So this fic takes place after 2x08. I've had the idea for a while and kept tweaking it to make it canon compliant, and I was going to do it again after last night's episode but… yeah… I'm just going to ignore that scene and replace it with something like this. There should be a second chapter coming soon. (And for those of you who might come here wondering if I am ever going to update my Duke/Jennifer fic, I promise you I am working on it. Just having a bit of a writer's block with that one. But I have been rewatching Haven episodes with Jennifer in them so hopefully that will spark something!)
Mitch was sitting at the desk in his room trying to make sense of Jackson's latest lab tests, when he heard a soft knocking at his door. He looked up to see a pajama-clad Jamie standing in his doorway. He took a moment to take in her appearance as she stood there. He found it remarkable how evident the physical changes were in her when they'd picked her up in Caraquet. She had put back on the weight she had lost, but her hair was longer than before. And she was allowing her natural curl to hang loosely over her shoulders. He liked the curl; he thought it suited her.
The other changes he saw, however, he was not as fond of. There was the limp. He had no problem with the limp itself, but he wished it was something she hadn't had to go through. And he wished he knew more about what happened. He tried to ask her about it when he first checked it over, but she brushed off his questioning, mumbling something about stepping on something, frostbite, and needing to take it off.
She was holding herself differently. She used to walk around with the presence of a stubborn journalist who would do anything for a story. You couldn't ignore her when she walked into a room. Especially once she started asking questions and demanding answers. Now, she gave off a vibe that said something more along the lines of "I don't care" or "I don't want to be here".
But the biggest difference was in her eyes. They used to be full of passion and determination. She had a fire in her and would stop at nothing to reach her goal. Now her eyes were full of anger, loneliness, and a general apathy. And if he looked deep enough, he was pretty sure she was hiding a lot of fear in there too.
Right now, however, standing in Mitch's bedroom door, she looked so scared and uncomfortable. Her eyes were darting around the room, looking anywhere but at Mitch. Arms crossed tightly across her chest. Every muscle in her body looked tense. He could only imagine what she had been through, being out there in the woods, alone for a lot of the time, and then with a total stranger whom she befriended, only to be betrayed by him later. He wished she would open up and talk to him, but also knew he couldn't push her. She'd talk when she was ready.
"Hey," he said, putting down the files he was looking over.
"Hey," Jamie said back.
"Can't sleep either?"
She shook her head.
"Wanna talk about it?"
She shook her head again. "No."
Mitch stood up from his desk chair. Clearly she was here for a reason. She was waiting for something from him, he just wasn't sure what it was yet. "Do you wanna…?" he gestured to the bed, but immediately clarified when he saw the look that was passing over her face. "Sit? Come in for a few minutes?"
"Okay," she said quietly as she walked into the room and sat on the edge of the bed.
Mitch shoved his hands into his pockets and sighed as he sat down next to her. They sat there, mere inches from each other for a few moments before Jamie stood up and started pacing his room. She had only made about a lap and a half before proclaiming, "I'm such an IDIOT!"
In her rage at herself, Jamie swung her foot out and kicked the side of Mitch's desk. Unfortunately, she wasn't thinking in the heat of the moment and used her bad foot. She hissed in a breath of pain as the area where toe once met foot made contact with the desk leg. Mitch was immediately at her side and grabbed hold of her elbow, helping her keep her balance as she hopped back to the bed.
Once seated again, she let out a breath and gently put her foot back on the ground. She rested her elbows on her knees and buried her face in her hands. "God, I am such an idiot."
Mitch didn't respond, afraid anything he would cause a repeat of what had happened at the bar earlier and would be the exact wrong thing to say. Instead, he let her have her moment, hoping she'd elaborate when she was ready to. He was grateful when she started talking again.
"I should have seen this coming. All those calls to his 'sister'. No one likes their family that much. Even during the animal apocalypse. Go figure that anyone I vouched for and trusted would turn out to be a lying traitor."
"Jamie," Mitch finally decided he needed to say something, "you can't keep blaming yourself for Logan. You clearly went through a lot together out there. Of course you grew to trust him."
"We did go through a lot. We really got to know each other. Which is why I can't believe I didn't see this coming!" She stood up and started pacing again. "You know, he tried to get me to leave with him. Twice, in fact. Once before General Davies' men invaded the plane, and once right after. I told him I wouldn't leave you guys. I should have known something was wrong then. And after everything... God it was all just so POINTLESS!" As another burst of anger rushed through her, she swiped her arm across his desk, knocking the papers he had been reading and his mug, still half full of coffee, onto the floor.
As Mitch stood up to try and calm her down, Jamie suddenly realized what he had done, and dropped to her knees to try and straighten out the papers and clean up the spilled coffee.
"Oh my god. I'm so sorry, Mitch. I don't know…"
"Hey," he knelt down next to her, putting one hand on her back and using the other to stop her from her mission to try and clean up the mess she had made. "Don't worry about it. I'll take care of it later."
"Or some mysterious plane-cleaner will, right? I'm sorry. I just…" she ran her hand through her hair to push it out of her face as she sat back against the side of the bed and pulled her knees into her chest. "I just don't even know."
Mitch stood up. "I have an idea. Come with me." She looked up at him questioningly before taking his out-stretched hand.
"I still don't see the point of this," Jamie looked up at Mitch as he strapped her left hand into the padded glove.
As he looked down at her, he stole a moment to take in those big storm-colored eyes. God how he had missed them during the months they were apart. He could still tell the old Jamie was in there, just trying to find a way out.
"The point of this," he said as he finished tightening the Velcro around her small wrists, "is to help you get out all those emotions, without destroying anymore of the stuff in my room."
She looked away guiltily as he led her over to the punching bag. He stood behind it to brace it for her.
She stood with her hands up, but just looked at him. "I don't understand what you want me to do."
"Punch it," he said as though it was the most obvious thing in the world, which, to be honest, he thought it kind of was. "I saw Dariela doing it a couple times and she happened to leave her gloves behind. She was actually using a stack of spare tires until Abe asked Step-Mommy-Dearest for a real punching bag. Say something that happened to you and makes you angry, and punch it."
She still looked skeptical.
"Just humor me for now. Start with the plane crash and go from there."
She sighed and shrugged her shoulders before turning to the bag. "Okay… I was in a plane crash."
She punched it lightly.
"I nearly drowned."
She punched it again, a little harder than the last time.
"I was rescued by a fisherman who didn't speak any English and had no idea he was just trying to help me."
She really started getting into it.
"I watched him die. I had to lead away wolves so you guys could get to the leopard. The leopard with the cure that didn't even work! I had to walk through the woods in the freezing cold! I was scared and alone! I stepped on a nail and had to cut my freaking toe off with an axe!"
She went on and on, punching harder and harder with every event she recalled. As Mitch listened to everything she said, he almost felt like he was invading her privacy by being there. Even though she was saying it all in such a detached manner, he knew it had to have been ten times worse to actually live through it. She was the strongest woman he had ever met.
She went on and on recalling everything that had seemed worth it when there was a cure in sight until, "We finally reached Caraquet only to realize it was a freaking cult! I was locked outside the fence and almost became polar bear food! And just when I think that maybe things can start getting back to normal, I find out my friend died and our cure was USELESS!"
She was breathing heavy and sweat was dripping from her face. She continued with everything that happened since their reunion in Caraquet, ending with, "And I've been a complete bitch to the only people I really care about!"
She gave the bag a shove, pushing it with all her might and actually knocking Mitch off balance, before taking a few steps backwards. She took a few deep breaths and pushed her hair, curls now limp from sweat and activity, out of her face.
Mitch handed her a bottle of water. "Feel better?"
"Actually," she said after taking a long drink, "yes." She took another swig. "But I could use something a little stronger right about now."
Mitch was more than happy to follow her back to the bar, which had been cleaned up since they were last there.
"Are we sure there aren't any house elves on this plane?" Jamie mused.
Mitch smiled as he poured them both generous glasses of vodka. He handed Jamie hers and she took it over to a nearby couch to lay back as she nursed it. She looked exhausted. He wondered when the last time she had a good night's sleep was. She had only made it about half way through her drink when her eyes slipped closed and her mouth opened slightly as sleep overtook her.
Mitch eased the glass out of her hand and placed it on the nearby table. He looked at the sleeping woman for a moment, trying to decide what to do with her. He didn't feel right just leaving her there. It was late and Abe and Jackson tended to wake up early. He didn't think Jamie would appreciate them seeing her sleeping on the couch. Gently, he lifted her up.
She wasn't very heavy, but as he carried her across the plane back towards where all their rooms were, his arms became tired rather quickly. His room was closer, so he decided to just put her in his bed. After pulling the covers over her, he knelt down to pick up the papers she had knocked onto the ground earlier. He tried to clean up the coffee spill, but most of it had already dried on the carpet, and to be honest he didn't really care if it left a stain. Maybe the house elves would take care of it later.
He finally realized just how exhausted he was too. He looked from the bed where Jamie lay, to the floor, to the desk chair, trying to decide the best place to get a few hours rest, wondering if he should go back out to the couches or take her bed for the night. His eyes rested on Jamie.
"Screw it," he said aloud as he kicked off his shoes and climbed into the bed behind her. He knew he had made the right decision when she sighed and leaned into him.