© Karr 'Scarface' 2004

Not What I Wanted

After the war

What's a soldier to do

But help the poor?

- Lexiter Jackson "After the War"

Well, Lex gave me a verse from a poem she scribbled down once a long, LONG time ago and a song from Linkin Park ("Lying From You" from the Meteora album) and told me to write a Jak II: Renegade songfic to it. She issued me something of a challenge – it had to be dark (which I can't say I'm amazingly good at) it's not allowed to have blatant yaoi in it (which I am definitely not good at – subtlety is not my strong point), it's got to have the verse in there somewhere (easy enough, sez I – how wrong I was...) I had to have Dark Jak in there but I wasn't allowed to use the words 'Dark Jak', I had to have at least one line from the Lord's Prayer and I'm not allowed to have ANY OC's. Which for me is a near impossibility. AND it has to have a happy ending. Considering how the song actually ends is 'The very worst part of you is me' that wasn't particularly easy. Thankfully she didn't say I couldn't change it...sorry Lex! And to add insult to injury it had to be a Torn/Jak pairing. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against the pairing. Just...well, call it personal preference.

Poor Jak...definite angst...

Disclaimer: I don't own the song, Linkin Park *worships* does. Neither do I own Jak or Torn. That's Naughty Dog's *grovels* and the poem is Lexy's. She's gonna kill me for that...

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

~when i pretend

everything is what i want it to be

i look exactly like what you had always

wanted to see~

Jak pushed himself up off the floor, grunting as he wiped sweat off his forehead. Setting the weights aside and standing, Jak paused for a moment in front of a mirror, considering his reflection. Well-defined muscles where there had been none only two years before; raw rage burning in eyes a cold, merciless blue, and a classy green goatee. Jak sighed, afraid for a moment to look into the eyes of his reflection; afraid that if he did, he'd be able to see the monster his own rage had spawned.

To think, two years ago, he'd been nothing but a tall, gangly teen, fresh from saving the world, when everything had been a clean-cut good-versus-evil type thing.

'So much for the good old days...' Jak muttered, turning away from the reflection.

~when i pretend

i can forget about the criminal i am

stealing second after second just 'cause

i know i can~

And now, it was a month after Praxis – Jak still felt the familiar surge of hate at the thought of that name – had been disposed of and the Metal Head Leader sent back to whatever hell-hole he'd first crawled out of. A month of constant attention as the saviour of Haven City. Jak grunted as he pulled himself onto a bar, pulling chin-ups. A month he could have done without. He hadn't given a damn about Haven City when he'd first gotten out of the Fortress, and he gave less of a damn about it now.

Just once, he thought, just once I'd like to walk down a street without some asshole thanking me for my 'sacrifice'. I'm not a saviour. Helping this pile of trash was just a by-product.

For some reason, Jak felt slightly guilty about that, but it was the plain truth. He didn't set out to save the world – again – he just wanted revenge. And now that he'd got the revenge...

~but

i can't pretend this is the way

it will stay~

Jak growled, dropping down from the bar and moving to the punch bag. As he swung a fist solidly into the bag, he vaguely registered the fact that the only way he could truly vent himself was through beating the crap out of some defenceless punch bag. Or better yet, a Metal Head, but there were fewer and fewer of those around now.

Alright, if he admitted it, for the first week, Jak had basked in the city's adoration. It was nice to be famous, but now it was wearing thin. Daxter had his bar and Tess, Torn was the Commander of the Krimzon Guard again, Ashelin was governor and first advisor to the young King of Haven City, and even Keira was a top engineer. They'd managed to find Sig, and after he'd recovered from his fall into the pit, Keira and Sig had announced their engagement.

So what was left for him except for empty dreams?

~i'm just

trying to bend the truth

i can't pretend i'm who you want me to be~

Suddenly enraged, Jak did a furious spin-kick that split the bag in two. Not satisfied with that, he punched the support bar behind it, barely hearing the shriek of warping metal as he pulled back his bloody hand, inspecting it.

He'd heard somebody in the Krimzon Guard say something, once. What was it? After the war is won, what's the soldier to do? His livelihood would be considered a crime. What's the soldier to do, except grow old and die, forgotten by an ungrateful city?

~so i'm

lying my way from you

(no. no turning back now)~

Jak caught a sight of himself in the mirror again, and he stepped up to it, staring dispassionately into the black pits that were the mirrors to his soul, if he still had one. He raised a hand, not flinching as white-purple bolts flew with every movement. Placing one immaculate ebony claw onto the face of his reflection, he slowly and deliberately dragged it down until it seemed his face was cut in half. Drawing his hand back, he punched the mirror so hard that the mirror exploded, and the wall behind it cracked.

~i wanna be pushed aside

so let me go

(no. no turning back now)

let me take back my life

i'd rather be all alone

anywhere on my own~

A door opened somewhere behind him. Jak didn't look up from studying how blood dripped from his hand. An in-drawn breath, almost a gasp, and Jak still didn't look up. They wouldn't approach him, not like this. He saw it in their faces every time he showed what he'd become. Fear of the prey towards the predator.

'Shit, Jak...'

'There's nothing left...' Jak didn't even realise he'd spoken the thought out loud until he heard his own voice – more like a beast talking then him, words growled out from between fangs.

'What?' Footsteps – they were coming closer?

'I have nothing left...' Jak let his hand fall to the side, refusing to look into the other's tattooed face. 'Not even vengeance. Everything I did, everything I do, centred around violence.'

'Only if you want it to.'

~'cause i can see

(no. no turning back now)

the very worst part of you

is me~

'Only if I want it to.' Jak laughed, even as pain jolted through him and he returned to normal. 'Only if I want it to. How funny.' He carried on laughing, laughed until he fell to his knees, laughed until it hurt and tears were falling down his face. Then it wasn't laughter any more, he was crying, crying like he hadn't in years. 'I never wanted it to...'

~i remember what they taught to me

remember condescending talk

of who i ought to be~

He didn't notice the other until an arm snaked around his shoulders, holding him close as he continued to sob in the middle of a shattered reflection. The city had cried out for a hero, for a deliverer, and he'd come. Deliver us from evil. He'd come, and over-thrown the evil tyrant, defeated the Devil's Hordes. But he had still not won the ultimate battle, the one that would go un-noticed, the one that would take place daily in the darkest hours, the one where the only prize was what was left of his sanity. The city saw one face; the mirror showed another.

~remember listening to all of that

and this again

so i pretended a person who was fitting in

and now you think this person

really is me and i'm

trying to bend the truth~

'Why didn't you tell me.' The gruff voice interjected on his spiral of thoughts, and Jak looked up through tear-blurred blue eyes to his supporter. 'Why the hell didn't you tell me that you were going through this?'

'I-I...' Jak lowered his gaze, and caught his reflection in a broken shard of mirrored glass. 'I...I'm falling apart...'

'I figured that one, Einstein.' The man beside him growled. 'Stupid idiot. Why didn't you let us know? We're your friends, Jak!'

'Friends?' Jak shook his head. 'I...I can't...can't hurt...'

'Jak, we are your friends. You won't hurt us by just sharing how you feel.'

~but the more i push

the more i'm pulling away

'cause i'm

lying my way from you~

'You...you...' Jak pushed the other away abruptly, staggering to his feet and running from the room, not caring who he knocked over as long as he got away. He silently screamed in his head. I don't want friends...no contact...leave me alone!

He found himself with nowhere else to run – he'd managed to run onto a balcony high above the city. The only way to go from here was a very direct route to the ground.

Suicide...the ending of one's own life to stop suffering... Jak felt the wind entangle itself into his hair as he looked over the edge. It was as if once the idea had been planted in his head, it would be ludicrous not to see it through. Almost absently he climbed the rail and sat on it, looking down.

'Jak! No!'

He'd been followed?! Jak turned, and saw the same man who'd tried to show friendship in the gym.

'Torn...I...'

'For all that's holy, Jak, don't do this!' Torn had a hand outstretched towards Jak, and his sky-blue eyes were widened in horror. 'Please...' He croaked.

'I...there's...there's nothing left but this, Torn...' Jak looked back over the city.

~this isn't what i wanted it to be

i never thought that what i said

would have you running from me

like this~

'Jak...there's always something left.' Jak looked back to Torn in surprise as the Krimzon Guard's voice broke, and his eyes widened as he realised that tears were falling down the hard-as-nails Commander's face. 'Keira, Dax, Ashelin, Samos...'

'They don't need me any more.' Jak looked out, unable to keep the note of bitterness out of his voice. 'I don't belong here.'

'I need you.'

~the very worst part of you

is me~

The words were nearly ripped out of the air by the wind that threatened to tear Jak off the balcony as he turned.

'What?'

'I need you.' Torn took a step nearer, his hand still outstretched as he kept his weeping eyes fixed to Jak's. 'I'm still left. After the war, what's a soldier to do but help the poor?' Torn shrugged. 'But that's not all of it. Jak, I...'

Jak bowed his head. After the war... Jak shook his head, trying to remember what he wanted to do. One look back at the city reminded him, but something stopped him.

'I love you.'

~the very best part of me~

Jak turned incredulously to the other man. Had he heard right?

'C'mon, Jak, now I've finally said that, you gonna jump?' Torn tried to smile, but it broke in half as more tears flowed down his face. Something about that made something break in Jak, too, and before he realised what he was doing he'd climbed back over the rail and staggered back to Torn, pulling the guard into a hug, trying to wipe the pain out of his blue eyes.

'Please don't cry, Torn.' Jak whispered. 'Please, not because of me.'

'I've always cried because of you...' Torn pulled back from Jak. 'Ever since you brought me that flag and I learnt what the Baron did to ya.'

Jak lowered his head as he realised just how close he'd come to committing suicide. 'I...I'm sorry...'

'For despairing?' Torn wiped a callused hand over Jak's cheeks. 'Everyone does that occasionally, Jak. Just...don't go it alone next time, 'kay?'

'Okay...thanks, Torn.' Jak smiled slightly as Torn took off his jacket and wrapped the shivering boy in it, leading him back inside. Maybe I'm not ready to admit it, but...maybe I need you, too...

~the very best of me

is you~