Title: Need
Author: Michelle, (http: 24
Pairing: Tony Almeida/Jack Bauer (implied Tony/Michelle)
Rating: R
SPOILERS: Through Day 3
Disclaimer: Not mine. The living angst that is Tony Almeida belongs to Fox and Real Time Productions, and credit for his irresistible charm goes to Carlos Bernard
Challenge: (http: Lost
Summary: Time slips away until you've only got time for regrets
Author's Notes: Please feedback. If you stand at the alter of the Almeida is love fandom, please let me know if I've got his voice at all.

Word Count: 500

The door opened and Michelle was there. Their eyes met, his heart fluttered in his chest. He didn't miss the involuntary twitch at the corners of her mouth. Both of them. The mist of tears welling up in her eyes didn't go unseen either.

The click of the door took her from his sight. His eyes closed, his heart pounded mercilessly in his chest. He knew they wouldn't let her in to see him. Would they let him say good bye? They had to give him that, at least give him that.

He'd sacrificed everything for her. He'd put it all on the line, and even now, sitting in the CTU holding room, waiting to be carted off to Federal Prison, he didn't regret it. Maybe if he'd told Jack, maybe Jack would have, could have, helped him. Jack could do anything, and no matter what he did, he got praised for it.

Jack. Oh no. Tony couldn't let his thoughts go there. He wouldn't think about those intense eyes, one blue, one green. He wouldn't think about those rough and calloused hands caressing his own rough and scarred skin.

Tony felt his tongue dart out to lick his dry, parched lips. Where was Jack? Would he ever see Jack again? His hand trembled, and he dropped his head to his palm to try to stabilize it.

He could live with what he'd done, he could live with the title TRAITOR, a treason conviction. What he couldn't live without was Jack. Jack, who looked at him at the bridge with cold, hard, uncertain eyes. Jack who had been unable to save his own wife, and maybe found some validation in helping Tony save Michelle.

Jack who kissed like he lived, on the edge. Wild and reckless, with total abandon. He said he was i detatched /i , and he had to be to do his job. But Tony knew different. Tony Almeida was one of the few who knew Jack Bauer poured every ounce of himself in to everything he did.

He licked his lips again, trying to recapture in his mind the rough, musty taste of Jack Bauer's kiss. Only the click of the door opening pulled him from the memory. "We need you on the floor," Brad Hammond announced.

Moments later, standing beside his wife, Tony was on the phone with Jack. Working together. For the very last time.

Tony's heart raced at the sound of Jack's voice. His eyes closed, and he leaned over the desk, imagining Jack behind him, hands on his hips, making sweet love to him. No. Jack needed him to concentrate. Jack needed him to help find the carrier of the final vial of the virus.

Jack needed him in ways no one else knew. If Tony had any regrets about the choices he'd made and the lengths he had gone to protect Michelle, that was it. He'd cheated Jack out of the one thing he counted on. Tony understood Jack's work, he understood Jack's need.