****Author's Note****

Summary:  Jack dreams, post 2.01, The Enemy Walks In.  Film noir style.

Rating: G

Disclaimers:  All characters (except Charlie) are the property of JJ and Bad Robot

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Prologue

Jack Bristow shifted restlessly in bed.  In his large hands sat a well-thumbed detective novel, one of his favorites, but even that was unable to soothe him this evening.  That lying, deceitful b*tch.  How dare she walk back into his life as if nothing had happened?  He drained the glass of scotch by his bed and snapped off the bedside lamp.  When it finally came, his sleep was fitful.

Chapter 1

The door swung open to a dingy office on the wrong side of town. "Hey, JD, me and some of the guys is headin' down to Ruby's.  Care to join us?"

JD looked up sardonically from his desk.  Freddy ran a bail bond operation several doors down from his.  Not too particular about what he took as collateral. Had never yet been observed picking up a bar tab.  "Think I'll pass, thanks," he replied dryly. 

"Whassamatter, Romeo?  Got a hot date?" Freddy gibed back, grinning at his own wit.  JD's aversion to dames was well known.  His smile faded as he received a menacing glare.  "Suit yerself," he muttered, backing out of the office and closing the door with slightly more force than necessary.

JD grimaced as he watched the glass rattle in the door.

wo sirB .D .J

rotagitsevnI et virP

J. D. Bristow, Private Investigator read the worn black stencil lettering.  JD to his associates.  Jonathan to his mother.  And Jack to….Jack to no one.  He pulled the flask out of his lower right hand drawer, took a long swallow, and swiveled in his chair.  Putting his feet up on the windowsill, he contemplated the darkening skyline of the city below him.  Around him the office grew dark, and outside stars struggled to pierce the encroaching gloom. That lying b*tch was out there somewhere.  Strange how on nights like these, he could almost feel the pull again.

Snick.  He heard behind him the soft sound of the well-oiled door open and shut quietly.  Outwardly he showed no signs of hearing, with the exception of a slight tensing as his hand stealthily reached for his revolver.  His clients were a disreputable group.  Night dwellers, they only crawled out of their holes in the dark.  They knew where to find him, and when.  So did his enemies.

He heard the scratch of a match, and the faint glow of the flame briefly lit up his office before it was snuffed out.  The distinctive odor of an exotic brand of cigarette filled the room.  An odor that JD hadn't smelled for 20 years.  His jaw clenched.

"Get. Out."  He spoke without turning around, his voice implacable.

A rustle as the intruder came nearer.  "Is that any way to greet an old…friend, Jack?" came the sultry voice.  Jack.  There it was.  Only one person had ever called him Jack. He slowly spun around in his chair, revolver in hand, but could only see the tip of the cigarette in the darkness, and the lazy tendrils of smoke curling toward the ceiling.

"Jack's dead," he said without inflection.  "You buried him 20 years ago."

Silence as the voice at the end of the cigarette considered gravely.  "No.  I wounded him.  You buried him."

JD made an impatient gesture.  He wasn't interested in word games.  "What the hell do you want?"  What more could she take, he wondered grimly.

"I need help," replied the voice in a silky tone. "I need….you."

"Me?  Help *you*?  You've got to be kidding."

"I'll make it worth your while."

"I don't want your stinking cash.  Get out."

"I have something you want."

"I doubt it."  Unbidden, thoughts of the voluptuous body attached to the cigarette came to mind.  Ruthlessly he suppressed them.

"Do you believe in redemption, Jack?"

A harsh laugh forced its way out of his throat.  "I used to believe in a lot of things. Love.  Friendship.  Maybe even redemption, once.  But not anymore."

"I have proof.  Proof that you were framed," came the voice.  The voice was confident now.

JD shrugged indifferently.  "Ancient history."

"Framed by Charlie."

The silence in the room was total. 

"Charlie," he finally repeated, trying to keep his voice even.  His partner.  Ex-partner. 

"He lied to me, Jack."  The voice faltered.  "If only I had known…,"

"If only you had known, what?" he parried back in a steely voice.

"I never would have left you," said Irina.