Title: Troubled Water

Author: SunReyes sunreyes01@yahoo.com

Rating: PG-13

Category: J/S

Disclaimer & Authors Notes: This is a sequel to In Another's Shoes. There isn't much you need to know to read this story. There are one or two short segments of X-Files characters and I don't own them or those on WaT.

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Jack Malone POV:

Jack & Samantha's Apartment

February 13, 2004

7:15 p.m.

"Girls, remember what I told you?" I eye Hannah and Kate before unlocking the door to the new place. Sam's managed to move a few of her things in, and I pull back the door to let the girls inside.

They both stand in the entranceway, afraid to come any closer. Sam's sitting on the sofa, reading a book. She glances back with a smile. "Hey," she whispers, and I swear I see a glint of fear in her eyes.

She closes her book and I shut the front door, pushing the girls gently into the living room. "Why don't I take your coats?" Samantha offers, holding out her hand.

"Daddy, why does she have to be here?" Hannah glares from Sam back towards me.

"We talked about this girls," I remind them. Kate slips off her winter jacket, handing it to me as I hang it in the closet. Hannah does the same and they both stand by my side, too afraid to approach the stranger.

"Do you girls want any hot chocolate?" Samantha offers.

"No," Hannah answers and moments later Kate shakes her head no in response. I move on over towards the sofa, taking a seat beside Sam.

"Did you girls make anything to give your mom for Valentine's Day?" Samantha questions.

Both girls exchange glances between each other and then with me. They refuse to sit beside her and move towards a chair, sitting on the opposite side of the room. Both girls squeeze into the chair, making sure they don't have to sit next to us.

"We made you and Mom something," Hannah tells me, "but you can only have it if you come back home to live with us."

"Girls," I let out a soft breath, "your mom and I talked about this with you. We're getting divorced because we don't love each other anymore. It doesn't mean we love you girls any less, but--"

"You love her instead?" Kate questions, eyeing Samantha.

I let out a soft sigh. "Yes, I love, Samantha. I love both you girls too," I remind them.

Both girls exchange glances. "Can we have ice cream, Daddy?" Kate questions.

I stand up, letting out a soft breath as I glance through the freezer. There are a few things Sam's managed to buy in the past week, but no ice cream.

"I'll just run up to the store," I offer. "You stay here with the girls; I'll only be a few minutes."

"Jack," she jumps up, "why don't I go. You should spend time with them," she tells me, her eyes staring into mine.

"I don't want you running out for them. Keep them company."

"Right," she breathes out as I grab my coat and car keys.

"Be good for Samantha," I tell Hannah and Kate. They both nod their heads in unison and I slip out the door.

*********

Samantha Spade POV:

Jack & Samantha's Apartment

February 13, 2004

7:48 p.m.

As soon as the door shuts, the girls run over towards the sofa, climb on and start jumping on the cushions.

"Hannah, Kate," my eyes meet theirs. "I know your mom and dad don't let you do that."

"You can't tell us what to do!" Hannah quips, grabbing a ceramic pottery bowl from the table that holds the remote controls. She throws it to the floor, letting it shatter against the wood.

"Go to your room," I tell her with wide eyes.

"No," she clenches her fists, her face turning red.

"I'll call your father," I warn her.

"And say what? You can't control us?" she laughs. "He left his phone here, stupid." She sticks out her tongue at me, and Kate sticks hers out afterwards.

"I can call your mother," I respond, heading for the phone.

"She says we don't have to be nice to you. She doesn't like you either," Hannah answers with a smirk on her face.

"You're the reason Dad left," Kate chimes in.

"You think when your father gets home he's not going to be angry with your behavior?" I eye them both.

"He won't believe you," Hannah answers, jumping down from the sofa and standing against the wooden floor. "Mom says you're his whore."

"Your mother said that to you?" I question, surprised that she would even use that word in front of her children.

"She said that about you when Daddy and her were fighting," Kate answers. She plops down to sit on the sofa. "Can I have something to drink, Samantha?"

"What do you want?" I question, heading into the kitchen to grab a plastic cup. I don't need to clean up any more glass. The shattered bits are still on the floor and I don't have the energy to clean them up. Besides, Jack needs to see what they did. If I clean it up, they'll likely pretend it didn't happen.

"Grape juice," she answers, following me into the kitchen.

"Me too," Hannah answers, and I pour both girls something to drink. Hannah carries hers into the living room and I bite down on my lip, afraid of what she might do. She stands in front of the sofa, turning the cup upside down to pour onto the furniture. "Oops," her eyes are wide with a grin.

Hannah pushes Kate, causing her to spill some of the juice onto the wood floor and her shirt. "Stop it!" she shrieks, and within seconds Hannah manages to shove the cup onto the sofa, staining the fresh cushions in purple.

"Hannah!" I'm furious as I tell her, "Go to your room."

"No," she shouts back, standing right in front of me. I hear the door finally opening and breathe out a sigh of relief.

"What happened in here?" Jack glances around, seeing the purple stain and the pottery broken onto the floor. "Hannah, Kate?" His eyes bore into theirs.

"It was all her fault!" Hannah screams, storming off into the girls' bedroom and slamming the door.

"Kate?" Jack eyes her.

"I didn't make a mess," she whines and tears well in her eyes.

"You were jumping on the sofa," I point out.

"So was Hannah!" she whines, sulking down the hall and into her room. I hear the door open and close and let out a soft breath.

I move towards the broken pieces on the floor, picking them up carefully and putting them in the trash.

Jack puts the ice cream in the freezer and comes back over to help me finish cleaning the rest.

"Don't worry," he whispers reassuringly, "they'll come around."

"And if they don't?" I question, meeting his gaze and hearing only silence between us.

*********

Jack Malone POV:

Jack & Samantha's Apartment

February 13, 2004

10:30 p.m.

I glance in on the girls, making sure they're both asleep before joining Samantha in the bedroom.

"I'm sorry about earlier."

"It's not your fault," I say as I lean down, pressing a kiss to her lips. "Don't worry, they're just acting out."

"I know," she nods. "I think I should be at home when you're with the girls."

"Sam," I shake my head no. "They're just kids." I slip out of my clothes, and slide between the covers.

"They're learning it from Maria."

"What?" I roll onto my side to face her.

"They heard you two arguing about me, and that's where they get this from," she gestures wildly.

"What did they hear?" I question in confusion.

"Your wife calling me a whore."

"Ex-wife." I take Sam's hands in mine.

"She's still your wife," she reminds me. "Maybe she was right. I shouldn't stay with you until you're divorced. At the very least, for the sake of the girls."

"Sam," I shake my head, "don't say that." I wrap my arms around her reassuringly. "I love you." I press a warm kiss to her lips, feeling her head dip back as I move my way down her exposed skin.

"Mmm," she breathes out, slipping her eyes shut. "We shouldn't," she tells me, slowly pulling back. She sits up and sighs as she glances at the clock.

"Where are you going?"

"Home," she answers, heading for the clothes on the floor.

"Sam."

"I can't do this, Jack."

She pulls up her jeans and buttons her shirt.

"You can't or you won't?" Her eyes meet mine and I realize how hurt she is from what the girls said and did. "Don't go," I whisper, standing up to grab my clothes. I quickly pull my slacks on.

"I have to." She leans towards me, giving me a soft kiss before turning her back to leave.

"Sam." I reach my arm up to her shoulder, turning her around to face me. "The girls are in bed and tomorrow's Valentine's Day," I remind her. "You're really going to spend it alone?"

"No," she laughs. "I think I might visit Maria."

"Really?" I'm startled by this; I'm not sure why.

She eyes me, not giving in to whether she's joking or not. "I'll see you Monday." She presses a soft kiss to my cheek as my hand moves down to grip hers. "Jack," she warns, wanting me to let go. I drop my hand and she gives me a sad smile, heading out the door.

"Oh, Sam," I whisper, shaking my head in dismay, feeling suddenly all alone in the world. I so desperately want to go after her, but I know Samantha. She probably needs the night to herself.