There are no two ways about it. Nothing improves getting jolted out of a deep sleep by the ear-splitting screech of an alarm at the hellish hour of 6 am, feeling like your eyelids are made out of sandpaper. There is an eternal darkness of the soul that comes in the pre-coffee era, and Jack Morrison is currently king of it.
He slams his hand down on the clock like it's a judgement day gavel and nearly swats it through the window. Somehow that doesn't stop its ungodly shriek so Jack growls and shoves off his threadbare covers. He gropes for the offending object and yanks it so hard he rips the power cord out of the wall.
Then Jack curses out whoever conceived of battery backups as he smashes the blurry buttons at random. Anything to get this instrument of torture to stop beeping. He's up already, damn it.
Finally he must hit the right button because the alarm falls silent. Jack scrubs a hand down his face as he waits for his ears to stop ringing, then fumbles over the rickety nightstand for his glasses case. It's not that Jack doesn't love his job, he reminds himself. He gets a great sense of satisfaction from dispensing medical aid to the day's assortment of public in need. But it's hard to remember that on the third day in a row of 12 hour shifts. He's not a young man anymore.
And if they get one more call today to be a glorified chauffeur service for a sprained ankle, Jack might not hold himself responsible for his actions.
He stumbles out to his tiny kitchen, making straight for the coffee pot. Yanks open the fridge, discovers its barren contents haven't miraculously multiplied into a bounty overnight. Grabs a packet of pop-tarts instead and is halfway to his closet for his uniform before the continued silence hits him. He turns back to the coffee pot.
Jack adjusts his thick black frames to better glare the offending machine into obedience. When that doesn't work he tries tapping it, unplugging it and plugging it back in. His Hail Mary is to give it hard shake, but instead of starting the soothing sounds of percolation the thing just rattles ominously and all of its lights go dark.
The alarm clock starts wailing from the bedroom again.
Jack braces his hands on the counter and takes a long deep breath. Then he marches back into the bedroom and punts the damn thing into the closet.
Needless to say, he leaves his one bedroom walk-up to greet the day in a less than stellar mood. And hey, misery loves company, right? He grunts at his partner when he arrives at the deployment bay, shitty gas station coffee in hand. But Zenyatta is annoyingly unfazed, as usual.
"And a pleasant morning to you as well, Morrison," he inclines his head, handing Jack the ambulance stock checklist.
"If you say so," Jack growls, reaching to double check the level of bandages. Before he is halfway through the count, their first call comes in. Two cases of food poisoning and a call for a stubbed toe later, Jack concludes his day is not looking up. His phone buzzes once while he's eating his lunch so he thumbs the cheap flip phone open.
Amari A. : we're on still for coffee saturday y/n
He sets it back down. It buzzes again.
Amari A. : y/n requires you say yes
Jack rolls his eyes and slowly thumbs out 'yes ana'. The reply is quick.
Amari A. : i thought so :)
The next call is much more intense, requiring support from the accompanying fire engine. Jack waits for Bastion to pry the roof off the crunched car before sliding into action with Zenyatta. The cheerful man gives him a wave as he finishes rolling back the roof. It's one of those moments where the oddest thoughts occur at inopportune times; he's asking their patient rapid fire questions as he wonders why he only sees Bastion out on calls. The man lives in his apartment building after all.
Two more such calls topped off by one for that wonderful sprained ankle later and Jack is finally free to limp his way home. He stomps up the narrow staircase and stops as he approaches his door. Faintly, through the thin walls like the echo of some malicious spirit, he can hear beeping.
Jack contemplates turning around and leaving the alarm clock to its victorious conquest of his apartment, but the idea of going anywhere or seeing anyone is overwhelmingly draining. He squares his shoulders, draws on the resolve he relied on back in his special forces days, and charges all the way into the closet. He rips the batteries out and relishes his victory in the most pitiful battle of his life. Then he tosses his glasses in the nightstand's direction and drops face first onto the bed. Dinner is a thing that happens to other people. He doesn't intend to move for the next twenty four hours if he can help it. Provided the actual ghost of his alarm clock doesn't strike again.
He knows, having satisfied Ana, that he won't be interrupted by anything else. He stubbornly squashes the thought of what she'll have to say about that, involving words like 'disaster' and 'get your shit together, Jack, how many years has it been now?' Hell, he had a better social life back when he was part of a top secret covert ops unit. He used to know how to socialize.
But those days are long past, blown to hell with one bad op and taking all the plans he'd had for his future with them. Now he carries on as best he can, trying to at least be a positive force in the world. He hopes one day it will be enough for him to feel like he's breaking even on life.
He closes his eyes to block out the blurry sight of his empty apartment and drifts into a troubled sleep.