Yep, I am finally back with part 2 of this Trilogy. I have a few words of advice:
1) Do NOT hurt the elbow on your dominant hand. Turns out you really need that joint and it is not easy to not use it.
2) And second…when in doubt, reread #1. Your life can get REALLY screwy without your elbow. :o)
So, here is the start of After the Fall 2:The Rise. I have had SO much fun writing JJ's dad in this one because he is SO not the Alan Jareau of my other stories. So, I changed his name. Be warned: if I wrote him well enough, you will love to hate him.
So, enjoy this next little installment as I finish up #66 in the other series. Have fun!
After the fall there is the rise
Hope replaces fear in people's eyes
Fight for your family, your people, your clan
Then bring all together and reunite this land.
JJ grunts as a fist hits her in the stomach. She quickly recovers and blocks the follow up punch and palms her assailant's nose, smiling cruelly when it shatters. As the man stumbles back a step she kicks out, dislocating his knee and sending him to the ground.
Sensing the attack coming from behind her, she spins and ducks as another man takes a swipe at her with an empty bottle. She grabs his wrist and twists it, forcing him to drop the weapon. He claws at her face with his other hand. She grabs it and shoves him away, giving her more room to move. He punches at her, his fist glancing off her jaw as she ducks and punches him in the gut. Twice.
As she pulls back for a third strike, someone grabs her from behind and spins her. Before she can get a hand up, a fist connects squarely with her cheek and eye, sending her back against the man she had been fighting. He grabs her arms and holds her as her new assailant follows up with a punch to the gut and another to the other side of her face.
Seeing the fourth strike coming, JJ manages to duck and the fist hits the man holding her in the ear. He grunts but doesn't lose his grip. JJ pushes up from the floor and kicks both feet towards the man in front of her, getting him in the stomach. As he doubles over, she lets her momentum take her to the ground, forcing the man holding her to either bend over her or let her go. He lets her go.
Wrong choice. She kicks a leg up and back, getting him square in the nose and knocking him backwards. She spins on the ground and kicks out again, taking out his knee. She quickly scrambles to her feet.
"WHERE THE HELL IS OUR BACK UP?!" she yells.
Seeing her partner in trouble she races towards him. She leaps on the back of a man swinging a baseball bat towards Marcus' head. She wraps an arm around his neck, choking him out. He spins around and slams back into a wall. JJ grunts but doesn't release her hold. He slams into the wall again. JJ squeezes her arm harder. He slams back once more but his legs are wobbling. He drops to his knees. JJ maintains her feet and uses the leverage of standing over him to put more pressure on his neck. Finally he doesn't move and she shoves him to the ground.
"Sleep it off, asshole," she mutters at the unconscious man. She lifts her eyes as she hears someone yell that more cops are arriving. "About fucking time!"
As the other officers run into the bar, she turns to her partner…
…and watches as his he is stabbed in the throat with a broken beer bottle.
JJ storms into the office of her captain. "Why the FUCK did it take THREE fucking messengers to get back up?"
Her captain stands. "Stand down, Jareau!"
"NO! What the fuck, sir?"
He sighs. He'd been kicking himself for ignoring the first two messengers, orders or not. Seeing one of his top officers bloodied and bruised in front of him he is disgusted with himself.
"We were told…it was…"
JJ stiffens. "Did my father order you not to send back up?"
The captain drops into his chair. "He was here when the first messenger arrived. He said little skirmishes at the Tipsy Kitten weren't unusual and weren't that big a deal. He said you and Marcus could handle it."
"Since when does a fucking politician know what the fuck goes on at the Tipsy Kitten? You know the fights we deal with down there! Miners looking to release steam after being underground for 3 or 4 weeks. Two weeks ago four of our officers ended up off duty for a week after injuries sustained in a fight there! Did you forget that, CAPTAIN?"
"NO! Fuck no!"
"Well in case you need anything else to remind you that back up needs to be sent when requested…this isn't my blood. It's Marcus' blood. See you at the funeral."
She turns and stomps out of the office, leaving her stunned captain behind.
JJ pounds on the door a third time. Sure she could use a key and let herself in but pounding the door makes her feel better. Finally the door is ripped open.
"WHAT?!" her father yells.
He is stunned by the appearance of his daughter. He takes a step back.
"Oh, Jenny!" her mother says from behind him. "Honey, what happened?"
"What happened is Emperor Jareau said my order for backup could be ignored and I got the shit beaten out of me."
"Jennifer, I just thought- -" he starts to explain.
"YOU DIDN'T THINK! You thought this would be a great way to punish me. Well, I hope it makes you happy to know that I'm lucky enough to feel the effects of this beating for the next few days." She takes a deep breath. "But Marcus Ipset was murdered with a broken bottle just before backup FINALLY arrived after a third messenger ran for help. So good job, Emperor Jareau, you're not just a dictator you're a murderer, too."
Before her parents can respond, JJ turns and storms back to her horse. She pulls herself up in the saddle, too angry to feel the pain she should. She spins him around and sets off for her home as fast as she can ride.
By the time JJ arrives home her body feels like it's on fire. She eases off of Blazer and secures him to the hitching post, knowing Pete will pick him up in the morning. She pats her mounts neck.
"Good job tonight, boy. See you tomorrow. Maybe."
She walks stiffly to the door of the house and lets herself in. As she starts towards the stairs she groans, knowing it will be hell to climb them.
"Hey, Jayje, you're home early!" Garcia calls from the living room.
JJ grimaces. She had hoped to avoid seeing anyone in this state. "Uh, yeah. You know…it was…there was a, uh,…"
Garcia stands, now knowing something is wrong. "JJ, what's going on?"
"Nothing. Just a little fight at the Tipsy Kitten. Really can't…talk about it right now."
"JJ, step closer to my lantern," Garcia orders.
JJ considers refusing but knows she won't win the argument. She turns and walks into the living room. Garcia's eyes get wide.
"Oh my God! Oh, Jayje!"
"I'm okay, Pen. Just…sore and stuff. But I'm fine."
"You are so NOT fine! You are…oh, JJ!"
JJ holds up her hands to stop Garcia's advance. "Pen, I can't…I can't accept your care tonight. I'll be fine." She takes a deep breath. "But I watched Marcus get killed. I couldn't rescue him, Pen. And I really, really can't deal with…with the why of it right now and you'll need to know that and I just…I just can't."
"Oh, my sweet girl." Garcia takes a few steps closer. "Are you really okay? Physically at least?"
"I will be."
"If you need anything…"
JJ nods, forcing a smile to her face. "I know. Thanks, Pen."
JJ turns and continues up the stairs. Garcia watches her go, wishing she could do more for her and thankful Emily will be there to help JJ with her wounds, both physical and mental.
As JJ gets to the top of the stairs she sees the doors to both her room and the boy's room open. She gets closer and hears Emily talking to Henry and Declan.
"Bad dreams suck, don't they?"
"Yeah, Emily," Henry answers. "For both me and Declan."
JJ turns away as Emily just talks to the boys, reminding Declan that everything is okay and thanking Henry for helping Declan feel safe. She walks into her bedroom and over to the window, looking out into the night.
"It's been a fucking crazy few weeks," she mutters as her mind drifts over the things that had happened since Emily and Declan had arrived and the widening rift between her and her father. She sighs. Maybe things would have been better if she had died instead of Rosaline. She fingers her necklace. So many things had happened. So many decisions had been made. So many…many choices coming back to bite her in the ass and cause problems.
"What the fuck have I done bringing Emily into this town?" she finally whispers into the night.