I swear that you should hear it (sardonicynic) wrote in 24_fanfic,
I swear that you should hear it

[ three ficlets ] mirror, mirror ; eye of the beholder ; I only see what I'm looking through

author: sardonicynic
rating: r for adult content
characters: jack bauer, renee walker (24)
spoilers: we'll say through the entire series, just to be safe.
disclaimer: the characters aren't mine; the words are.
a/n: a smattering of prompt!fics written for leigh57, who requested jack/renee. apologies to those of you who've already seen these over on my journal; a gentle nudge from leigh57 reminded me that I used to be so much better at remembering to cross-post. title of the third ficlet comes from fiona apple's "window."

[ no they don't know who I really am, and they don't know what I've been through like you do ]

mirror, mirror

He forgot that touch could feel this good.

Renee's fingers are careful but sure, skating over skin and scar tissue, learning the lines of lean muscle like they're written in braille.

He shifts, more out of habit than necessity, tensed and unconsciously ready to protect himself if needed.

Renee strokes a hand down his chest, the heel of her palm riding the ridges of his ribs.

"Relax," she says, her voice near his ear.

He closes his eyes — a simple action that takes more trust than he knew he was capable of, now — and breathes out, a groan sticking in his throat when her hand slips lower.

She's smiling when he opens his eyes again. She swings a knee over his hips to straddle his waist; she bends to kiss him, soft and slow.

"Hey," she says, and nudges the tip of his nose with hers.


"You good?"

(Those two words, and the look in her eyes, say more than anything else ever could.)

A lazy smirk steals across his mouth, and his hands find her hips, pulling her closer.


And it's true — he's here; here, not in China or Mexico or the Balkans.


Her teeth nip at his lower lip, and he can feel her smile against his own.

- - - - -

[ you and me, we were the pretenders ]

eye of the beholder

She recognizes something in Bauer the day she extracts him from the courtroom.

He's like her.

In his file, in his eyes, it's there: proof, mirrored and refracted by an invisible prism as powerful as the Hubble.

He's like her.

He can cloak himself in suits and assurances and empty smiles, because it's easy with the weight of a loaded gun at one hip and an objective to accomplish.

Whatever it takes, he does it.

He's like her.

(It doesn't matter that he's been doing it well before she stepped into the J. Edgar Hoover Building for the first time.)

He's like her: a government-sanctioned sociopath, pressing every advantage the badge affords.

(That's what gets results in the field, oversight and extra paperwork be damned.)

Too few agents negotiate those necessary evils, cowed by supervisors and the threat of bad press.

But he's like her.

A pretender.

- - - - -

[ first-line fic ; "you're not gonna make it a hundred yards on that ankle." ]

I only see what I'm looking through

"You're not gonna make it a hundred yards on that ankle."

Squinting up at Jack, Renee shakes her head.

"It's fine," she says, dismissing the twisted angle of her foot resting on a pile of loose dirt. "I have mango."

Jack removes his Kevlar vest, its impact kicking up a reddish puff of dust once it meets the ground. He holds out a glass of milk with an electric-blue curly straw.

"You need more calcium."

She opens her mouth to argue — milk shouldn't come with lemon wedges, it'll curdle — but her attention shifts to the roiling clouds overhead, stabbed through with an occasional jeweled lance of sunlight.

"I think we just need more bullets," she says, but when she looks back to Jack, he's gone.

Frowning, she picks up his discarded shoe; she doesn't remember seeing him wear sneakers, especially not flashlight-bright Adidas with neon laces.

She turns over the shoe in one hand, testing its surprising weight.

"I guess this is my new canteen."

- - - - -

Renee's eyes open, and she blinks at the ceiling. Her bedroom is half-lit in pre-dawn gray; she knows before she looks at the clock that it's too early for the alarm, but too late to squeeze in another chunk of solid rest.

With a soft, resigned sigh, she sits up.

Padding into the kitchen to make a pot of strong coffee, she's mid-yawn when details of the dream come rushing back in splintered flashes.

Four months after the fact, and the man's still rattling around in her brain — even in her sleep.

She turns on the faucet, resisting the urge to roll her eyes at her own expense.

Jack Bauer, you'll haunt me for the rest of my life.

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