A/N: This is a Jack/Kate fic, set right after season 2. Later on it will take into account season 3 and 4 but as if Jack never hooked up with Audrey (they will only be acquaintances). Hope you'll like it!
Disclaimer: I own nothing, except my ideas. Also, like everybody else on I'm not making any money out of this. But I am enjoying myself!
Chapter one: A day to end
She just couldn't rest. She had spent the last few hours trying to make something out of this radical and apparently inexplicable change of personality that her sister had shown in the past 24 hours. She had thought of Marie at yesterday's breakfast, all giggly and radiant, the vibrant portrait of a soon-to-be bride, and tried to match this image with the cold and impenetrable Marie of last night, the one who didn't do as little as blink before trying to kill her. This was all too weird and incomprehensible. Her father had given up and stopped trying to figure out this whole mess that his life had so suddenly become. After too many tears, hows and whys, he did what was pretty much the only reasonable thing to do and went to bed. She, on the other hand, couldn't stop pacing. Fortunately she didn't have to deal with the horrid task of taking care of the called-off wedding. Their trusty wedding planner Emma had already sent everybody home and made arrangements with the caterer and other staff persons. She had told the guests as little as possible, keeping them in the dark of the unravelling of the day. Kate was really grateful to her for that. She wasn't at all in the right state of mind to explain Reza's death or Marie's implication in the bomb threat to family and friends. She would have to sooner or later but at least Emma's dicretion prevented it from being sooner. So many things on her mind were keeping her awake. But it wasn't just Marie's doings that were upsetting her. It was mostly what she had said.
You will never be safe out there. Those words, softly said with that angelic yet icy look, wouldn't leave her alone. She seemed strong, back there in CTU, helping her father and rationalizing her sister's behavior. It's only after going home and being alone that she had let the fear catch up with her. Truth is that she totally believed it. Her life had always been sheltered and protected but this safe feeling would never come back. She had been in so many dangerous situations, seen so many horrible things and endured so much in that single day. She had tried to tell herself that this fear was simply a natural result of such an extraordinary day, that this kind of day doesn't come along often and that therefore Marie's speech wasn't to be accounted for. Easier said than done. She was shaken to her very roots, attacked at her most sensitive place. Her family meant everything to her. All she ever did was taking care of them. First her mother when she was ill and after that Marie, who was so fragile at that time… " How more mistaken could I have been?" she thought with a sad smile. Now it looked like all her past was a joke, the present total confusion and her future a frightening path. She felt like she would never get over this. "I can't do this. How am I supposed to deal with this? I have to help Dad accept this situation. I can't trust anyone now so I'm basically alone to do it. It's too much…"
That's when his name came to her mind. In a way, it was natural. He was the only one that succeeded in making her feel a little secure during that day. She found herself thinking about all he did for her, making sure she was okay and worrying for her security. God knows how many thing depended on him and still he found the time to care. The last she had seen of him was from afar, being taken into an ambulance with his daughter beside him. She didn't wanted to interfere so she just left to take her father home. But now all her defenses and support were gone. "I just want to see if he's okay", she thought, knowing very well that it was also the comforting and reassuring feeling that he gave her that she wanted. Feeling already a little better, she picked her cellphone and started to dial his number, stopping in the middle of it when she realized that surely he wouldn't have it with nor be able to answer it. She searched for a while and found CTU's number.
- CTU Almeida.
- Agent Almeida, it's Kate Warner. I was wondering if I could ask you something.
- Of course, Ms Warner. You deserve a little, since you've been so helpful. What is it?
- Can you tell me in which hospital Jack Bauer has been transported to? I just want to thank him in person for what he's done for me.
- Yeah, just let me check. Okay, he's at St-James. You need a lift to get there?
- No, I'll drive myself. Thanks a lot agent Almeida, you've been very nice today.
- It's nothing.
Tony hung up and smiled. "Just want to thank him, yeah right! I've seen the looks…"
Kate Warner quickly put her cell in her purse and grabbed her keys hanging by the door. She looked up the stairs and went back to the kitchen. She wrote a small note for her father, saying that she was gone to see Jack. Especially today, she didn't want him to worry any more. Once the note written and put in clear view, she silently left the house and got into her car. As she was driving, one question was on her mind: "Okay, now what will I say?"