can See Tomorrow In Your Eyes (3?)
Warnings: Lots of Tony/Michelle!Angst..
Fandom: 24 Spoilers: Through Day 3. AU after that.
Characters: Michelle, Tony, Jack
Disclaimer: Genius to Cochran and Surnow. Credit to Carlos Bernard and Reiko Aylesworth for playing Tony and Michelle so beautifully. Kiefer Sutherland is Jack Bauer.
Summary: Life goes on.
Notes: Completely independant of the other fics I've been posting.
Word Count: 1000
The babies were crying. Again. Maybe only one. It's hard to tell. I think it's the boy. He seems to be a lot more vocal than his sister.
Jack pulled away from me, and I was momentarily stunned to realize we were still in the bedroom. I was practically in his lap, clinging to him. He put his hand to my hair as I sat up. "Take a few minutes to pull yourself together," he said softly. He always spoke so softly. "I'll take care of the twins."
I nodded. I wasn't going to argue with him about that. In fact, I wouldn't have argued if he wanted to take them back to his place and leave me alone. Except I didn't really want to be alone either. I wanted to love my babies, I wanted to hold them and kiss them and cherish them.
Jack turned around at the door and smiled reassuringly. I wondered if he'd realized something was off. I was using Tony's ghost to mask my indifference to the babies. He'd pick up on it sooner or later, and then he'd start questioning me.
Once he was gone from my sight, I felt both relief and emptiness. Momentary panic bubbled in my throat and I couldn't breathe. I closed my eyes, forced a deep breath, and swung my legs over the side of the bed.
I went to Tony's dresser. I hadn't touched his things for nine months because I wanted everything to be the way he left it when he came back. Realistically I know he's not coming back. He's in prison, and he'll be there until the day he dies. But I'm no ready to give up on him coming home. I need him to come home to me.
I caressed the knobs on one of the drawers before I opened it. In a way, the fact I can't see or talk to Tony for a few days is a blessing. I felt so weak and vulnerable, and I knw I would lose any and all control I had left if I had to look into his eyes.
I still had my hand on Tony's drawer when Jack came to the doorway, a baby in his arms. I wondered if the sadness in his eyes was from thinking about Teri and the child she was carrying when she died. Maybe he could find peace within himself through m children.
"I think they're hungry," Jack explained. I nodded. My breasts were heavy with milk, and I could have said I'd do it. No words came out, and after a moment, Jack said. "Alexis is in her crib. I'll take AJ to the kitchen with me, unless you want to hold him."
I shook my head. Dear God, that should be Tony standing there holding our son. His son. "I was just going to go freshen up."
Jack nodded and stepped away. I pulled out a T-shirt and a pair of Tony's sweat pants from the drawer. They would be too big, but I didn't care. Wearing Tony's clothes would make me feel loser to Tony, and that's what I needed. I needed him so bad.
Jack was wonderful, I don't know what I would have done without him. But he's not my husband. He's not my forever.
I had to walk past the nursery to get to the stairs. I could hear my daughter gurgling the way babies do. I could have gone in there to get her. I should have. But I couldn't. I just…couldn't.
Jack was heating up two bottles, in a pot on the stove. He was working one handed, with the baby resting perfectly in the crook of his arm. He would have made a great dad. I wonder what he was like when Kim was a baby.
"Is something wrong?" he asked without looking at me. His voice was his usually whispery calm, and yet I felt my spine stiffen. The words put me on the defensive, because I wasn't ready o talk about it. I'd had nine months to think about it, and I still couldn't fully accept it. Is it still denial when you know something, and yet refuse to admit it, even to yourself?
I didn't, couldn't, answer right away. He looked over his shoulder at me, his eyes darkening slightly when he saw the clothes I was wearing. His only comment was to say my name. And the way he sai it, the heartbrokenness of his voice, made me want to cry.
"You're not." Two words, that's all he said. Two words that completely tore down my defenses.
I hadn't done anything with my hair, so it just kind of hung there in my face. I ran my hand through it, mostly for something to do, mostly to try to hide the fact my hand was shaking.
"Talk to me, Michelle," Jack murmured. I shook my head. What could I say? I couldn't tell him why I was so afraid to touch my own children. I couldn't tell him…
I knew he must have thought I was just upset because giving birth is an emotionally exhausting experience, and Tony wasn't there with me. Tony couldn't be there with me. Tony should have been there, should have been right there in that kitchen with me, celebrating the birth of our babies. He couldn't possibly know there was a good chance they weren't Tony's babies at all.
"Oh sweetheart," Jack moved toward me and wrapped his free arm around me. "I know it's hard. He should be here, and I know I'm a poor substitute."
"No, Jack. You're…I'm glad you're here." That was true, I would be eternally grateful for Jack after this, but we both knew he shouldn't be there. Tony should.
He gave a gentle squeeze with his arm, and I leaned in to him, buried my face against his chest. The baby's foot brushed against me head, and I only cried harder.