside, without rain and a bunch of drunk people!

I should totally stop tracking Jeremy Renner, because when I do hit the tag, half the time my DSL can't even load everything. I am beyond amused. Since I don't understand tracking, it had never occurred to me to track myself! I just track predictable stuff like 24, which unfortunately leads me to a great deal of info about Kobe Bryant. LOL.

I'm glad you like the fic! Waugh, they are so angsty. But I'm determined to get these Christmas fics finished before next Christmas. Hopefully;) ♥

It is delightful to see new fic from you, beebs. Seriously, seriously. <333

... he's been seeing in sepia.

My hearrrrrt.

The Christmas fics can be done by next Christmas, right? RIGHT?

Oh, man.

Anyway, you are the best. I've decided I need someone to write me all the Jack/Kim AU fic in which they actually get to be a family like the effing show didn't let them. WANT THE JOB? *nodnodnod*

They absolutely can! If I am still working on mine, you are more than gold to be working on yours, so. >:DDD

Augh, fambly fic. Bee-arr-bee, having ~feelings,~ because Jack is teaching little Teri how to chalk out a hopscotch grid on the driveway and I am full of the wibbles.

because Jack is teaching little Teri how to chalk out a hopscotch grid on the driveway and I am full of the wibbles.

GAH, YOU BIG TEASE. YOU SHOULD WRITE ME THAT.

*sobs*

I HATE YOU. And by hate I mean love.

Photobucket

Bwah, hey-oh, looks like Pajiba writer Joanna Robinson (@quityourJRob) shares your Renner arm fixation.

AHAHAHAHA. Ahem.

Well. Tell me they are not a thing of beauty:

Photobucket

[ one, two, buckle my shoe ]



He's slower than he should be, deliberate and painstaking.

He feels like a goddamn kindergartener with a Write Your ABCs! workbook, but the smile on Teri's face is bright enough to blot out his dissatisfaction, at least for the moment, so he keeps chalking, pretending his movements aren't clumsy or stilted.

(Teri doesn't know any better, anyway -- which feels a lot like cheating, but Jack's not about to hop down that particular philosophical rabbit hole over something as simple as a game of hopscotch.)

"All right, sweetheart," he says, once he's finished. He ignores how shaky he feels, how he's slightly out-of-breath from this brief exertion. "Here comes the fun part."

Teri's eyes crinkle at the corners, she's smiling so much, and she nods eagerly.

"Okay, Grampa, okay, I'm ready!"

Jack can't help but chuckle.

"Okay. On three, you start right here."

"Three!" she chirps, and bounds onto the first powder-blue square with both tiny, sneakered feet.

"That's my girl," Jack says.

She bounces inside and around the grid with delighted, haphazard leaps, and Jack doesn't bother to correct her, for the moment. The rules can come in a minute -- once he gets his breath back, he can demonstrate.

Teri reaches the last square, and turns, triumphant.

"Your turn!"

Jack cracks a wry half-smile -- because Jesus, that was fast -- and nods.

"Ready to see if you can keep up with an old man?"

Teri rests her small fists on her hips, and nods a comically serious affirmative.

"Ready, Grampa. One-two-three."

Jack sucks in a breath; he'll do this, dammit, and the doctors will finally shut the hell up about his progress.

"Here we go."

Edited at 2012-06-01 01:58 pm (UTC)

*flails*

Moar in a bit, but right now T-REX ARMS OF GLEE and ALL THE ILU.

And:

Photobucket

Photobucket

Leo!

And the polar bear.

Dammit, S, now I want an AU where Jack and Leo cross paths in FAO Schwarz, both in search of the most epic stuffed animal in the history of history, and commiserate while standing in line.

Uh, in other news: Ffffff, yooou. <333!

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! My heart! My HEART!

This is delightful and cute. I love how he's out of breath but he doesn't even consider making her wait, because of her SMILE. Oh, Jack. This made my morning so much better. Thanks for that. :) :)

Helllllllllllllllllllp, S broke out the polar bear .gif, and I can't even, A. I can't even. I am dead of cute.

Also, speaking of cute, you are too adorbs; thank you, thank you, but I am not worthy! <333!

THE POLAR BEAR GIF. Oh geez. That is the worst. It means you should write MORE, obviously. *halo*

Thanks for sharing this.

It is the worst! And by worst, of course I mean best. Silly old little bear, giving me a case of the adorables.

Ahhh, no thanking! No thanking. <333

Well I love everything about this, so if I listed all the things I'd just copy it here into the box.

Here is the thing: One of my most giant fanwanks (given that the fucking show gave us next to nothing to go on in this department or any other department related to anything resembling happiness) is that Jack is a much more patient grandfather than he was a father. Not that he wasn't patient with Kim as a kid, but more like, he was always so involved in work and all that he didn't take as much time to slow down and take it all in. So in my fanwank, the end of S7 is his chance to do that, and wow, how much are you smacking all of that kink right HERE?

Love love love. The way he's determined not to show her how tired he is and how he even has a sense of humor about it now -- the fact that she's faster than he is is more adorable than it is a challenge. Your Jack is beyond perfection, and I would happily devour all the family fic in the world from you without ever stopping between bites.

S, you are killing me with kindness over here, you don't even know. <333 I think you're right about Jack being able to slow down and truly spend time with his granddaughter versus Kim. Augh, ~fambly feelings.~

YOU ARE TOO GOOD TO MEEEEE. For serious, lady. Too kind!

(I do need to write more, though. It is embarrassing how little I've done in 2012. I have no excuse, except I haven't been doing it nearly as much as I should. It's like Henry Rollins says about reading: You either do it or you don't. I am not doing it! Ahhh. A change would do me good.)

Ah, Day 8 AUs! Bliss! Re can never rewrite Day 8 enough.

LOL, well not quite bliss, but it is 24, right?

Apparently I can't manage to stop rewriting S8. Oh show.

Jeezus fuck I love you and hate you for this =| Ugh all my creys =( I wish this had happened. Omg. You should've written their story, dammit.

(Also isn't tumblr the best =D I'm really happy cause my Renee tag finally has some action cause of you!)

I wish it had happened, tooooooooo, which is apparently why I can't stop with the eight million AUs.

But I'm glad that at least partially you love me? LOL. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. It makes me so smiley!

I'm really happy cause my Renee tag finally has some action cause of you!

Oh, man. Yep that's me: Keeping Renee Walker alive and well since 2010;)

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Edited at 2012-06-01 03:16 pm (UTC)

IT's uuuuuppppppppppppppppp! My faaaaaaace. More later!

*snugs you*

Today in I Am Such a Dorkface.

The .gif just above this makes me smile spontaneously.

The gif right above this makes ME happy too. SO HAPPY.

Okay
1. Whoa! I mean fgyydfhuj
Yeah! Try saying that three times in a row, fast!
I was so sure she was dead at first and I had to remind my self repeatedly it was you writing this story. Then when Kim came running in, my heart stopped. </p>

I could absolutely see her scared and confused, and Jack torn between wanting to get a nurse to help, but his fear also making him stay at her side.

The memories of church... I never could imagine them doing that, however, reading your words conjured up a whole image in my head and it totally worked!

Love so many things about this fic yet I dont have time to write them all!
Thank you for posting. Really needed to read this!


I was so sure she was dead at first and I had to remind my self repeatedly it was you writing this story.

Oh man, that made me laugh so much. I have written um, let me think. Exactly one story and one tiny ficlet somewhere that stick with canon in terms of her death. And the death story was an accident, just like the story I wrote after Vladimir raped her. It just wrote itself in my brain until I figured I might as well get it down, ugh.

Philip Bauer actually struck me as the kind of guy who would drag his kids to church every week, wanting to present a perfect family or whatever, but that's totally my fanwank.

I'm so glad you enjoyed it though, and thanks so much for your comments! I'll get these Christmas fics done yet. Maybe, LOL.

God, babe. I mean. I know it's taken me forever to get around to reviewing this, but it's only because words can't even describe the love I have. It is so damn perfect, every last painfully specific detail, the way you characterize Jack in a way that's so perfect my heart grows eight sizes. Somehow the tone of this mimics the situation he's in within the writing itself, and I can never QUITE figure out how you do that. It's like we're not just in his brain, but in his heart and soul and the physical pain he's feeling I FEEL TOO. HOW do you do that? Huh? Huh?

Like, for real, it's so Jack. He's horrifyingly observant of small things, like the tiles on the floor and the gumball/elephant scrubs, but at the same time they're distraction, and you don't even SAY it. We know it because of the way he closes his eyes in the shower so he doesn't have to see the endless swirling blood, thus making all these tiny details so damn telling and important and it KILLS me, because you never say what you're trying to convey, and yet there it is. Written all over the page. Magic.

And YOUR WORDS. Your words. He "steams" in the shower. There's muscle and bone that won’t settle. So vivid it makes my little heart hurt for him.

THIS PARAGRAPH MIGHT BE MY FAVORITE YOU'VE EVER WRITTEN:

He kneels (relic of reverence) in the stained-glass silence, watching the way the sun lights up the dust, haloed specks floating in front of the windows. --- Just, gorgeous and understated. You're so lovely.

And the way you wrapped the past up in the present is just so stunning. Church when he was a boy. Hypocrisy of his father and how you subtly tie that whole concept into this line:

(People like him have no right to ask anything of God.) -- Because he doesn't even think he's GOOD, the poor guy, and he just isn't his father and and and. THIS IS SO DAMN JACK.

The flame sputters and hesitates before it catches and burns with conviction.--Seriously, I was breathless when I read that and I kept thinking about Renee and... yeah. THEN YOU ENDED IT LIKE YOU DID and it comes full circle. You're such a fucking master of ficcy, beauteous, literary THINGS.

It’s only when he feels her hand on his cheek, hears the achy comfort of her voice, that he realizes he’s been seeing in sepia.

Her presence dials color back into the room.
-- Good lord, woman. SEEING IN SEPIA? I mean, I would pay 500 dollars to have written that. For that line to have been mine. I love it so much, and that is always how I've seen Kim through Jack. Like, she's EVERYTHING, total love of his life, and he needs her so much more than he'd ever consider, in the moment. I LOVE THAT SHE FLIES IN.

AND THE WAY HE WAKES UP WHEN RENEE DOES, BECAUSE THEY ARE MAGIC AND THERE'S A CHANGE IN THE AIR.

The way you described what he witnessed going on in her head through her terrified eyes gave me fucking heart-palpitations and was more well-done than a hamburger cooked to my idea of perfection.

“Look at me. Look at me, please.” -- GAH! And she does and and and. Her pulse slows! And she doesn't want him to go so she uses all of the energy IN her to reach for his hand through the bars and hold on!

MY HEART, SHANA. MY HEART. YOU are the absolute best for writing this and thereby making my LIFE better.

After a few seconds, her fingers tighten, soft grip on his skin.

The barely-there squeeze reminds him of the candle.
-- You're a fucking goddess of language. I'll quit this psycho incoherent review before I get even more tongue-tied by word magic.

Love this. Love you. Just perfect.

Ack! I realized that this was in my email and like, wtf? I never responded to you! Which is probably why it is in my email, fail. Possibly I never responded to it because I was left all O_O at such praise. I'll stick with that;)

Thank you, bb. I never feel as if I have the vaguest clue what I'm doing when I'm writing. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains. I did love the idea of Jack in a chapel, trying to reconcile all the conflicting impulses. I can't imagine him praying, but strangely enough I can't imagine him fully not believing in God either. (I mean! When he kills Chappelle, he says, "God forgive me," and it doesn't sound to me like he's kidding.)

Also, I'm super excited that you think I managed to convey all the freaked out desperation here. In my brain it's an extension of what happened at the end of 8x17 (only of course without the event which shall not be named). But the part where he's diving through bullets to pick her up and just running about not caring if he cuts up his feet or gets shot. BECAUSE HE'S JACK AND HE'S FUCKING PERFECT.

My response cannot begin to do justice to the loveliness of your comment, full stop. A gajillion thanks for keeping me going on the writing thing when I'm often tempted to chuck the entire thing out the window from pure frustration. Muah.

AND MOSTLY I JUST WANT TO READ ALL THE FIC IN WHICH THEY ARE HAPPY AND MAYBE IT'S A MEREDITH AU AND THERE IS ALL THE GOODNESS. Yep.

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