Disclaimer: All characters in this fic are the property of JJ.
Bad Robot, and ABC, not me.
Description: Post Phase One, Jack is recovering from Geiger's torture. J/I angst/romance.
Rating: R (Chapter 7. Rest is PG-13)
"Jack, I know you are disloyal. I know your daughter is, too. Both your files, there were so many red flags, I thought I was in a Russian airport. What I don't know is where your loyalties lie."
Jack watched as Geiger squeezed gel from the bottle and rubbed it on his ankle.
"Where are your loyalties, Jack? Who are you working for?"
"Agent Bristow, do you have an opinion? Agent Bristow?" Kendall's voice intruded on Jack's thoughts. Flushing slightly, Jack tried to dredge up the thread of the discussion which he had so obviously been ignoring.
"I think we should examine the plan in more detail before proceeding," he hazarded.
Kendall sighed. "Would you mind stepping into my office with me, Agent Bristow?"
Jack followed Kendall into his office. Kendall closed the door and turned towards Jack. "The question, Agent Bristow, was whether to order in Chinese takeout or pizza for lunch." Kendall scrutinized him closely. "How are you doing, Jack? It's only been 3 days."
"Fine," said Jack shortly. He appreciated Kendall's concern, but he was tired of people asking. "The doctor said I would be cleared to return to active duty by the end of the week."
"That's not what I meant Jack, and you know it. Standard policy for an agent who has been subjected to torture is to have a week's leave and daily counseling sessions with the staff psychiatrist. Dr. Barnett informs me that you have not made a single session yet."
Jack looked exasperated. "I fail to see how Dr. Barnett, who has never been in the field let alone been tortured, could possibly conduct a meaningful dialogue with me about what happened. I've been through this before; I can handle it."
Kendall looked at him searchingly. "Very well. But if, in my judgment, you have not made significant improvement by the end of the week, I'll need to order you to see her to receive clearance to return to work. In the meantime," Kendall continued, "I have an assignment for you."
Jack was relieved. Time off was the last thing he needed or wanted right now. Alone in his apartment it was much harder to keep his memories in check. He needed something to distract him.
"As you know, we have an enormous amount of work right now with the debriefing of former SD-6 agents and with the mop-up of their operations. Every available agent has been assigned to this work. Your daughter, in particular, has been very helpful in these debriefings, as those SD-6 agents who don't hate her for being a double agent have found it easy to confide in her." This, Jack knew, was true. Sydney had been liked and respected at SD-6. He had seen her only briefly since she had rescued him from Geiger. He doubted she had slept.
"With all active duty agents assigned, I need you to cover a commitment I made to Langley. It's not the sort of thing I'd normally ask an agent of your seniority to do, but until you are cleared by the physician you're the only one I've got available."
Jack waited patiently. Even a mindless errand would keep him busy.
"I need you to escort Irina Derevko to Langley."